The Council on Foreign Relations Excuses Iranian Brutality

Sept. 29 2020

Last week, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), a prestigious bipartisan think tank, hosted a lecture by the Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif—something it has done for several years running. While there are always a few activists protesting these visits, this year the issue received far more attention because of the Islamic Republic’s recent execution of the wrestling champion Navid Afkari, who had participated in pro-democracy protests. The CFR’s president—and former State Department panjandrum—Richard Haas responded to his critics with the following tweet:

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Read more at Asharq al-Awsat

More about: Human Rights, Iran, Javad Zarif, U.S. Foreign policy

Reclaiming Secular Zionism’s Religiosity

Feb. 24 2021

A recent article in an Israeli political journal argued that anyone who wishes to revive Israel’s moribund left must stay true to its secular heritage and “take a stand against both religion and religious people.” But to Gershon Hacohen this claim rests on a profound misunderstanding. While it is true that David Ben-Gurion and other early leaders of the Zionist left were secular insofar as they were agnostic and did not observe halakhah, their ideology was deeply enmeshed with the Hebrew Bible and Jewish traditions:

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Read more at BESA Center

More about: David Ben-Gurion, History of Zionism, Labor Zionism, Religious Zionism