The Baptized Jew Who Could Point a Way Forward for British Conservatism

In 2012, a former deputy prime minister was asked a question about the earl of Beaconsfield during a BBC interview, and replied, “Who the hell is Disraeli?” Georgia Gilholy argues that such ignorance of the novelist, proto-Zionist, and Tory politician Benjamin Disraeli (1874–1880), who served as prime minister in 1868 and again from 1874 to 1880, might be part of what is, in her mind, ailing today’s Conservative party. She makes the case for a recovery of his legacy:

Disraeli, the grandson of Italian Jewish immigrants, converted to Anglicanism as a teenager, following his father’s blazing row with the local synagogue. Disraeli’s championing of his unusual status as “the blank page between the Old Testament and the New” offers a glimpse into his eccentric yet productive acceptance of both his Britishness, aided by his adoption of Anglicanism, and his Jewish roots.

Disraeli had his fair share of blunders, but the policies he backed often made concrete and positive changes to everyday life for millions. [His] fondness for bridging the class divide, however opportunistic, did not translate into a leftist disdain for free enterprise or property rights.

By far Disraeli’s most radical domestic achievement was the Second Reform Act 1867, which roughly doubled the electorate in England and Wales from one to two million men. While the move was partly a cunning attempt to persuade voters against his arch-rival, [the Liberal politician William] Gladstone, it was a stroke of genius. [Disraeli thus] transformed conservatism into a popular tradition dedicated to the defense of the cultural values and economic interests of the working class. The right must stop being ashamed of where it came from. Disraeli certainly wasn’t.

Disraeli, [however], was dealing with a culture still steeped in the language of history and biblical morality. He did not need to start from square one . . . by having to deliberate about obvious facts—that marriage is a good thing, or that real-life communities make people happier and safer.

Read more at The Critic

More about: Benjamin Disraeli, Conservatism, Tories, United Kingdom

Hizballah Is Learning Israel’s Weak Spots

On Tuesday, a Hizballah drone attack injured three people in northern Israel. The next day, another attack, targeting an IDF base, injured eighteen people, six of them seriously, in Arab al-Amshe, also in the north. This second attack involved the simultaneous use of drones carrying explosives and guided antitank missiles. In both cases, the defensive systems that performed so successfully last weekend failed to stop the drones and missiles. Ron Ben-Yishai has a straightforward explanation as to why: the Lebanon-backed terrorist group is getting better at evading Israel defenses. He explains the three basis systems used to pilot these unmanned aircraft, and their practical effects:

These systems allow drones to act similarly to fighter jets, using “dead zones”—areas not visible to radar or other optical detection—to approach targets. They fly low initially, then ascend just before crashing and detonating on the target. The terrain of southern Lebanon is particularly conducive to such attacks.

But this requires skills that the terror group has honed over months of fighting against Israel. The latest attacks involved a large drone capable of carrying over 50 kg (110 lbs.) of explosives. The terrorists have likely analyzed Israel’s alert and interception systems, recognizing that shooting down their drones requires early detection to allow sufficient time for launching interceptors.

The IDF tries to detect any incoming drones on its radar, as it had done prior to the war. Despite Hizballah’s learning curve, the IDF’s technological edge offers an advantage. However, the military must recognize that any measure it takes is quickly observed and analyzed, and even the most effective defenses can be incomplete. The terrain near the Lebanon-Israel border continues to pose a challenge, necessitating technological solutions and significant financial investment.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Hizballah, Iron Dome, Israeli Security