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

Peace and Archaeology in the Middle East

Disputes and compromises over preservation in the Holy Land have a lot to teach those trying to broker peace in the region. Perhaps Condoleezza Rice should consider those lessons in shaping U.S. policy.

The sign caught my eye: It held far more than the intended meaning. It hung on a corrugated metal fence in the antiquities park that faces the southwest corner of the Temple Mount, and it said:

Archaeological Excavation
Danger of Avalanche
Do Not Enter

You can read that as a simple description of physical peril. Last winter, when I visited the same spot, Israel Antiquities Authority laborers were carefully removing buckets of dirt from a pit just behind where the fence now stands. Others were digging into a nearby slope, with sandbags steadying the damp hillside. Soon after, the excavation was halted. A careless tourist wandering in here might bring everything tumbling down, despite work done afterward to stabilize the site.

A Note to Hillary on Jerusalem Disunited

An open letter to Hillary Clinton, telling her what life is really like in Jerusalem and informing her that her stand on uniting the city isn't half the plan her husband proposed in 2001.

Dear Hillary,

A colleague alerted me to your recent position paper on Israel, with your promise of support for an "undivided Jerusalem." I appreciate the warm feelings, but I admit I was confused by your description of my city. Since you are a careful, wonky candidate, I figured you must have details at your disposal. So this morning I called a Palestinian cabby friend, and together we went looking for the "undivided Jerusalem."

Judging Israel's Alleged Strike in Syria

Israeli officials won't confirm that they were behind a military raid in northern Syria, so information about it has come from the usual unreliable sources.

JERUSALEM -- It's an Entebbe moment, or at least an Entebbe remake, expected to conjure up a warm memory of the original euphoria inspired by Israel's legendary 1976 rescue of hostages in Uganda. The Israeli air force and commandos have struck, ridiculously far from home, dealing a blow precisely where it was needed, so that in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem we know that our boys are still the most daring ones around, and so that the bad guys know we can still get them whenever we want, right through their back window. Ergo, we are safer. True, we don't know exactly why the blow was needed at that place, somewhere on the northern edge of Syria. The bad guys are angry, they say they will strike back, but are so embarrassed about what we allegedly hit they won't say what it was.

The Israeli Government's Genocide Politics

How Israel's top officials are turning a blind eye to both the decades-old genocide in Armenia and the present-day plight of refugees from Darfur.

A Sudanese refugee family sit on the ground in front of an Israeli soldier after they crossed illegally from Egypt into Israel. Israel said in August it would turn away refugees from Darfur. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

The Armenian museum in Jerusalem consists of three rooms tucked away off an Old City courtyard. In the room describing all of Armenian history, one end is dedicated to the Armenian genocide of 1915. A dozen blurry photos show horrors: the corpse of a naked, starved child; Ottoman soldiers posing behind on a pedestal on which rest bearded heads; more human heads lined up on shelves. A couple of brief texts tell the entire story of how a doomed empire sought to slaughter a minority. The photos are curling at the edges; the plaster on the walls is peeling. In the hour I spent at the museum recently, I was mostly alone.

And the Land Was Troubled for 40 Years

As the Six Day War ended, Israeli leaders said that the occupation of Palestine was colonial and dangerous.

An Israeli border guard proclaims a curfew in East Jerusalem to take a census of the Arab population, June 1967. Photo by the Associated Press.

The hillside below us is a terraced vineyard, or was until the bulldozers came. There's a sharp smell of sage and recent rain, and the steady grind of heavy machinery. It is a cold day; a Palestinian man with a black stocking cap pulled over his headscarf stands in the stiff breeze, his face blank, watching as the two big shovels push aside greenery and the stone walls that support the terraces and leave a wound of red clay.