Message from the Editor

, March 1, 2015

The current issue of the Jewish Political Studies Review contains six articles that deal with the Jewish people in the world, as communities abroad, and as the sovereign nation-state of Israel. Most of the articles cover aspects of ongoing debates and also political confrontations. The first article, which is written by the editor, discusses the Jewish Nation-State Bill. Toward the end of 2014, it was the subject of a bitter controversy in the cabinet and was instrumental in bringing down the Netanyahu government. This article describes the issue and identifies the explicit and implicit themes at play. The second article, “Palestinians, Arabs, and the Holocaust,” by Professor Joseph S. Spoerl, presents an authoritative account of the frequent Palestinian argument that Arabs did not play any role in the Holocaust and are innocent victims of its consequences. The author refutes these claims and gives the reader a comprehensive overview of the literature on the subject. Dr. Matthias Küntzel’s “Germany and a Nuclear Iran,” treats the history of German policy toward Iran, which, upon close scrutiny, appears to be surprisingly indulgent and conciliatory. Not the least, considerations of commerce and historical bonds take precedence over principle. Dr. Simon Erlanger describes the current situation of Swiss Jewry and the consequences of its demographic decline. Michelle Mazel discusses the French comedian, Dieudonné, whose antisemitic and anti-Israel performances—live and online—attract large and enthusiastic audiences. She notes the issue of freedom of speech vs. incitement against the background of persistent popular antisemitism in France. Finally, Dexter Van Zile surveys the fund-raising strategies of World Vision, an international Christian charity, and its negative portrayal of Israel, which he deems opportunistic and unfair.

In addition to the articles mentioned above, there are six book reviews which deal with recent scholarship in the field. It is our hope that the present issue of JPSR is representative of several important, timely and relevant topics that make up the ongoing discourse.

Joel Fishman, Editor

Joel Fishman

Dr. Joel Fishman is a fellow of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs.  He served as the assistant editor of volumes X (July 1920-December 1921) and XI (January 1922-July 1923) of The Letters and Papers of Chaim Weizmann (Jerusalem: Israel Universities Press, 1977).