September 22, 2019

Sunday Reads: The never-ending Six-Day war, Corbyn and the Jews, The Conservative movement’s LGBT policy


Michael Mandelbaum explains the importance of the 1967 war to American foreign policy:

As important as it was for Arabs and Israelis, Israel’s post-1967 military predominance in the Middle East has had a powerful, if often indirect, unacknowledged, and unappreciated effect on the foreign policy of the United States. It has proven to be a valuable American strategic asset for the past half-century.

James Kirchik discusses how Donald Trump is single-handedly ruining America’s vital friendship with Germany:

Generations of American statesmen, spies, businessmen, non-profit executives, academics, Jewish leaders, and countless others (this author, a recipient of fellowships from two leading German foundations, included) have worked tirelessly to maintain and strengthen the German-American partnership through good times and bad. Those efforts are now in serious jeopardy thanks to President Donald Trump, who has repeatedly gone out of his way to alienate Germany.


Bret Stephens writes about Israel’s never-ending Six-Day war drama:

Israel needs a Palestinian state to safeguard its democratic future — in the long term. But the character of such a state matters at least as much as its mere existence. The Middle East doesn’t need another failed state in its midst. Israel doesn’t need another Hamastan on its border. Palestinians in the West Bank don’t need it over their heads.

In 1967 Israel was forced into a war against enemies who then begrudged it the peace. Egypt, at least, found its Sadat. The drama of the Six-Day War will close when Palestinians find theirs.

Sever Plocker muses on the prolonged birth pangs of the Palestinian state:

Palestinians, look at the calendar. Two generations of your children have already lost their future. The current generation, the third under Israeli occupation, has an historic opportunity to get on its feet and get out of the mud, blood and ignorance.

Is it really worth sacrificing it on the altar of unrealizable aspiration to establish a Palestinian state within all the West Bank borders of the Kingdom of Jordan as it was in 1967 and not in 97 percent of it with land swaps?

Middle East

Andrew Exum explains why Israel and America’s other Middle East allies should be concerned about Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris agreement:

Because working as part of broad coalitions has not been an option for Israel (after the Suez Crisis), and because our Gulf partners are only now beginning to operate as part of independent coalitions, neither the Israelis nor the Gulf partners fully appreciate how much the United States benefits from being the kind of country that others feel inclined to follow. And so they might not realize the cost of the things Donald Trump is now doing.

Kamran Bokhari discusses the violent history of the month of Ramadan:

Given this history, Ramadan is viewed as more than a religious holiday; it has always had a geopolitical dimension. Groups like the Islamic State, al-Qaida, the Taliban and others invoke this history to further their agendas. Having accused the Muslim regimes and most Muslims of abandoning Islam, the jihadists claim to be the rightful heirs to this legacy. Their narrative is infused with historical references, which the jihadists use to galvanize their fighters during the holy month. This explains why, since 9/11, jihadist attacks during Ramadan have spiked.

Jewish World

Daniel Solomon writes about how Rabbis are trying to make the conservative movement more Gay friendly:

The problem is that even while Conservative life is inclusive of LGBTQ people, it still places limits on their most intimate lives. It instructs gay men to avoid anal sex precisely because of the verse Lau-Lavie chanted at his Bar Mitzvah, and urged bisexual people to pursue relationships with those of the opposite sex. It also cited heterosexuality as the ideal sexual orientation.

Yair Rosenberg examines why only 13 percent of British Jews intend to vote labour these elections:

What has driven British Jews to flee Labour like minorities who fled the Republican party under Trump? As in the United States, this exodus is significantly attributable to the party’s radical leader, in this case, Jeremy Corbyn. In fact, a whopping 54 percent of Jews surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for Labour if Corbyn were not in charge. Who then is Corbyn, and why are British Jews so repelled by him?