Why Jews Still Need a Land of Their Own

The murderous attack on a kosher grocery store in Paris, write the editors of Commentary, “was the culmination of a decade of crisis” for French Jewry. The prevalence of anti-Semitism on the French right and left as well as among its Muslim population, the increasing threats to the physical safety of French Jews, and the inability or unwillingness of the French government to do anything about these problems show that the need for a Jewish state is as great as ever. But the Jewish state is itself under constant attack, not only from its enemies but also from Diaspora Jews voicing disappointment with it and seeking to undermine Zionism from within:

Zionism was not a utopian vision. It was a program, and remains a program—the means by which Jewry can and will survive into its fourth millennium. It is about providing Jews with a safe haven in the world and allowing them to exercise rights they have been denied almost everywhere on earth where they have been governed by others—save the astonishing exception of the United States. It is about letting Jews be. . . .

And yet, to some of Israel’s professed supporters, this is controversial. . . . These are people who have replaced practical Zionism with what might be called “conditional Zionism.” For the conditional Zionists, Israel was once the port of call for Jews adrift. Now, they say, the storm is over and the threat to Jewry comes more from what they see as the calamity that the storm has wreaked on the port. . . .

In their own words and actions, conditional Zionists implicitly acknowledge that the end of the need for practical Zionism is a necessary prerequisite for their own brand of Zionism—one in which left-leaning American Jews can use the state of Israel as their moral playground.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Anti-Semitism, Anti-Zionism, Charlie Hebdo, French Jewry, Peter Beinart

Why Egypt Fears an Israeli Victory in Gaza

While the current Egyptian president, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, has never been friendly to Hamas, his government has objected strenuously to the Israeli campaign in the southernmost part of the Gaza Strip. Haisam Hassanein explains why:

Cairo has long been playing a double game, holding Hamas terrorists near while simultaneously trying to appear helpful to the United States and Israel. Israel taking control of Rafah threatens Egypt’s ability to exploit the chaos in Gaza, both to generate profits for regime insiders and so Cairo can pose as an indispensable mediator and preserve access to U.S. money and arms.

Egyptian security officials have looked the other way while Hamas and other Palestinian militants dug tunnels on the Egyptian-Gaza border. That gave Cairo the ability to use the situation in Gaza as a tool for regional influence and to ensure Egypt’s role in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict would not be eclipsed by regional competitors such as Qatar and Turkey.

Some elements close to the Sisi regime have benefited from Hamas control over Gaza and the Rafah crossing. Media reports indicate an Egyptian company run by one of Sisi’s close allies is making hundreds of millions of dollars by taxing Gazans fleeing the current conflict.

Moreover, writes Judith Miller, the Gaza war has been a godsend to the entire Egyptian economy, which was in dire straits last fall. Since October 7, the International Monetary Fund has given the country a much-needed injection of cash, since the U.S. and other Western countries believe it is a necessary intermediary and stabilizing force. Cairo therefore sees the continuation of the war, rather than an Israeli victory, as most desirable. Hassanein concludes:

Adding to its financial incentive, the Sisi regime views the Rafah crossing as a crucial card in preserving Cairo’s regional standing. Holding it increases Egypt’s relevance to countries that want to send aid to the Palestinians and ensures Washington stays quiet about Egypt’s gross human-rights violations so it can maintain a stable flow of U.S. assistance and weaponry. . . . No serious effort to turn the page on Hamas will yield the desired results without cutting this umbilical cord between the Sisi regime and Hamas.

Read more at Washington Examiner

More about: Egypt, Gaza War 2023, U.S. Foreign policy