Indomitable Defender of Israel: An Interview with Professor Michael Curtis
by Jerry Gordon (November 2013)
Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East, at the Princeton, New Jersey library. Since 9/11 he has largely avoiding celebratory events given the Al Qaeda jihadist attack on what was the twin towers of the World Trade that took the lives of more than 2,700 innocent lives injuring thousands more. After all, Manhattan is less than a one hour’s train ride from Curtis’s home. Professor Curtis is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Rutgers University who has created a significant oeuvre comprised of academic texts in politics and political theory since his arrival in this country six decades ago from England.
Three Against the Third Republic: Sorel, Barres and Maurras. It was later revised with a new introduction by Curtis covering French politics and Antisemitism in the 20th Century. In 2003, his Verdict on Vichy addressed the French collaboration that resulted in the destruction of one quarter of France’s Jews, 76,000 in Nazi Death Camps facilitated by French officials, French police and the officials and workers of the French national railway system.
prevented Oswald Moseley and his Fascist organization from marching through the East End — then the Jewish section of London — on Cable Street.” Later in September 1938, he witnessed appeasement of the Hitler regime at Munich by the Chamberlain government. He served in the British Army during World War Two and learned of the effects of the Holocaust on Europe’s Jews when he reached liberated Trieste at the conclusion of the war. As a lifelong Zionist Curtis supported the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. His activism and concern about the continuing existential threats towards Israel gave rise (after the June 1967 Six Days of War) to the formation with several colleagues of American Professors for Peace in the Middle East (APPME) and his leadership and editorship of the group’s respected journal, Middle East Review. During the 1970’s he was a frequent commentator on Israel issues on the McNeil Lehrer News Hour PBS program. Unfortunately APPME went defunct in the 1980s for lack of funding. He is still consulted for his considerable expertise by scholars like Dr. Daniel Mandel, Director of the Zionist Organization of America Center for Middle East Policy. (See our interview with Dr. Mandel in the current edition of the New English Review).
Should Israel Exist?: A Sovereign Nation Under Attack by the International Community addresses these issues, that have become in his later years an abiding concerns and his fueled his activism.
Eurabia: the Euro-Arab Axis. On the occasion of a visit by Bat Ye’or and her late husband David Littman in 2006, Curtis hosted a luncheon in Manhattan that brought together an American circle of her followers and friends, including this writer. Curtis wrote an introduction to Bat Ye’or’s Europe, Globalization, and the Coming of the Universal Caliphate (2011). See our review, Worldwide Caliphate Rising? (October 2011).
Against this background, we interview Professor Curtis.
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