A New Book Traces the Roots of Israeli Democracy to the Legacy of the Conversos

At its height in the 17th century, the Sephardi community of Amsterdam was composed largely of descendants of conversos: Jews who had entered the Catholic Church during successive waves of persecution in Spain and Portugal. Many of these “New Christians” reverted to Judaism—sometimes generations after converting—upon coming to the Netherlands. In his book The Origins of Democratic Zionism, Gregory Kaplan explores the thought of three members of this community—Rabbi Saul Levi Morteira, the philosopher and apostate Benedict Spinoza, and the poet Miguel de Barrios—and argues that their historical memory of persecution and their ex-converso milieu led them to develop distinctly democratic ideas. Samuel Goldman explains in his review:

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Read more at Journal of Church & State

More about: Benedict Spinoza, Biblical Politics, Conversos, Dutch Jewry, History of Zionism, Theodor Herzl

 

How the NGO-Terror Alliance Turned Human Rights into a Scam

Oct. 27 2021

Last Friday, the Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz announced the designation of six Palestinian organizations as terrorist groups due to their deep entanglements with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), which has been committing murderous attacks since 1968. Both the EU and several European states have provided funds to the recently proscribed organizations. A decade ago, pro-Israel activists even supplied the European Union with information, for a long time ignored, about the links between these groups and the PFLP. Members of one group—the Union of Agricultural Work Committees—murdered the seventeen-year-old Rina Shnerb in 2019. Jonathan Tobin writes:

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Read more at JNS

More about: Human Rights, NGO, Palestinian terror, PFLP, United Nations, US-Israel relations