In the Face of Rising Anti-Semitism, Jews Must Declare Intellectual Independence

Considering the way the anti-Israel left combines its peculiar ideas of morality with its peculiar brand of anti-Semitism, Yehoshua Pfeffer explains the challenge it poses:

In a world that cares only about power inequality, the Jew loses all status. Abraham was chosen by God for his dedication to justice; he cannot live in a justice-free space. Moreover, when seen through the binary progressive lens of oppressor and oppressed, the Jew represents the quintessential evil: he becomes the epitome of whiteness, colonialism, imperialism, and patriarchism; he is oppression incarnate, and the oppressed Arab (or Palestinian) is goodness personified. . . .

Right-wing anti-Semitism drove us, decades ago, to physical independence in the Jewish state. Today, left-wing anti-Semitism inspires us to build on our spatial freedom and achieve a type of independence we have yet to develop and cultivate: intellectual independence.

To achieve such independence, writes Pfeffer, Jews must be willing to reject the recent trends of the world of ideas, and try to recover modes of thought and moral ideals rooted in their own tradition:

Notwithstanding its political independence, Israel has not made concerted efforts to cultivate a parallel [intellectual] space free from the shackles of academic uniformity. On the contrary, core institutions have copied the liberal ideas that 20th-century Jews had become so enamored with. In its early years, socialism was a dominant force in Israel’s economy and social models. Though socialism has declined and the kibbutzim mainly privatized, Israel’s universities, popular media, state institutions, and significant elements within branches of government (in particular the legal system) continue to reflect the same left-progressive principles that are breeding anti-Semitism worldwide.

Today, in an age of Jewish sovereignty and a period of unprecedented crisis, we must ensure that these study halls, haredi and otherwise, devote significant energies to the great questions of human life that contemporary academia [seeks to answer]. Israel must become the countercultural reaction against the anti-Semitism-breeding academic orthodoxy.

Read more at Tzarich Iyun

More about: Academia, Anti-Semitism, Judaism in Israel, Leftism

While Israel Is Distracted on Two Fronts, Iran Is on the Verge of Building Nuclear Weapons

Iran recently announced its plans to install over 1,000 new advanced centrifuges at its Fordow nuclear facility. Once they are up and running, the Institute for Science and International Security assesses, Fordow will be able to produce enough highly enriched uranium for three nuclear bombs in a mere ten days. The U.S. has remained indifferent. Jacob Nagel writes:

For more than two decades, Iran has continued its efforts to enhance its nuclear-weapons capability—mainly by enriching uranium—causing Israel and the world to concentrate on the fissile material. The International Atomic Energy Agency recently confirmed that Iran has a huge stockpile of uranium enriched to 60 percent, as well as more enriched to 20 percent, and the IAEA board of governors adopted the E3 (France, Germany, UK) proposed resolution to censure Iran for the violations and lack of cooperation with the agency. The Biden administration tried to block it, but joined the resolution when it understood its efforts to block it had failed.

To clarify, enrichment of uranium above 20 percent is unnecessary for most civilian purposes, and transforming 20-percent-enriched uranium to the 90-percent-enriched product necessary for producing weapons is a relatively small step. Washington’s reluctance even to express concern about this development appears to stem from an unwillingness to acknowledge the failures of President Obama’s nuclear policy. Worse, writes Nagel, it is turning a blind eye to efforts at weaponization. But Israel has no such luxury:

Israel must adopt a totally new approach, concentrating mainly on two main efforts: [halting] Iran’s weaponization actions and weakening the regime hoping it will lead to its replacement. Israel should continue the fight against Iran’s enrichment facilities (especially against the new deep underground facility being built near Natanz) and uranium stockpiles, but it should not be the only goal, and for sure not the priority.

The biggest danger threatening Israel’s existence remains the nuclear program. It would be better to confront this threat with Washington, but Israel also must be fully prepared to do it alone.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Joseph Biden, U.S. Foreign policy