Issue 24

March 2015
The Tower Magazine

More Biased than Goldstone? The UN Reports on Gaza

Even with its discredited chairman gone, the new UN report on the Gaza war will be every bit as biased. HILLEL NEUER shows how such reports are dictated far in advance--by strong-minded people you've never heard of.

continue reading >> HRC Secretariat and OHCHR Officials at Human Rights Council. Photo: Eric Bridiers

Meet the Proxies: How Iran Spreads Its Empire

In Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen, and elsewhere, Tehran has perfected the art of gradually conquering a country without replacing its flag. DAVID DAOUD explores the New Expansionism.

continue reading >> A mural in Tehran depicting Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and Iranian soldiers. Photo: Neil Hester / flickr

The Global Pogrom Can Be Stopped. Here's How

The Global Pogrom has taken lives, legitimized violence, and spread fear among Jews across Europe and beyond. But as BENJAMIN KERSTEIN shows, there is a great deal that can be done to roll it back.

continue reading >> French Prime Minister Manuel Valls at the funeral of French Jewish community leader Jean Kahn, August 20, 2013. Photo: Claude Truong-Ngoc / Wikimedia

Why Reform & Conservative Can't Get Israel Right

Leaders of Reform and Conservative Judaism in Israel tend to blame everyone but themselves for the movements' failure to take hold. LIAM HOARE suggests a fundamental shift in strategy.

continue reading >> Anat Hoffman of Women of the Wall prays at Robinson’s Arch outside the Western Wall. Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90

Is Argentina Safe for Jews?

A murdered prosecutor, a dismissed indictment, collusion with Iran, and leaks of anti-Semitism at the highest levels—this is Argentina today, EAMONN MACDONAGH reports.

continue reading >> Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner speaks at the UN General Assembly, September 24, 2014. Photo: Presidencia de la Nación Argentina / Wikimedia

PHOTOS: Women of Valor and Steel

In the middle of the desert sits an IDF base where a unique, all-female unit works around the clock to train soldiers in high-intensity combat. Photographer AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us there.

continue reading >> DSC_4518

Issue 23

February 2015
The Tower Magazine

The U.S. Let Iran Take Over Iraq. Are Nukes Next?

When MICHAEL PREGENT served with U.S. Forces in Iraq, he never imagined he would be witness to one of the most bizarre foreign policy decisions in American history.

continue reading >> Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin E. Dempsey answers a question at a press conference in the Pentagon, May 10, 2012. Photo: Glenn Fawcett / Department of Defense / Wikimedia

This Haredi Woman Wants Your Vote

Sick of being overlooked by Ultra-Orthodox political parties, a new movement could finally bring female Haredi representation to the Knesset. BETH KISSILEFF profiles Biz’chutan, which may spark a revolution in Israeli politics.

continue reading >> Ruth Colian. Photo: Aviram Valdman / The Tower

The Rise of the Iranian Empire

How did it happen that the world's greatest exporter of terrorism, which calls for death to the West, has now taken control of four other countries? DAVID DAOUD explores what may be the greatest foreign policy catastrophe of our time.

continue reading >> The Azadi Tower, Tehran. Photo: Christiaan Triebert / flickr

Charlie Hebdo and the Future of Europe

The terror attacks in Paris earlier this month led to a historic outpouring of support. But for those looking closely, the siege of the kosher supermarket was anything but a surprise. BENJAMIN KERSTEIN explains.

continue reading >> Over one million people, including world leaders, gathered in Paris on January 11, 2015, in tribute of the 17 victims following the shootings by Islamist gunmen at the offices of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, the killing of a police woman in Montrouge, and the Jewish hostages killed at a kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes. Photo: Laurence Geai / Flash90

Why is Japan Warming to the Jewish State?

In the past few years, Israel and Japan have developed closer economic, political, and ideological ties. AARON MENENBERG analyzes a burgeoning relationship.

continue reading >> YAMATO, a Japanese drumming and acoustic instrument ensemble, performs at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus Amphitheatre, May 24th, 2012. Photo: Noam Moscowitz / Flash90

PHOTOS: In a Forest Dark and Deep

AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us to into the community of Havat Ma'on in the Judean Hills—an eerily peaceful setting overflowing with both political controversy and ancient resonance.

continue reading >> DSC_3467

Issue 22

January 2015
The Tower Magazine

North Korea and Iran Are Cyber-Warfare Buddies

Two rogue states with nuclear ambitions, a long and illicit partnership, and a history of cyber-attacks against American targets. CLAUDIA ROSETT investigates the ties that bind Tehran and Pyongyang.

continue reading >> Soldiers from the North Korean army stand watch over the Demilitarized Zone. Photo: Edward N. Johnson / U.S. Army / Wikimedia

Stop Freaking Out About the Jewish State Bill

A recent proposal to affirm equal rights for every citizen in Israel regardless of religion drove people bananas. DAVID DAOUD looks at the proposal on its merits, and wonders what all the fuss was really about.

continue reading >> The Knesset. Photo: Israel_photo_gallery / flickr

Propaganda Maps, Deconstructed

It's a common anti-Israel trope, illustrated in maps: Over the past century, perfidious Zionists have slowly and steadily taken land from the Palestinians. SHANY MOR takes apart the lie—and reveals the hate behind it.

continue reading >> An image of the board game Risk. Photo: Stephen Coles / flickr

Hope for Syria’s Refugees? This Woman Thinks So

The suffering of Syria's 8 million refugees has been largely overlooked. But a few small organizations—and some extraordinary people—are working behind the scenes to provide services and hope. BEN COHEN takes us there.

continue reading >> The Za’atari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo: B. Sokol / UNHCR / flickr

Christians in the Holy Land: Don't Call Us Arabs

Long part of Israel's Arab populace, Israel's Christians are reasserting their own unique identity - one that is deeply tied to the Jewish State of Israel. Meet the Arameans. ARYEH TEPPER takes us inside.

continue reading >> DSC_1964

PHOTOS: O Little Town of Bethlehem

Every year, thousands of Christians from around the world convene in Bethlehem to celebrate Christmas in the town of Jesus's birth. Photographer AVIRAM VALDMAN shows us the festivities.

continue reading >> DSC_2906

Issue 21

December 2014
The Tower Magazine

Goodbye Islamic State, Hello Islamic Republic?

In a dangerous and dramatic shift, the White House is seeking to promote the world's leading terrorist state, Iran, as a reliable partner to help bring stability and peace to the region. But as DAVID DAOUD explains, they couldn't be more wrong.

continue reading >> U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, ringed by security guards, speaks with Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird about the status of nuclear program negotiations with Iranian officials as he sits in a park at the scene of the talks, Vienna, Austria, on November 22, 2014. Photo: U.S. Department of State / flickr

How the Summer War Changed Israel's Soul

Operation Protective Edge had a profound effect on the Israeli psyche.
Disillusioned toward the prospects for peace and resigned to the world's lack of support, BENJAMIN KERSTEIN speaks for most Israelis by asking, "What's next?"

continue reading >> A Jewish woman prays at the Western Wall in Jerusalem's Old City while holding an umbrella during heavy rainfall, November 16, 2014. Photo: Hadas Parush / Flash90

Wait, Iraq Is Now Iran?

Slowly but surely, forces tied to Iran have taken over the fight against the Islamic State—and are doing it with American air support. JONATHAN SPYER & AYMENN JAWAD AL-TAMIMI ask: At what cost?

continue reading >> Iraqi forces display vehicle and aircraft capabilities during the Iraqi Army Day celebration in the International Zone, Iraq, January 6, 2011. Photo: Daneille Hendrix / U.S. Army / Wikimedia

Gaza Is Not Northern Ireland, You Git

The Troubles and the Arab-Israeli conflict seem pretty similar with a cursory glance. But EAMONN MACDONAGH argues that comparing them only serves to excuse terrorism and obscure the real issues.

continue reading >> A British policeman buys lunch at Columbia Market, London. Photo: Jorge Royan / Wikimedia

Love and Song in the Shadow of War

Israeli music has long been profoundly shaped by its military history. From folk dancing to fusion rap, songs are suffused with a unique mix of cynicism and optimism, tragic loss and hope for the future. CORINNE BERZON shows us how.

continue reading >> Idan Amedi performs “It’s Over.” Photo: Idan Amedi / YouTube

PHOTOS: Exploring a Formerly Friendly City

Sitting at the crossroads of continents, religions, and former empires, Istanbul is one of the world's biggest, busiest—and most twisted—cities. Photographer AVIRAM VALDMAN shows us the city's glamour and squalor.

continue reading >> DSC_8446

Issue 20

November 2014
The Tower Magazine

'Open Hillel' Is a Much Bigger Problem Than You Think

A campus movement promoting virulent anti-Israel positions threatens to overturn Jewish life on campuses. AIDEN PINK attended their first-ever conference, and what he saw was a lot more complicated than he expected.

continue reading >> An Open Hillel member hands out materials at a plenary session. Photo: Gili Getz

Bad to Worse: Fight ISIS But Empower Iran?

Iran is using the rise of ISIS to extract concessions in negotiations over its nuclear program. As DAVID DAOUD explains, the West's quest for "cooperation" is playing right into Tehran's hands.

continue reading >> Mural outside the former American embassy, Tehran. Photo: David Holt / flickr

Getting High at the Lowest Place on Earth

More than 12,000 people attended the second annual Dead Sea Rave, which featured internationally renowned DJs playing music for Israelis dancing until dawn. YARDENA SCHWARTZ takes us there.

continue reading >> DSC_0682

A Serious Medical Journal Just Went Totally Clinical

The Lancet is one of the most widely respected medical journals in the world. But as LIAM HOARE documents, they abandoned their dispassionate analyses this summer in favor of anti-Israel conspiracy theories.

continue reading >> An injured person lays on a stretcher at Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip, July 8, 2014. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

Optimism In the Face of Hamas and War

This past year has been trying for Israel and its supporters. But as RICHARD A. BLOCK explains, the fundamental facts give hope for the future.

continue reading >> The Israeli flag waves in the wind above the northern Israeli city of Kiryat Shmona, August 13, 2014. Photo: Nati Shohat / Flash90

PHOTOS: Kobani's Horror-Stricken Refugees

More than 150,000 civilians fleeing ISIS have gathered to await the fate of Kobani, where Kurdish forces are making a desperate stand. AVIRAM VALDMAN captured both the tragedy and the hope in their eyes.

continue reading >> DSC_0038

Issue 19

October 2014
The Tower Magazine

ISIS: Can the West Win Without a Ground Game?

U.S. air strikes aim to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But as JONATHAN SPYER shows, a much bigger challenge will be preventing other extremists—especially Iranian proxies—from filling the vacuum.

continue reading >> A U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle aircraft flies over northern Iraq Sept. 23, 2014, after conducting airstrikes in Syria. The aircraft was part of a large coalition strike package that was the first to strike Islamic State targets in Syria. Photo: Stuart Rankin / flickr

Has Argentina Turned Against its Jews?

Twenty years ago, 85 Argentinians were killed in an Iranian terrorist attack. Their families are still waiting for their government to deliver justice. EAMONN MACDONAGH exposes Argentina's capitulation to Iran at the expense of the truth.

continue reading >> Memorial ceremony commemorating the AMIA bombing, July 18, 2014. Photo: Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social / flickr

On Many Campuses, Hate is Spelled SJP

Students for Justice in Palestine has toiled for over a decade to transform college campuses into centers of terror support and hate speech. DANIEL MAEL offers the definitive primer on a group that sounds a little too much like Hamas.

continue reading >> SJP-6

For the World Cup, Qatar Plays Dirty

Armed with massive wealth and a sordid relationship with terrorists from Al Qaeda to Hezbollah, Qatar is using "soccer diplomacy" to cover up its human rights record and support of terrorism. BEN COHEN has the details.

continue reading >> The design of Al-Wakrah Stadium, a planned stadium for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Photo: AFP / Getty Images

The Sabras of Silicon Valley

Israel's start-up success has led to California tech titans competing for ownership of Israeli enterprises. It's not a case of Israeli "brain drain," as MIRIAM POLLOCK explains, but an arrangement that benefits both the U.S. and Israel.

continue reading >> Sainte Claire Hotel, San Jose, California. Photo: Ed Schipul / flickr

PHOTOS: Where Horses Run, and Run

In a city struggling with crime and poverty, Arabs, Jews, and Bedouins come together to enjoy the sport of kings. AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us off to the races.

continue reading >> DSC_1606

Issue 18

September 2014
The Tower Magazine

Where the Shadiest Players Find a Home

Under Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey is funding Hamas, helping Iran evade sanctions, and harboring a financier tied to 9/11. JONATHAN SCHANZER exposes how a purported NATO ally is undermining the rest of the West.

continue reading >> President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey. Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / flickr

Can Zionism Include Muslims?

Over the past century, the Zionist story has constantly changed to include new groups seeking a place in Israeli society. Now, as EINAT WILF explains, the next frontier of Zionism will include Israel's Arab population.

continue reading >> Bedouin IDF soldiers participate in a military parade in Tel Aviv, June 1949. Photo: NatanFlayer / Wikimedia

Hamas Is Killing Gaza, One Child at a Time

In the Gaza War, Israeli troops faced an enemy willing to sacrifice its own civilians to gain in international sympathy. YARDENA SCHWARTZ spoke with the IDF soldiers who had to fight under truly inhuman conditions.

continue reading >> .

So, Was the Gaza War Legal?

Accusations of Israeli "war crimes" and "genocide" have been thrown around with abandon. But these charges are not only false, argues DAVID DAOUD—they also are destroying the system of international law needed to stop real atrocities.

continue reading >> A hearing of the case "Accordance with International Law of the Unilateral Declaration of Independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo“ at the International Court of Justice. Photo: Lybil / Wikimedia

Christians Respond to the War on the Jewish State

The country's biggest pro-Israel organization is also one of the most misunderstood. RICK RICHMAN on what pro-Israel Jews can learn from Christians United for Israel.

continue reading >> An image from the 2012 CUFI Washington Summit. Photo: Living Word Christian Center / YouTube

PHOTOS: To Be Gay at Night in Tel Aviv

The city has been called the "Gay Capital of the World," and nowhere is this more evident than in the clubs. AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us there.

continue reading >> DSC_9625

Issue 17

August 2014
The Tower Magazine

A U.S. Ally is Behind the Gaza War, and It’s Not Israel

Unfathomably wealthy from its natural gas reserves, Qatar has become an enormous funder of terrorists and a headache for Washington. JONATHAN SPYER explores the frighteningly effective strategy of America's #1 "frenemy."

continue reading >> Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) Adm. Gary Roughead, left, speaks with Qatari Col. Abdullah Eid Al-Bourdainiby at the Doha International Maritime Defense Exhibition Mid East Naval Commander's Conference in Doha, Qatar. Photo: Tiffini Jones Vanderwyst / U.S. Navy / Wikimedia

Waking Up to a Global Pogrom

BENJAMIN KERSTEIN puts the hardest question on the table: Has Jewish life around the world entered an entirely new, truly dangerous phase?

continue reading >> Killings at the Ozar Hatorah jewish school in Toulouse

Why Everything Reported from Gaza is Crazy Twisted

Under the thumb of Hamas, Western journalists are told what and where to report, and those who break the rules risk abuse or death. Veteran reporter MARK LAVIE takes us inside.

continue reading >> DSC_4588-2

How to Deal with Rockets Falling Around You

The theaters and night-clubs are quiet, giving way to sirens and shelters and Iron Dome and the surprising strength of a city known for its parties. MIRANDA FRÜM shows us Tel Aviv at war, a moment as revealing as it is harrowing.

continue reading >> DSC_4573

Did the Peace Process Cause the Gaza War?

AARON MENENBERG looks back at the eruptions of violence between Israel and Palestinians over the last two decades and points to an uncomfortable fact: They tend to happen immediately after talks fail. Could there be a connection?

continue reading >> Secretary_Kerry_Addresses_Reporters_During_Tel_Aviv_News_Conference_(11235816416) (1)

PHOTOS: When War Becomes Home

It's been a long time since Israel has gone to war with so much domestic and global backing. AVIRAM VALDMAN took his camera to the latest round in the battle of West vs. Jihad.

continue reading >> DSC_4656

Issue 16

July 2014
The Tower Magazine

Time for Some New Friends in the Middle East

Decades of failed U.S. policy raise the question of whether it was a mistake to try to work with authoritarian, revolutionary Sunni Arab regimes. GABRIEL SCHEINMANN argues for a new, bottom-up approach.

continue reading >> Peshmerga_on_a_T-55-Tank_outside_Kirkuk_in_Iraq. dh

The Terror Within: A Survivor’s Tale

In December 2010, KAY WILSON was brutally attacked by terrorists in the forests outside Jerusalem. Since then, she has become a spokesperson for the rights of victims, the fight against terror—and the hope for a better future despite it all.

continue reading >> Uri Lenz/Flash90

A Big New Threat to Evangelical Support for Israel

American Evangelicals have long been steadfast in their support for the state of Israel. But as LUKE MOON explains, a small, influential group of young anti-Israel Evangelical activists are seeking to change that.

continue reading >> dinner

The Weirdest Place in Tel Aviv

It's part concrete corn maze, part Dr. Seuss playground, and part post-apocalyptic trading post. MATTHEW SCHULTZ takes us through the grungy, grimy, glorious Tel Aviv Central Bus Station.

continue reading >> Photo: Aviram Valdman

The Sun Keeps Shining on Yosef Abramowitz

In his teens, Yosef Abramowitz fought for Soviet and Ethiopian Jews and dreamed of life on a kibbutz. Today his revolutionary passion is changing the way the Sun will power our future. ASSAF DUDAI has details.

continue reading >> SolarPanel

PHOTOS: Mountain of Moses, Beaches of Heaven

Since ancient times, the mysterious Sinai Peninsula has resonated in the imagination of Israelis and tourists from around the world. AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us to one of the few places left where reality outstrips imagination.

continue reading >> DSC_1290

Issue 15

June 2014
The Tower Magazine

How Corruption is Ruining the Palestinian Future

In a startling and exclusive first-hand account, AARON MENENBERG exposes how the Palestinian Authority systematically prevents Palestinian entrepreneurs, farmers, and investors from improving their lives.

continue reading >> Photo: Johnnydevil / 123RF

Jazz from the Promised Land

Who imagined that Israel would become a jazz juggernaut? ARYEH TEPPER explores the music, the history, and an unbelievable vibe that spans cultures and oceans—and one trumpeter who is blasting his way into the soul of a genre.

continue reading >> Photo: Aviram Valdman / The Tower

The Anti-Zionism of J Street

If Zionism is the belief in Jewish self-determination through a Jewish state, AIDEN PINK explains, then nothing can be more its opposite than working to override Israel's democratic and policy choices through outside pressure.

continue reading >> J Street ConferenceWashington DC

Nightmare on Sunset Blvd: To Be Jewish at UCLA

Report from the boycott battle lines: TESSA NATH, class of 2015, takes us inside the maelstrom of anti-Israel hate on her campus—and the growing climate of fear felt by anyone who speaks their mind in support of the Jewish State.

continue reading >> second left

The Apartheid Libel, Demolished

When Secretary of State Kerry dropped his now-infamous "A-Bomb," many may not have understood how truly wrong he was. EUGENE KONTOROVICH delivers a decisive dismissal of the idea on the basis on international law.

continue reading >> .

PHOTOS: Ancient Rituals in the Land of the Bible

The Samaritans appeared in history over 2,500 years ago, and today they number around 700 people who follow the most ancient Israelite practices. AVIRAM VALDMAN shows us a Passover seder like none you've ever seen.

continue reading >> photos

Issue 14

May 2014
The Tower Magazine

The Deep UN: Inside the Infrastructure of Hate

EXPOSÉ: The UN may have repealed its 1975 resolution equating Zionism with racism—but replaced it with a massively funded mechanism for delegitimizing Israel, still running today. BEN COHEN blows the lid off this latest UN scandal.

continue reading >> Fist cropped

How Should Rabbis Speak About Israel?

Instead of using the pulpit for critiquing the Jewish state, rabbis have an obligation to highlight Israel's strengths as a vibrant, democratic, and moral Jewish civilization—so says RICHARD A. BLOCK, the Reform movement's top rabbi.

continue reading >> rabii-block

The Real Palestinian Refugee Crisis

Who is a refugee, and why has the Palestinian refugee crisis never been solved? As ASAF ROMIROWSKY shows, one big reason is the special UN body that was originally tasked with helping them—but is now a huge part of the problem.

continue reading >> The event was organized by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to mark the Third anniversary of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami

Getting Real in Transcendent Tel Aviv

MIRANDA FRÜM takes us into the sweet, steamy underbelly of trippy Tel Aviv, where modeling and raving and partying all tell us something about coming home.

continue reading >> LED_screen_behind_Tsach_Zimroni_in_Tel_Aviv_Israel

Marketplace of Dreams and Fresh Produce

In the last decade and a half, Jerusalem's open-air market has been transformed into a bustling commercial and cultural center. ASSAF DUDAI met with the people who made it happen.

continue reading >> DSC_3470

PHOTOS: An Ethiopian Easter in Jerusalem

This month, AVIRAM VALDMAN takes his camera into the most extraordinary of Christian rituals—the Ethiopian Easter candle-lighting in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

continue reading >> DSC_4808-1

Issue 13

April 2014
The Tower Magazine

The Myth of the Thirsty Palestinian

Outrageous attacks suggesting Israel is systematically depriving the Palestinians of their water are increasingly common—and vicious. As AKIVA BIGMAN shows, these lies are about as true as the blood libels of centuries past.

continue reading >> Water tanks in the Old City of Nablus. Photo: Michael Loadenthal / flickr

Discovering Jewish History on the Golan Heights

STEPHEN RUBIN explores the discovery of a ruined ancient synagogue with almost all its original pieces just lying on the ground, waiting to be rebuilt.

continue reading >> DSC_0275

At U. Michigan, Students Fight Back Against Madness

Jewish students at one of America's top schools have faced intimidation, ridicule, and death threats. MOLLY ROSEN, class of 2014, offers a firsthand look.

continue reading >> Photo: Corey Seeman / flickr

In Bethlehem, the Wrong Kind of Christian Festival

In the last decade, Bethlehem has lost its Christian majority to pressure from the Palestinian Authority. So why did American Christians hold a conference there to protest Israel? LUKE MOON takes us there.

continue reading >> Conference participants tour the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. Photo: Aviram Valdman / The Tower

Why is John B. Judis Giving Harry Hell?

New Republic senior editor John B. Judis tries real hard to open a whole new front in the radical-Left assault on the Jewish state. But as JOSHUA MURAVCHIK shows, his error-filled critique frequently misses its target.

continue reading >> harry truman ben gurion angle

PHOTOS: Birthplace of Jesus, Hidden & Found

Long ago a bastion of Christianity, the "little town of Bethlehem" has changed dramatically under Islamic dominion. But as AVIRAM VALDMAN discovered, there is still much of its former glory on display, if you know where to look.

continue reading >> DSC_2059 1

Issue 12

March 2014
The Tower Magazine

Yes, We Really Can Stop the Slaughter in Syria

Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur: The world has learned that unspeakable mass atrocities can and must be stopped—or has it? BROOKLYN MIDDLETON explores the options for intervention.

continue reading >> Crying-girl-blow-up-3 dark

Ideology at the Oscars

RICK RICHMAN looks at two new films with similar plot-lines, both of which speak of love and identity among Israel's Arabs—but which have been treated very differently by the Hollywood establishment.

continue reading >> A still from the film "Omar." Photo: Adopt Films

Why Liberals Should Give Boycotters the Boot

HOWARD WOHL on the New York Times, the campus boycott movement, and the dangers of letting radicalism take over the Left.

continue reading >> Brooklyn-College-Gate-crop BW blur2

Hammered: The Palestinian Peace Paradox

Another round of peace talks, another round of failure. BENJAMIN KERSTEIN explores the grinding psychological burden of a conflict that never ends.

continue reading >> Photo: amvrosii/123rf

Joining the Start-Up Nation Just Got a Lot Easier

A new index fund allows ordinary Americans to invest in a range of fast-growing Israeli companies. But as BEN COHEN shows, the path to massive investment is filled with challenges.

continue reading >> Photo: L.D. Heuser / wikimedia

PHOTOS: The Bedouin, Between Two Worlds

AVIRAM VALDMAN gives us a peek at the community that has benefited tremendously from the Israeli experience, yet remains very much apart.

continue reading >> DSC_1335

Issue 11

February 2014
The Tower Magazine

Do ‘Syria,’ ‘Iraq’ and ‘Lebanon’ Still Exist?

Turns out that the Arab Spring did a lot more than just overthrow long-standing regimes. In some cases, JONATHAN SPYER discovers, borders have melted away and countries have effectively vanished.

continue reading >> 7680724_l

The Woman Who Makes Jihadists Squirm

For over a decade, Nitsana Darshan-Leitner has led the charge against terrorists and their paymasters through civil litigation. As DAVID HAZONY explains, she's also changed how we think about the whole fight against terror.

continue reading >> _DSC4053 touched

Why the Left Ought to Love the Jewish State

Once its greatest champions, radical Leftists now seek to paint Israel as racist, oppressive, and colonialist. JOSHUA MURAVCHIK exposes that hypocrisy, and offers a definitive response, grounded in the most liberal principles.

continue reading >> wide-ethiopian-slider

On Feminists and Pioneers in Early Zionism

LAUREN DAVIDSON explores the complicated experience of women in the early years of the Zionist movement, and a new film that takes an unadorned look.

continue reading >> Women-tower-slider

The Afterworldly Imagination of Ofir Touché Gafla

One of Israel's most innovative new novelists has just landed on the American scene. BETH KISSILEFF talks to the man who will change the way we think of time, past, and future.

continue reading >> ofir crop 3

PHOTOS: A Faith Under Fire

Israel's Christian Arab minority enjoys more freedom than any of their coreligionists in the Middle East. AVIRAM VALDMAN shows us how they're dealing with an increasingly Muslim region.

continue reading >> _DSC4555

Issue 10

January 2014
The Tower Magazine

The Last Lion of Judaea

Ariel Sharon embodied much of what Israelis have come to look for in a leader: Secular, bold, creative, and willing to take the world's endless abuse. BENJAMIN KERSTEIN explores his role in the Israeli psyche.

continue reading >> Ariel Sharon participates in a committee meeting in the Knesset, June 29, 2004. Photo: Sharon Perry / Flash90.

Losing American Support, the Gulf States Scramble

If American weakness in the face of the Iranian menace has victims, its the Gulf States. JONATHAN SPYER explores the feeling of abandonment and fear among our longtime allies—and the steps they're taking to find new friends.

continue reading >> Photo: the_dead_pixel / flickr

How the Weak Iran Deal Makes War More Likely

Nobody wants either an Iranian nuclear bomb or an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. So why, EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI asks, are the world’s powers trying so hard to make them happen?

continue reading >> Boeing 707 refueling F-15s, June 28, 2011, Israeli Air Force Flight Academy ranks ceremony. Photo: Oren Rozen / Wikimedia

The Bedouin’s Outrageous Claims to the Negev

AKIVA BIGMAN sets aside the emotional attraction to the protests against the Prawer plan, and puts a critical eye to the movement's real aims. The results are deeply troubling.

continue reading >> .

A Chameleon in the Courtyard of the Divine

On the invisible frontiers between Israel and America, between Torah and
literary fiction, Ruchama King Feuerman found her muse. BETH KISSILEFF interviewed her in the office of a New Jersey psychoanalyst. Why not?

continue reading >> ruchamafixed (1)

PHOTOS: White Fire on Gold

AVIRAM VALDMAN takes his camera through the biggest snowstorm to hit Israel in over a century.

continue reading >> _DSC3724

Issue #9

December 2013
The Tower Magazine

We Really Need to Talk About Corruption

Forget about whether it's a good idea. JONATHAN SCHANZER asks if it's even possible to build a Palestinian state on profiteering, violent turf wars, and widespread hatred of elected officials. If not, then we have a very big problem.

continue reading >> Counterfeit money found in the Muqata, 2002. Photo: Israel Defense Forces / flickr

Lihi Lapid, Leaning a Different Way

The novelist, photographer, and wife of Israel's finance minister has a tough message for modern women: Don't believe in fairy tales, and know whom you can trust. BETH KISSILEFF interviews the author of 'Woman of Valor.'

continue reading >> Lihi Lapid. Photo: Vardi Kahana / The Tower

Dare We Say It? The Mullahs Must Go

Not so long ago, people on both sides of America's political divide saw democratic revolution as a serious basis for US policy in Iran. What happened? MICHAEL LEDEEN calls for reopening that conversation in the wake of the Geneva debacle.

continue reading >> Protesters marching on Tehran’s Azadi Tower during Iran’s Green Revolution, June 15, 2009. Photo: Hamed Saber / Wikimedia

Jabotinsky’s Lost Moment: June, 1940

Of all the early Zionists, nobody saw the coming Holocaust as clearly as Vladimir Jabotinsky. RICK RICHMAN explores the resonance he had with Americans, the army he almost built, and how his untimely death may have changed history.

continue reading >> Jabotinsky by Yitzhak Danziger. Photo: tamoryair/wikimedia

Oslo Proved Something About Peace, All Right

Twenty years after the dramatic handshake on the White House lawn that heralded the Oslo Accords, peacemakers are still insisting that you lose nothing by trying. As BENJAMIN KERSTEIN shows, they haven't learned a thing.

continue reading >> Secretary_Kerry_and_Deputy_Special_Envoy_Lowenstein_Fly_From_Amman_to_Ramallah CROPP{ED

PHOTOS: Worlds Beneath the Sacred Waters

Off the coast of the Israeli port city of Ashdod, a whole new kind of fishery has emerged, where Mediterranean sharks swim with whole schools of tuna and sea bream. AVIRAM VALDMAN went there with his camera—and a whole lot of guts.

continue reading >> IMG_3055

Issue #8

November 2013
The Tower Magazine

Ataturk, Ben-Gurion, and Turkey's Road Not Taken

Both Israel and Turkey were founded on a secular, ethnic-nationalist, modern and Western-facing vision. But as GABRIEL MITCHELL shows, little differences can mean a lot when it comes to democracy—and it's playing out before our eyes today.

continue reading >> A military parade on Turkish Victory Day. Photo: Nerostrateur / Wikimedia

Why Are There Jihadists In Minnesota?

They traveled from Somalia to the Great Lakes in search of a better life. But now their kids are joining al-Shabab. AIDEN PINK traveled to Minneapolis, where he learned about the newest front in anti-terror.

continue reading >> Minnesota-Jihad-feature

The Decent Marxist

When Norman Geras passed away last month, the world lost an unusually articulate, indefatigable, left-wing thinker who opposed anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and illiberalism in all its forms. JOHN-PAUL PAGANO shows us the way.

continue reading >> norm-courtesy-ann-giles-cropped (1)

The Next Cultural Superpower?

Small countries can contribute a lot to the world cultural stage. BENJAMIN KERSTEIN explores the precedents in the last half-century—and what they could mean for the future of the Jewish state.

continue reading >> Israeli supermodel Bar Refaeli was painted onto a Southwest Airlines plane to promote the 2009 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Photo: Christopher Ebdon / flickr

Facebook Democracy is Good Democracy

For a country that loves its politicians accessible, down-to-earth, and above all authentic, social media have become an invaluable way to talk to your voters. LAHAV HARKOV explores the new political discourse emerging in the Jewish State.

continue reading >> Lapid-in-chair-4

PHOTOS: And Wine Soothes the Soul of Man

In recent years, Israeli vintners have become a global legend. AVIRAM VALDMAN visits the deep purple world of wondrous winemaking.

continue reading >>

Issue #7

October 2013
The Tower Magazine

Who Is the Real Big Winner of the Arab Spring?

Could the pundits be wrong? While conventional wisdom holds Israel's strategic situation has taken a big hit across the Middle East, GABRIEL SCHEINMANN says the opposite is true.

continue reading >> Israeli copters

Of Utopian Dreamers and the Israeli Spirit

After a decade of research, Yossi Klein Halevi has produced the new Israeli epic. DAVID HAZONY profiles the author of "Like Dreamers," which tracks the paratroopers who took the Temple Mount in 1967, and whose lives mirrored the history they made.

continue reading >> ib1177_YKH_091 cropped

The Big Hamas Elephant

As Western leaders launch another round of Israel-Palestinian peace talks, there's one question ELHANAN MILLER is asking: How can there be peace when Hamas rules Gaza?

continue reading >> Chairman of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Ismail Haniyeh. Photo: Abed Rahim Khatib / Flash90

Tel Aviv: Culinary Cathedrals of the White City

ASHLEY RINDSBERG takes us to some of the top restaurants in Tel Aviv, and discovers an eating culture that is exquisite, rapidly changing, and couldn't give a fig for Michelin ratings.

continue reading >> Tel Aviv fusion hotspot Zepra. Photo: Aviram Valdman

Will Egypt’s Liberals Ever Win?

As a new military-backed regime in Cairo works to stabilize Egypt, prospects for long-term reform seem unclear at best. ARMIN ROSEN spent some time with liberal activists there, and came away with more questions than answers.

continue reading >> Down_With_The_Military_Rule(Graffiti) photo wikimedia

PHOTOS: Loving Life at the Dead Sea

With its air rich in oxygen and its minerals an ancient balm for the afflicted, nothing in the Middle East compares for otherworldliness with the Dead Sea. AVIRAM VALDMAN takes us there.

continue reading >> _DSC1571

Issue #6

September 2013
The Tower Magazine

Say It Again. Kurdish Independence Now

Syria has failed. Iraq is breaking apart. But in both countries, one region has become an island of civil order and pro-Western sentiment. JONATHAN SPYER makes the case for Kurdistan.

continue reading >> mountain kurdistan photo flickr

Why I Sometimes Don’t Fully Hate the UN

With its awful record on terror and Israel, many consider the UN a travesty. But as BEN COHEN writes, it is really two separate organizations: One tries to improve humanity; the other advances the Palestinian cause at any price.

continue reading >> uniced boxes boegh flickr 2

Iran Is *Really* Good at Evading Sanctions

Tehran's military nuclear program keeps expanding, even under the toughest sanctions yet. EMANUELE OTTOLENGHI offers a breathtaking look at the regime’s secret tactics. If Western leaders really want to stop Iran, they will have to get much more serious, fast.

continue reading >> dusseldorf harbor cred U Kersting slash flickr

A Pitched Battle for the Only Empty Place Left

LIAM HOARE explores the Negev desert, a vast expanse that has become a battleground between Bedouin needing room for their growing families while preserving their traditions, Jews looking to build a new kind of life, and authorities just trying to impose the rule of law.

continue reading >> Photo: Aviram Valdman

Assaf Inbari Is Looking for a Home

Born on a dying kibbutz in the Galilee, a journalist decided to eternalize the rise and fall of a utopia. The result was ’Home,’ a Marquez-like epic that suddenly placed him among Israel’s literary elite. EETTA PRINCE-GIBSON paid a visit.

continue reading >> _DSC9556

PHOTOS: Summer Before the Storm

Just before what might be an autumn of teeth-grinding battle and lost opportunities, AVIRAM VALDMAN aims his camera at the unique indulgences of what was an unseasonably cool Israeli summer.

continue reading >> rrjxc

Issue #5

August 2013
The Tower Magazine

Deep in Africa, Tehran Spreads Its Tentacles

Despite sanctions, Iran keeps expanding its terrorist reach and making progress towards a nuclear weapon. To achieve this, it's built a vast and effective network in sub-Saharan Africa. ARMIN ROSEN explores.

continue reading >> The ship Francop, captured in 2009 as it smuggled weapons from Iran to Hezbollah. Photo: IDF

The Morocco Model: A Path to Arab Democracy?

More than two years after violent upheavals began sweeping the Arab world, observers search for another way. MICHAEL J. TOTTEN visited one country
that has been above it all—and may hold the keys to a better Arab future.

continue reading >> Rick's Cafe Casablanca

Ego Games: Erdogan’s Olympic-Sized Folly

If Istanbul wins the contest to host the 2020 Olympics, Turkey will become a magnet of global attention. But as AIDEN PINK points out, there's a much darker side to hosting the Games.

continue reading >> Turkey vs Iran. Photo: Singapore 2010 Youth Olympic Games / flickr

Southern Kibbutzim, Under Fire and Losing Faith

At night, they fear the terror of falling rockets. By day they wonder
about the future of Israel's most iconic way of living. LIAM HOARE met the
Kibbutzniks who live too close to the Gaza border.

continue reading >> Kibbutz Nir Yitzhak. Photo: Flash90

Coexistence Chic in Jaffa and South Tel Aviv

The southern neighborhoods of Israel's greatest city are a study in transformation and recombination: From poor to prosperous, Arab to Jewish, ancient to modern. DEBRA KAMIN explores the hopes and regrets of gentrification.

continue reading >> _DSC7436

PHOTOS: The Druze, Another People Apart

Known for their national loyalty and military service, Israel's Druze villagers live a traditional, isolated and somewhat secretive way of life. AVIRAM VALDMAN travels to the Galilee and gives us a rare look.

continue reading >> _DSC8845

Issue #4

July 2013
The Tower Magazine

Dreaming of a Lebanon Without War

MICHAEL J. TOTTEN interviews key figures in Lebanon's Christian, Sunni, and Druze communities, and discovers a country weary of war—and talking publicly of peace with Israel for the first time in a generation.

continue reading >> Photo: semmickphoto / 123RF

The Map that Ruined the Middle East

How has a century-old deal cut between European powers led to endless misery in the Middle East? GABRIEL SCHEINMANN takes a look at the Sykes-Picot agreement, and asks whether the time has come to rethink the whole thing.

continue reading >> 1120px-MPK1-426_Sykes_Picot_Agreement_Map_signed_8_May_1916

Drilldown: Is Blue-and-White Oil on the Way?

Forget about natural gas. Israel is sitting on hundreds of billions of barrels of oil—or so it is often said. DANIEL FINK filters out truth from fantasy in the quest for energy independence.

continue reading >> Oil refineries in Haifa by night. Photo: Shay Levy / Flash90

The Gezi Diaries: Erdogan's Turkey Goes Medieval

For years, pundits have sold Turkey as a modern Muslim miracle. But in the last few months, its Islamist government has revealed its true nature, authoritarian and violent. CLAIRE BERLINSKI offers a first-hand account of the mayhem.

continue reading >> Photo: Resim77 / Flickr

An Ancient Rendezvous with a Gleam in its Eye

It was once the most important port in Israel, the place Napoleon besieged but never quite conquered. NERI ZILBER visits the hotels and restaurants of Acre, a town of lost dreams and a surprisingly bright future.

continue reading >> _DSC1556

PHOTOS: City of Utter Fantasy

Nestled on Israel’s northern shore, Acre has tugged at the imagination from biblical times to Napoleon. AVIRAM VALDMAN walks us through the ancient portal.

continue reading >> _DSC1151

Issue #3

June 2013
The Tower Magazine

The Abyss: Can Anything Save Syria?

The world reels from the cruelty of the Syrian civil war. But as JONATHAN SPYER writes, a serious look at the rebels' struggle and the stakes of failure suggests that Western nations must get involved, and quickly.

continue reading >> 8310964700_d7295389f2_b

The Greatest Living Hebrew Writer Is Arab

An accomplished novelist, screenwriter, and columnist, Sayed Kashua
has taken Israel by storm. DEBRA KAMIN spoke with the man who has
adopted the classic Jewish literary pose of the outsider—and pointed it
at the Jewish state.

continue reading >> kash krop 5a

Hatred Begins in the Classroom

Everyone knows that for peace to prevail, schools need to preach coexistence between Arab and Jew. But as ADI SCHWARTZ discovered, a recent report comparing Palestinian and Israeli textbooks only made matters worse.

continue reading >> Palestinian schoolchildren in Gaza City. Photo: Wissam Nassar/Flash90

My Jerusalem, Forever Divided, Forever One

One day, writes peace activist GERSHON BASKIN, Israel will share its capital with a Palestinian state. The city will have to find a new way to live, its beautiful mosaic of neighborhoods working together under multiple authorities, weaving together a very possible dream.

continue reading >> 18224722_ml

If Peace Never Comes, This Will Be the Reason

DEBORAH DANAN has organized co-existence dialogue for Israelis and Palestinians for years. But one big problem has always gotten in the way—
and understanding it may give us the key to peace at last.

continue reading >> Photo: Aviram Valdman

PHOTOS: City of Gold and Dreams and Blood

Sometimes the most ancient sites offer the most stirring personal moments. AVIRAM VALDMAN aims his camera at the unfathomable human experience
that is Jerusalem.

continue reading >>

Issue #2

May 2013
The Tower Magazine

Has Turkey Betrayed the West?

Once a secular, modernizing country, Turkey's ruthless assault on journalists raises serious doubts about its future. JAMES KIRCHICK takes a look at the most oppressive regime in NATO.

continue reading >> Photo: Ali Gemal Ergelen / Fotopedia

Europe Has a Serious Hezbollah Problem

For the first time in decades, the Lebanese terror group has begun launching attacks on European soil. BENJAMIN WEINTHAL explores the new reality—and what EU leaders can do about it.

continue reading >> Europe has a Hezbollah problem. Photo: buchachon/123RF Stock

Downfall of a Great Newspaper

Israel's most venerable daily has become a cautionary tale about how not to keep a newspaper afloat. EREZ TADMOR spoke with employees at Haaretz about where all this is going.

continue reading >> Headquarters of Haaretz, Israel's once-venerable newpaper. Photo: The Tower/Aviram Valdman

Styles of Belief

After decades as an importer of style, Israel has suddenly gotten the attention of the world's leading designers. ELIANNA BAR-EL took to the streets of Tel Aviv, trying to fathom the deepest currents of its fashion scene.

continue reading >> DSC_4581 for banner 3

I am a British, Liberal Zionist. Deal with It.

LIAM HOARE reflects on the Jewish state, anti-Semitism, and the kibbutz.

continue reading >> Cows, Shavuot, Ein Hashofet

PHOTOS: Christian Secrets of the Judean Desert

From hidden monasteries dug out of the cliff-side to baptismal waters of the Jordan, The Tower's AVIRAM VALDMAN took his camera places where few tourists ever go.

continue reading >> DSC_3882

Issue #1

April 2013
The Tower Magazine

The Only Country Left Standing

Foreign policy "realists" have long argued that America's interests lie in supporting the oil sheikhs and putting pressure on Israel. With the region in turmoil, has the calculus shifted? DAVID HAZONY asks what happens when the only country left standing is the one that some people never wanted to see.

continue reading >> 1-4smaller

Rationalized Violence in the Land of Children

For DAHLIA LITHWICK, raising children in America meant keeping them safe from terrifying random violence. Now in Israel, things have started to make more sense.

continue reading >> DSC_9153

For Israeli Gays, It’s Not About the Ring

In a child-affirming culture, the struggle for equality focuses less on marriage and more on adoption, surrogacy, and parenthood. ZVIKA KRIEGER takes a look.

continue reading >> Gay pride in Jerusalem. Photo by Miriam Alster/FLASh90

Discovering Israel’s Lost Cities

Far away from the hustle of Tel Aviv and the ideological intensity of Jerusalem, there is a third Israel—places like Lod and Shfaram and Ramle—where Arabs and Jews relate to each other in a totally different way. ASHLEY RINDSBERG takes us there. Photos: Aviram Valdman

continue reading >> DSC_8739

Who Is Yair Lapid, and Why Should We Care?

Yair Lapid is Israel's hottest political phenomenon. But as WILLIAM KOLBRENER shows, his new book reveals a far more fascinating tale—of a son embodying his father's own voice, and a father who haunts not only his son but an entire country.

continue reading >> Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party. Photo: Flash 90

PHOTOS: Golan Heights Like a Crazy Dream

Just a few miles from the Syrian tempest, AVIRAM VALDMAN took his camera for a trek to the northern Golan Heights, and discovered a world unlike any other.

continue reading >> DSC_9054