Skip To Content
Breaking News

Tony Judt, Historian, Scholar and Israel Critic, Is Dead at 62

Read an Arty Semite post on Judt’s passing here.

History scholar and writer Tony Judt, a vocal critic of Israel after having lived there, has died.

Judt, who had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, died last Friday at his home in New York, New York University announced. He was 62.

Judt, a London native, had been a professor at NYU since 1987. He was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his 2005 book “Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945,” a 900-page history of modern Europe.

He wrote essays for the New York Review of Books, as well as The New Republic, The Times Literary Supplement and The London Review of Books, several in recent years critical of Israel. A recent series of essays dealt with living with ALS.

Judt, a one-time Zionist who while living in Israel served as a translator for the Israel Defense Forces during and after the Six-Day War, wrote an essay in 2003 calling for a one-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Leon Wieseltier, the literary editor of The New Republic, said in 2006 that Judt “has become precisely the kind of intellectual whom his intellectual heroes would have despised.”

Judt, in response, reportedly said, “Oh, that’s nuts. The issue is not whether Israel has a right to exist. The question is what kind of a state Israel should be. That’s all.”

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.