On Matzpen

Review of Lutz Fiedler’s Matzpen: A History of Israeli Dissidence (Edinburgh University Press 2020) pp.408 Lutz Fiedler’s highly informative book about the far Left group, Matzpen, is a welcome addition to the recording of both Jewish and Israeli history. This book started life as a doctoral thesis under the supervision of Professor Dani Diner, a stalwart of … Read more

On Isi Leibler

Review of Suzanne Rutland’s Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler, published by Gefen Books 2012, pp. 663 This book is about the life and times of Isi Leibler, a leader of Australian Jewry and a bare knuckle fighter for Jewish rights. Lone Voice: The Wars of Isi Leibler (Gefen Books) is also an account of … Read more

Twenty Five Years after Rabin’s Murder

An interview with Itamar Rabinovich, Israeli Ambassador to the US 1993-1996 during Rabin’s tenure as prime minister Your biography of Rabin opens with a quote from Amos Oz that Rabin was not endowed with Ben-Gurion’s prophetic passion, Levi Eshkol’s warm gracefulness, Golda’s sweeping simplicity or Begin’s populist energy. How then would you characterise Yitzhak Rabin? … Read more

From Anti-Semitism to Anti-Zionism

Review of  From Antisemitism to Anti-Zionism: The Past and Present of a Lethal Ideology ed. Eunice G. Pollack Published by Academic Studies Press 2017, pp.426 This book is a collection of essays which looks at the transition of anti-Zionism into antisemitism in our time. There are some excellent essays in this collection such as David Hirsh’s … Read more

Interview with Shlomo Avineri

In 1999, Ehud Barak defeated Benjamin Netanyahu with the slogan, “Too many lies for too long!”. While a similar disdain exists today, do you think that it was inevitable that Benny Gantz would go into government with Netanyahu even after the stalemate of three elections? Netanyahu is a highly intelligent and crafty politician. Over the … Read more

Lisa Nandy and the Question of Israel-Palestine

In normal times, the election of the leader of Her Majesty’s opposition would be front-page news in Britain. In the age of the coronavirus, Sir Keir Starmer’s election as Labour party leader was more of a media whimper.  Yet it spelled the end of the far Left’s control of Labour under Jeremy Corbyn and signals a shift to more rational policies … Read more

Sinn Fein and Zionism

The emergence of Sinn Féin as a major political force in last week’s election in Ireland is a watershed in the onward march of Irish republicanism towards a united Ireland. Like the Conservatives on the mainland, dissatisfied voters who felt left behind deserted the major parties and turned to Sinn Féin. Even so, like the … Read more

Jeremy Corbyn and the Ghosts of 1935

Labour’s crushing defeat in last Thursday’s election is the party’s worst performance since 1935. It is undoubtedly an ideological watershed, a political upheaval on a par with the 1945 Labour victory of the reforming post-war party under Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher’s 1979 victory marking the ascendency of hard-nosed Conservatives. Commentators were forced to consult … Read more

Jeremy and the Rejectionists

The remarkable revelation that Jeremy Corbyn — as part of a Palestine Return Centre (PRC) mission to Beirut in 2011 — met representatives of Palestinian rejectionist factions is further evidence of his fundamentalism when it comes to the Israel-Palestine conflict. It meant that he had no qualms sitting with those opposed to the PLO, those who refused … Read more