The Hanging Judge of Tehran

LAST MONTH, the hardliner Ebrahim Raisi was elected president of Iran on a very low turnout of voters. He had easily been defeated in 2017 by the outgoing President Hassan Rouhani who, like Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Mohammad Khatami before him, had hoped to move the Islamic Republic in a more pragmatic direction. In contrast, … Read more

The Netanyahu Years

ON SUNDAY THE KNESSET voted to approve the ‘Change’ government of Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid. Whether this multi-headed pantomime horse will survive is an open question, but it does appear that Benjamin Netanyahu has been put out to political pasture. While it is too early to write him off, what are we to make of … Read more

The Last Days of Benjamin Netanyahu?

NETANYAHU IS DOWN, but is he out? At the time of writing, this question remains unanswered. In the interim, he has reverted to his old habit of incitement as he did just before the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. His supporters in the Likud together with the Kahanists and the quiet admirers of Yigal Amir have door-stopped … Read more

Modern Israel Studies in Europe

When the existence of a European Association of Israel Studies (EAIS) was first publicized a decade ago, many believed that it was merely a front for advocacy and that the discipline was an invented one. The last ten years have borne testimony instead to a profound intellectual endeavour that indicates Israel Studies is an area … Read more

Israel, Gaza and the Next Round

THE RECENT CONFLAGRATION between Israel and Islamists in Gaza follows a depressingly, familiar pattern. It begins with a spark, deliberate or unintentional, and expands to rockets and warplanes. The international media presents a balanced view at first, which depicts the tragedies and sufferings of both sides. Israel’s military might then gains an edge and the focus … Read more

Jews, Muslims and the Temple Mount

The Temple Mount in Jerusalem is holy to both Jews and Muslims. It is also the site where religion and nationalism meet — a tinderbox ready to be ignited. Its sensitivity lends itself to be exploited by Islamists, sympathetic to Hamas and Islamic Jihad and by the far Right in Israel and its Kahanist allies. … Read more

Boris, Bibi and the Press

DURING THE PAST WEEK, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been engulfed in wave after wave of allegations and accusations about his conduct in the highest office of public service in the UK. He has seemingly slipped deeper and deeper into the slime of sleaze. On a wide range of issues, a familiar story has … Read more

Jews and the Armenian Genocide

Last Shabbat, 24 April, was the annual day of remembrance of the Meds Yeghern — the “great evil crime” of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. While it often merits a throwaway comment in speeches during Holocaust Memorial Day, it is doubtful whether it earned a mention during the many services in Jewish houses of worship last … Read more

The Onward March of the Kahanists

TEHIYA, TSOMET, MOLEDET, KACH, HaTikva, Tkuma, Eretz Yisrael Shelanu, HaBayit Hayehudi, Otzma Yehudit — these are just some of the far-right parties that have come and gone, coalesced and fragmented while dwelling in the heart of the maelstrom that defines the Israeli Right. Last week President Rivlin called for “unconventional connections” in forming a new government. … Read more