The Black Art of Deception

How to Win an Information War: The Propagandist Who Outwitted Hitler recalls the black arts of propaganda from World War II. It is also a trumpet blast against the gullibility of today’s audiences brought up in England, told by Peter Pomerantsev, the son of a Kyiv dissident and leading expert on disinformation. In 1941, a shortwave German-language … Read more

On Ottó Komoly

Orphans of the Holocaust: Ottó Komoly’s Diary, Budapest 1944 By Thomas Komoly Published by Austin Macauley (London 2024) pp.205 In the northern Negev of Israel, there is a moshav, Yad Natan which reclaims the Hebrew name of one of the unsung heroes of wartime Budapest, Ottó Komoly (Natan Ze’ev Kohn) whose diplomatic initiatives amongst the … Read more

On Pinchas Rutenberg

When Pinchas Rutenberg, one of the giants of the Zionist movement, died in 1942, his friend, the writer Moshe Smilansky described him as “a great engineer with the soul of a poet.” Nevertheless, Rutenberg is missing from the public consciousness, even among those who treasure Jewish history. He stipulated in his will that no funds should … Read more

The Fate of the Hostages

Last week, Amos Biderman published his daily cartoon in Ha’aretz. It depicted Netanyahu standing alone amidst the ruins of Gaza and sporting a MAGA (Make America Great Again) style hat — albeit in blue and white. The hat was labelled “Total Victory!” Below Netanyahu’s feet, hidden from view, deep underground in a tunnel, were the caged … Read more

Golda Meir: The Only Woman in the Room

When Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed, only two of the 37 signatories were women – Rachel Kagan and Golda Meir. This is symbolic of the profound difficulty that women faced in the ideologically male-centered world that existed in the days of early Zionism, in which women were generally expected to remain at home and forget … Read more

On Henry Kissinger

This absurd character with horn-rimmed glasses, beside whom James Bond becomes a flavourless creation. He does not shoot, nor use his fists, nor leap from speeding automobiles like James Bond, but he advises on wars, ends wars, pretends to change our destiny and does change it.  So wrote the Italian writer, Oriana Fallaci, over 50 … Read more

The KGB and Controlling Russia

From Red Terror to Terrorist State:
Russia’s Intelligence Services and their Fight for World Domination by Yuri Felshtinsky and Vladimir Popov, Gibson Square 2023, “Russia is a strange country in which illegitimate power is best seized through lawful elections.” This comment from the Russian secret service historian Yuri Felshtinsky and former KGB lieutenant-colonel Vladimir Popov, pierces the veneer … Read more

Cuba, Castro and the Jews

The history of Cuba and its Jews has always been a fascinating but under-researched subject. Tropical Diaspora: The Jewish Experience in Cuba by historian Robert M. Levine is a comprehensive and absorbing account of the travails of Cuban Jews. The first Jews to arrive in Cuba were those escaping the heavy hand of the Spanish … Read more

The Far Left and the Pogrom

Regardless of who was responsible for the deaths of hundreds at al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday, it is clear that Israel is being blamed unequivocally for this terrible event by the Arab street. Apart from setting back the prospect of Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation by years, this incident may provide the fuel to set the Middle East on … Read more