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A weekly exploration of one key issue shaping Israel and the Jewish World right now.

What Matters Now The Times of Israel

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A weekly exploration of one key issue shaping Israel and the Jewish World right now.

    What Matters Now to Prof. Jan Grabowski: Appropriation of Holocaust terms in Gaza war

    What Matters Now to Prof. Jan Grabowski: Appropriation of Holocaust terms in Gaza war

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World.

    This week, host Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with Holocaust historian Prof. Jan Grabowski, the author of "The Hunt for the Jews."

    We discuss how in recent decades the lexicon associated with the Holocaust has been usurped and recycled for any number of political purposes. Most recently, the terminology is showcased during Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza and accusations against the Jewish state of genocide have led international news.

    We ask Grabowski, who is currently conducting research in Israel, about the use of terms such as "genocide" and "Nazi" during a period that the University of Ottawa professor calls "a-historic."

    He speaks about the challenges of educating at western universities today -- especially as some students are calling for their Jewish peers and faculty to “go back to Europe.”

    So this week, we ask Prof. Jan Grabowski, What Matters Now.

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

    IMAGE: Prof. Jan Grabowski (Katarzyna Markusz)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 34分
    What Matters Now to Haviv Rettig Gur: The weakness of international law

    What Matters Now to Haviv Rettig Gur: The weakness of international law

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World. This week, host deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur.

    On Tuesday, the United Nations published an annual report on children in armed conflict, which for the first time added the Israeli military, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to its list of worst offenders. The decision to add the IDF to what has become known as “the list of shame” was due to what the report said was its killing and maiming of children and attacking schools and hospitals. Israel asserts that it operates according to international law, taking steps to avoid civilian casualties.

    And on Wednesday, a UN inquiry alleged both Israel and Hamas committed war crimes in the early stages of the Gaza war, saying Israel’s actions also constituted crimes against humanity because of the immense civilian losses, and that they included acts of “extermination.”

    This week, we discuss the use of international bodies to delegitimize Israel and how international law -- developed in part by Jews -- no longer protects the little guys.

    So this week, we ask Haviv Rettig Gur, What Matters Now?

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

    IMAGE: Israel's legal team waits to hear the arguments of South Africa's legal team as part of South Africa case against Israel over Rafah offensive at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague, on May 16, 2024. (Nick Gammon / AFP)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 35分
    What Matters Now to archaeologist Jodi Magness: Ever-changing, eternal Jerusalem

    What Matters Now to archaeologist Jodi Magness: Ever-changing, eternal Jerusalem

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World. This week, host deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with archaeologist Prof. Jodi Magness.

    This Wednesday, Israel marked Jerusalem Day, which celebrates the reunification of Jerusalem following the 1967 Six-Day War.

    But the capital has a rich and fascinating history of rulership changes since its foundation in circa 1000 BCE.

    Magness just published her latest book, "Jerusalem Through the Ages: From Its Beginnings to the Crusades," through Oxford University Press. She stopped by The Times of Israel's Jerusalem offices to speak about the ancient eternal city's rulerships and populations throughout the eras.

    “Jerusalem Through the Ages” is a 700-page weighty tome that delves into the city’s history through archaeological evidence and also texts, including the Bible and extra-biblical material such as the Egyptian Amarna Letters.

    Magness is Kenan Distinguished Professor for Teaching Excellence in Early Judaism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of 11 books, including "Masada: From Jewish Revolt to Modern Myth," "Stone and Dung, Oil and Spit: Jewish Daily Life in the Time of Jesus," and "The Archaeology of Qumran and the Dead Sea Scrolls." From 2011 until 2023, Magness directed excavations at Huqoq in Israel’s Galilee and uncovered its breathtaking mosaics.

    So this Jerusalem Day, we take a quick break from our current war and ask archaeologist Prof. Jodi Magness, what mattered then?

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

    IMAGE: Prof. Jodi Magness in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre, on April 11, 2022. (Amanda Borschel-Dan/The Times of Israel)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 46分
    What Matters Now to legal expert Cochav Elkayam-Levy: Denialism of Oct. 7 sexual violence

    What Matters Now to legal expert Cochav Elkayam-Levy: Denialism of Oct. 7 sexual violence

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World. This week, host deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan speaks with legal expert Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy.

    October 7 was not the first time that rape was weaponized in warfare. If history teaches anything, it also won’t be the last.

    Almost immediately following Hamas’s murderous onslaught on southern Israel, humanitarian law expert Elkayam-Levy established and now heads The Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children.

    Elkayam-Levy is a Sophie Davis Post-Doctoral Fellow at Hebrew University’s Leonard Davis Institute’s program on Gender, Conflict Resolution and addition to lecturing at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and at Reichman University, she, along with her staff, has poured over thousands of pieces of documentation that chronicle Hamas’s systemic use of rape and sexual violence against women.

    The silence and lack of condemnation of this violence from international bodies, including the 30-year-old United Nations office of the Special Rapporteur on violence against women, has been deafening to Israeli women. But domestically, Elkayam-Levy was recently awarded the Israel Prize, the highest honor the state of Israel bestows, as well as other honors.

    Borschel-Dan visited the headquarters of the Civil Commission on Oct. 7th Crimes by Hamas against Women and Children for a wide-ranging conversation. Listener discretion is advised.

    So this week, we ask Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy, what matters now?

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

    IMAGE: Law prof Dr. Cochav Elkayam-Levy (Martine Hami)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 36分
    What Matters Now to Rav Doron Perez: Life after his hostage son's death

    What Matters Now to Rav Doron Perez: Life after his hostage son's death

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World, hosted by deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan.

    A month before the Hamas onslaught on Israel's south that would claim the life of his son, Rav Doron Perez inked a deal to translate to Hebrew his English-language book, "The Jewish State From Opposition to Opportunity: A Vision for Unity in Israel and Why the World Needs It."

    In the book, the Johannesburg-born Executive Chairman of the Mizrachi World Movement, also a member of the board of the World Zionist Organization, aims to use an "old-new spiritual approach to the Jewish state," in part to help bridge the country's widening gaps.

    And then, on October 7, the Perez family suffered a double blow in learning that eldest son Yonatan was injured and second child Daniel was missing. It was only after 163 days of uncertainty that the family learned that Daniel was indeed killed on that bloody Saturday after a heroic battle for the protection of Nachal Oz.

    Now, Perez is reconciling this unmeasurable loss with his staunch Religious Zionism, even as some in Israel would give in to a very understandable anger and blame.

    This week on What Matters Now, we talk about the past almost eight months in which the family incrementally learned of Daniel’s fate.

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

    IMAGE: In this 2021 image, Rav Doron Perez (center) poses with his two soldier sons Yonatan (left, then 22) and Daniel (then 20), who was slain on October 7, 2023, and his remains captured by Hamas and taken to Gaza. (courtesy)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37分
    What Matters Now to Haviv Rettig Gur: Reasons for optimism in Israel’s 77th year

    What Matters Now to Haviv Rettig Gur: Reasons for optimism in Israel’s 77th year

    Welcome to What Matters Now, a weekly podcast exploring one key issue currently shaping Israel and the Jewish World, hosted by deputy editor Amanda Borschel-Dan.

    The Cambridge Dictionary defines "optimism" as "the quality of being full of hope and emphasizing the good parts of a situation, or a belief that something good will happen." Looking at war-torn Israel today, it is a quality that appears to be in short supply.

    But in this week's What Matters Now, The Times of Israel's senior analyst Haviv Rettig Gur points out that while things look bleak now, there are several reasons for optimism.

    We begin the program by discussing Israel's 5th place on the annual World Happiness Report, which, in addition to self-assessed evaluations of life satisfaction, is also based on GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity and corruption. Incredibly, the self-reported Israeli data was collected following the October 7 massacre of 1,200 individuals and hostage-taking of 252 by Hamas terrorists and the resultant, ongoing war in Gaza.

    Even faced with a "negative outlook" by ratings agency S&P Global and Moody’s Investors Service on the Israeli economy, Rettig Gur finds signs of economic optimism -- stemming from the Haredi community.

    So this memorial week, we ask Haviv Rettig Gur, what matters now?

    What Matters Now podcasts are available for download on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. IMAGE: People celebrate Israel's 76th Independence Day at Saker Park in Jerusalem, May 14, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 37分

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