Thoughtful debate elevates us all. In For Heaven’s Sake, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain revive the Jewish art of constructive discussion on topics related to political and social trends in Israel, Israel-Diaspora relations, and the collective consciousness of being Jewish.
The Fight of Return
The Law of Return stipulates that any Jew can return to the Jewish homeland and claim immediate Israeli citizenship. Who qualifies as a Jew, under that law, has been a source of contention throughout the history of the state. Netanyahu's newly-formed coalition government may seek to change major aspects of the law, bringing the debate back into the public conversation. On this episode, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain maneuver through thought-provoking questions about belonging to the Jewish people. Is Israel the state of the Jewish people or is it the state of Judaism? Who should be defined as Jews? Is Jewishness an ethnicity, a set of religious observances, or both?
What's Next for Liberalism in Israel?
In the fallout of Israel's election, Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi, and Elana Stein Hain navigate the strangeness of this moment for many in the liberal Jewish camp who are experiencing it as a moment of mourning. In this episode they ask: How do Jews who oppose the values of the coming governing Israeli coalition make themselves heard right now? Can Israel learn from Americans' experience under Trump? Is it possible to build bridges with extremists, and is it possible to separate peoples' ideologies from the candidates they support?
Israeli Election: The Aftermath
This is a recording of a live event held on November 1, 2022. In the minutes before the election results come in, Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi discuss the campaign and then reflect on the right's electoral victory and what it portends for the State of Israel, the future of Zionism, and the Jewish people.
Ben Gvir: Nightmare for Netanyahu or the Left?
Only two years ago, Netanyahu declared that Itamar Ben Gvir, the most popular leader on the far-right with deep roots in the racist Kahanist movement, wasn’t fit to be a minister. Now, Netanyahu affirms that he would be a part of any future government. Will a coalition with Ben Gvir unravel the social fabric of Israel? Is the threat he represents exaggerated? How should Israeli liberals and moderates respond? Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi discuss Israel's upcoming fateful and potentially dangerous election.
Register here for Donniel and Yossi's Election Day livestream on Tuesday, Nov 1, 10:30pm Israel / 3:30pm Eastern.
What are Israelis Saying with Their Votes?
Israeli voters have been stalwart in their political party loyalties and no amount of campaigning seems able to sway them. When voters define themselves by their party, what values are they actually expressing? Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain ask what are the meaningful divisions that we can discern within the parties themselves and is the political divide an expression of ideological, tribal, or cultural divides?
#57: "Jewish Calendar = Israeli Calendar?"
What can public and private observances of Rosh Hashana teach us about the relationship between Jewishness and Israeliness today? Donniel Hartman, Yossi Klein Halevi and Elana Stein Hain explore how the High Holidays are experienced in Israel, what this tells us about the state of Judaism and Jewish identity in the country, and how Israeli observance is different from that of American Jews.