Europe Is Rising to the Challenge of Anti-Semitism Because of Its Own Judaic Roots

Oct. 21 2021

On October 5, the European Union, despite its history of hostility toward Israel and lack of concern over the fate of the Jews, issued a powerful program for combating anti-Semitism, which Robert Nicholson describes as “remarkable in its scope and aggressiveness.” Nicholson tries to account for this change of heart, and turns to a “deeper story . . . about Jerusalem as the touchstone of European identity,” that goes back to the very beginnings of the continent’s history as a distinct sociopolitical unit:

Defined as Christendom for more than 1,000 years, Europe rolled back the church’s power in the modern age (sadly, for good reasons) and put a rational-liberal order in its place. But the failure of that order to address the continent’s psychological needs, much less to confront the Islamic culture welling up inside its borders, has thrown Europeans back on themselves, forcing them to redefine the essence of the civilization they still hope to save.

Right-wing and left-wing Europeans define [their] culture differently, of course—one side cites the Judeo-Christian heritage, the other side cites the human-rights discourse—but both sense that the Jews are “an inextricable part of Europe’s identity,” and they are right. There is no Christianity, no modernity, no liberalism, no progressivism—indeed, no Europe—without the sons and daughters of Jacob. For as the historian Thomas Cahill once wrote, “the Jews started it all.”

The Jews don’t need Europe as much as Europe needs the Jews. In this late hour, defending the Jewish people is a moral mandate. Europe must come to see the Jewish people as members of an ancient nation and as the living reminder of Europe’s moral and biblical heritage. This recognition is as an act of civilizational reclamation.

The West is in protracted decline as it distances itself from the foundations of our moral order. In that, the EU’s new strategy is a promising and praiseworthy step in the right direction. Now, do Americans possess enough courage to do the same?

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Read more at World

More about: Anti-Semitism, Christianity, EU, Europe, Europe and Israel, European Jewry

The End of the Arab-Israeli Conflict, and the Rise of the Arab-Israeli Coalition

Nov. 30 2022

After analyzing the struggle between the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors since 1949, Dan Schueftan explains the current geopolitical alignment and what it means for Jerusalem:

Using an outdated vocabulary of Middle Eastern affairs, recent relations between Israel and most Arab states are often discussed in terms of peace and normalization. What is happening recently is far more significant than the willingness to live together and overshadow old grievances and animosities. It is about strategic interdependence with a senior Israeli partner. The historic all-Arab coalition against Israel has been replaced by a de-facto Arab-Israeli coalition against the radical forces that threaten them both. Iran is the immediate and outstanding among those radicals, but Erdogan’s Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, Syria—and, in a different way, its allies in the Muslim Brotherhood—are not very far behind.

For Israel, the result of these new alignments is a transformational change in its regional standing, as well as a major upgrade of its position on the global stage. In the Middle East, Israel can, for the first time, act as a full-fledged regional power. . . . On the international scene, global powers and other states no longer have to weigh the advantages of cooperation with Israel against its prohibitive costs in “the Arab World. . . . By far the most significant effect of this transformation is on the American strategic calculus of its relations with Israel.

In some important ways, then, the “New Middle East” has arrived. Not, of course, in the surreal Shimon Peres vision of regional democracy, peace, and prosperity, but in terms of a balance of power and hard strategic realities that can guardrail a somewhat less unstable and dangerous region, where the radicals are isolated and the others cooperate to keep them at bay.

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Read more at Tablet

More about: Abraham Accords, Israel-Arab relations, Middle East, Shimon Peres, U.S.-Israel relationship