Golda Meir and the 1972 Munich Olympics Massacre
Raised in America before emigrating to Israel, Golda Meir was the country’s first and only female prime minister, and one of only two women to sign its declaration of independence. A study in contrasts, she was tough on terrorism but also a key player in securing the release of 200,000 Jews from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, sparking a wave of Russian emigration to Israel. Her legacy is viewed differently at home and abroad. Her tenure coincided with several major threats to Israelis—most infamously the “Black September” attack on the Olympic team in Munich. Join David Makovsky for this episode, which features interviews with Meir biographer Francine Klagsbrun and journalist who focuses on Israeli counterterrorism history and author of the bestselling Rise and Kill First, Ronen Bergman, to discuss Israel’s reaction and response to the attack.
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10. Grappling with the Direction of the New Netanyahu Government01:04:42In the season finale, David is joined by Ben Caspit, columnist and author of The Netanyahu Years, and David Horovitz, the founding editor of The Times of Israel, to discuss Israel's returning prime minister and his controversial right-wing government. David and the guests break down the keys to Binyamin Netanyahu's long-lasting political career, the evolution of his public persona, and try to understand the trajectory of the new government.
9. Combating Anti-Semitism in the Middle East and Beyond39:48David is joined by acclaimed historian Deborah Lipstadt, appointed by President Biden as the State Department's Special Envoy for Monitoring and Combating Anti-Semitism. The two discuss the state of contemporary anti-Semitism, reflect upon the role of the Holocaust in Israel, and draw takeaways from Lipstadt's travels to the Gulf and Morocco.
8. Rabbi Kook: Founding Religious Zionism and Those Who Seek to Subvert His Legacy Today54:49In this episode, host David Makovsky welcomes Yehudah Mirsky, professor of Near Eastern and Judaic studies at Brandeis University, faculty member of the Schusterman Center for Israel Studies, and author of Rav Kook: Mystic in a Time of Revolution. The two discuss the ideology of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook, founder of Religious Zionism, and how his teachings are being subverted by certain members of the modern movement.
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6. An Insider's View of the Carter White House: Negotiations with Sadat, Begin, and Assad56:33David Makovsky hosts veteran diplomat Stuart Eizenstat, who served as Jimmy Carter’s chief domestic policy advisor and whose book President Carter: The White House Years provides an unparalleled view of the administration’s Middle East decisionmaking. In this episode, David and Stuart discuss the Camp David Accords, U.S.-led negotiations with Syria’s Hafiz al-Assad, an Egyptian-Israeli field trip to Gettysburg, and more.
5. Kissinger’s Middle East: Limiting Moscow and Starting a Road to Peace47:12David Makovsky hosts Martin Indyk, Washington’s former peace envoy and ambassador to Israel, to discuss his recent book Master of the Game: Henry Kissinger and the Art of Middle East Diplomacy. The conversation will focus on Kissinger’s Middle East strategy from the 1973 war to the beginnings of the peace process.
4. Jabotinsky and the Birth of the Israeli Right49:07Hillel Halkin, author of Jabotinsky: A Life, joins host David Makovsky to discuss Russian Zionist thinker Zeev Jabotinsky and the origins of the Revisionist movement, which has shaped a great deal of Israel’s political thought over the decades.
3. David Ben-Gurion: Leader of the Young State Confronts Momentous Decisions56:59David 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.