I have heard some good Israel-explainers in my life — few to match Haviv Rettig Gur. He is an analyst for the Times of Israel. He wrote about the latest Hamas war here. We have done a podcast together — a Q&A — here.
Some questions: Was Israel right to pull out of Gaza, back in 2005? What did intra-Palestinian competition — Hamas vs. Fatah — have to do with the latest war? How about the role of Iran? Is President Biden culpable, as some American conservatives charge? How did the Israeli military perform? How about Mossad? Why can’t Israel finish off Hamas once and for all? Why does Hamas always live to fight another day? What is the state of the Israeli spirit? How high is morale? What errors has Israel made, vis-à-vis the Palestinians? What are the ingredients for Israeli survival — the very survival of the state?
Haviv Rettig Gur answers all these questions with authority. He is deeply informed, deeply thoughtful. At the end of our discussion, he takes up the interesting, perhaps disturbing question: What do American Jews get wrong about Israeli Jews?
A talk with HRG is a real education — even for those who know a lot about the subject already. Again, here.