Interview with Shlomo Avineri

In 1999, Ehud Barak defeated Benjamin Netanyahu with the slogan, “Too many lies for too long!”. While a similar disdain exists today, do you think that it was inevitable that Benny Gantz would go into government with Netanyahu even after the stalemate of three elections? Netanyahu is a highly intelligent and crafty politician. Over the … Read more

On Karl Marx

Karl Marx: Philosophy and Revolution by Shlomo Avineri Published by Yale University Press 2019, pp.221 Why should Karl Marx be included in Yale’s excellent Jewish Lives series when the subject of this fascinating book never referred to his Jewish origins? Shlomo Avineri, the eminent Israeli intellectual and academic, has attempted to unravel Marx’s connection to … Read more

Searching for Socialism

Searching for Socialism, by academics Leo Panitch and Colin Leys, traces the odyssey of Labour’s “Old Left” from the 1970s until the defeat of the far left in last year’s elec-tion. It looks at the political voyage of left-wing Brexiteers from Tony Benn to Jeremy Corbyn; and also indicates that the mindset of the far … Read more

Pesach 1940

Eighty years ago in April 1940, British Jews sat down to celebrate the festival of freedom at their Passover Seder with a sense of foreboding and trepidation. A few days before, Nazi Germany had invaded Norway and Denmark. While the Nazis initially viewed Denmark as a model protectorate, there was fear for the fate of … Read more

German Jewish Academics and the Land of the Free

Review of Laurel Leff’s Well Worth Saving: American Universities’ Life and Death Decisions on Refugees from Nazi Germany Published by Yale University Press 2019, pp.357 To be hired by an American university, a refugee scholar (from Nazism) had to be world-class and well connected, not too old and not too young, not too right and … Read more

From Kristallnacht to the Land of Israel

Review of A Train to Palestine: The Tehran Children, Anders’ Army and their Escape from Stalin’s Siberia 1939-1943 by Randy Grigsby, published by Vallentine Mitchell, pp.271 History is often written in cold sentences, but not in this book. Randy Grigsby’s popular account in A Train to Palestine relates the harrowing story of one small Jewish … Read more

Mario Sandoval and the Dirty War in Argentina

Two weeks ago, Mario Sandoval, a professor at the Sorbonne’s Institute of Latin American Studies, was finally extradited to Argentina after a seven-year legal fight. In a former life, he had been a police officer during the military junta then assigned to unit 3.3.2 at Escuela de Mecanica de la Armada, the naval college known … Read more