From the Editors

, April 15, 2007

JPSR Volume 19 Spring 2007

This issue opens with articles on aspects of the post-Holocaust reality.  Sidney Zabludoff’s “At Issue” essay notes the low percentage of stolen Jewish assets that were returned in the various restitution rounds.  He emphasizes the fact that the highly publicized restitution negotiations at the end of the twentieth century led to payment for no more than another 3 percent of these assets.  Zabludoff’s article, which has raised worldwide media interest even before being published, also underlines the divergence between what governments promised to return and what was restituted.

Michael J. Bazyler analyzes the contemporary legal lessons from the Holocaust.  He points out that while the trials of the Nazi war criminals at Nuremburg were criticized at the time, they are now celebrated as triumphs of international justice.  He also discusses how the Holocaust has influenced development in the legal field.

Francoise S. Ouzan assesses the impact of the Eichmann trial on the intellectual and public discourse in the United States.  She compares this with how the trial affected Israeli society.

Bloeme Evers-Emden discusses the psychological aftermath of the hiding of Jewish children in the Netherlands during World War II.  She investigates the triangle:  hidden children, those who hid them, and the natural parents.

In another “At Issue” article, Tsilla Hershco advocates rehabilitating the role of the Jewish Resistance in France.  She considers that their achievements have been greatly underestimated.

The following two articles deal with anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism.  Joel Fishman explores the inversion of truth and reality as one of the favorite propaganda methods of Israel’s adversaries.  He observes that libels have gained credence by being reiterated without challenge.  Inversion of reality as a propaganda method originated in Nazi Germany and is totalitarian in nature.

Manfred Gerstenfeld demonstrates how anti-Israelism and anti-Semitism have many common characteristics.  Antisemitism’s core theme is that Jews embody evil.  This same theme returns in the words of the extreme Anti-Zionists who accuse Israel of using Nazi methods.  The anti-Semitic nature of anti-Israelism can be proved by a combination of different methodical approaches such as analyzing cartoons, opinion surveys, statistical analysis, and semantics.

Israel Prize winner Jacob M. Landau discusses the history of the Donmes, the crypto-Jews under Turkish rule.  Their main center was Salonica, where they played an important rule until 1924.  Then, in the framework of the population transfer, they moved to Turkey.  This led to the breakdown of their communal institutions and their growing assimilation into the Muslim Turkish environment.

Two articles deal with the classic approach of the discipline of Jewish political studies.  Alan Mittleman investigates the philosophical legacy of the leading twentieth-century British social and political theorist, Michael Oakeshott.  He maintains that Oakeshott’s thought was characterized by areas of agreement and of tension with the Jewish political tradition.

Finally, Ben Mollow provides an overview of Daniel Elazar’s pioneering approach to the field of federalism and its philosophical underpinnings as rooted in the Jewish political tradition.  The author considers that, in view of Elazar’s interpretation of the dynamics of Israeli society, federalist principles could be applied to mitigate tensions in the society.  A number of book reviews complete this issue.