Capitalism Isn’t Just for Secular Humanists

Among Israel’s Haredim, there is an ongoing debate about how to balance the ideal of full-time Torah study for men with the practical pressures in favor of encouraging men to join the workforce. This debate, naturally, has serious implications for the future of the Jewish state.

Among American Protestants, especially evangelicals, there is a very different debate going on about work which involves different approaches to what Max Weber famously called the “Protestant work ethic.” Reviewing a recent book on the subject, David Bahnsen has much to say that should be of interest to Jews, and other non-Calvinists—and not only about how narrowminded but trendy thinking about race, gender, and class can derail even intelligent analysts. Bahnsen argues that “a defense of a free and commercial society must be inextricably connected to a morally enlightened sentiment” that rests ultimately on a religious view of the human condition:

An economic worldview rooted in biblical anthropology is not amoral, it is not neutral on matters of incentive and knowledge, and it is not committed to impersonal or atomistic forces. While many of the conclusions reached by market-economy advocates may be compatible with [Friedrich Hayek’s ideas about economic freedom], the premises behind Christian efforts to extract beliefs and commitments in matters of social cooperation and a commercial society are entirely different from the secular humanism underlying much of contemporary capitalism.

Read more at National Review

More about: American Religion, Capitalism, Christianity, Economic freedom

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas