Is Vladimir Putin’s Russia a Threat to Jews?

When the Soviet Union collapsed, the world lost one of its most anti-Semitic regimes. But although there is very little official hostility toward Jews in today’s Russia, that doesn’t mean its Jews can rest easy, argues Colin Shindler:

One hundred years ago, Communists allied themselves with the intelligentsia to oppose the capitalists. Today in Putin’s Russia, their spiritual heirs ally themselves with the capitalists to oppose the intelligentsia.

Putin, however, has kept the beast of traditional Russian anti-Semitism chained in its lair. He may well be genuine in his opposition to anti-Semitism, but he has also learned from the Soviet experience that it had a corrosive effect on the regime’s standing. He also knows that Israel and Russia must cooperate in the Syrian skies to prevent an unexpected clash. Even so, it is the regime’s kneejerk reaction to crush anyone who proclaims the principle of being different that induces a profound historical resonance for many Jews.

Today there have been repeated Russian attempts to stir the fires of populism and racism through outreach to the European far right—to figures in the British National Party, the Hungarian Jobbik, and the French Front National, [all of whose ranks include no few anti-Semites].

And then there is the manufactured crisis of hapless refugees sandwiched between Belarus and Poland. For Jews, it brings to mind the time in 1938 when stateless Polish Jews, expelled from Nazi Germany, were located in the limbo of Zbąszyń on the Polish-German border. Close to 10,000 Jews were marooned in deteriorating, unsanitary conditions while both Poles and Germans refused to budge

Read more at Plus61j

More about: Anti-Semitism, Russia, Russian Jewry, Vladimir Putin

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