Reuven Rubin, ‘Palestine’s Gauguin’, 100 years on

Bennett Tucker

Featuring rural farmlands in the Galilee, vistas of Jerusalem's Old City and Tel Aviv's burgeoning modernity, Rubin's 1924 exhibition at Jerusalem's Tower of David Citadel was much more than the oft-cited 'first modern art exhibition in Israel.'

How social media triggered my BZD (Bipolar Zionist Disorder)

Zoe Karbe

I want peace. I want us to be friends with Palestinians, but these nutjob anti-Zionist/Israel folks need to be put in their place. Obviously, I'm the right person for the job. Two, three, five, ten, thirteen TikToks later, I am addicted.

All eyes on Tehran

David Daoud

A new book recounts the most recent decades of Iran’s quest to destroy Israel through a slow process of strangulation and attrition, and Israel’s attempts to resist through a combination of clandestine, kinetic, and diplomatic means. Its admirably sober tone is at once refreshing but also chilling.

Rotted Hinterland

Ariyeh Benjamin

I am in Massafer Yatta now, in the South Hebron Hills. It’s winter. The desert is bizarrely green. After 7 October, the unease has been replaced by absolute terror. Terror permeates itself through every second of every day. It always approaches; every tick of the clock is riddled with fear.

My Life With a Tel Aviv Icon

Dana Kessler

Ruthy Ish Cassit, widow of Moshe—owner of the eponymous Café Cassit, hangout of Tel Aviv's beau monde—has written a memoir chronicling her life alongside the greatest celebrities of the 1970s. While prone, perhaps inevitably, to namedropping, "Kach Hayinu" is an honest account of a deservedly mythical age.

Sharp Longing, in Jerusalem

Liza Michaeli

Ты пахнешь Израилем: You smell of Israel, my mother says to me every time I return from Israel. The truth is, this smell never goes away.

The Nazi Invention of Anti-Imperialist Antizionism

Lars Fischer

With the completion of the genocide against European Jewry in sight, they worried that antisemitism might no longer own the same mobilizing force once Europeans, and Germans in particular, were no longer confronted with real-life Jews, and this even though the fight was far from over. This was when they focused their propaganda on Zionism, the face of "Jewish Imperialism", and on Chaim Weizmann, "the single most dangerous troublemaker in the world."

Our Foorprints on Water / Joys That Do Not Come / Top-Down

Marzuq Halabi

Three poems by Palestinian poet Marzouk Halabi, translated from Arabic exclusively for the Tel Aviv Review of Books.

Love Song / A Poem

Amiram Cooper

Love Song was composed especially for the 25th anniversary of the founding of Kibbutz Nir Oz, in 1980. The writer, a resident of the kibbutz, was kidnapped to Gaza on October 7th, 2023.

A Joke, But a Very Serious One Indeed

Abe Silberstein

In a new book, historian Shlomo Sand presents an overview of the ideologies, movements and personalities associated with the political Left. The reactions of contemporary Leftists to Hamas' October 7 massacre serve as a pitch-perfect test of their legacy.

Nissim / A Short Story

Olga Lempert

Small and raggedy, his scowl still terrified me. This was when he knocked on my door and announced he had come to stay with me. He looked like he was having a tougher time than most. Shallow unshaven cheeks, angry burning eyes set deep into black circles, shaggy brows. He said his name was Nissim. I gave him some towels and sheets and left him to get on with it.

Against Analogy

Daniel J. Solomon

Masha Gessen's likening of the Gaza Strip to a Nazi ghetto is a master class in Holocaust inversion and distortion. These statements were made in the heat of a polemical debate, but moral outrage should never call the tune. There is a word for when it does: demagoguery.

Jewish Ripples

Zev Mishell

A new book revisits a sizable, and now forgotten, anti-Zionist discourse that held sway among large swaths of American Jews in the mid-20th century. It serves as topical reminder of the prevalence of Jewish dissent before a consensus on Israel and Zionism took hold, one that now seems to fray.

The Book That Saw October 7 Coming From a Mile Away

Andrew Pessin

‘Caliphators’ advocating for the global triumph of Islam see Western values as signs of weakness and decadence. A new book argues that too many Western thinkers, championing progressive liberalism, insist on proving them right.

The War Against Cliche

Arie M. Dubnov

As William James noted, nations are not saved by wars but 'by acts without external picturesqueness; by speaking, writing, voting reasonably; by smiting corruption swiftly; by good temper between parties; by the people knowing true men when they see them, and preferring them as leaders to rabid partisans or empty quacks.'

Israel Must Win This War

Ophir Toubul

The answer to Hamas’ barbarous attack would be to press on with efforts to consolidate a “peace axis” in the Middle East, in the spirit of the Abraham Accords.

The Constants and Variables of a Special Relationship

Joshua Goetz

Three new books explore how the US-Israel bond has come to be. While they offer radically different interpretations of the history, each convincing in its own way, they fail to provide an answer to the most burning question: Where is that relationship going?

A Martyr of Sorts, Punished for Our Imaginary Sins

Dana Kessler

A new Hebrew edition of Christiane F—the memoir of a 15-year-old German teenage prostitute and drug addict—has sent Dana Kessler on a reappreciation of one of the most influential books of her generation.

Classic Sephardic Judaism, Made in China

Aryeh Tepper

A formidable though short-lived Sephardi presence in early 20th-century Shanghai fostered unique interpretations of Jewish texts and perceptions. The community may have disappeared, but the ideas live on.

The Shape of Love

Haim Watzman

A chance encounter on a Jerusalem bench. Short story by Haim Watzman.

‘Aethon Fires’

Haim Watzman

A new "Necessary Story" by Haim Watzman.

Muck: Biblical Fiction as Criticism

Rachel Sharansky Danziger

Dror Burstein’s novel skillfully alternates between Jerusalem of the Prophets and the contemporaneous city, offering a fresh engagement with our conventional understanding of both.

The Prime Ministers: Chronicles of Failure

Benjamin Kerstein

Two autobiographies, written by Israel’s only living former prime ministers, are uneven attempts to come to terms with their unremarkable legacies.

‘To Rectify the World You Have to Rectify Yourself’ – Tziporah Heller

Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki

An interview with Rebbetzin Tziporah Heller, one of the most influential female Torah teacher in the Haredi world, whose eighth book, "Through a Distant Mirror: exploring the paths of women in Tanach" will be out this summer.

The Rising Juggernaut of the Greater Middle East

Noam Backner

A mixture of global ambitions and domestic policies has led China to undermine the “Washington consensus” in the Middle East.

A Tale of Time and Feeling – Amos Oz

Avi Garfinkel

"Judas," Amos Oz's last novel, is in many ways the sum total of the late author's 50-year career.

The Distortion of Palestine

Alex Stein

One principle seems to be guiding "Palestine: A Four Thousand Year History": The minimization and marginalization of the role Jews played in the history of Palestine.

The Parting Gift: A Novel – Evan Fallenberg

Evan Fallenberg

An excerpt from Evan Fallenberg's new novel teasing out a complex narrative of love and betrayal from the narrow channel that separates the most basic—and quite often, the most base—of our emotions.

The Maverick Israeli Intellectual You’ve Never Heard About

Hanan Harif

Boas Evron, who died last year aged 91, held unusual views on the nature of Jewish Nationhood, the State of Israel and its relationship with the diaspora. A new book revisits his unorthodox political thought.

The Cost of a Lie, the Value of Nothing

Batya Shimony

A young woman, a celebrity, a sexual assault, a media storm: all very much part of the #MeToo zeitgeist, no? But Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen takes the reader along a very different path.

Home and Away: The Accidentally Global Scope of Israel’s English-Language Media

Gilad Halpern

While the international media industry came crashing down in the beginning of the 21st century, Israel's English-language media experienced a tremendous renaissance.

Four Centuries of Jurisprudence in Jerusalem

Muhammad Al-Atawneh Sabina Abdulaev

Between the end of Mamluk rule and the start of the British Mandate, Jerusalem evolved a rich tradition of Islamic Jurisprudence, markedly distinct at times from that of the Ottoman Empire.

‘For Your Information’: Twelve Micro-Stories

Alex Epstein

Somewhere, in a parallel universe, there's an Alex Epstein who writes novels," says Alex Epstein - author of the micro-stories we present here – about his chosen literary form.

‘A Translator is First and Foremost a Reader’

Akin Ajayi

An interview with Jessica Cohen, who was awarded, together with David Grossman, the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for her translation of his book "A Horse Walks into a Bar."

Illiberal Neoliberalism

Asher Schechter

Israel's transition into a global economy is a textbook example of how a country can practice globalization without subscribing to any of its stated values.

Eighteen Lashes: A Novel

Assaf Gavron

An exclusive excerpt from the English translation of Assaf Gavron's forthcoming novel.

‘Reading Lolita in Tel Aviv’: Letters from a Kurd

Ofra Bengio

Through the personal experiences of Mariwan, a Kurdish adolescent, Kae Bahar tells the story of the Kurdish nation's struggle for independence.

Global Jewish Identities

Ephraim Meir

Around the world today we find several ways of belonging, of which full conversion is one option. Entire communities see themselves as Jewish without being formally recognized as such.

The Wobbly House

Ronit Matalon

On the presence of Arabic in Hebrew literature

Ronit Matalon: An Appreciation

Yiftach Ashkenazi

In memoriam of the stellar Mizrahi writer who rejected identity politics

This Time for Africa

Efy Halperin

Dr. Efy Halperin, an Israeli infectious disease specialist, spent several months volunteering in rural Uganda.

A Warm Tale of Human Foibles

Rachel Harris

Yirmi Pinkus reconstructs a 1980s Tel Aviv Ashkenazi enclave that is replete with charming vignettes but detached from the realities it aspires to hark back to.