A primer: Leo Strauss was a German-born political philosopher who died in 1973 and caused the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Sound strange? Well, a number of academics – and other unserious individuals – have managed to build entire careers on that very conjecture. Of course, given the type of “scholarship” rewarded with tenure in the Ivory Tower, it’s wise to approach the claim with, let’s say, more than just a degree of skepticism.
Jonathan Bronitsky | All Articles
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Jonathan Bronitsky is a political strategist and historian specializing in intellectual movements, foreign policy, international relations, and American culture. He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge and his B.A. from The Pennsylvania State University. You can follow Jonathan on Twitter @jbronitsky and read his writings at www.jbronitsky.com.
Are Jews obligated to do something special when they visit Berlin? I was recently there for a friend’s wedding. Even though it wasn’t my first time in the German capital, I made it a point to again pop into the Neue Synagoge and stroll around the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe (whose name is almost as jarring as the physical environment itself). It seemed like “enough” – that was until I was on-board my flight back to the U.S. I suddenly felt guilty, that my brooding-to-beer ratio had skewed far too heavily toward the latter part. In a pitiful, last-ditch effort to at least redress the quotient, I flicked on The Pianist (2002), offered through Delta’s in-flight entertainment system.
So the right-wing is steaming mad because President Obama – allegedly – once pondered aloud how it could be that he’s viewed as anything less than Zionist when he’s practically a member of the tribe. “You know, I think I am the closest thing to a Jew that has ever sat in this office,” the Commander in Chief quipped, according to his former senior advisor David Axelrod. “For people to say that I am anti-Israel, or, even worse, anti-Semitic, it hurts.”
Interested in an exemplification of the identity crisis that’s tearing American liberalism into disjointed bits? Look no further than Fox's once popular television show about high school misfits — pardon me, courageous “nonconformists” — united by song and dance: Glee, which recently entered its sixth and, revealingly, final season.
The discovery that more than 2,000 European Muslims are fighting for the Islamic State has reignited a familiar, feverish chorus that both reprimands European Muslims for refusing to integrate and rebukes European governments for failing to integrate their Muslim citizens. Alas, incriminations are rarely accompanied by elucidations, and when they are, they are plagued by shortsightedness. The prevailing narrative neglects a sweeping chronological trajectory, which, unfortunately, reveals why the problem at hand is unfixable — that is barring a philosophical transformation across the continent.
Another week, another wave of demonstrations throughout Europe protesting Israeli “war crimes” in the Gaza Strip. And yet the outpouring continues to astonish many American defenders of the Jewish state. Left with no other explanation, they interpret the vehement and recurrent criticism of Israel to be evidence of a subtle, yet still insidious, ethnic animus.