Israel at 75: Remembering Amos Oz

Amos Oz: The Legacy of a Writer in Israel and Beyond edited by Ranen-Omer-Sherman, published by the State University of New York press 2023, pp.414 Amos Oz once said that he had two pens on his desk — one to write stories, the other ‘to tell the government to go to hell’. Today his voice … Read more

Netanyahu’s Woes: A Tale of Two Cities, London and Jerusalem

“We made a mistake in navigation,” admitted a chastened Amihai Chikli, the Israeli Minister for Diaspora Affairs — and called for a halt to the so-called “judicial reforms”. In the wake of airport closures, walkouts at universities, port stoppages, embassies and consulates shuttered until further notice, bank closures, a looming shut-down of the hi-tech industry … Read more

Nakam: The Holocaust Survivors who Sought Full-Scale Revenge

Nakam: The Holocaust Survivors who Sought Full-Scale Revenge By Dina Porat, translated by Mark L. Levinson, Published by Stanford University Press 2023, pp. 365 Nakam is the Hebrew for ‘revenge’ — and the fifty men and women who planned mass poisonings of Germans in the immediate aftermath of World War II were the Nokmim, the … Read more

The Origins of the Campaign for Soviet Jewry in the UK

One hundred years ago, on 30 December 1922, four republics, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and Transcaucasia, agreed to form a union of states — the Soviet Union. This was to be ‘a decisive step on the path of unification into a World Socialist Soviet Republic’. The same year also saw the first trials of Zionists in … Read more

Benjamin Netanyahu: His Story?

Bibi: My Story Benjamin Netanyahu Published by Threshold Editions, 2022, pp.726 When he was asked by a student in 2018, what is the most important subject to study for a political career, Benjamin Netanyahu replied that there were three answers: ‘History, history and more history’. In writing his own history during the Bennett-Lapid interregnum, dictated … 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

1982 Revisited

‘No more silence; no more compromise, no more acquiescence; no more vacillation, no more appeasement’. So spoke a young deputy at a Board of Deputies meeting in September 1982, defiantly challenging its leadership. It was directed at the Board’s Israel policy in the aftermath of the massacre of Palestinians by Christian Phalangists in the Lebanese … Read more