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 House of Dispute

A house in Hebron has become the site of the latest battle over settlements in the West Bank. In a ruling last week, Israel's Supreme Court gave residents three days to clear out voluntarily, or face eviction.

The House of Dispute is a long, rectangular, four-story building on the east edge of Hebron. The street-level rooms are built as storefronts, facing the road leading to the Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba. Upstairs are living quarters. As I write, the people living in those quarters are settlers who moved in one night in March of last year.

The Case for Putting a Mideast Peace Agreement First

Barack Obama should address the need for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement sooner rather than later.

Time's up. Despite the bluster at George W. Bush's Potemkin peace conference in Annapolis one year ago, Israel and the Palestinians will not reach a peace agreement by the end of 2008. Please folks, don't all faint at once from surprise.

Barack Obama will inherit this mess, along with all the others. Very soon, he must decide how quickly to throw his weight behind Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, what to aim for, and how to succeed where so many others have failed.

An Israeli Looks at Obama

I was getting so many questions from friends and neighbors about how Obama stacked up on foreign policy, particularly as it concerned Israel, that it seemed time to sit down and review the facts.

A neighbor in Jerusalem asked me to write to his American father-in-law, who has been showering him with emails attacking Barack Obama. At a local bakery, the owner suggested in a whisper that I might talk sense to the tourist proclaiming in a New York accent, between sips of strong Israeli latte, that she was voting for John McCain. Old friends in California worry to me that elderly Jews in Miami think that McCain is better for Israel. "Remember 2000," they tell me darkly. Every vote counts.

A City United Against Itself

The Jerusalem mayoral race speaks to the sharp divisions within the city, and the lead candidate's culture-war appeal is a reminder of how ugly politics can get.

Nir Barkat wants to be mayor of Jerusalem. It would be an impressive job title. On a world scale, Jerusalem is a small city, with fewer people than Austin or Indianapolis. But it is the capital of Israel -- and of three religions' myths. Teddy Kollek, who served as mayor for 28 years, was better known internationally than many heads of state. His successor, Ehud Olmert, went on to become Israel's prime minister.

Barkat, however, is a singularly unimpressive candidate for the job. For his supporters in the Nov. 11 election, the former high-tech entrepreneur's appeal is purely in his identity as a secular Jew. For them, he represents an opportunity to end the ultra-Orthodox political hegemony of recent years in the Holy City.

The Progressive Imam

A liberal mosque in Cape Town is a reminder of Islam's complexity and a promise that change can come from the Islamic periphery.

Claremont Main Road Mosque is tucked between auto dealerships, bargain electronics emporiums, and fast-food joints in the southern suburbs of Cape Town. The street is gritty, four lanes wide, awash with engine noise from the minivans that provide public transportation between Cape Town and the townships around it. The mosque, 150 years old, predates all this. My cab driver drove past it twice. I found it by the Islamic green of its high, peaked roof.

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