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

What We Talk About When We Shout About Iran

The real argument isn't about the fine print. It's about Obama, Netanyahu, and the value of diplomacy.

(Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)
(Photo: AP/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) President Barack Obama answers questions about the Iran nuclear deal during a news conference at the White House on July 15. I n the week since the Iran deal was announced, we’ve been watching the political theater of reactions to it. As with most theater, the first thing for the audience to remember is that the dialogue is deceptive. The characters skirt what's really on their minds. In the Iran drama, America and Israel have become virtually one stage. Ostensibly the argument in both countries and between them is whether the agreement is a success or a surrender. But if it were a real debate about the accord itself, there would have been a long silence after the Vienna press conference, as ex-diplomats, retired generals, and the Strangelove-ian community of nuclear arms experts pored over the dense 159-page text. Instead, a host of politicians, lobbyists, and talking heads responded almost immediately. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu...

A Note to Hillary on Boycotts and Settlements

It's time for Clinton to clarify her positions on Israel and Palestine. 

AP Photo/Jin Lee
AP Photo/Jin Lee Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks after receiving the American Jewish Congress' lifetime achievement award on Wednesday, March 19, 2014, in New York. D ear Hillary, It's hard to believe a whole eight years have gone by. Again, you're running for president. Again, you've made an early policy statement intended to prove your support for Israel, written to fit the catechism of the self-proclaimed guardians of the pro-Israel faith. And again, as I watch the bizarre rites of American politics from the eastern edge of the Mediterranean, I feel uneasy. Do you believe what you are saying and implying to donors and voters? Do you intend to act accordingly as president? Today, with the State Department as well as the Senate on your résumé, surely you know that American policy commitments—and your actual support for livable future for Israel—will take you in a different direction. You've been through this. Eight years ago, early in your last campaign, you...

The U.N. Gaza Report: Grim, but Even-Handed

AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, File
AP Photo/Hatem Moussa, File In this July 29, 2014 file photo, smoke and fire from an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City. P oliticians, speechwriters and even some headline-writers had their reactions ready in advance—or so it appeared when the McGowan Davis Report on last summer's war in Gaza was published this week by the U.N. Human Rights Council. Why bother studying it when prejudging is so much easier? "Flawed and biased" is how Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu quickly labeled the report. A week earlier, Netanyahu said that reading the report would be a waste of time, so one can reasonably doubt that he bothered doing so. Some government spokespeople initially referred to it as the Schabas Report, as if it had been written by the original chair of the investigating panel—Canadian law professor William Schabas—who quit months ago when it emerged that he'd done paid legal work for the PLO. The mass-circulation tabloid Yediot Aharonot 's oversized headline called it "The...

Why Bibi and the BDS Movement Need Each Other

The boycott movement provides Israel's prime minister with a useful enemy, and he reciprocates with valuable publicity.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the 15th Herzeliya Conference in Herzeliya, Israel, Tuesday, June 9, 2015. " We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the State of Israel," Benjamin Netanyahu warned in a statement to the media before a recent cabinet meeting. A warning like that from Israel's prime minister isn't new. Neither was his identifying the threat as a modern expression of eternal anti-Semitism. "It is not connected to our actions. It is connected to our very existence. ... Now, this is a phenomenon that we have known in the history of our people. ... They said we are the foundation of evil in the world. They said that we are the poisoners of the wells of humanity." That's all classic Netanyahu rhetoric. The twist was that he wasn't talking about the Iranian regime, but about what he portrayed as a powerful international campaign to isolate and boycott Israel. Why now? In comparison, Netanyahu's "this is 1938 and...

The Soldier's Story

What happens when one corporal speaks out about how the occupation corrupts Israel.

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit Members of an Israeli military honor guard conduct a rehearsal ahead of a Memorial Day ceremony at Kiryat Shaul military cemetery in Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, April 20, 2015. C orporal Shachar Berrin's commander in the Israeli army sentenced him to a week in prison. His brother emailed me to let me know so I wouldn't be surprised when the story eventually broke in the news. Shachar's offense, as handwritten on a disciplinary form, was participating "in a political meeting, while in uniform, in the presence of the media." That's partly true: He was in uniform, and TV cameras were recording. But it wasn't a political meeting. And judging from circumstances, the real reasons for his quick trial and sentence were the presence of right-wing activists and what he said about serving in the West Bank in daily interaction with Palestinians. "When soldiers, when we, are conditioned and persuaded on a daily basis to subjugate and humiliate people... I think that seeps in...