Anti-Semitism and the Fate of America

May 14 2024
About Ruth

Ruth R. Wisse is professor emerita of Yiddish and comparative literatures at Harvard and a distinguished senior fellow at Tikvah. Her memoir Free as a Jew: a Personal Memoir of National Self-Liberation, chapters of which appeared in Mosaic in somewhat different form, is out from Wicked Son Press.

Reportedly, Benjamin Netanyahu once said that the scholar and essayist Ruth R. Wisse is “as valuable to the state of Israel as a division of the IDF.” As you will see in this lecture about “the nature and the danger of organizing politics against the Jews, the ubiquity of its appeal, and what happens when liberals don’t confront it in time,” she may be worth at least a small unit of the U.S. armed services as well. Wisse here explains where anti-Semitism comes from and why it was married to anti-Zionism from its very beginnings—even before Zionism got its name. She also explains the inseverable connection between hatred of Jews and hatred of America, and how that connection threatens the wellbeing of the United States. Following the lecture, she discusses the subject further with the journalist and author Matthew Continetti. (Video, 75 minutes.)

Read more at American Enterprise Institute

More about: American politics, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism


Only Hamas’s Defeat Can Pave the Path to Peace

Opponents of the IDF’s campaign in Gaza often appeal to two related arguments: that Hamas is rooted in a set of ideas and thus cannot be defeated militarily, and that the destruction in Gaza only further radicalizes Palestinians, thus increasing the threat to Israel. Rejecting both lines of thinking, Ghaith al-Omar writes:

What makes Hamas and similar militant organizations effective is not their ideologies but their ability to act on them. For Hamas, the sustained capacity to use violence was key to helping it build political power. Back in the 1990s, Hamas’s popularity was at its lowest point, as most Palestinians believed that liberation could be achieved by peaceful and diplomatic means. Its use of violence derailed that concept, but it established Hamas as a political alternative.

Ever since, the use of force and violence has been an integral part of Hamas’s strategy. . . . Indeed, one lesson from October 7 is that while Hamas maintains its military and violent capabilities, it will remain capable of shaping the political reality. To be defeated, Hamas must be denied that. This can only be done through the use of force.

Any illusions that Palestinian and Israeli societies can now trust one another or even develop a level of coexistence anytime soon should be laid to rest. If it can ever be reached, such an outcome is at best a generational endeavor. . . . Hamas triggered war and still insists that it would do it all again given the chance, so it will be hard-pressed to garner a following from Palestinians in Gaza who suffered so horribly for its decision.

Read more at Washington Institute for Near East Policy

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict