The “Heat of Summer” Edition

Photo: Chaim Goldberg/Flash90

Sally Abed, 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.

Fortress of Democracy?
Does anyone really think it would be a good idea for Israel’s Supreme Court to fire Benjamin Netanyahu?

Jenin, Again
Two weeks ago, thirteen people died in an IDF operation in Jenin that, today, is all but forgotten.

And No Religion, Too!
A major documentary seeks to understand the soul of secular Israelis.

Our Summer Eats, Drinks, and Favorite Places that Help Ease the Heat
For our most unreasonably generous Patreon supporters, in our extra-special, special extra discussion: What do we drink, what do we eat, and where do we go to mark the advent of “high summer”?

All that and Elisha Shelem, demonstrations everywhere, and the music of cellist Ayala Ziv!


  • Yam
  • Siba
  • Ohev Otakh
  • Mei Nahar, a cover of a song by Idan Reichel

Previous Episodes

4 comments on “The “Heat of Summer” Edition

  1. jonathan madnick says:

    Thanks. Your podcast brought me to listen to Miriam Makeba sing in Hebrew.

    1. Noah Efron says:

      Kind of amazing, right? (Thanks for listening!)

  2. Michael Rosenzweig says:

    I generally love your weekly podcast, but I was disturbed and disappointed by the discussion of Jenin in this week’s edition. Specifically, it troubles me that both Noah and Allison seemed so timid and afraid in responding to Sally’s utterly one-sided assertions. She is certainly entitled to her views, but I was frustrated that the best Noah could muster was repeatedly mumbling that he doesn’t know how to think about the points Sally made. It was almost as though he and Allison were afraid to ask her, for example, whether Israeli action against terrorists is EVER justified, or whether she understands and embraces the reality that Israel is, after all, a Jewish state. Noah—It’s ok to push back a bit, to argue with Sally, rather than reacting to her with a timidity that suggests you’re afraid, God forbid, to be viewed as insufficiently sensitive to Palestinians. I consider myself quite sensitive to legitimate Palestinian concerns, but I honestly wanted to scream at your and Allison’s tortured efforts to avoid confronting Sally; to me it came across as just cowering in the face of her emotionality.

    1. Noah says:

      Thanks for writing, Michael. You might be just-plain-flat-out-right. Itai says he agrees with you, and he runs TLV1! I am not sure it’s as straightforward a matter as that, though. While you are right that I don’t want to be insufficiently sensitive to Palestinians (though it is not so much that I don’t want to APPEAR insensitive, as I am very aware that whenever I speak to Sally I come off as a dumbass naif — the son who doesn’t know how to ask, from the Passover Hagaddah — so I don’t think I’m motivated in this thing by a belief that I am impressing anyone), I don’t think that this fully explains my reticence. It is more that, in those encounters, mostly what I want to do is to hear Sally and to try to understand her point of view. I know what I think about the right of the IDF to track down terrorists who target civilians, kids, etc. What I do not know is what it feels like to be Sally Abed, hearing the headlines about the operation in Jenin, reading about the dozen Palestinian kid-soldiers killed, and then watching as the matter drops from the news and from consciousness, as though nothing happened at all. THAT is what I want to know. So pressing Sally to admit that the IDF has a right to roar into Jenin in the middle of the night, I don’t quite see what that would get me or anyone listening to the podcast.

      There is something about which you are just straight-up right in your criticism, and that is that, in that circumstances, I do often become confused, not fully understanding what Sally is saying to me and, even when I understand, often enough, not having a clue about how to productively respond. Because listeners don’t have the option to respond to Sally, I am there in those conversations as a sort-of representative of the listeners, and I can see why it would be deeply frustrating to have me stammering and stuttering instead of saying whatever listeners think is the right thing to say. In this sense (though not only in this sense), I am truly bad at this job that I’ve hired myself to do, and I get why someone who spends all the time to listen to the damn show might feel as though they’re wasting their time or worse. I wish I was better. I used to think I would get better with experience (which is what almost always happens), but I am not at all sure that I am. I do regret that and, for what it is worth, I am *trying* to improve. But my incompetence is pretty durable.

      I appreciate your writing, Michael, and I will continue to think about your criticism, which I do take seriously.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Listen on your favorite podcast app

Join our weekly newsletter

Receive Our Latest Podcast Episodes by Email

(and not a thing more)