Halevi’s ‘Like Dreamers’ Is the Big Book On Israel We’ve Been Waiting For

Published on The Daily Beast

Yossi Klein Halevi’s Like Dreamers: The Story of the Israeli Paratroopers Who Reunited Jerusalem and Divided a Nation is both a saga and an extraordinarily intimate story.Like Dreamerschronicles today’s Israel, the Israel that was created by the Six Day War and the capture of East Jerusalem, the Sinai, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. It details the surge of the settlement movement from deep inside, and plots the parallel collapse of the kibbutz ethos and the kibbutz elite. It is a big book, perhaps the big book on Israel we have been waiting for.

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The Game Show of Israeli Politics

Published on The Daily Beast

In a surprise development, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas were invited to compete as a new team in the Israeli version of the reality game show, The Amazing Race (Merutz L’Milyon). As fans know, pairs of contestants are given absurd missions which involve publicly humiliating themselves or causing passersby to behave in ways that are entirely irrational.

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The Israeli Obsession with Jonathan Pollard

Published in The Daily Beast

On the eve of Obama’s first presidential visit to Israel, Israel’s longest running spy scandal is making headlines again. A petition signed by more than 100,000 Israelis, including Yair Lapid, the head of the Yesh Atid party, was presented at a special Knesset meeting this week calling for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, currently serving a life sentence for espionage. Last week, the Jerusalem City

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The Knesset’s New Faces

Published in The Daily Beast

It turns out the big story of this election was Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid, and not Naftali Bennett and the Jewish Home (Habayit Hayehudi). By reaching 19 seats (if it holds), Yesh Atid will not only have exceeded expectations, but become the second largest party, surpassing Labor. Yesh Atid together with Likud-Beitenu reach 50 seats, meaning that adding any of the next three largest parties—Labor, Jewish Home, or Shas—would already put them over the top. This gives potentially game-changing power to Yair Lapid to try to determine the composition of the next coalition.

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