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

As Children Die

M y son followed me out of the apartment and caught up with me as I leaned on the fence around the playground, shaking. "What's wrong, Dad?" he asked. He's used to a wordy father, but I couldn't find words, not then. I took a breath, slipped back on my journalist's emotional armor, went inside, and picked up the phone again to find out more about what happened to Tabarak Odeh. It was the morning of a cheerless Independence Day. We'd dropped the usual family hike in the hills west of Jerusalem because, with no fence separating Israel from the West Bank, there's no telling who might slip by the army patrols and look for an Israeli to kill. Then again, perhaps it was lack of will to celebrate that had kept us at home. I'd made pancakes for breakfast, promised the kids bike riding and stories, and taken a moment to check my e-mail. That's when my discomfort had begun. In the inbox I had found a message I'd been too busy to open the day before. A friend had passed on an appeal from the...

While the Mideast Burns:

"I have to drop some papers off at Zion Square," my wife told a fellow staffer at her office, a news bureau near downtown Jerusalem. "I'll be back in five." Her colleague pointed to one of the flak jackets that correspondents wear for covering battles. "Here," he said, "take this." It was dark newsroom humor. Jerusalemites don't wear flak jackets to visit Zion Square at the city center. After the latest downtown bombings, they just don't go there. The day Colin Powell took off for the Mideast, anxious Israeli parents delivered their kids to school at the end of a Passover vacation during which children were mostly kept indoors. A national educational strike called by the Parents' Association was canceled once the government agreed to provide security guards for all schools. For the moment, that seemed enough. A brittle, counterfeit calm had settled in our streets. The bleeding had moved to Jenin and Nablus, where Israeli troops battled Palestinians. It takes effort to remember that on...

A Belief in Force

T he ruling arrived like a letter from another era, written in strange script, waiting to be deciphered. In mid-February, the Israeli supreme court upheld a lower-court decision, thereby dismissing Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's libel suit against the Ha'aretz newspaper and its political commentator Uzi Benziman. At issue was a column Benziman wrote a decade ago on Sharon's record as defense minister during Israel's disastrous 1982 invasion of Lebanon. Benziman wrote that Prime Minister Menachem Begin -- still alive at the time -- knew "full well that Sharon deceived him" on the goals and conduct of that war. Sharon has spent years trying to erase the stain of the Lebanon War. Still, the latest legal defeat would seem to be the least of his troubles. A year after he won the premiership by promising to bring peace and security to Israel's citizens, Sharon has produced neither. The conflict with the Palestinians continues to escalate. The day of the court ruling, four Israelis died in...

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