Ninety Years of Seattle’s Jewish Newspaper

Seattle’s Jewish Transcript has appeared without interruption since 1924, sometimes playing a mediating role between the city’s Ashkenazi and Sephardi communities. A look at the paper’s early days suggests that Jewish communal preoccupations have changed little. Hannah Pressman writes:

A single page of the Jewish Transcript yields a trove of insights into the pressing concerns of Washington’s Jews in the 1920s. Then, as now, assimilation and the risks of cultural adaptation were prominent themes. My eye was immediately drawn to a serious-looking headline, “Is the Yiddish Language Doomed to Die Very Soon in the United States?” In the wake of the Immigration Act of 1924, . . . the article’s author worried that the immigration quota would “kill Yiddish” by drastically reducing the Jewish readership of Yiddish newspapers. However, a survey of “newsdealers” yielded the interesting observation that “the buyer of Yiddish newspaper buys an English paper at the same time,” proof that, at least in the late 1920s, American Jewish citizens still held on to their mame loshen.

Read more at Stroum Center for Jewish Studies

More about: American Jewish History, Jewish press, Ladino, Seattle, Yiddish

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank