What Does the Jewish Future Hold?

For a special anniversary issue of Commentary, 69 authors have contributed their thoughts on what will have become of Jews and Judaism 50 years hence. John Podhoretz shares concluding reflections:

[T]hough several of the symposium respondents are deeply pessimistic about the future of Jewry, . . . no one actually envisions the Jewish people’s end in an Iranian mushroom cloud. Indeed, even those in the symposium who express disgust and alarm at the Iranian nuclear deal seem to find it impossible to look at the course of human history as it unfolds over the next half-century and see a serious possibility of a world without Jews.

That is no small thing. It is, rather, a very large thing. It suggests the influence, largely unconscious, of what is likely the most important article ever published in Commentary. In “Jewish Faith and the Holocaust,” the theologian Emil Fackenheim sought to find a way to rise above the historical calamity by posing an existential challenge to our people. “Jews,” he wrote in 1968, “are forbidden to hand Hitler posthumous victories.”

In some sense, then, “The Jewish Future” indicates that we are all—most of us—Fackenheim’s children, whether or not we have read “Jewish Faith and the Holocaust.” Even in prospect, even intellectually, even prophetically, we will not hand Hitler this posthumous victory. We do not despair of man and his world so much that we believe it can happen. And we do not despair of the God of Israel.

Read more at Commentary

More about: American Jewry, Emile Fackenheim, Iran nuclear program, Jewish World, Judaism

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas