Tel Aviv Review

Democracy in Crisis? Israeli Survey Respondents Agree to Disagree

Israel’s 2018 Democracy Index, an annual survey of the health of Israeli democracy, shows off the deepest contradictions in Israeli life. Tamar Hermann explains why half the country thinks democracy is endangered but half do not, why the left-right divide is now seen as the most threatening division in Israeli society, while the number of Israeli Jews who think things are going well has been rising for over a decade.

Level-Headed Men Seldom Make History

Derek Penslar, Professor of Jewish History at Harvard University, discusses his forthcoming book, “Theodor Herzl: The Charismatic Leader”. Sometimes, there’s a very fine line between an eccentric and a visionary.

Set up to Fail: Genealogy of Unachieved Palestinian Statehood

Dr. Seth Anziska, a lecturer in Jewish-Muslim relations at University College, London and a visiting fellow at the US/Middle East Project, discusses his book “Preventing Palestine: A Political History from Camp David to Oslo”.

Palestinian Refugees: The Third Rail of the Conflict

Former Member of Knesset Einat Wilf discusses her book “War of Return,” arguing that the conflict will never end until the world recognizes that Palestinian refugees, as they are usually defined, do not have the right to return to their pre-1948 homes. Sparks fly.

Several Tales of a City: Rethinking Contested Urbanisms

Geographer and architecture scholar, Dr Jonathan Rokem, discusses several comparative studies of the meeting point between urban planning and politics.

The Yazidis: Loss, Dislocation and Collective Trauma

Researcher Idan Barir tells the story of the Yazidis, an ethnic and religious minority in Iraqi Kurdistan who, in 2014, fell victim to an Islamic State rampage.

Brava Gente: Debunking the Myth of Jew-Loving Italians

Dr Shira Klein, professor of modern history at Chapman University, discusses her book “Italy’s Jews from Emancipation to Fascism”, analyzing the contested legacy of the modern Jewish experience in Italy.

Not So Separate, Certainly Not Equal: A History of Partitions

Arie Dubnov, professor of History and Israel Studies at the George Washington University, discusses his new book “Partitions: A Transnational History of Twentieth-Century Territorial Separation”.

Jew Bites Dog: Tidbits from the Yiddish Press of Yore

Dr Eddy Portnoy discusses his book “Bad Rabbi and Other Strange But True Stories from the Yiddish Press”, a compendium of stories that is at once a quirky and piercing window into the pre-WWII Jewish culture of New York and Warsaw.

Lessons in Disillusionment: Hans Kohn and the Crisis of Nationalism

Adi Gordon, professor of Jewish and European intellectual histories at Amherst College, discusses his new book “Towards Nationalism’s End”, an intellectual biography of 20th-century nationalism scholar and lapsed Zionist official Hans Kohn.