Gershom Gorenberg

Gershom Gorenberg is a senior correspondent for The Prospect. He is the author of The Unmaking of Israel, of The Accidental Empire: Israel and the Birth of the Settlements, 1967-1977 and of The End of Days: Fundamentalism and the Struggle for the Temple Mount. He blogs at South Jerusalem. Follow @GershomG.

Recent Articles

The Trump Two-State Plan? Don't Make Me Laugh.

Trump is again promising an Israeli-Palestinian peace proposal. If it ever happens, it's likely to be a very bad joke. 

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer President Donald Trump addresses the 73rd session of the United Nations General Assembly D iplomats are trained in decorum. They call a bitter argument a “frank and cordial exchange of views.” They don't laugh out loud at national leaders addressing the UN General Assembly. Or at least they didn't until Tuesday. Because there's a point when honesty overcomes the most practiced professional self-control, and that point came when Donald Trump claimed that his administration has “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.” The polite diplomats laughed in unison. Who could blame them? I have a harder time understanding reporters who didn't respond in the same way the next day, when Trump spoke before his meeting at the United Nations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Trump said that he would publicize his plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace “over the next two to three to four months,” and that he now supports a two-...

Corbyn Makes the Zionist Case. Netanyahu Harms It. How's That for Irony?

British Labour is a long way from being done with its anti-Semitism problem.

AP Photo/Alastair Grant Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn listens to a question from the media at a political rally in central London F or the moment, the British Labour Party's anti-Semitism crisis is—well, not over or even recessed, but possibly on slightly lower volume. On Tuesday, the party's National Executive Committee (NEC) adopted the full definition of anti-Semitism that it earlier bowdlerized. Party leader Jeremy Corbyn's attempt to add a long statement diluting the decision failed, in a body normally seen as under his full control. The NEC vote might fulfill the Hebrew proverb “A clever person climbs out of a hole that a wise man doesn't fall into.” It could start a process of reconciliation between Labour and Britain's Jewish community, help what is supposed to be a progressive party purge itself of its own bigotry problem, and allow Labour to get on with fighting the train-wreck Tory government. Or maybe not, especially if another controversial Corbyn video or Facebook...

Middle East Diplomacy Didn't Save Nixon. It Won't Save Trump.

The president warns Israel it will have to pay a “higher price” in his peace plan. It's one more distraction.

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik President Donald Trump departs the East Room of the White House I n a week of political earthquakes, Donald Trump's riff at a rally of the faithful about the “higher price” that Israel will one day pay for moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem didn't move the seismograph needle much in America. For obvious reasons, in Israel it created more headlines and inspired more commentary. In part, that's because no one knows what Trump meant, or knows if he knew what he meant—as is so often the case. Still, I think it's worth attention in Trump's home territory, if only because it adds to the sense that Trump is working from the script of The Tragical History of Richard Nixon —but performing it as farce. For practical purposes, Trump is now an unindicted co-conspirator. And he is playing with the delusion that he'll save himself with brilliant Middle East peacemaking. The key bit in Trump's soliloquy comes after he tells how the world's leaders warned him not to move the...

Netanyahu Wakes Up Middle Israel

The Israeli prime minister’s Nation-State Law and its attack on a “model minority” has created a storm of protest, even among moderates.

(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)
(AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner) Druze Spiritual Leader Sheik Mowafaq Tafik, center, participates in a rally against the Nation-State Law on August 4, 2018 in Tel Aviv. A bunch of protesters held up signs in the visitors’ gallery of Israel’s parliament on Wednesday, and Speaker Yuri Edelstein of the ruling Likud Party ordered the ushers to eject them. He said their behavior was “shameful and disgusting.” The signs were large copies of Israel's Declaration of Independence. You’d think that would be an uncontroversial patriotic gesture. Not in Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel. The debate was a special session, called during the summer recess by the opposition to discuss the recently passed Nation-State Law. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni was at the podium, saying , “The government is tearing up the Declaration of Independence and with it, the entire nation.” The declaration has ceased being something high school students learn for tests and then semi-forget. Since the Nation-State Law passed...

Netanyahu Cements His Place in the Illiberal International

His new Nation State Law fits his friendship with the new autocrats.

Debbie Hill/Pool Photo via AP Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban during a joint press conference at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem T hese two things happened within a few hours of each other‫: Hungary's authoritarian leader, Victor Orban, landed in Israel as the warmly welcomed guest of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On a party-line vote, Israel's parliament passed Netanyahu's flagship piece of legislation, the Nation State Law—which enshrines second-class status for the country's Arab citizens as a constitutional principle. Coincidence? Yes, and no. Orban's visit wasn't orchestrated to celebrate Netanyahu's victory. The law passed in a rush before the Knesset recessed for the summer. The visit was planned separately That said, the timing was scarily perfect. The Nation State Law is a historic turning point in transforming Israel into an illiberal democracy. Netanyahu's embrace of Orban—and of other Central European...

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