40 episodes

Go behind the scenes of Israeli history with self-confessed history nerd Noam Weissman. Each week, he offers a fresh perspective on some of the most controversial and interesting events in the country’s history. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what Israel is all about -- from multiple angles and viewpoints -- this is the podcast for you.

Unpacking Israeli History Unpacked

    • Religion & Spirituality
    • 4.8 • 287 Ratings

Go behind the scenes of Israeli history with self-confessed history nerd Noam Weissman. Each week, he offers a fresh perspective on some of the most controversial and interesting events in the country’s history. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about what Israel is all about -- from multiple angles and viewpoints -- this is the podcast for you.

    Introducing Jewish History Unpacked

    Introducing Jewish History Unpacked

    Unpacking Israeli History introduces another podcast from Unpacked: Jewish History Unpacked. Whoever said history was boring clearly never heard these stories Join hosts Yael and Schwab each week as they take a dive into some deep cuts of Jewish history. From the Jewish Da Vinci Code to mass suicide pacts, explore true stories that feel larger than life.
    This episode tells the story of Josephus Flavius. It's maybe one of the wildest characters in Jewish history, and that's saying something. That's largely because unlike most historians, he didn't just chronicle the story; as Yael tells Schwab in this week's episode, Josephus, or Yosef ben Matityahu, wrote himself into the story - and what a story it is. This week, we learn about Josephus and the siege of Yodfat, and they ask, what does it mean for us to write yourself into the story of Jewish history?

    • 39 min
    Osirak: The Airstrike That Shocked The World

    Osirak: The Airstrike That Shocked The World

    UIH survey here: https://jewishunpacked.com/uihsurvey
    ~~~~ 
    On the night before Shavuot, 1981, Prime Minister Menachem Begin shocked his cabinet by announcing they would be launching a surprise attack on a nuclear reactor in Iraq, known as Osirak. It was a gamble, one that the outside world, not to mention in Israel itself, most people didn't approve of. In this episode, Noam takes us on a tour of Begin's decision, the aftermath, and how it still impacts Israel today.
    ~~~~  This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Marci & Andrew Spitzer and Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and this episode, is generously sponsored by Jack Zager and Ellen Kahan, and by Pam and Neil Weissman, in memory of their parents, Mama Bashe and Saba Royal Rockman, and Safta Alice and Saba Irving Weissman.

    • 43 min
    "Torah Dome": Why Don't Haredim Serve In The IDF?

    "Torah Dome": Why Don't Haredim Serve In The IDF?

    UIH survey here: https://jewishunpacked.com/uihsurvey
    ~~~~  
    Who should serve in the Israeli military? It doesn’t sound like a particularly spicy question, does it? Because the obvious answer is… “Israelis.” Like, duh. Case closed, next question. But in this episode, Noam breaks down why Haredim, a massive force in Israel, don't serve. He goes through the history and asks, how does this choice impact the country? VOTE IN OUR POLL HERE:
    jewishunpacked.com/israeliarmy  
      ~~~~     This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Marci & Andrew Spitzer and Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and this episode is generously sponsored by Lisa and Phil Baratz, and by the Center For Advancement of Jewish Education.     ~~~~  

    • 51 min
    Farhud: The Massacre You May Not Know About (But Should)

    Farhud: The Massacre You May Not Know About (But Should)

    UIH survey here: https://jewishunpacked.com/uihsurvey
    ~~~~  
    The relationship between Jews and their host countries, for the past several thousand years, is complicated. And Iraq is no exception. While Jews have lived there for thousands of years, today, virtually no Jews are left in the country. This week's episode tells that story, through the lens of the Farhud, the devastating 1941 massacre in which Iraqis murdered, raped, mutilated, looted, and destroyed Baghdad’s Jewish community.
    ~~~~     This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Marci & Andrew Spitzer and Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and this episode is generously sponsored by the Center For Advancement of Jewish Education.     ~~~~  

    • 48 min
    Desert Storm: Gas Masks in...Tel Aviv?

    Desert Storm: Gas Masks in...Tel Aviv?

    UIH survey here: https://jewishunpacked.com/uihsurvey
    ~~~~ 
    You may have heard about the first Gulf War - basically the entire world vs. Saddam Hussein. But though 34 countries - 34! - entered the alliance against Iraq, Israel didn't. So why on earth did missiles begin to rain down on Israel? In this episode, Noam breaks down how the 1991 Gulf War affected ordinary Israelis, tested the US-Israel relationship, and even challenged the long-held Zionist ethos.  
    ~~~~  
    This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Marci & Andrew Spitzer and Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and this episode is generously sponsored by the Center For Advancement of Jewish Education, and The Jewish Federation of Northern NJ.  
    ~~~~ 
    Bibliography available at https://jewishunpacked.com/saddam-husseins-gulf-war-legacy-is-still-felt-in-israel/

    • 46 min
    Qibya: Civilian Massacre or Military Operation?

    Qibya: Civilian Massacre or Military Operation?

    UIH survey here: https://jewishunpacked.com/uihsurvey
    ~~~~  
    Qibya is one of the saddest and most difficult events in Israeli history. A military unit enters a village, and when the raid is over, 43 homes had been demolished, and 69 civilians – mostly women and children – had been killed. This week, Noam asks, what happened here, and how does it impact the story we tell ourselves about Israel?
      ~~~~   This season of Unpacking Israeli History is generously sponsored by Marci & Andrew Spitzer and Barbara Sommer & Alan Fisher, and this episode is generously sponsored by the Center For Advancement of Jewish Education, and The Jewish Federation of Northern NJ.
    ~~~~
     
    Learn more about Unpacked: https://jewishunpacked.com/about/
    Visit Unpacked on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/unpacked 
    Unpacking Israeli History about Black Saturday: https://jewishunpacked.com/black-saturday-how-far-would-you-go-for-a-homeland/
    Unpacking Israeli History about the Mossad: https://jewishunpacked.com/the-mossad-three-tales-of-assassination/
    ~~~~
    Bibliography:
    Daniel Gordis, “Israel: A Concise History of a Nation Reborn.”
    Howard Sachar, “A History of Israel, From the Birth of Zionism to Our Time.”
    Sapir Journal on power, vol 2, 2021. 
    Rise and Kill First, Ronen Bergman
    On the Kanias family
    https://www.haaretz.co.il/misc/1.853441

    https://www.sharett.org.il/downloads/doc-pics/doc03486.pdf 
    On Israel’s GDP: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/NY.GDP.MKTP.CD?end=2020&locations=ZQ&most_recent_value_desc=true&start=2020&view=map

    On tzenna (austerity): https://gould.usc.edu/why/students/orgs/ilj/assets/docs/18-1%20Seidman.pdf

    On Israeli borders: 
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-54116567#:~:text=The%20fighting%20ended%20in%201949,Bank%20(occupied%20by%20Jordan)
    https://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/arm01.asp
    On Moshe Dayan: 
    Mordechai Bar-On, “Moshe Dayan: Israel’s Controversial Hero.”
    https://jiss.org.il/en/henkin-high-price-blood-israels-security-doctrines/#:~:text=The%20Dayan%20doctrine%20was%20designed,war%20of%20attrition%20against%20Israel

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FzVrRStVo9k&ab_channel=ThamesTv 
     On Ariel Sharon: 

    https://www.britannica.com/biography/Ariel-Sharon, 
    “Warrior: The autobiography of Ariel Sharon,” p. 1989
    Battle for Latrun: https://www.jpost.com/israel-guide/tel-aviv-and-center-tours/latrun-the-battle-for-latrun

    Participant account of Qibye (note he wasn’t actually in the village, he was outside of it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nQpBsvdzZ4&ab_channel=ToldotYisrael)
    Letter to UN Security Council from Jordanian envoy: https://www.un.org/unispal/document/auto-insert-185828/

    On the aftermath: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2538005,

    • 40 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
287 Ratings

287 Ratings

Dr Rebbe ,

One of the best podcasts in the world

I cannot get enough of this podcast. I have an insatiable appetite for History and this quenches the thirst. Please continue making podcasts and it can only get better! Onwards and upwards.

TheMadKro ,

Started out good

This podcast has become just another one-sided propaganda narrative. Zero honest introspection here. Bye.

jt levitsky ,

Great show about History

Listen to it with my 11 year old.

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