Revolutionary Yiddishland

Review of Revolutionary Yiddishland By Alain Brossart and Sylvia Klingberg Verso, £16.99 Not all Jews who emigrated to Israel in the last century were Zionists. Some Trotskyists, Bundists and loyal Communists went to Israel as a refuge from the Nazi inferno and Stalin’s gulag. Scarred by such murderous regimes, these survivors of Red Yiddishland represented the … Read more

On the Kasztner Affair

  Review of Paul Bogdanor’s Kasztner’s Crime (Transaction 2016) pp. 323 Paul Bogdanor has penned a well-researched book on the contentious Kasztner affair – a controversy that commenced in wartime Hungary and has continued until the present day. In the summer of 1944, a minor Jewish figure, Rudolf Kasztner, negotiated with Adolf Eichmann in the … Read more

60 Years after Suez

  “The Egyptian has his thumb on our windpipe”. So muttered Prime Minister Anthony Eden in July 1956 on hearing that President Gamal Abdel Nasser had nationalised the Suez Canal. It led to a clandestine agreement with then Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion for a joint military intervention – and Israel’s subsequent move into Sinai … Read more

Remembering Jenny Stolzenberg

MORE THAN anything, it was the abandoned shoes of the Holocaust that spoke most vividly to artist Jenny Stolzenberg about the suffering of concentration camp victims. Walking boots, high heeled shoes and baby bootees were turned into an art installation that reflected the full horror and pathos of those murdered by the Nazis. But Stolzenberg, … Read more

More on Shimon Peres

THE transformation of Szymon Perski from Vishnyeva in Belarus into Shimon Peres, a founding father of the state of Israel, is a reflection of how the Jews have moved from the margins of history to its mainstream after two millennia of dispersion and persecution. An urbane cultured man who spoke several languages and wrote poetry, … Read more

The Left’s Jewish Problem

  Review of Dave Rich’s The Left’s Jewish Problem: Jeremy Corbyn, Israel and Anti-Semitism (Biteback 2016) pp.292 Dave Rich has written an insightful overview of the troubled relationship between Jews and the British Left. The Left’s Jewish Problem traces the tortuous path trodden by the far Left during past decades – from the 1968 student revolts to the messianism of the Corbynistas today. Zionism … Read more

Ben-Gurion’s Last Years

  Review of Avi Shilon’s Ben-Gurion: His Later Years in the Political Wilderness (Rowman and Littlefield 2016) pp.245 This latest work from Avi Shilon describes in detail Ben-Gurion’s last decade – from stepping down as prime minister in June 1963 until his death in December 1973. They were not glorious years and were peppered by … Read more