The Israeli Conservatism Conference Presented a New Vision for the Jewish State’s Continued Flourishing

In Jerusalem on May 16, the Tikvah Fund sponsored the first Israeli Conservatism Conference. Bringing together more than 700 people, it featured speeches and panel discussions about how to create a conservative politics in a Jewish state dedicated to strong security policies alongside the preservation of the family, the free market, and the rule of law. Simona Weinglass, in her report on the conference, sums up the comments of two of its participants:

Gadi Taub, a historian and self-described former leftist, . . . said that [currently Israel’s] left is “an intellectual wasteland. It’s so repetitive and monotonous.” The right, [by contrast], “has colleges, a publishing house, think tanks, newspapers, television shows, social media, and an abundance of persuasive ideas. The vitality is on the right and people will be attracted to it. That’s why I’m so optimistic.”

Taub said he was not afraid to speak his mind because he has tenure at Hebrew University. . . . “I am in two departments and there is one Likudnik in the combined faculty [of both], out of 40 people. It makes no sense.” Taub said the best way to confront [what he sees as a pervasive and repressive] atmosphere of political correctness is to speak one’s mind without caring.

“It’s so amazing to sit with 700 people and speak about Burke, Toqueville, and Hayek,” Professor Moshe Koppel, chairman of the Kohelet Policy Forum, exclaimed from the podium, adding, “Until now you’ve heard a lot of theory. My job is to speak about reality.” Since its founding seven years ago, Kohelet has been trying to pass laws related to economic freedom, Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, and governance, Koppel said.

“Governance is a euphemism,” he clarified. “What we mean is dismantling centers of power that are unelected and that use the power of the state to coerce their worldview.”

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Israeli politics, Jewish conservatism, Moshe Koppel

Condemning Terrorism in Jerusalem—and Efforts to Stop It

Jan. 30 2023

On Friday night, a Palestinian opened fire at a group of Israelis standing outside a Jerusalem synagogue, killing seven and wounding several others. The day before, the IDF had been drawn into a gunfight in the West Bank city of Jenin while trying to arrest members of a terrorist cell. Of the nine Palestinians killed in the raid, only one appears to have been a noncombatant. Lahav Harkov compares the responses to the two events, beginning with the more recent:

President Joe Biden called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to denounce the attack, offer his condolences, and express his commitment to Israel’s security. Other leaders released supportive statements as well. Governments across Europe condemned the attack. Turkey’s foreign ministry did the same, as did Israel’s Abraham Accords partners the UAE and Bahrain. Even Saudi Arabia released a statement against the killing of civilians in Jerusalem.

It feels wrong to criticize those statements. . . . But the condemnations should be full-throated, not spoken out of one side of the mouth while the other is wishy-washy about what it takes to stave off terrorism. These very same leaders and ministries were tsk-tsking at Israel for doing just that only a day before the attacks in Jerusalem.

The context didn’t seem to matter to some countries that are friendly to Israel. It didn’t matter that Israel was trying to stop jihadists from attacking civilians; it didn’t matter that IDF soldiers were attacked on the way.

It’s very easy for some to be sad when Jews are murdered. Yet, at the same time, so many of them are uncomfortable with Jews asserting themselves, protecting themselves, arming themselves against the bloodthirsty horde that would hand out bonbons to celebrate their deaths. It’s a reminder of how important it is that we do just that, and how essential the state of Israel is.

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Read more at Lahav’s Newsletter

More about: Jerusalem, Palestinian terror