Taiwan’s Jewish Community Breaks New Ground

While the Republic of China is home to a Chabad house and a small, rented office space used for Jewish communal activities, by the end of the year the island’s Jews can expect to have a building of their own. Yaakov Schwartz reports:

The construction of the 22,500-square-foot Jeffrey D. Schwartz Jewish Community Center of Taiwan began in 2020, and is on track to be completed by December 2021. The $16 million complex will include a synagogue with a seating capacity of over 100, a mikvah (ritual bath), Taiwan’s first kosher restaurant and kitchen, a 300-person banquet hall, a kindergarten and classrooms for adult-education programs, a library, spaces for group and individual study, and a Mediterranean-style courtyard for outdoor events.

A private collection of nearly 500 rare Judaica and Jewish art objects belonging to the center’s namesake will also be on permanent display there.

According to the community’s spokesperson Glenn Leibowitz, who has lived in Taiwan for 30 years, the island has an estimated 700 to 800 Jews, half of whom are active community members involved in Shabbat meals and services, Jewish holidays, and other events.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Chabad, East Asian Jewry, Mikveh, Synagogues, Taiwan

To Save Gaza, the U.S. Needs a Strategy to Restrain Iran

Since the outbreak of war on October 7, America has given Israel much support, and also much advice. Seth Cropsey argues that some of that advice hasn’t been especially good:

American demands for “restraint” and a “lighter footprint” provide significant elements of Hamas’s command structure, including Yahya Sinwar, the architect of 10/7, a far greater chance of surviving and preserving the organization’s capabilities. Its threat will persist to some extent in any case, since it has significant assets in Lebanon and is poised to enter into a full-fledged partnership with Hizballah that would give it access to Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps for recruitment and to Iranian-supported ratlines into Jordan and Syria.

Turning to the aftermath of the war, Cropsey observes that it will take a different kind of involvement for the U.S. to get the outcomes it desires, namely an alternative to Israeli and to Hamas rule in Gaza that comes with buy-in from its Arab allies:

The only way that Gaza can be governed in a sustainable and stable manner is through the participation of Arab states, and in particular the Gulf Arabs, and the only power that can deliver their participation is the United States. A grand bargain is impossible unless the U.S. exerts enough leverage to induce one.

Militarily speaking, the U.S. has shown no desire seriously to curb Iranian power. It has persistently signaled a desire to avoid escalation. . . . The Gulf Arabs understand this. They have no desire to engage in serious strategic dialogue with Washington and Jerusalem over Iran strategy, since Washington does not have an Iran strategy.

Gaza’s fate is a small part of a much broader strategic struggle. Unless this is recognized, any diplomatic master plan will degenerate into a diplomatic parlor game.

Read more at National Review

More about: Gaza War 2023, Iran, U.S. Foreign policy