Words of the Week: Israel Story

On August 9, 2001, 22-year-old Izz al-Din al-Masri blew himself up at a Sbarro branch in downtown Jerusalem, killing 15 people and injuring over 130. This particular terrorist attack is still etched in the nation’s collective memory. In our episode today, we hear from those most affected by the tragedy.”

Source: “Sbarro – Twenty Years Later.” A transcript for this latest episode of the Israel Story podcast is available on the website.

Words of the Week: Howard Jacobson

“Zionism is the expression of a people’s soul: It is a longing and a necessity, a Utopian fantasy, an understanding of history, a solution, an act of reasoning, an act of despair, a prayer, a poem, and a song. Hate the poetry of my soul and you hate me.”

Source: Howard Jacobson’s “Advice to a Jewish Freshman,” a must-read from the latest Sapir Journal.

UPDATE: I’ve just learned that Jacobson will discuss this essay with Sapir’s editor-in-chief Bret Stephens next Thursday, November 18. Details/Zoom registration can be found here.

Words of the Week: Daniel Gordis and Cynthia Ozick

I found Ozick’s essay—obviously insightful and brilliantly written, since it’s Ozick—unfathomably depressing. Mostly, I think, because though it was written almost half a century ago, it could have been written this week. Ozick was simply prescient; if many of us are still surprised at the resurgence of antisemitism in America, Ozick would tell us that we shouldn’t be. After all, she said 47 years ago, all the world wants the Jews dead. And as for the distinction between antisemitism and anti-Zionism, Esquire Magazine saw fit to emphasize Ozick’s fundamental claim:

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