Across the internet, around Shabbat dinner tables, thousands of readers have been discussing Hillel Halkin’s eloquent, despairing essay about the new Israeli government. We continue this lively and critical discussion with responses from some of today’s most interesting and engaging thinkers about Israeli politics.
- Emily Amrousi applauds the election results but sees little real change coming to Israeli society.
- Elli Fischer argues that Halkin (and the poet Y.L. Gordon) are wrong about both modern Israel and the bible. It was the prophet Jeremiah, not the king Zedekiah, who represents a healthy society.
- While Mosheh Lichtenstein agrees there are serious problems facing Israeli society, he sees Halkin’s stance as a complete misreading of Orthodox Judaism’s values and value.
- Ze’ev Maghen defends the new coalition, and worries that Halkin has lost his way.
- Mikhael Manekin takes issue with Halkin’s reliance on demographics, and seeks a path forward free of division and recriminations.
- Neil Rogachevsky contrasts Halkin’s use of the poem “Zedekiah in the Dungeon” by Yehuda Leib Gordon with David Ben-Gurion’s own curiously prescient, and more pragmatic, reading.
- In contrast to Halkin’s fatalism, Gil Troy argues that Zionism’s future can be as strong as its past, so long as its adherents do not abandon hope.
Israel's relationship with apartheid South Africa is an inconvenient—perhaps unavoidable—truth.
A new "inside story" of the Israeli military reveals more about the current prejudices of the chattering classes than it does about Israel and its neighbors.
Was Jacques Derrida a Jewish thinker?
The book of Ruth has inspired Oscar-winning films, medieval kabbalists, rugged kibbutzniks, and gifted artists. What is it about this book that makes it so engaging?