The Six-Day War's Legacy in Sinai

The Six-Day War's 50th anniversary will generate an overabundance of commentary about the war's legacy on the Arab-Israeli conflict. Most scholarship will focus on the continued challenges of Israeli occupation in the West Bank and Jerusalem, however there are valuable lessons that Read more

Trump in Israel: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

  President Donald Trump was in Israel for all of twenty-eight hours, and yet even within that short window of time he managed to till a significant amount of discursive soil. Dozens of analysts and commentators will offer their thoughts Read more

Erdogan, Jerusalem, and the End of the Honeymoon

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statements at the International Forum on al-Quds Waqf (held in Istanbul) received international media coverage when he attacked Israeli policy in Jerusalem, compared the situation in the West Bank with Apartheid South Africa, and called for Read more

The Curious Case of Michael Flynn, Turkey, and Israeli gas

President Trump's former national security advisor Michael Flynn has been at the epicenter of an ongoing story for the last few weeks. While I don't want to rehash what has already been reported, I did find one particular nugget Read more

Viral videos trending in Israel election 2015

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

With only seven weeks before Israeli voters hit the ballot boxes, election fever has reached a fever pitch.

There are a number of ways in which the 2015 election feels different from previous years, but certainly one of the biggest trends is the use of social media. While it was once a tradition that only in the final days prior to the election Israeli TV stations would air non-stop campaign ads from each of the parties, YouTube and Facebook has since rendered this practice obsolete. Viral marketing, first employed by Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid in advance of the 2013 elections, is now a must for any seriously contender.

Not every party has released a video as of yet, but there is still a long way to go. Read more

Israel’s Pipe Dreams

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

Since 2009, conversation surrounding the massive hydrocarbon fields Tamar and Leviathan focused on two core questions: how to distribute the gas between domestic and foreign markets, and how to ensure that the profits were enjoyed by future Israeli generations.

Monopolization of the energy industry by its two core companies, US-based Noble Energy and the Delek Group, was seemingly a side issue.

However, with the December 23 announcement by the Antitrust Authority that Noble and Delek must dissolve their monopoly of Israel’s gas supply, not only must the highly anticipated distribution of gas to the Israeli public be put on hold, but export to foreign markets must be postponed as well. Both of these two issues could have far-reaching political ramifications. Read more

Between the lines of Rivlin’s genocide reversal

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey | 3 comments

Despite that Holocaust survivors constituted a significant portion of its founding generation, Israel finds it difficult to recognize the tragedies of other communities around the world. There may be good reason for this: the brand of genocide practiced by the Third Reich had never been seen before, nor has been seen since. The Nazis transformed murder into a mechanized enterprise. As a result, Israel has often refrained from qualifying other tragedies in the world as genocide – including Armenian genocide of 1915. Read more

The Coming Storm for Netanyahu

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  
Gideon Sa'ar (right) with Netanyahu

Gideon Sa’ar (right) with Netanyahu

The road to the premiership may have just gotten a bit pricklier for Bibi Netanyahu. According to reports, former Interior Minister and No. 2 Likud member Gideon Sa’ar is considering to run against Netanyahu in the upcoming Likud primaries (scheduled for January 6, 2015). Read more

Five Thoughts On Israel’s Upcoming Elections

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

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At this point it is all but certain that the 19th Knesset will be dissolved and Israelis will head towards the polls in the spring. I wanted to put down a few thoughts after a whirlwind day that some argued wasn’t going to happen. Read more

If the light rail is under threat, so is Jerusalem

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  

Two months ago, my family and I moved from our home in Jerusalem to the United States. It was a painful decision for many reasons, including the fact that Israel was engaged in yet another military operation in the Gaza Strip. We knew we weren’t leaving because of the violence – I had been accepted to a doctoral program at Virginia Tech University and by early May we had decided to make the move. But that didn’t make it any easier, any less painful.

When we arrived in the U.S., many of the congregants at my father-in-law’s synagogue congratulated us, assuming that we were happy to be far away from the trauma of war. “Your parents must be so relieved that you are safe and sound,” one woman instructed me.

Well, to be honest, not really. Read more

Will Rivlin Tackle Hatred?

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, איציק הררי, cc-by-2.0)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, איציק הררי, cc-by-2.0)

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin may have found his calling. Addressing an audience at the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities conference titled “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other” Sunday, Rivlin complained of rising ethnic tensions and the growing culture of violence in Israeli society.

“It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” he said. Read more

Israel Can’t Afford to Abandon the South

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  


Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu plants a tree in Israel's south (credit: JNF)

Operation Protective Edge, Israel’s military campaign against Hamas over the last 50 days, has seemingly come to a close as the two warring parties agreed to a ceasefire on August 26.

I refrained from writing about the operation for a variety of reasons. My family was in the process of moving from Israel to the United States, and between boxing up one life and assembling a new one there was little time for reflection. I can also admit that in the last 50 days my perspective swung – at times wildly – between (faint) hope and dread. Read more

Reuven Rivlin: man of democracy, man of Jerusalem

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel |  
(photo credit: Itzike - איציק אדרי [CC-BY-SA] Wikimedia Commons)

(photo credit: Itzike – איציק אדרי [CC-BY-SA] Wikimedia Commons)

The results are in! Reuven Rivlin has been voted in by the Knesset at Israel’s 10th president and will succeed Shimon Peres on July 24th.

There are going to be a myriad of articles on Rivlin, who is not that well known outside of Israel, so I am just going to contribute a few thoughts. Read more

A Modern Reconquista?

Posted on by Gabriel in Israel, Turkey |  

The Mezquita of Cordoba

Back in the winter of 2009 I had the privilege of traveling to Spain as a part of Kivunim: New Directions. Coming by ferry from Morocco, we spent several days in the heartland of Sephardic Jewish history: Andalucia. Though few Jews remain today, the legacy of Spain’s Golden Age is visibly Semitic.

I was particularly fond of Cordoba, birthplace of the timeless Jewish scholar and philosopher Maimonides. There, in the narrow passages and alleyways, one can truly appreciate how medieval city life must have felt, and how an environment of religious coexistence could have been fostered by peoples with competing narratives. Read more