Archive: Issue 5


A bus stop redesigned as a bomb shelter in a residential area of Sderot
20-Jan-2014 | admin

Since 2000 the city of Sderot has been a target of rockets fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel. British academic Dr Alan Craig visited its Media Centre and heard a message of civilian suffering and communal resilience.

Policy & Politics

A quenelle performed in front of the Jewish school Ozar Hatorah in Toulouse, France, where three school children and a rabbi-teacher were murdered in an antisemitic attack in 2012
03-Feb-2014 | admin

When the Premier League footballer Nicolas Anelka celebrated a goal by performing a quenelle salute he touched off a storm of protest. Dave Rich examines the phenomenon of the quenelle and asks why it is now so easy for raw, old-fashioned antisemitism to be inserted into contemporary radical politics.

Star of David painted onto a swastika karpidis/Flickr
03-Feb-2014 | admin

One of the cruellest aspects of the new antisemitism is its perverse use of the Holocaust as a stick to beat ‘the Jews.’ Lesley Klaff explains the phenomenon of ‘Holocaust Inversion.’

Israeli Arab school children, Um-al-Fahm, 24 November 2011 
EU Neighbourhood Information Centre/flickr
03-Feb-2014 | admin

‘Israel Apartheid Week’ is looming on campuses worldwide. In fact,  as this edited extract from a new ebook shows, Israel has done better in evening out the differences between its Jewish and Arab citizens than most countries encompassing sharply diverse nationalities. Liberal Oasis: The Truth About Israel is available online from Encounter Books. When the intifada erupted…

After the Holocaust, Deutscher came to believe that a Jewish state was ‘an historic necessity.’ Supporters of the Jewish Labour Bund rally in Warsaw in 1932
03-Feb-2014 | admin

The Polish historian and socialist Isaac Deutscher coined the term ‘the non-Jewish Jew’ to celebrate the tradition of Spinoza, Heine, Marx, and Trotsky. But he argued that internationalists must come to terms with the Holocaust and accept the ‘historic necessity’ of Israel.

Bedouin protest in Ber Sheva against government proposals, 28 June 2013 Mona Niebuhr/flickr
20-Jan-2014 | admin

An exciting new Bedouin Arab leadership is emerging in Israel’s Negev region. Younger, feminist, critical of both state policy and tribal culture, it is calling for a historic shift from victimhood to empowerment.


30-Jan-2014 | admin

Aluf Benn, Editor in Chief of Haaretz newspaper spoke to Fathom Editor Alan Johnson about the politics and the personality of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Isaac Herzog, Leader of the Israeli Labour Party
Miriam Alster/Flash90
30-Jan-2014 | admin

The newly elected Labour leader Isaac Herzog sat down with Fathom to discuss what the Britain-Israel relationship means to him, the golden opportunity he sees in the current peace process, and the challenge of building Israel as a multi-cultural society. He was interviewed in Jerusalem on 7 January by Toby Greene, the Fathom deputy editor and Richard Pater, Head of BICOM in Israel.

Dr. Olli Heinonen, former Deputy Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 
CSIS: Center for Strategic and International Studies/Flickr
30-Jan-2014 | admin

Amid the fanfare about the interim agreement reached in Geneva in November 2013 over Iran’s nuclear programme – the first time in 34 years that the Tehran regime and the United States reached a formal understanding – one critical aspect stood out: the true intentions of Iran’s leaders remain as disquietingly unclear now as they were when the existence of the nuclear programme was first revealed in 2002.

Former Chief of Staff Chaim Bar-Lev consults with a bandaged Major General Ariel Sharon during the 1973 Yom Kippur War
GPO/Flash 90
29-Jan-2014 | admin

Few individuals have had more impact on the history of the state of Israel than its former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who died on 11 January 2014 after being in a coma since 2006. To assess his legacy, Fathom deputy editor Toby Greene interviewed David Landau, former editor of Haaretz and the author of a major new biography of Ariel Sharon entitled Arik, published this month by Knopf.

Reviews & Culture

29-Jan-2014 | admin

In the first half of the 20th century, most Jews failed to find their way to a successful strategy for dealing with the threat of antisemitism. Some individuals emigrated, for example to Britain, the United States or Palestine. Some found their way into wider civil society, benefited from emancipation, and lived as citizens of European states. Some Jews found communal ways of continuing to live apart, in a changing world.

Yuval Erel
29-Jan-2014 | admin
29-Jan-2014 | admin

The eminent political scientist Seymour Martin Lipset described Daniel P. Moynihan as ‘the prescient politician’ for his suggestion, in 1979, that the Soviet system ‘could blow up in the 1980s’ as a result of economic crisis, ‘moral decay,’ ‘the rise in mortality rates [and] the nationality strains.’

29-Jan-2014 | admin

Israel, as Amos Oz once observed, was born out of a spectrum of dreams and visions, blueprints and masterplans. Some complementary, some contradictory, these dreams represent the federation of ideas that compose Zionism. Where these dreams quarrel with one another, there is the basis of political debate in Israel today.

Shlomo Avineri 
Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 2013. pp.274
28-Jan-2014 | admin

In his autobiography, Chaim Weizmann commented that Theodor Herzl was ‘not of the people’ despite being an inspiring leader and brilliant organiser. The author of this interesting book, the eminent Israeli academic and public intellectual, Shlomo Avineri, has not written a conventional biography of Herzl. Instead he has tried to capture the authentic and private man through his underutilised diary entries – a litany of frustrations, disappointments and silent fury at those who walked the corridors of power.

Still from the film Nico and 
the Velvet Underground, 
by Andy Warhol 
28-Jan-2014 | admin

When I was writing my book about the Jewish origins of punk, The Heebie-Jeebies at CBGB’s, I referred to Lou Reed as both the Alter Kocker (old fart) Indie Rocker and the Zayde (grandfather) of the movement. I still believe these titles fit the man, but in the wake of his recent death, I have come to see that he is deserving of a third. Like the figure in the Passover Seder that he played annually in public, Reed was the Wise Child. Unlike his brothers, the Wicked Child, the Simple Child, and the One Unable to Ask, he saw both the tragedy and triumph of Jewish history.

Raveh 5
28-Jan-2014 | admin

Both directors got the idea for their film from the same newspaper headline about a Shin-Bet agent murdered by the informant he worked closely with. The directors were both motivated by their personal involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (Adler was an intelligence officer in the occupied territories in his military service, while the Nazareth-born Abu…

Sayed Kashua
Flash 90
27-Jan-2014 | admin
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