Gershom Gorenberg


Ignore the Theatrics, Bibi Just Wants To Build

By Gershom Gorenberg

Ignore the Theatrics, Bibi Just Wants To Build
The show goes on. As I write, a radio newscaster is repeating an item about the evacuation of an illegal settlement outpost in the West Bank: At Nahalat Yosef, near Nablus, the army demolished two makeshift mobile homes and removed a third, thereby erasing the outpost. Settler leaders promised to rebuild it. Judging from past experience, the promise will be kept.Read More


The Value of Settlement Is Obsolete

By Gershom Gorenberg

It was one of the most important and largely forgotten milestones in the history of the state: 41 years ago, on July 16, 1967, a young kibbutznik got out of his jeep at Aalleiqa, an abandoned Syrian army base on the Golan Heights, and became the first settler in the occupied territories.Read More


Report Calls for Examination of Israel’s Military Strategy

By Gershom Gorenberg

Eliyahu Winograd has read out many judgments in his life. In Israeli history, however, the judgment for which the wizened former judge will be remembered is the one he read in a dry, steady voice on the last day of April 2007: the brief, harsh summary of his committee’s initial report on what went wrong last summer when Israel went to war in Lebanon.Read More


Anachronistic Ideas on the Military, Immigration Retain Surprising Power in Israel

By Gershom Gorenberg

Jared Diamond, author of the best-selling book “Collapse: How Societies Choose To Fail or Succeed,” could gain some sad satisfaction by reading Israeli news in recent days, especially if he reads between the lines. One of his central warnings keeps getting confirmed — for instance, by the report that the Israeli military plans to clamp down on psychological discharges, or by Prime Minster Ehud Olmert’s latest postponement of dismantling illegal settlement outposts. If Diamond feels any sympathy for Israel, the evidence for his thesis won’t cheer him up.Read More


The Sound of Silence: Olmert’s Strategy

By Gershom Gorenberg

Ehud Olmert won’t talk. Reduced to its essence, that was State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss’s angry complaint to a Knesset panel Tuesday. The ex-judge was speaking at a hearing devoted to his investigation of how the government handled, or mishandled, the home front during last summer’s war in Lebanon. One reason that the confrontation between Olmert and the comptroller could seize Israel’s attention so completely early this week is that not talking has become the prime minister’s key tactic in foreign affairs as well. With diplomacy at a standstill, there is little to divert the public from the latest inquiry into corruption or the war.Read More






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  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • "Let’s not fall into the simplistic us/them dichotomy of 'we were just minding our business when they started firing rockets at us.' We were not just minding our business. We were building settlements, manning checkpoints, and filling jails." What do you think?
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