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

Barack's Pilgrimage

The trip that future president Obama needs to take to Israel is not the one that candidate Obama can risk.

Sometime in the weeks ahead, Jerusalem will receive the latest in a long line of American political pilgrims -- Barack Obama. Obama's entire overseas swing will be a tightrope act -- necessary, but unforgiving of a single stumble. Nowhere will the contradictory purposes of the trip be more constricting than in Israel. The visit he should actually make to prepare for the presidency is impossible. But it's worth imagining, if only as a yardstick to measure what politics allows him to do.

A New Legal Challenge to Israeli Settlements

In a pioneering court case, Israeli human rights activists are asking the Supreme Court to grant an order to demolish homes being built on Palestinian land in the West Bank.

The photo, taken from the air, shows the red roofs of the houses of Ofrah, one of the best-known Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Between the existing houses one can make out the shells of nine new homes under construction. Computer-overlaid thin green lines show the division of the land on which the settlement sits -- parcels owned by Palestinian residents of the nearby village of Ein Yabrud. The photo is Exhibit A in a lawsuit filed earlier this month by five residents of Ein Yabrud, with the backing of two Israeli human-rights groups. The residents are asking Israel's Supreme Court for an order to demolish the homes being built on their land.

Tough Like Tzipi

As Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni prepares her run for prime minister while Hillary Clinton ends her run for president, the question becomes: How tough must a female candidate be?

One line of Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's resume has always been an enigma. From 1980 to 1984, it says, Livni served in the Mossad. This week, some details of her work in the ultra-secretive espionage agency emerged in the Sunday Times of London. While based in Paris, an acquaintance told the paper, "Tzipi was not an office girl. … She blended in well in European capitals, working with male agents, most of them ex-commandos, taking out Arab terrorists." Her closest female partner was Mira Gal, who is now Livni's bureau chief at the Foreign Ministry, the Times said, hinting at a sisterhood of old spooks.

Losing Lebanon

Violence has shaken Lebanon as Hezbollah, backed by Iran, resists efforts by the nation's pro-western government to weaken its power.

The time, according to Hilal Khashan, was 10 minutes past the ceasefire. That was another way of saying 10 minutes after another Hezbollah victory, Khashan explained. I phoned Khashan -- head of the political science department at Beirut's American University -- several days into Lebanon's latest armed upheaval. He spoke in a strangely dispassionate tone I've heard before in Jerusalem and Ramallah, the voice of a man taking refuge from chaos in careful analysis.

The Mideast Editing Wars

The hawkish pro-Israel group CAMERA's campaign to warp Wikipedia articles was ineffectual. But it's a warning not to trust the online encyclopedia -- and to be wary of partisan "accuracy" advocates in the Israeli-Palestinian Narrative War.

"We will go to war," reads the ungrammatical email, "after we have build our army, equipped it, trained… so if you want to win this war help us build our army."