‘The Massive, Poisonous Vacuum’—25 Years After Tiananmen Square

Communist regimes have long specialized in committing enormous resources and legions of secret police stooges to the airbrushing of their own histories. Persons—both living and dead—become non-persons, past events become events that never happened, certain subjects become unmentionable in any public forums and sometimes even in private conversation.

This brand of enforced amnesia becomes necessary with these regimes for the simple reason that they are far more terrified of their own populations than the threats from the outside world that they are constantly handwringing about.

David Without a Sling

It may be hard for some to believe, given the endless attacks on the Jewish state today, that in the not-too-distant past, Israel was as beloved as it is now widely reviled. More remarkable, it was especially loved on the left, where now it is scorned. The process by which Israel turned from paragon into pariah is the subject of Joshua Muravchik’s well-argued new book Making David into Goliath.

Muravchik sets the stage by describing the time when Israel was popular. One factor he cites was the reservoir of sympathy created after the Holocaust. For “progressives,” Israel’s socialist leadership was another source of solidarity.

French Lessons

French riot police officers run past a burning truck in Paris suburb, Aulnay-sous-Bois

“Paris is both near and distant; it is a few short steps away, but in terms of jobs, housing, making a life, for these young people it is as inaccessible and far away as America.”

Andrew Hussey’s main point is pretty simple.

France has a big problem.

Charting a course between former French colonies and the poor banlieues (suburbs) that ring Paris and other major French cities, Hussey paints a nation at war—with itself.