God at Arm’s Length

Yiftach Ashkenazi

In her new book "Figuring Jerusalem: Politics and Poetics in the Sacred Center," literary scholar Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi calls attention to the dangers of assigning God a particular geographic space. An interview.

Going Underground

Michael Press

Yet another book on Jerusalem's archaeology unhealthily focuses on its past at the expense of its present.

Sledgehammer or Boomerang?

Michael Koplow

Trump's ambassador's pride at rebooting America's previous Middle East policy may set an unwelcome trend that even he might end up ruing.

“New Hope and Yamina are not right-wing”

Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki

An interview with the journalist and commentator Laly Derai about the future of the Israeli right.

Personal, Professional and National

Ettya Barnhart-Magen

A new book exploring the emotional inheritance of trauma subtly demonstrates its impact on both the national and personal story.

Cries of a Beloved Country

Avraham Burg

The former director of Breaking the Silence has written a moving memoir that is a wake-up call for Israeli society.

Who Does She Think She Is?

Einat Wilf

The new memoir by former Breaking the Silence director Yuli Novak is simplistic and solipsistic in equal measure.

How Much Time is Left is Not a Question but a Door

Israel Eliraz Liat Simon

A selection of English translations of work by the late Israeli poet Israel Eliraz.

The Disappointments Committed in Hope’s Name

Lily Shehady

The first English translations of Palestinian poet Maya Abu Al-Hayyat take the reader on a rollercoaster of emotions anchored in truth.

Those Who Heard the Voice of the Dove

Asael Abelman

A new essay collection draws attention to hitherto neglected Sephardic and Mizrahi Zionist leaders

Beyond the Four Quarters

Alex Stein

A new book about Jerusalem's Old City shatters some sacred cows while perpetuating others.

Post-Translation: Between the Bi-National and Dialogic

Ohad Zeltzer Zubida

Two recent books by Yehouda Shenhav provide a radical vision for the future of translation.

Why Are They Leaving?

John Munayer

A new book offers a useful overview of the story of the Christian departure from the Middle East, while neglecting some of its key causes.

Who By Fire

Matti Friedman

An exclusive excerpt from Matti Friedman's new book about Leonard Cohen's tour of Israeli army bases during the Yom Kippur War.

A Sentimental Stroll Down Ramban Straße

Arie M. Dubnov

A new book attempts to capture the spirit of 'German Jerusalem': A neighborhood in the holy city that, following the rise of Nazism, became a hub of German-Jewish intelligentsia.

The Splendor of Cities

Yaser Abu Areesha

A personal assessment of the Palestinian situation following the tumultuous events of 2021.

A New Era in Arab-Jewish Relations?

Raef Zreik

The United Arab List's participation in Israel's ruling coalition represents Israel's preference for indirect rule over full citizenship when dealing with its Palestinian citizens.

A Typology of National Liberation Movements

Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki

Why otherwise competent scholars get Zionism and Palestinian nationalism wrong.

Straight Outta Zion

Tomer Gershenman

The unique and little-known story of Israeli hip-hop.

In Search of a Lost Community

Yael Segev

In a new book, one of Israel's most prominent left-wing activist fails to convince with his critique of Religious Zionism.

Walking Four Amot

David Ben Moshe

Tales of transformation from the hiking trails of Israel.

From Adoration to Disillusionment

Yakov Z. Mayer

The story of how the Israeli literary community fell in and out of love with Nobel-winning author Olga Tokarczuk.

More Than Mere Gossip

Ariel Rodal-Spieler

Barak Ravid's book on the Abraham Accords provides a fascinating first-hand perspective of a historic episode.

1990/Who am I, what?

Alex Moshkin Arik Eber Zackary Sholem Berger

Two poems that use humor to revise the traditional narrative of Soviet Jews' triumphal arrival in Israel.

Like the Face of a Dog

Omri Ben Yehuda

Coronavirus, Israel, and the Global Politics of Fake

Departing from the Narrative

Avery Weinman

A new book about Jewish emigration from Palestine and Israel in the post-war period changes the Zionist concept of yeridah into a history of migration.

Shelter Shelter

Adi Sorek

A poetic exploration of the Tel Aviv University's shelter signs and the Talmudic Cities of Refuge.

Seeking Redemption: On Religious Anti-Occupation Politics

Joshua Leifer

In a new book, one of Israel's most prominent left-wing activists makes his case through a thousand years of Jewish scholarship.

A Question of Priorities

Abe Silberstein

Two ostensibly very different books shine an illuminating light on debates surrounding Palestinian political goals and identity.

The Bible: Alive and Kicking

Yael Unterman

The Bibliodrama method brings the Bible alive for 21st Century Israeli and Diaspora Jews.

The Gaza Blockade

Seth Frantzman

Evaluating 15 years of mixed results.

Fighting Covid: The Israeli Doctrine

Arieh Kovler

A deep dive into how Israel has fought COVID-19, how it has fought it differently from other countries, and what the results of its struggle have been.

A People’s History of 1948

Yaël Mizrahi-Arnaud

Three recent studies enrich the historiography of the 1948 War and its aftermath, by moving away from state-centered policies and focusing on the lived experiences of ordinary individuals.

Keystein Cops

Nathan Abrams

How do televisual-cinematic representations of Israeli policemen (and women) compare to those of their Mossad counterparts?

If Only Sally Rooney Understood How Israeli Publishing Works

Yiftach Ashkenazi

The Irish novelist's decision not to publish her latest novel with an Israeli publisher reveals her fundamental ignorance about the actual relationship between Israeli literature, the Israeli establishment, and the Occupation.

Welcome to the British Dominion of Israel

Tal Kra-Oz

A new novel boldly attempts to pad out Israel's meager counterfactual bookshelf. But a romantic fascination with the country's pre-state period is not enough to sustain a solid piece of alternate history, a genre with its own set of rules.

The Third Temple

Ari Hoffman

Ari Shavit's new book, Bayit Shlishi, asks the right questions about Israel's future but fails to offer compelling answers.

Aquarium

Todd Hasak-Lowy Yaara Shehori

An excerpt from Yaara Shehori's new novel about the relationship between two deaf sisters.

Nehemyah

Oded Even Or Yakov Z. Mayer

An exclusive English translation of the 2020 Sapir Prize-shortlisted novel about a man's search for the reputed messiah Sabbatai Tzvi.

“I have a good memory because I’m too weak to forget”

Shachar Pinsker

A new English selection of Avrom Sutskever's essential prose reveals the fascinating tension between the great Yiddish writer's Israeli present and his East European past.

Elisha Appears Again

Yardenne Greenspan Yonat Rum

An exclusive English translation of Yonat Rum's tale of loss, survival and memory, winner of Haaretz newspaper's 2018 short story contest.

In the Palace

Sam Sussman

A misadventure in love and lebensraum set in contemporary Berlin.

Too Good to be True?

Yaniv Feller

The new, pluralistic permanent exhibit at the Museum of the Jewish People feels increasingly at odds with its surroundings.

Cities without a Country

Ian Black

A new book and a new documentary film offer a profoundly insightful and thought-provoking snapshot of the many troubling uncertainties faced by Palestinians in 2021.

Different Kinds of Silence

Reut Ben-Yaakov

The surprising parallels in the lives and poetry of Natan Zach and Aharon Almog, and their place in Israeli literary history.

Set Me Free

Lina Rose

Mind-altering drugs, sexual fluidity, stealing the borders: the new Israeli children's novel that's breaking boundaries.

Yosef Haim Brenner in Life and Death

Jeffrey Saks S.Y. Agnon

A Hebrew literary giant's eulogy of another: An exclusive English translation of S.Y. Agnon's 'in memoriam' of Yosef Haim Brenner, upon the centenary of his murder.

The Manuscript

Ruby Namdar Yardenne Greenspan

An exclusive English translation of a new short story by Sapir Prize-winning novelist Ruby Namdar, set in 1970s Tel Aviv.

Distant Strains

Joanna Chen Sarai Shavit

A selection of English translations of work by the poet Sarai Shavit.

From Africa to Zion

Danny Adeno Abebe

An exclusive excerpt from the memoir of Israel's first Ethiopian-born journalist.

In Defense of Nationalism

Liat Natovich Koshizky

Yoram Hazony's new book provides a welcome defense of Herzl's sophisticated understanding of Zionism and its relevance today.

No True Nationalist

Yair Wallach

Yoram Hazony's latest book distorts Herzl's ideas to provide cover for the author's exclusivist nationalism.

“Everyone is responsible for the explosion.”

Jonathan Fine

A conversation with artist Rutu Modan about her 2020 graphic novel 'Tunnels', storytelling in comics, and the relationship between truth and ideology.

Meet the Yahus

Alex Stein

A new novel about Benjamin Netanyahu's father's time in America fails to live up to the delicious promise of its source material.

Entebbe, Tehran, Munich

Nathan Abrams

How cinematic depictions of the Mossad spy became a reflection of shifting attitudes towards the State of Israel.

An Abusive System

Janice Weizman

An interview with trailblazing Israeli feminist Elana Sztokman about her journey away from Orthodoxy.

Requiem for a War

Jonathan Spyer

The Syrian Civil War threw the country, as well as the entire region, into chaos and bloodshed. A new book attempts to sift through its tumultuous legacy.

A Critical Case

Liam Hoare

A new reissue of Batya Gur's oeuvre offers a welcome opportunity to revisit the founding mother of Israeli detective fiction.

Coronavirus and Intimacy

Yaki Sagi

While corona's impact on physical wellbeing is common knowledge, less has been written about its devastating impact on interpersonal relationships.

A-voiding the Void

Ella Elbaz

Three recent novels shed light on unexplored aspects of literary representations of Palestinian trauma.

The Fraternity of Traitors

Matan Kaminer

A new book about Matzpen places the revolutionary Israeli group in a global context but fails to encompass their true legacy.

Gamer Nation

Aaron Reich

As video games become more popular than ever, the Israeli gaming industry has begun to level up.

Catching the Sun

Mika Reichel

How Israel went from being a world leader in solar energy to playing catch-up with the rest of the world.

Concerning That Burning

Maayan Eitan Yael Statman

A selection of English translations of work by the poet Yael Statman.

Watching Hiam Abbass

Hannah Brown

How the rise in global TV networks sent a Palestinian-Israeli actress to international stardom.

Dutch Dreaming of Israel

Daan F. Oostveen

Why do the Dutch political parties have so much to say about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?

One Flew Over Gimmel Ward

Danna Harman

The closed ward at Geha hospital, one of Israel's most renowned psychiatric hospitals, is a microcosm of Israeli society.

The ‘R’

Yitzhak Lewis

A new documentary tells only part of the story of Rebbe Nahman's journey to the heart of mainstream Israeli culture.

The Great Israeli Novels

Jessica Cohen

A response to Haim Watzman's 'The NeverEnding Stories' from the Winter 2020 issue.

Intoxicating Zion

Haggai Ram

An excerpt from Haggai Ram's book about hashish in Mandatory Palestine and Israel.

Red Sea Spies

Raffi Berg

An excerpt from Raffi Berg's book about the true story of Mossad's fake diving resort in Sudan.

A Family Affair

Dahlia Scheindlin

Throughout Israel’s history, the question 'what do Israelis think' has evolved a great deal, not least because the question 'who are the Israelis' has changed dramatically over time.

The Chairmen

Calev Ben-Dor

Two recent books assess the successes and failures of Yasser Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas.

The NeverEnding Stories

Haim Watzman

Why are so many contemporary Israeli novels excruciatingly overlong?

Jerusalem’s New Historians

Dotan Halevy

Three new books make a persuasive case for reevaluating age-old historiographical conventions in the study of late Ottoman Palestine.

The Two Survivors

Taleen Babayan

A comprehensive survey of Israeli-Armenian relations in the shadow of the latest Nagorno-Karabakh War.

The Unshakeable One

Liam Hoare

Reflections on Amos Oz's final lecture and his relationship with Germany.

The New Mixed Cities

Afif Abu Much

Why are Arabs moving to largely Jewish cities, and how are they being received?

Dark Matter

Shira Stav

A short journey into the long darkness.

The Memory Monster

Yardenne Greenspan Yishai Sarid

An excerpt from Yishai Sarid's new novel about a historian who specializes in leading tours of concentration camps in Poland.

Brothers from Another Planet

Michael Berkowitz

Four new books revisit the great German-Jewish intellectuals of Interwar Jerusalem, inquiring on their legacy and ongoing relevance.

Preventing Peace

Abe Silberstein

Three new books argue that American policy has consistently failed the Palestinians and the wider cause of Middle Eastern rapprochement.

Derivative Imperial Nations

Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki

A critique of how current discourses understand the reality of the Americas and the Middle East.

"Sometimes They Prayed Marxism"

Biti Roy

The little-known story of Rav Steinsaltz's involvement with the 'New Sanhedrin.'

From the Ghetto to the Mainstream/Scroll Down for Original Arabic

Linda Abdul Aziz Menuhin

The story of the inexorable rise of Arabic music in Israel.

Snowtrain

Tal Yacob Yardenne Greenspan

An excerpt from Tal Yacob's novel about a violent and sexual encounter between a male prostitute and an assassin.

Ephemeral Reflections

Lonnie Monka

Dennis Silk and English-language poetry in Israel.

Lisbon and Manila: Sites of Refuge During the Holocaust

Manuela Consonni

A review of two books on the plight, experiences, and emotions of Holocaust refugees.

The Excesses of French Jews/Scroll Down for Original in French

Noémie Issan-Benchimol

An analysis of two books on the place of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in French discourse and society.

Happy and Sad

Chaya Levy Maayan Eitan

A selection of English translations of work by the poet Chaya Levy.

Sudden Change or Gradual Transition?

Michael Press

A popular perception of the Arab conquest of Palestine as a period of violent transformation persists, despite archaeological evidence to the contrary.

What is Love? An Interview with Yaron Shani

Akin Ajayi

An intimate conversation with the acclaimed Israeli filmmaker.

Introducing Maayan Eitan

TARB editors

An interview with the newest member of the Tel Aviv Review of Books editorial team.

Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall?

Jonathan Spyer

A new book argues for the historic significance of the Arab Spring. Does it succeed?

DJ CHRISTIAN NGO

Shani Boianjiu

Two reviews, separately written, on Colum McCann's new novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Only Language: Making New Worlds in Israel-Palestine

Sam Sussman

Two reviews, separately written, on Colum McCann's new novel about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Beyond Freedom of Speech

TARB editors

Reconsidering TARB's values in light of the New York Times Tom Cotton controversy.

What Happened to Us?

Arash Azizi

The story of the modern Middle East seen through the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The Woman Who Wasn’t

Illa Ben Porat Maayan Eitan

An excerpt from Illa Ben Porat's new novel about a detective investigating the case of a missing mother.

Known Unknowns: In Search of the Truth at Khirbet Qeiyafa and Masada

Alex Stein

Two new books attempt to get to the heart of archaeological mysteries from the Biblical and Second Temple periods.

Love: A Novel

Maayan Eitan

An excerpt from Maayan Eitan's new novel about a young prostitute in a Tel Aviv-like city.

Great Spirit Grant Me Vision

Sephy Geldzahler

The revival of interest among Israelis in the thought of Rav Yehuda Leon Ashkenazi AKA Manitou.

Who’s Looking at the Rhinoceros?

Yaara Shehori

An exclusive translation of Yaara Shehori's response to Assaf Inbari's Haaretz essay on autobiographical fiction.

Planning for Whom?

Maier Yagod

On the Design and Politics of Israeli Neighborhoods.

The Scholar and the Activist

Moriel Rothman-Zecher

David Shulman between South Hebron and South India.

An-Other Self

Eran Tzelgov Yael Dekel

Beyond the hegemonic 'One' in contemporary Israeli poetry.

Banana Pita

Yuli Malka

How the story of the Russian aliyah is finally entering the Israeli mainstream.

The New Israeli Judaism

Elan Ezrahi

Two recent books describe the unique trajectory of Jewish life in Israel.

The Rake’s Progress

Benjamin Balint

In his latest book, one of Israel's most celebrated writers turns his attention to horticultural pursuits.

I’m Building a Gallows

Alex Moshkin Rita Kogan Zackary Sholem Berger

A selection of English translations of work by the poet Rita Kogan.

Our Strange Victory: Quarantine Reflections

Ben Hartman

What's it been like living in Israel during coronavirus, and how is the 'new normal' panning out?

Halacha in the Time of Corona

Shlomo Dov Rosen

On social distancing and deontology.

The Road

TARB editors

How a classic piece of Israeli dystopian fiction shines a light on the current crisis.

Israel’s Potemkin War

Eeta Prince-Gibson

An interview with Haim Har-Zahav, author of 'Lebanon: The Lost War.'

The Prime Ministers: A Man – Neither Hercules nor Perfect

Joshua Sobol

The industrious life of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's founding father, reads like a polyphonic novel whose depths are never exhausted.

Madam Zona: A Memoir

Payam Feili Sara Khalili

An excerpt from Payam Feili's memoir about life as an Iranian asylum seeker in Israel.

Zionism + Concrete

Liam Hoare

Concrete was the material that built the State of Israel - its prevalence from Tel Aviv to Be’er Sheva to the kibbutz is an expression of Zionism itself.

Psychoanalysis & Kabbalah

Ruth Kara-Ivanov Kaniel

The conceptual threads connecting the two systems of thought.

Welcome to the Desert of the Real

Ioram Melcer

We’re used to saying that truth is stranger than fiction. But why does Israeli literature hold back from strangeness in both truth and fiction?

Between Three Circles

Guilherme Casaroes Monique Sochaczewski

Brazil's Middle East Policy from Collor to Bolonsaro.

The Non-German German

Mati Shemoelof

An Israeli in Berlin asks: Does German culture belong to me?

Teaching the Conflict

Ari Blaff

Three publications show different approaches to teaching the Arab-Israeli Conflict on campus.

The Drive

Jessica Cohen Yair Assulin

An excerpt from Yair Assulin's new novel, translated by Jessica Cohen.

Illuminating Brutal Details

Lonnie Monka Yonatan Berg

A selection of the first English translations of work by poet Yonatan Berg.

Stone Men

Alex Stein

The story of the role played by Palestinian stonemasons and construction workers in the building of Israel.

An Interview with Adeena Sussman

Rachel Barenbaum

An interview with Adeena Sussman about her new vibrant recipe book inspired by Tel Aviv's Carmel Market.

Israel Can Do Better: A 70-Year Report Card of Environmental Underachievement

Alon Tal

Despite showing huge early promise, Israel's environmental record is hugely disappointing. With the added threat of global warming, substantial action is needed.

Exile: Portraits of the Jewish Diaspora

Annika Hernroth-Rothstein

An excerpt from a new book examining some of the lesser-known Jewish communities around the world.

When Home Becomes a Foreign Land: Raja Shehadeh and Palestinian Freedom of Movement

Khaled Diab

Raja Shehadeh's new memoir opens up the world of Palestinian exile, both physical and metaphysical.

Our Men in Al Sham: An Interview with Seth Frantzman and Jonathan Spyer

Samuel Thrope

An interview with Seth Frantzman and Jonathan Spyer about their experiences reporting from Syria and Iraq.

Israeli Dance after Gaga

Dana Mills

Israeli dance is known mainly for the Batsheva Dance Company and Gaga, the movement language developed by its most famous offspring, Ohad Naharin. But many other performers and styles, no less intriguing, have grown in their shadow.

An Army of Letters

Tal Kra-Oz

Two new books look into Israel's military-literary complex. The authors, literary scholars at Tel Aviv University, share an irreverent reverence for the subject matter.

My Grandfather’s House

Amir Mahmoud Jabarin

The fascinating story of an Ottoman-era house in Umm al-Fahm and what it tells us about the history of Palestinian architecture.

From Homeland to Birthplace

Leon Wiener Dow

Showcasing his exceptional talent for blurring the boundary between fact and fiction, Philip Roth's Operation Shylock and The Plot Against America offer a unique reflection on Israel and the Jewish-American situation.

Towards the East an Eye Gazes

Meron Medzini

From its genesis, Zionism sought the favor of Western powers and was virtually uninterested in Asian nations. Three new books look at the exceptions that confirm the rule.

The Hidden Face of Nationalism in Islamic Lands

Shmuel Trigano

In this English adaptation of the introduction of his book 'La Fin du Judaïsme en Terres d’Islam', (published in Hebrew in 2018) Shmuel Trigano reconceptualizes the history of Zionism, of Jewish communities in North Africa and the Middle East, and of the State of Israel.

‘Duel Review’: The Conflict over the Right of Return

Emmanuel Navon Tamer Masalha

Two reviews, separately written, about recent books about the Palestinian "right of return."

Yerus, This is the Land of Israel: To a Disaffected Ethiopian-Israeli

Sharon Shalom

If a school refuses to admit Ethiopian-Israeli students, it is not only our problem. We have to empower the Ethiopian-Israeli youth by telling them that they—the victims of racism—are normal, and that racism is abnormal.

Sick of Himself? Sayed Kashua’s Track Changes

Elaine Margolin

In his new novel, Sayed Kashua seems trapped between the past and the future he seems strangely hesitant to describe.

An Enemy From Another Dimension: Israeli and Palestinian Science Fiction and Fantasy

Hagay HaCohen

The recent publication of two English-language anthologies of science fiction stories, Zion's Fiction and Palestine 100, allows us to examine the complexities of reality in the cold light of the stars.

Israel’s Very Own ‘Illiberal Democracy’

David N. Myers

Zionism is rightly celebrated as a democratic movement, but the liberal element in it has often been sidelined and contested. Netanyahu's authoritarian tendencies seem to echo global trends, but in fact they tell a very local story as well.

Contemporary Art in the ‘Holy City’

Olga Kirschbaum

An interview with Jenna Romano, director of Contemporary Art in Jerusalem, about the surprising and diverse contemporary art scene in the holy city.

My Grandfather's House

Amir Mahmoud Jabarin

The fascinating story of an Ottoman-era house in Umm al-Fahm and what it tells us about the history of Palestinian architecture.

The Prime Ministers: My Version of Events

Akin Ajayi

A new biography of Yitzhak Rabin serves up a stirring story of service to the nation. But since this is settled fact, what else might it contribute to the bigger picture? Akin Ajayi reads between the lines to find out.

A Life in a Poem

David Rosenberg

David Rosenberg's literary memoir, a Guggenheim Fellowship project just published in the UK, includes this excerpt from the period when he lived in Israel, working as an editor for Hakibbutz Hameuchad publisher and the Institute for Translation of Hebrew Literature.

An Interview with Guy Stagg

Alex Stein

What's it like to walk from Canterbury to Jerusalem?

"I didn’t choose to write in the form of a letter, it chose me": An Interview with Evan Fallenberg

Alex Stein

An interview with Evan Fallenberg on his new novel 'The Parting Gift', focusing on issues of language, sexuality, and politics.

‘Duel Review’: What Happened to the Israeli Left?

Ben-Dror Yemini Naomi Chazan

Two reviews, separately written, analyze the factors behind the chronic weakness of the Israeli Left.