Anti-Semitic Violence Threatens George Washington’s Vision for His Country

In George Washington’s famous letter to the Jewish congregation of Newport, Rhode Island, he promised an America where Jews and other religious minorities were not merely tolerated, but lived with full equality under a government “which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.” Quoting a favorite phrase of his from the book of Micah, Washington expressed his hope in a new nation where “every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree.” David French considers the recent wave of attacks on American Jews in light of this remarkable document:

It is no coincidence that the United States is home to the second-largest Jewish community in the world. The presence of a thriving Jewish community is evidence that American aspirations could become reality. Jewish safety and security is thus deeply rooted in the American founding. It’s part of our nation’s origin story. But it’s hard to think of a greater contradiction of the principles of Micah 4:4 and of Washington’s hope that Jews would enjoy the “good will” of America’s inhabitants than brutal attacks in the street, inflicted solely on the basis of faith.

This much we know, however: if the founding pledge of safety and freedom for Jewish citizens was a leading indicator that the American promise would be kept, then rising danger to Jewish citizens should be cause for profound alarm.

Our nation’s first president told believers in one of the world’s most persecuted religions that they would have a home in this land. That founding promise helped define this nation. Breaking that promise would define us again, but in an entirely different way. America cannot be America when Jews are beaten in the streets.

Read more at Dispatch

More about: American Jewry, Anti-Semitism, George Washington

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

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