Israel’s disengagement from the Gaza Strip was fifteen years ago, but to me it feels like yesterday. In this interlude, author Daniella Levy joins me to discuss the fiction work which she wrote to engage this complex event. Along the way we speak about Tisha B’Av, what it means to be an immigrant and how one can tell a true story from multiple perspectives.

Class three in the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. This time we explore the formation of Eastern European Enlightenment within the Pale of Settlement, along with the rise of nationalist thought across Europe. Add to this the resurgence of antisemitism within Russia and you have the context for Leon Pinsker’s work Auto-emancipation.

Class two of the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. This class explores the tension between particularism and universalism as it found expression in the utopian socialist movements of the 19th century. In that context we meet Moses Hess, whose roots as a socialist did not prevent him from writing one of the earliest works of Jewish nationalism.

The first in the ‘Heralds of Zion’ series. After introducing the two essential elements of Zionism, we explore its roots in classical religious thinking and how even this underwent an evolution in the 19th century.

Just as surely as Shabbat follows the six days of the week, there was a day after the Six Day War. When the guns ceased and the discussion began, the framing of Israel’s victory became the new battlefield. The final episode of the season traces the path to UN Resolution 242, and uncovers some of its roots as well.

Photo Credit: Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe, 5 March 2015, 21:14, Earth – Africa, Middle East and Europe Kevin Gill from Nashua, NH, United States

There are certain qualities which, when they manifest, define one’s story -determination is one of them. Here is the story of the conquest of the Golan and the close of the war, events which will determine much of the chapters to come.

Photo Credit: Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 4.0,

What do you see as the greatest miracles in Jewish History? In many ways, how you answer indicates your understanding of history altogether. This episode deals with the first three days of the war, including the return of Am Yisrael to Jerusalem – I leave it up to you to decide where the miracle lies.

Going into battle may take bravery, but waiting demands a certain type of courage as well. This episode lays out the final steps of the build up to the Six Day War, known in Israeli history as “the waiting”, and the tension which builds in these three weeks will soon explode into war.

I can’t watch what is happening in silence, but nor am I willing to simply be a cheerleader for chaos. Here are some thoughts on structural violence and what we can all learn from the murder of George Floyd.

The countdown to war is progressing, and the pieces are almost all in place. As the pressure mounts, some of the fundamental flaws which lie at the heart of the Zionist project are exposed. The question which arises in this episode is – will Israel go it alone?

Photo Credit: Government Press Office (Israel), CC BY-SA 3.0,

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