While many believe Americans always supported Zionism, Americans Jews have had conflicted feelings with Zionism throughout the years. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Gordis discusses American Jews’ relationship with Israel beginning in 1915 and continuing through present day.

Gordis 12 – American Jews and Israel

In the early 1950’s, a newly independent Israel found itself with porous borders in which there were tens of thousands of cross border incursions each year. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Gordis explores how this, along with the Sinai campaign of 1956, influenced Israel’s foreign policy with respect to its Arab neighbors, as well as the psyche of the Israeli people at that time.

Gordis 13 – Israel’s Foreign Policy in the 1950’s

The 1960’s in Israel begin with the arrest and capture of the notorious Nazi, Adolf Eichman. In this episode, Dr. Daniel Gordis explores how Eichman’s trial affected the Israeli people and the Jewish community as a whole as well as the American Jewish leaders’ response to this. The 1960’s also brought Israel’s development of nuclear capabilities, and in 1964, the creation of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) for the purpose of the destruction of the Jewish State.

Gordis 14 – Israel in the Early 1960’s

Dr. Daniel Gordis explores the concept of pan-Arabism, the 1967 war and the factors that cause Israel to begin to look like the modern day Israel we know today. Dr. Gordis discusses the events leading to the war, including the input of the British, French and Americans, as well as the six days of the war, and the results of that war. Finally, he touches on the 1987 debate as to whether to return captured land and the resulting burden of having “occupied” land that exists to this day.

Gordis 15 – The 1967 War

Dr. Daniel Gordis explores the six year period between June 1967 and October 1973 and the false sense of security and confidence felt by members of the young state. He also discusses the 1973 Yom Kippur War, poses the question of who actually wins the war? Despite winning militarily, does Israel lose spiritually? To this very day, has Israel recovered from the Yom Kippur War?

Gordis 16 – Israel Post-1967 War through Yom Kippur War

Dr. Daniel Gordis explores the myriad changes that occur in Israel during the decade following the Yom Kippur War. From the resignation of Golda Meir, to the rise of the Likud party, peace with Egypt, the prevention of a nuclear reactor in Iraq to the Lebanon war. Dr. Gordis examines how these events impact the country.

Gordis 17 – The Decade after the Yom Kippur War

Beginning in 1974, with Arafat’s “olive branch and gun” speech to the United Nations and its “zionism is racism” 1975 resolution, Israel began to understand its position on the world stage. Dr. Daniel Gordis examines the Palestinian peace process from all angles including the creation of Hamas, Jordan renouncing its claim to the west bank, the first intifada, the Oslo Accords, the 1994 peace treaty with Jordan and the1995 assassination of Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin.

Gordis 18 – Beginnings of the Palestinian Peace Process

Dr. Daniel Gordis explores the rebirth of the Jewish people in Israel. He examines the status of womens’ rights, Mizrahi rights, and LGBTQ+ rights. He also discusses the role of the ultra orthodox in Israeli society, the renaissance of Jewish thought, the explosion of Jewish literature and theatre as seen through its books and television shows.

Gordis 19 – Inside Israeli Society By 1980’s and 90’s

Dr. Daniel Gordis examines the tumultuous events of Israel’s political history of the early 2000’s. This time period includes the Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon and moving to the Camp David peace talks with President Bill Clinton, the four years of the second intifada, construction of the security wall, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza and the election of Hamas.

Gordis 20 – Israel in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s

Dr. Daniel Gordis examines Israel’s relationship with President Barack Obama and President Donald Trump and the Middle East events that shaped those relationships. He explores then Secretary of State John Kerry’s attempt at peace during the 2014 Operation Protective Edge, the U.S. negotiated Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) with Iran, Netanyahu’s address to the joint session of Congress and Israeli thoughts about it all. Dr. Gordis also discusses President Trump’s moving of the U.S. embassy, recognition of Israel’s annexation of the Golan, the U.S. withdrawal from the JCPOA, its withdrawal from Syria, its refusal to respond to Iranian attacks on the Saudi oil fields and its failed peace plan.

Gordis 21 – The Obama and Trump Years