Ben-Gvir Rides Again: The Israeli Election 2022

In a few days, the Israeli electorate will enter the polling booth for the fifth time in almost four years. Once again, Benjamin Netanyahu and his allies will aspire to a bloc majority of 61 seats in the Knesset. The current polls suggest that it will be touch-and-go for Netanyahu to overcome his opponents, led … Read more

The Decline of the Labour Party in Israel

Tal Elmaliach, Hakibbutz Ha’Artzi, Mapam and the Demise of the Israeli Labor Movement, translated from the Hebrew by Haim Watzman (Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 2020), 299 pp. Avi Shilon, The Decline of the Left Wing in Israel: Yossi Beilin and the Politics of the Peace Process, translated from the Hebrew by Ira Moskowitz (London: … Read more

On Józef Piłsudski

Józef Piłsudski, the founder of modern Poland after World War I, is hardly known today — and many Jews have previously regarded him pejoratively as just another one-dimensional strongman figure in an anti-Semitic inter-war Eastern Europe. This excellent biography by the American academic, Joshua Zimmerman, presents a far more nuanced account. Piłsudski grew up in … Read more

Breaking History: A White House Memoir

by Jared Kushner Published by Broadside Books 2022, pp.492 Jared Kushner’s account of his four years in the Trump White House produces several interesting revelations. It is all there: the incremental friction with China, impeachment, John Bolton, Russian subversion, Hunter Biden, the wooing of Kim Jong-un, the 6 January assault on the Capitol, the murder … Read more

On Mikhail Gorbachev

In 1985, the year of Mikhail Gorbachev’s appointment as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1140 Jews were allowed to leave. Four years later — the year when the Berlin Wall fell — the number reached 71,000. Almost a million Soviet Jews emigrated to Israel in the following years. This was … Read more

The Night of the Murdered Jewish Poets

‘I am a Russian writer. Like all Russians, I am now defending my homeland. But the Nazis have reminded me of something else; my mother’s name was Hannah. I am a Jew. I say this proudly.’ So spoke the noted writer, Ilya Ehrenburg, at a Jewish rally in Moscow in August 1941 as the Nazi … Read more

A Riddle wrapped in a Mystery inside an Enigma

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid called a meeting of ministerial colleagues and interested parties to discuss the threat from the Kremlin to close down the Jewish Agency for Israel in Russia – a body which facilitates the emigration of Jews from that country. Many were unsure whether the Kremlin’s move was merely intimidatory … Read more

Sergei Lavrov’s Words

A few weeks ago, the urbane Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, came out with a bizarre statement to Italian television that Hitler was of “Jewish blood” and that “the most ardent antisemites are, as a rule, Jews”. Jews, therefore, only had themselves to blame for millennia of persecution and extermination. They had brought it upon … Read more