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

Orthodox, Progressive, Invisible

There’s a price for treating religious groups as homogenous political blocs.

(Photo: AP/Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
(Photo: AP/Al Drago/CQ Roll Call) Orthodox Jews gather on Capitol Hill on September 9 to protest the Iran nuclear agreement. While a more than half of Orthodox Jews (and evangelical Christians) might identify with the GOP, according to a recent Pew study, it's important to remember that there's a nearly one-in-two chance that an Orthodox Jew is an Independent or Democrat. M y family was once asked to host a pair of Southern Baptists for Friday night dinner. That, in any case, was how they were described in the email from our synagogue. Our South Jerusalem synagogue often hosts non-Jewish groups from abroad who want to meet religious Israeli Jews. My wife and I decided beforehand to keep the conversation off politics, American or Israeli. Word had reached our far side of the globe that Southern Baptists were seriously conservative and supported the Israeli right. We didn’t want to give offense or ruin the Sabbath atmosphere with a conversation that started at pianissimo and ended at...

Netanyahu Has Lost on the Iran Deal, But Won't Leave the Table

Will the Iran fight make it easier for Democratic politicians to criticize the occupation?


AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File
AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner, File In this Sunday, June 7, 2015, file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the weekly cabinet meeting in his Jerusalem office. B enjamin Netanyahu speaks American. From the start of his public career, his accent has convinced many people that he also gets America. No one has acted more convinced of this than the Israeli prime minister himself. If anyone still needs proof that this is a misconception, this week should provide it. Senator Barbara Mikulski's announcement Wednesday that she'll support the Iran deal provided the 34 th votes that Barack Obama needs in the Senate—and marked the defeat of Netanyahu's ill-considered campaign in the American political arena against the agreement. Just because he has the accent doesn't mean he has the acumen. While we wait to see if President Obama lines up enough senators to filibuster a resolution against the Iran deal, here are some lessons from this fight: No stratagem : Forget the...

Deterrence, and that Truck in Austria

Anyone serious about countering extremism in the Middle East should be doing much more for refugees.

AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool
AP Photo/Rick Wilking, Pool Secretary of State John Kerry, left, shakes hands with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland Wednesday, January 14, 2015. " Deterrence" is the hot word of the summer. Ex-diplomat Dennis Ross and ex-general David Petraeus wrote that they could support the Iran deal if President Obama supplies more deterrence against Iran breaking it. Columnist Thomas Friedman argued that Israelis should see the up side of the agreement, "especially if the U.S. enhanced its deterrence." Friedman didn't suggest how to do that. But ex-Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, coming out for the deal, gave details. The administration's "robust deterrence," she wrote in support of the deal, includes stepped-up "efforts to counter Iranian proxies" and provides Israel with the sophisticated, fabulously expensive F-35 warplane. Obama himself, in his letter to Representative Jerry Nadler, gave a long list of ways he's boosting deterrence...

Israel as a Republican State of Mind

Mike Huckabee's pilgrimage is another sign of the blurred lines between American and Israeli politics. 

AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner
AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee gestures as he speaks during a press conference in Jerusalem, Wednesday, August 19, 2015. M ike Huckabee met reporters Wednesday at the Waldorf-Astoria on a campaign stop. This particular Waldorf-Astoria was in downtown West Jerusalem. Huckabee wanted to talk about Iran. The folks with microphones and cameras mostly wanted him to talk about his previous campaign event. That was a fundraiser at the Israeli settlement of Shilo in the West Bank—or as Huckabee insistently called the area, "Judea and Samaria," which he said was part of Israel. The journalists' interrogation grew fiercer, and the ex-governor of Arkansas said time was up. As he made his escape, a foreign correspondent sitting strategically near the door asked: "Do you also think Gaza is part of Israel?" and another said, "Would you be the first president to abandon the two-state solution?" "I'm not sure," Huckabee replied to one question or the other...

What a No Vote on the Iran Deal Would Mean

To keep their seats safe, Chuck Schumer and Brad Sherman are willing to make Israel much less safe. 

Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/AP Images
Al Drago/CQ Roll Call/AP Images Senator Chuck Schumer arrives for a news conference after the Senate Policy luncheons in the Capitol, Tuesday, August 4, 2015. I n the least plausible alternative version of my life, I would have stayed in the San Fernando Valley rather than leaving Los Angeles over 40 years ago and moving not long afterward to Jerusalem. In that scenario, I'd be represented in Congress by Democrat Brad Sherman—and I might be less infuriated by his recent announcement that he'll vote against the Iran deal, because if I were an Angeleno rather than an Israeli, his decision wouldn't pose a threat to me, my neighbors and my country. At this distance of years and miles, I don't normally pay much attention to an L.A. congressman, but a random tweet alerted me to Sherman's statement . New York Senator Chuck Schumer's declaration that he'll vote against the accord made more headlines, and is even more upsetting, given the relatively greater weight of each vote in the Senate...