Split Up by the Holocaust, Top Collection of Yiddish Works Will Reunite Digitally

The Jewish Research Institute (YIVO), founded in 1925 in the Polish city known to Jews as Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania), contained the world’s largest archive of East European Jewry before World War II. Parts of the collection survived the Holocaust through a series of bizarre twists involving the Nazi institute for “the study of the Jewish question” and the U.S. Army, and most of the materials eventually made their way to YIVO’s new headquarters in New York City. But others remained behind the Iron Curtain—until now, when at last the two collections will be reunited via the Internet.

“These materials are Holocaust survivors,” said David E. Fishman, a professor of Jewish history at the Jewish Theological Seminary who is working on a chronicle of the YIVO collection’s rescue. “Like a survivor, these materials were controlled by the Germans. Like a survivor, they were in hiding. The fact that they were saved is miraculous.”

Read more at New York Times

More about: East European Jewry, Holocaust, Lithuania, Vilna, YIVO

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