Jabotinsky and the Birth of the Israeli Right
Season 4, Ep. 4
Hillel Halkin, author of Jabotinsky: A Life, joins the podcast to discuss Vladimir Ze’ev Jabotinsky and the origins of the Revisionist movement.
David Ben-Gurion: Leader of the Young State Confronts Momentous Decisions
Season 4, Ep. 3
David Ben-Gurion's term as Israel's prime minister marked not only a new era for the Jewish people, but a starkly different chapter in his own life. Anita Shapira, the author of Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel, joins the podcast to discuss the challenges and accomplishments of this time, from immigration and Labor party politics to German reparations and nuclearization.
Herzl’s Chutzpah: Unpacking a Founder’s Vision
Season 4, Ep. 2
Shlomo Avineri, the author of Herzl's Vision: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State, discusses the father of modern Zionism and his legacy. Avineri is director of the Institute for European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Genesis of American Support for Israel: The Gentile Push for a Jewish State
Season 4, Ep. 1
Walter Russell Mead, the author of The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People, discusses the centuries-long history of Zionism in America, the hurdles Truman overcame to recognize the state of Israel, and the evolution of Israel’s role in U.S. domestic politics. Mead is a columnist for the Wall Street Journal and a scholar at Hudson Institute.
Season 4 Trailer
This season of Decision Points will mark the upcoming 75th anniversary of Israel’s founding by highlighting some of the finest and most cutting-edge books on Zionism, the U.S.-Israel relationship, and Arab-Israeli relations. Each episode will feature in-depth interviews with a group of authors that includes key diplomats and distinguished historians. The first episode premieres on October 31st with Walter Russell Mead discussing his new book The Arc of a Covenant: The United States, Israel, and the Fate of the Jewish People.
Can the Bennett-Lapid Government Last, and Who Comes After Abbas?
Season 3, Ep. 10
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s visit to the White House this week is a timely reminder of potentially new political dynamics in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Israeli has just exited the whirlwind of four elections in two years, replacing long-serving Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu with an extraordinarily diverse coalition. Meanwhile, the PA has postponed its first planned election since 2006 and is still led by President Mahmoud Abbas, who is reportedly eighty-six years old. For Israel, the question is whether the new government can survive the formidable challenges looming at home and abroad. For the Palestinians, many are wondering who will succeed Abbas and what will happen the day after he leaves the scene. To answer these questions, David Makovsky closes season 3 of Decision Points with political experts Ben Caspit, Tal Schneider, Ghaith al-Omari, and Ibrahim Dalalsha. Ben Caspit is a senior columnist for the Israeli daily Maariv. He has worked as both a print commentator and radio/television anchor during his distinguished three-decade career, focusing on politics, diplomacy, military affairs, and the peace process. Tal Schneider is a political correspondent for The Times of Israel and a former Washington correspondent for Maariv. In 2012, she won the Tel Aviv Journalists Association Award for Excellence in Digital Journalism. Ghaith al-Omari is a senior fellow at The Washington Institute and former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. He also served as an advisor to the negotiating team during the 1999-2001 permanent-status talks and held various positions within the Palestinian Authority. Ibrahim Dalalsha directs the Horizon Center for Political Studies and Media Outreach, a think tank based in Ramallah. Previously, he served as senior political advisor at the U.S. consulate-general in Jerusalem for two decades.
The Abraham Accords One Year Later: Can They Change the Middle East?
Season 3, Ep. 9
August 13 marked the first anniversary of the breakthrough normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates—a deal followed shortly by accords with Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco. In addition to strong U.S. mediation, several broader forces brought these countries together, including mutual concerns about Iran, Arab recognition of how Israeli technology could help their societies, and a desire to bolster the stability of pro-Western governments amid questions about America’s long-term commitment to the Middle East. Now that some Arab leaders see Israel as part of a solution to their challenges and are unencumbered by the enmity of the past, what will it take to deepen these relationships and extend them to other states? How does the Palestinian issue play into this effort? And what can Washington do to strengthen the Abraham Accords? To discuss these questions, David Makovsky hosts renowned experts Ebtesam al-Ketbi, Amos Yadlin, and Thomas Friedman. Ebtesam al-Ketbi is founder and president of the Emirates Policy Center and the first Arab woman to lead a think tank. Additionally, she is a professor of political science at United Arab Emirates University and a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Consultative Commission. Amos Yadlin was executive director of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University from November 2011 to May 2021. He also served in the Israel Defense Forces for forty years, including posts with the General Staff and as chief of military intelligence. Thomas Friedman is an internationally renowned author, reporter, and columnist. He has written seven New York Timesbestsellers and received three Pulitzer Prizes—two for reporting from the Middle East and a third for his columns about 9/11.See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
One State or Two States? Trends in Israeli and Palestinian Public Opinion
Season 3, Ep. 8
In recent years, public support for the two-state solution has continued to erode on both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian divide. Each party suspects that the other has completely given up on the idea, further weakening the political will and public trust needed to preserve it. Can leaders lead the public on this issue, or does the public lead them? Will Israel’s new government attempt to narrow these points of difference, and are the Palestinians still open to such gradualism? In this episode, David Makovsky hosts Khalil Shikaki, David Pollock, and Tamar Hermann for a discussion on what polling can tell us about these issues. Where does current Israeli and Palestinian public opinion fall on the two-state question, and what deeper insights does the data hold? Khalil Shikaki is the director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah and a senior fellow with the Crown Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. David Pollock is the Bernstein Fellow at The Washington Institute and director of Project Fikra. Previously, he served as senior advisor for the broader Middle East at the U.S. State Department. Tamar Hermann is a senior research fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute and academic director of the Viterbi Family Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research.Audio clips from AP “Peace Agreement Signing In Washington (A)” i24News “20 Years Since the Outbreak of the Second Intifada”See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
China's Middle East Gambit
Season 3, Ep. 7
Over the past two decades, China has increasingly challenged America’s economic and political influence in the Middle East, including in Israel. At the same time, Washington remains Jerusalem’s strongest ally and patron, which raises questions about how the U.S. relationship affects Israel’s policies toward Beijing. On one hand, Chinese investment is enticing—large-scale infrastructure projects at low cost. On the other hand, Israel needs to be mindful of Chinese influence given Beijing’s competition with the United States and growing ties with Iran. In this episode, Assaf Orion and Michael Singh join host David Makovsky to discuss where Israel draws the line with China, and what implications this line holds for relations with Washington. Brig. Gen. Assaf Orion, IDF (Ret.), is a defense strategist whose broad research ranges from China’s foreign relations to Israel’s regional political-military strategy. He is currently the Rueven International Fellow with The Washington Institute. Michael Singh is the Institute’s Lane-Swig Senior Fellow and managing director. Previously, he served as senior director for Middle East affairs at the National Security Council.Audio clips from i24News “The Growing Israel-China Economic Partnership”See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.