The academy has a well-known disdain for the state of Israel. Whenever Israel is in the news, you can rest assured that some league of professional academicians is working on a petition condemning the “oppressive” regime of what happens to be the freest state in the Middle East. Yet despite the self-righteous reproach of disgruntled paleontologists at third rate American universities, reasonable people seem to have traditionally been able to recognize just how morally praiseworthy Israel’s conduct has been. As Professor Alan Dershowitz of Harvard rightly points out, no state facing the existential threats on par with those facing the state of Israel has ever demonstrated the level of respect for human dignity and worth as has the government in Jerusalem (and yes, President Obama: Jerusalem, not Tel Aviv, is the capital of Israel).

A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal
by Ben Macintyre
Crown, 384 pages, $27

The annals of the Twentieth Century will never forget the name Kim Philby. To the British intelligence community, Philby was a traitor, whose illicit devotion to Communism was concealed by his pedigree and charisma. To the KGB, Philby was a hero who infiltrated the highest ranks of British intelligence and successfully divulged countless MI6 secrets over the course of 30 years. He thwarted major British intelligence operations, such as the attempted coup of Albania; he was directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of German Catholics and Western allies; and as Ben Macintyre’s latest addition to the Philby canon illustrates, he betrayed all of his lifelong friends.

Editors’ note: Every week, the Editors will select an article by or a video of Bill Buckley as part of our “This Week in Buckley” series, or TWIB for short. We hope you enjoy!

In all his years of writing, Bill Buckley had a penchant for using big words, and this style of his did not go without criticism. In fact, an editor once wrote to him, saying that he assumed that Buckley used big words because “(1) you like to show off, and (2) you take delight in irritating people.” In response to these charges and others, Buckley defended his vast vocabulary in a noteworthy op-ed in The New York Times from 1986.