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

Israeli Politics, Bankrupt

The impending indictment of Ehud Olmert for bribery and corruption points to a larger leadership vacuum in Israel.

Yossi Sarid entered Israel's parliament 34 years ago as one of two young, rising stars. The other was Ehud Olmert. Today, Olmert is prime minister, but the operative word here is "today." Last week, the police recommended to prosecutors that Olmert be indicted for bribery, money laundering, and other forms of corruption too numerous for anyone outside the fraud squad to keep track of. This Wednesday, Olmert's centrist Kadima party will vote for a new leader, potentially the country's next prime minister.

The Troubled Tourist

Travel is so broadening. It shows you other nations' narrow-mindedness, so that when you get home you can see your own more clearly.

All year long I write about tribal conflicts. In August, when Israeli tribal customs dictate vacation, I want to get away not just from e-mail but also from news, politics, and insistent national claims. But I'm not terribly good at it.

Waltz With Unbearable Memory

In his new documentary Waltz With Bashir, filmmaker Ari Folman explores his own inability to recall the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon as a means of considering how nations go to war, and how we judge what leaders do.

The tank rumbles north into Lebanon. The Israeli commander and another crew member are standing, their heads out of the hatches, singing boisterously. They're young men out on a road trip. Then the commander goes silent, hit by a bullet, and he dies inside the tank, as his stunned soldiers forget their training and what they are supposed to do next. A missile strikes the tank; flames blossom from it; the young men, naked of weapons, are running, zigzagging through bullets. Only one survives, finds shelter, and watches as the rest of his unit retreats. And this is only the outset of the journey from childhood toward the inferno.

36 Hours In Israel (With Barack Obama)

When John McCain visited Israel last March hardly anyone noticed. When Barack Obama did the same this week he caused a sensation.

It was the most choreographed of visits: Two nights and one day in Israel, seemingly designed by the kind of tour guide interested only in providing his charges with the ultimate number of snapshot opportunities at clichéd places -- from Obama wearing a white skullcap at Yad Vashem,to Obama at the Western Wall, in a white skullcap. There were no leaks while Barack Obama was in Israel, no drama, no gaffes -- to the disappointment of a vast media contingent intent only on bringing home gaffes as souvenirs -- and precious little sleep.

Five Questions Israel Should Ask Before Bombing Iran

After Iran's missile tests last week, the question of whether Israel will strike Iran preemptively is on everyone's mind. Here are five questions Israel should ponder before striking.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, right, talks with Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz during the weekly Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. Mofaz has said that an Israeli attack was "unavoidable." (AP Photo/David Silverman)

Friends in Washington send me e-mails: They want to know if Israel is getting ready to bomb Iran's nuclear installations. This is the Bush Era: If you will it, no Middle East war is impossible. And in the last few weeks, there has been a gale of hints, threats, and leaks. U.S. officials, none named, told The New York Times that an Israeli military exercise last month was "a rehearsal" for striking Iran. Shaul Mofaz, the remarkably mediocre ex-military chief of staff campaigning to succeed Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, said that an Israeli attack was "unavoidable."

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