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

The Road to Injustice

How Palestinians lost access to a main West Bank highway.

A Palestinian protester at Highway 443 near the West Bank village of Beit Urr, Friday, Jan. 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Kevin Frayer)

Arriving home in Israel after a semester teaching in New York, I got in a taxi at Ben-Gurion Airport and asked the cabbie to drive me to Jerusalem. "Take the main road, not Route 443," I said. Route 443 runs through the West Bank. When it was transformed from a country road to a highway in the 1980s, Palestinian land was expropriated under the legal fiction that the project's main purpose was to serve Palestinian residents of the area. Since 2002, however, the Israeli army has barred Palestinians from using it. I take 443 only when I must to cover a story.

After 43 Years, a Divided City

Most Israelis now ignore Jerusalem Day. It is time for some truth-telling.

An Ultra-Orthodox Jewish man looks at the Dome of the Rock Mosque in Jerusalem's old city. (AP Photo/Sebastian Scheiner)

Lest it be said that I never agree with anything that Benjamin Netanyahu says, I actually concur with one clause -- not a whole sentence -- in the speech he gave Tuesday evening. "The struggle for Jerusalem is a struggle for the truth," the prime minister of my country said.

Brokering With Bibi

The administration aims to change what Netanyahu does, rather than what he says. Is that enough?

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

A worldly colleague of mine once complained that with the demise of the Soviet-era Pravda, the intellectual joy went out of newspaper reading -- the satisfaction of examining photos for who wasn't on the dais, of studying statements for what wasn't said, in order to reason out the real news. He was too quick to mourn. Reading the text of the State Department's daily press briefing provides nearly the same pleasure and even sheds some light on what Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu is up to.

The Whistleblower's Story

A young Israeli soldier leaked documents alleging that generals broke the law. The whistleblower will pay. The brass probably won't.

Anat Kam (Flickr/The7eye.org)

Now that the Tel Aviv District Court has lifted its gag order on the Anat Kam affair, Israelis don't need foreign news sites to learn about the ex-soldier who allegedly leaked digitalized reams of classified documents to a reporter. That makes life easier for those whose English is weak, but the difference in public awareness probably isn't significant. The gag order had already insured intense curiosity. What the increased access should do is stir a serious debate about balancing freedom of the press and whistleblowing with secrecy and security -- a debate every democracy needs regularly.

Prime Minister Non Grata

Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with Obama was a disaster, and Israel's other allies are growing increasingly weary of the prime minister.

And your friends, Bibi, they treat you like a pest. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

Mr. Netanyahu wanted badly to go to Washington. He wanted to warm himself in the worship of thousands of delegates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual convention, far from the cacophony of his unruly ruling coalition. He knew that if he didn't get White House time during his visit, the media back home would report, chorally, that he'd caused a rift in relations with Israel's essential ally. To end the spat with the administration over Israeli construction in East Jerusalem, he made some half-publicized promises to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and got his invite to meet President Barack Obama.

And perhaps during this meeting he learned (if Benjamin Netanyahu ever learns) that you should be terribly careful what you wish for.

Pages