The “Subs, Spies & Videotape” Edition

Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO

Host of TLV1’s Tel Aviv Review, Gilad Halpern, Allison Kaplan Sommer and Noah Efron discuss three topics of incomparable importance and end with an anecdote about something in Israel that made them smile this week.

Minister of Defense and Alternate Prime Minister Benny Gantz’s sets up a ministerial committee to investigate corruption in the purchase of German submarines and ships, that may implicate the Prime Minister. But should ministries be used to harass political rivals?

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold
American-spy-for-Israel Jonathan Pollard is free after 35 years and moving to Israel. What sort of welcome should he get?

The IDF sweats to seem cool on social media. But should an army be cool?

Is Eytan Stibbe an Actual Astronaut?
For our most unreasonably generous Patreon supporters, in our extra-special, special extra discussion, we discuss the hubbub around Eytan Stibbe, that promises to develop into a fuferra and, after that — who knows? — even a fracas. Eytan Stibbe is a fighter pilot turned venture capitalist in the fast-paced and glamorous world of international arms sales. In exchange for a seven-figure donation, he’s slated to spend ten days on the International Space Station next October, and he’s being celebrated as the second Israeli in space, after Ilan Ramon, may his memory be for a blessing. But wags say, he ain’t no hero of mine.

All that and the offbeat charm of Kochevet Al!


  • Preidot ve-Nisuim
  • Hatzil ve-Gezer
  • Chatul
  • Rov ha-Olam

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3 comments on “The “Subs, Spies & Videotape” Edition

  1. Jordan (Jody) Harburger says:

    Thank you for the discussion re Jonathan Pollard. I too have compassion for and guilt about this pathetic small man how he was manipulated by his handlers, his urgent need to be important and do do what no one else could or would. Israel has been promised that the US would share with Israel and andall intelligence necessary for is safety and maintainance of a qualitative edge. Pollard saw that the promise was not being fully honored and took it upon himself to make good on the promise by providing Israel with any and all withheld intelligence which he felt Israel was entitled. In doing so he violated not only the law, the chain of command but ,most important, his oath as a US Dept of the Navy intelligence analyst. He does not deserve to be put on any pedestal, regardless of his motives. it was his Israeli handlers who required him to accept payment so that, thus compromised, he would be obliged to do whatever they asked. The Israel gov’t behaved dispicably by treating Pollard’s handler and Pollard himself as rogue actors who the Gov’t lied to say were acting on their own, unbeknowns to the heirarchy of the Israeli Intelligence command. Certainly a most inplausable denial. That behavior by the Jewish State is a shande and a busha, unforgivable. Petach Tikvas intended naming if a Traffic Circle in Jonathan Pollards honir would be better named for COL.ALEXANDER VINDEMAN an American Jewish hero who sacrificed his career in the name of speaking Truth to Power. That woukd be a dedcation cerimony to which Pollard and the Israeli Intelligence Command ant the Israeli cabinet should be present and salute. Pollard has paid a huge price for his dishonor and his crime. I for one am glad it is over. I pray his life is not held up by Israelis as an example of how diaspora Jews are expected to abuse their trusted positions in order to place Israel above all other loyalties, oaths and trusts.

  2. Noah Efron says:

    Jody (if I may), What you wrote may be the smartest thing I’ve ever read about Jonathan Pollard. I agree that he is no hero (and that neither is Rafi Eitan or any other Israeli who saw in Pollard’s weaknesses an opportunity to be exploited). I agree, too, that there don’t need to be statues or traffic circles meant to memorialize his actions. I also agree that our attitudes towards him must include compassion and guilt, and that we ought to do whatever we can to make whatever years he has left comfortable, and to allow him to get what pleasure as he can from living in this country for which (however misguidedly) he sacrificed so much of his life.

    Thanks for this. (I also grew up near DC, in Silver Spring, so I know I have lots of other things to thank you for, as someone who has given so much to our community.)

    1. Jordan S Harburger says:

      Thank you for this response. My Sundays are always brighter after I listen, ponder and laugh with your promised podcast, and then, through the day, connect with the other rich offerings it accompanies on TLV1. Please continue these delightful, thoughtful and especially loving informative and irreverant exchanges. They mean more than you will ever know to this member of your (dare I say) family. Jordan(Jody) Harburger

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