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

Not Yet an Intifada

Recent attacks in Israel do not represent an uprising, but despair expressed with knives. 

AP Photo/Ariel Schalit
AP Photo/Ariel Schalit Israeli border police officer search a Palestinian youth at Damascus Gate of the Jerusalem's Old City in Jerusalem's ahead of Friday prayers, Friday, October 23, 2015. T he day passes quietly, which only seems like a deception. At 7:55 in the evening, the phones in the house start beeping news alerts. Sanity would require turning off the news notifications. Anxiety requires keeping them on. The first bulletin on that particular evening says there is a shooting attack in the central bus station in Beersheba, in southern Israel. (I choose which attack to tell you about nearly randomly; the beeping news feels the same each time.) At least five people have been wounded. The number will go up; it always does. The next alert, nine minutes later, says there are two terrorists in the station. By 8:17 p.m. a two-sentence bulletin says one attacker has been shot dead, and the other wounded, but an angry crowd won't let the ambulance crew get to him. At 8:36, one of the...

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...