Essays

Hungarian Rhapsody 0
by / on 1 August, 2013 at 8:01 AM / in Essays

Hungarian Rhapsody

George Szirtes considers the return of a 1930s Budapest

Read more ›
Truth and Lies in South Hebron 0
by / on 18 June, 2013 at 1:25 PM / in Essays

Truth and Lies in South Hebron

David Shulman offers a triptych of perspectives on life under the Occupation: The Israeli Activists, The Palestinian farmer, The Harvest.

Read more ›
Still Closing the Gates 0
by / on 9 April, 2013 at 3:22 PM / in Essays

Still Closing the Gates

David Glover on 100 years of immigration control

Read more ›
Drawing truth to power 3
by / on 9 April, 2013 at 3:20 PM / in Essays

Drawing truth to power

Steve Bell and Eli Valley on Jews, Stereotypes and Causing Offence

Read more ›
Occupying God 1
by / on 12 February, 2013 at 3:58 PM / in Essays

Occupying God

Protestors Across the Globe Rely on the Language and Morality of the Great Religious Civilisations

Read more ›
Grand Narratives and Blind Spots 0
by / on 22 January, 2013 at 1:34 PM / in Essays

Grand Narratives and Blind Spots

EJ Hobsbawm 1917-2012

Read more ›
Anne Frank and So On 1
by / on 5 January, 2013 at 12:26 PM / in Essays

Anne Frank and So On

Naomi Alderman on the ghost that haunts every Jewish writer

Read more ›
A Kosher Christmas (And a Merry Little Hanukkah) 0
by / on 22 December, 2012 at 12:25 AM / in Essays

A Kosher Christmas (And a Merry Little Hanukkah)

Joshua Plaut on how Jews have participated in, satirised and transformed the ‘holiday season’.

Read more ›
Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man 2
by / on 21 December, 2012 at 1:15 AM / in Essays

Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man

Yosl Bergner by Clive Sinclair

Read more ›
The People of the e-Book 2
by / on 6 November, 2012 at 5:29 PM / in Books, Essays

The People of the e-Book

From Gutenberg to the Kindle – the reading goes on

Read more ›
Liberal Zionism Symposium 0
by / on 8 August, 2012 at 6:40 PM / in Essays

Liberal Zionism Symposium

Interrogating the Ideas Behind the Politics

Read more ›
Television Under Siege 0
by / on 26 July, 2012 at 4:55 PM / in Essays

Television Under Siege

Hatufim and Homeland: recent Israeli and American dramas reveal a common mentality

by Nitzan Ben Shaul and Adva Segelman

Read more ›
Mugged By Reality 0
by / on 25 July, 2012 at 11:42 AM / in Essays

Mugged By Reality

Tea with Norman Podhoretz, the grandfather of Neo-Conservatism

Read more ›
Can We Talk? Jewish Book Week 2012 0
by / on 17 April, 2012 at 12:09 PM / in Books, Essays, Literature

Can We Talk? Jewish Book Week 2012

The Conversations and Silences of Jewish Book Week 2012

Read more ›
Tales of Freedom and Imagination 0
by / on 3 April, 2012 at 1:03 PM / in Essays, Judaism

Tales of Freedom and Imagination

While a new all-star Haggadah plays it safe, others reinvent the Passover story as a call to action

Read more ›
The Not So Civil Society 1
by / on 30 March, 2012 at 2:03 PM / in Essays, Politics

The Not So Civil Society

NGO’s, the last voice of opposition in Israel, are now under threat from anti-democratic laws

Read more ›
by / on 27 March, 2012 at 11:36 AM / in Essays, Politics

Liberal Zionism: A Contradiction in Terms?

REBECCA STEINFELD Liberal Zionism is in vogue. It underpins the thinking of groups like J-Street, Yachad, and the New Israel Fund, as well as the writings of figures like Peter Beinart and Gershom Gorenberg. They claim that liberalism and Zionism can be fused. Some even claim the two are complementary, asserting that Zionism’s socialist origins lend it a collectivist penchant […]

Read more ›
From Oligarch to Icon 0
by / on 20 December, 2011 at 6:02 PM / in Essays, Politics

From Oligarch to Icon

The plight of Mikhail Khodorkovsky raises questions about the place of Russian Jews today

Read more ›
I Need a Hero 1
by / on 20 December, 2011 at 3:21 PM / in Essays, History

I Need a Hero

Mel Gibson’s Planned Judah Maccabee Blockbuster Shows He Still Doesn’t Get it.

Read more ›
Two of a Kind 0
by / on 13 September, 2011 at 4:33 PM / in Essays, Politics

Two of a Kind

As The Palestinians Prepare to Declare Independence, the parallels between Israel and Palestine appear more striking

Read more ›
Walking the Wire 1
by / on 13 September, 2011 at 2:44 PM / in Essays, Politics

Walking the Wire

HBO’s hit drama bypasses individualism to expose the systems that fail urban America

Read more ›
by / on 14 June, 2011 at 12:30 PM / in Essays, Literature

Doubled Up With Laughter

Jonathan Ames and the emasculated Jewish male The notion that Jewish men are somehow less masculine than their gentile counterparts is an old anti-Semitic trope: Jewish men menstruate, medieval anti-Semites asserted, and need periodic top-ups of human blood.The ancient Greeks abhorred circumcision, and Antiochus IV, the Seleucid king, tried to have it banned. ‘The castration complex,’ said Freud, ‘is the […]

Read more ›
Appropriations of Bruno Schulz 1
by / on 14 June, 2011 at 10:55 AM / in Books, Essays, Literature

Appropriations of Bruno Schulz

Despite his tiny oeuvre and tragically short life, the legendary Polish writer’s legacy to Western literature continues to grow

Read more ›
by / on 22 February, 2011 at 12:26 PM / in Essays, Literature

The Drama of Prophecy: On Stefan Zweig and ‘Jeremiah’

When in the late summer of 1939 Stefan Zweig drafted his contribution to the 17th international PEN congress in Stockholm, he called history not only a ‘poetess’ but historical episodes ‘God’s workshops’. It was rare for God to feature at all, let alone prominently, in his work. Since the mid-1920s, Stefan Zweig, an Austrian Jew, had been one of the […]

Read more ›
The Least and the Last of the Jews 0
by / on 21 February, 2011 at 9:23 PM / in Essays, Literature, Philosophy

The Least and the Last of the Jews

Figuring the Jew in Postwar French Thought ‘Nous sommes tous des juifs allemands!’We are all German Jews. This is the famous slogan taken up by throngs of students during the May 1968 protests in Paris.The cry was most immediately the response of a crowd to the news that the movement’s leader Daniel Cohn-Bendit had been denied re-entry into France after […]

Read more ›
by / on 19 February, 2011 at 7:13 PM / in Essays, Judaism, Literature

A People Apart?

There is a familiar view about Judaism—and specifically its difference from Christianity—that is expressed in the contrast between particularism and universalism. On this view, Christianity is inclusive, embracing all people everywhere regardless of their national or ethnic identity. Judaism, in contrast, is exclusive, a private club for the chosen few.There are Jews as well as Christians who subscribe to this view. Some are embarrassed by our so-called tribalism. Others take pride in our supposed superiority. Sometimes, especially these days, this pride takes the form of a politics that asserts our prerogative and privilege over other groups. But, whatever form it takes, there is a fatal flaw, a tiny ingredient that is missing from this characterization of the Jewish people: its Jewishness.

Read more ›
by / on 25 November, 2010 at 5:12 PM / in Essays, History, Music

Neither Fish Nor Fowl: The Jewish Paradox of Russian Music

In his 1931 short story, ‘Awakening,’ the writer Isaac Babel recalls one of the great cultural spectacles of his childhood in fin-de-siecle Odessa. ‘[In] the course of ten years or so,’ he writes, ‘our town supplied the concert platforms of the world with infant prodigies. From Odessa came Mischa Elman, Zimbalist, Gabrilowitsch. Odessa witnessed the first step of Jascha Heifetz.’ […]

Read more ›
by / on 25 November, 2010 at 4:19 PM / in Essays, Music

Said, Barenboim and the West-East Divan Orchestra

Since its formation in 1999, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra has prompted an energetic mix of rapture and hostility. Founded by conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim and scholar and writer Edward Said, the organisation has provoked considerable debate through its much-lauded aim to bring together young Israeli and Arab musicians to engage in a ‘constructive musical dialogue’. Said and Barenboim’s many […]

Read more ›
by / on 23 July, 2010 at 10:41 AM / in Essays

Dispossession, Discrimination, and Civil Disobedience in Sheikh Jarrah

The May 14th demonstration began as any other. Some 400 protestors convened in the small park in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah as they have done each Friday for months. The bus from Tel Aviv unloaded activists from the coastal city; the circle of drummers, the trade mark of the Sheikh Jarrah movement, began infusing the event with […]

Read more ›
by / on 23 July, 2010 at 10:34 AM / in Essays

Walking the Past

I have spent many years of my professional life as a lawyer and human rights activist struggling to save Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank from being used to establish illegal Israeli settlements. But as the years passed more settlements were built and the landscape in the region where I lived was vanishing. Even after it was affirmed in […]

Read more ›