Moment reached out to an eclectic group to ask: which event most defined the last half-century of the Israeli experience?
Born in Haifa to Eastern European immigrants, Harari now lives with his husband in a moshav outside Jerusalem. A vegan deeply distressed by the suffering of domesticated animals, Harari meditates daily (plus a 60-day silent retreat each year). He does this, he says, to understand more fully the nature of human consciousness and “human dissatisfaction.” Moment talks with Harari about the role of technology in politics and the rise of big data, as well as topics Harari does not usually discuss, such as Judaism and Israel.
“I used to think I knew what Islam was about. Yet as I came to know more Muslims personally and learned more about their faith, I realized that much of what I knew was either flat-out wrong or grossly misguided.”
As the subtitle of the book says, we live in a rootless age. People everywhere, not just Jews, seek their roots, their ancestry, their genetic makeup. We yearn to discover who we are; alas, our tools are not always up to the task. But there is pleasure in the pursuit, and we should be grateful to Weitzman for being a reliable guide.
Guy Laron’s challenging new book, The Six-Day War: The Breaking of the Middle East, is well worth reading even though Laron, a lecturer in international relations at Hebrew University, focuses too much on the war’s international context and, at times, relies too heavily upon unsubstantiated speculation
Bulgaria. How little thought I had ever given to Bulgaria, but here it is in the vivid, fast-paced, fascinating new novel The Shadow Land by Elizabeth Kostova. Author of the best-selling novel The Historian, Kostova is a writer who knows how to keep you in suspense, to frighten and amaze you, all while building characters whose fate will matter to you more and more as she reveals a whole country, its history, its tragedy, its politics, its scenery and its sad beauty.
The term “anti-Semitism” has evolved. As scholarship on the subject grew, the available vocabulary expanded. Today, its definition—and its boundaries—are uncertain. “Anti-Semitism” is but one of a convoluted, interconnected web of similar words—including “anti-Judaism,” “anti-Zionism,” “Judeophobia” and “Zionophobia.”
Fifty years. More than half of them, many more, have been years of acrimony. Was the Six-Day War just a great triumph—or a triumph whose consequence is grave devastation? Was it worth it? Pick the facts that support your viewpoint: The 1967 war resulted in overconfidence that brought about the 1973 war; the 1967 war convinced some Arab leaders that Israel was no longer weak and that removing it by force was not a realistic option; the war enabled Jews to settle the more important regions of its ancient homeland; the war put Israel in charge of territory occupied by Palestinians.