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 After 7 October, the unease has been replaced by absolute terror.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.

Cassandra

Orian Zakai

“Tell them all that we love them to the moon and back”— the last message of the tatzpitaniyot (female lookouts) at the Nahal Oz outpost on October 7, 2023. The lookouts reportedly foresaw the events but their warnings were ignored. All but two were either murdered or taken hostage. A poem.

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.

True Love or a Marriage of Convenience?

Rachel Harris

A new book looks at the vicissitudes of the relationship between Hollywood and Israel.

A Tolerant City?

Alex Stein

A new book sheds light on the history of medieval Jerusalem but its conclusions are ultimately unconvincing.

Understanding Kahane

Paul Gross

A new biography of Meir Kahane shows how integral he was to the American-Jewish story. Do recent events now show how integral he is becoming to the Israeli story?

The Dilemmas of Victory

Vivian Cohen-Leisorek

Yishai Sarid's new novel about an Israeli military psychologist raises important questions about honor, loyalty, and truth.

The New New Antisemitism?

Abe Silberstein

Three recent books provide radically different answers to the question of whether and why antisemitism is on the rise.

The Winds of the Arts

Ayala Asherov

An ode to the Tel Aviv of yesteryear.

The Dynamic Bible

Olga Kirschbaum-Shirazki

An interview with the researcher and educator Pinchas Polonsky about his radical new approach to Bible commentary.

Holy Land

Ben Corvo

A poem on writing poetry in English while living in Israel.

Hope is a Woman’s Name

Amal Elsana Alh’jooj

An excerpt from the memoir of a trailblazing Israeli Bedouin women's activist.