Does Anti-Semitism Make You Poor?

One of the oldest of anti-Semitic tropes is the image of Jews secretly manipulating the economy and using credit to take advantage of simple folk. It has also been found to correlate with reduced wealth in people who subscribe to it—like today’s radical (and not so radical) Islamists. Walter Russell Mead and his staff explain:

The association that anti-Semites make between “the Jews” and the role of finance would be the kind of simplification that would appeal to jihadis trying to analyze a world that they can’t understand but that frightens and, they fear, dominates them. Linking “the Jews” with Western finance helps jihadis build an all-embracing picture of a shadowy and powerful enemy, and offers the illusion of insight and mastery. . . . It is an expensive and disabling error, but an attractive and glittering one. In any case, the unreflecting credulity which makes crude forgeries like the infamous Protocols of the Elders of Zion so widely popular in Islamist circles today is itself a sign of cultural decadence and intellectual blight.

Read more at American Interest

More about: Anti-Semitism, Finance, Germany, Radical Islam

If Iran Goes Nuclear, the U.S. Will Be Forced Out of the Middle East

The International Atomic Energy Agency reported in May that Iran has, or is close to having, enough highly enriched uranium to build multiple atomic bombs, while, according to other sources, it is taking steps toward acquiring the technology to assemble such weapons. Considering the effects on Israel, the Middle East, and American foreign policy of a nuclear-armed Iran, Eli Diamond writes:

The basic picture is that the Middle East would become inhospitable to the U.S. and its allies when Iran goes nuclear. Israel would find itself isolated, with fewer options for deterring Iran or confronting its proxies. The Saudis and Emiratis would be forced into uncomfortable compromises.

Any course reversal has to start by recognizing that the United States has entered the early stages of a global conflict in which the Middle East is set to be a main attraction, not a sideshow.

Directly or not, the U.S. is engaged in this conflict and has a significant stake in its outcome. In Europe, American and Western arms are the only things standing between Ukraine and its defeat at the hands of Russia. In the Middle East, American arms remain indispensable to Israel’s survival as it wages a defensive, multifront war against Iran and its proxies Hamas and Hizballah. In the Indo-Pacific, China has embarked on the greatest military buildup since World War II, its eyes set on Taiwan but ultimately U.S. primacy.

While Iran is the smallest of these three powers, China and Russia rely on it greatly for oil and weapons, respectively. Both rely on it as a tool to degrade America’s position in the region. Constraining Iran and preventing its nuclear breakout would keep waterways open for Western shipping and undermine a key node in the supply chain for China and Russia.

Diamond offers a series of concrete suggestions for how the U.S. could push back hard against Iran, among them expanding the Abraham Accords into a military and diplomatic alliance that would include Saudi Arabia. But such a plan depends on Washington recognizing that its interests in Eastern Europe, in the Pacific, and in the Middle East are all connected.

Read more at National Review

More about: Iran nuclear program, Israeli Security, Middle East, U.S. Foreign policy