Message from the Editor

, March 10, 2017

The current issue of Jewish Political Studies Review brings the reader a selection of articles and book reviews which deal with a wide range of topics and ideas.  Samuel Miner, a doctoral student in Modern History at the University of Maryland, has examined Nazi designs to bomb Jewish cities in Palestine during World War II.  Miner devotes attention to a subject that is not generally known and his original research is based primarily on archival sources. One of Miner’s findings was that the Mufti of Jerusalem, Amin al-Husseini, made serious efforts to persuade Nazi Germany to bomb Jewish civilian population centers in Mandatory Palestine.  Although Hermann Göring, Commander-in-Chief of the Luftwaffe, rejected this plan, it is remarkable that the Mufti had succeeded in placing it on the agenda.  Gustavo Perednik, a close personal friend of the late State Prosecutor Alberto Nisman of Argentina, brings our readers up to date on this political murder committed two years ago and the efforts of various Argentinian governments to obstruct and compromise the investigation of this crime.  Professor Elhanan Yakira contributes a detailed review article of a substantial collection of essays entitled Makers of Jewish Modernity. His probing analysis and conclusions cast light upon the bias of the editors and some of the contributors to this major work. Rather than publish Professor Yakira’s observations in the form of a book review, we have chosen the more suitable format of a review article. Professor Leslie Wagner revisits the subject of British Jewry and discusses the results of recent studies that indicate a revival of the community. The author notes the upsurge of cultural and religious activities and cogent responses to antisemitism as new signs of vitality and positive identification.  Although the Security Council of the United Nations passed Resolution 2334 as recently as December 23, 2016, Professor Joseph Spoerl places it in historical perspective and describes several of the major issues of morality and legal substance that it entails, including the departure from long-standing American policy at the United Nations. To conclude, Joel Fishman has analyzed Himmler’s Forgotten Telegram of Balfour Day, 1943 and placed it historical context.

Similarly, our book reviews, edited capably by Judy Balint, cover a wide range of topics.  Rivkah Fishman-Duker reviews Tricia Miller, Jews and Anti-Judaism in Esther and the Church, which deals with historical and current Christian ambivalence toward the principle of Jewish self-defense expressed in the Biblical book of Esther.  In his review of the anthology edited by John-Paul Himka and Joanna Beata Michlic, Bringing the Dark Past to Light: The Reception of the Holocaust in Post-Communist Europe, Efraim Zuroff focuses upon the ongoing historiographical problem of wartime collaboration and the manner in which Eastern European scholars have attempted to come to terms with their past in the post-Communist era. Joseph Spoerl reviews the thorough treatment of American policy toward Iran and the deal that ended sanctions and enabled development of its nuclear facilities in Jay Solomon, The Iran Wars: Spy Games, Bank Battles, and the Secret Deals that Reshaped the Middle East.  Michelle Mazel reviews Georges Bensoussan’s latest work, Hijacking the History of the Destruction of the Jews of Europe, and its critique of recent discussions of the Holocaust, antisemitism, Islam and Israel in French society and Bensoussan’s, Une France soumise: les voix du refus (Submissive France: The Voices of Refusal). Finally, Manfred Gerstenfeld presents an overview of Jacques Neriah, Between Rabin and Arafat: A Political Diary, 1993-1994, (Hebrew). An adviser to Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin during the first year after the signing of the Oslo Accords, Neriah describes personalities and events that shaped this era and gives the reader a new perspective of the recent past.

With this offering of articles and book reviews, our journal endeavors to give its readers understanding of a number of important contemporary problems and an appreciation of the state of the field.

About Joel Fishman

Joel Fishman received his doctorate in modern European history from Columbia University in the City of New York. He received a post-doctoral fellowship at the Netherlands State Institute for War Documentation where he carried out pioneering work on the postwar era in the Netherlands. More recently, he has published on political warfare, incitement to hatred and violence, and political anti-Zionism. Fishman is a Fellow of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs and editor of the Jewish Political Studies Review.