How the Hebrew Bible Shaped the Ideas of One of Liberalism’s Founding Theorists

Many of the ideas that shaped the modern West—including individual rights, the inviolability of personal property, and the need for religious toleration—have their roots in the work of the English philosopher John Locke (1632–1704). Yet for all that Locke is associated with secularism and the separation of church and state, he cites the Old Testament more than any other classical source in his Two Treatises on Government. By contrast, the treatises make no mention of the New Testament. Yechiel Leiter, a scholar who has devoted much time to exploring the significance of these facts, discusses Locke’s biblical thinking in conversation with Ari Lamm. (Audio, 52 minutes.)

Read more at Good Faith Effort

More about: Hebrew Bible, John Locke, Liberalism

Spain’s Anti-Israel Agenda

What interest does Madrid have in the creation of a Palestinian state? Elliott Abrams raised this question a few days ago, when discussing ongoing Spanish efforts to block the transfer of arms to Israel. He points to multiple opinion surveys suggesting that Spain is among Europe’s most anti-Semitic countries:

The point of including that information here is to explain the obvious: Spain’s anti-Israel extremism is not based in fancy international political analyses, but instead reflects both the extreme views of hard-left parties in the governing coalition and a very traditional Spanish anti-Semitism. Spain’s government lacks the moral standing to lecture the state of Israel on how to defend itself against terrorist murderers. Its effort to deprive Israel of the means of defense is deeply immoral. Every effort should be made to prevent these views from further infecting the politics and foreign policy of the European Union and its member states.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Anti-Semitism, Europe and Israel, Palestinian statehood, Spain