For a deeper understanding of Israel and the region

Fathom Highlight | Exploiting COVID-19 to bash Israel + Mandate100: why did the original Bi-nationalist fail? + Remembering Robert Fine / 14 April / 2020

Our Fathom Highlight this week is a bumper issue with five new pieces. Cary Nelson looks at the contrast between the much-praised Israeli-Palestinian cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic and the drive by some to exploit the crisis to demonise Israel. We continue our Mandate100 special issue with a major new essay by Ben Reiff using archival research to assess why the original Zionist bi-nationalists failed so comprehensively. Philip Spencer assesses the legacy of Robert Fine, a Fathom advisory editor who passed away over a year ago, and a leading thinker on contemporary forms of antisemitism. Donna Robinson Divine reviews The Making of the Israeli Far-Right: Abba Ahimeir and Zionist Ideology by Peter Bergamin. And finally, five more Fathom contributors — Stephen de Wijze, Matthew Levitt, Liam Hoare, Jonathan Paris and Jonathan Rynhold — suggest a book or film for readers during the lockdown.

Our Voice of the Week is the Middle East Institute’s Michael Sexton and Eliza Campbell discuss the variety of new surveillance technologies deployed by governments in the Middle East to track the spread of COVID-19, and the tension between public health and privacy concerns.

Our Image of the Week is workers sanitising a neighbourhood as part of protective measures against the coronavirus in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province, 9 April 2020. Photo by Ali Syria, Flash90.

A Pandemic of Anti-Zionist Signification: Exploiting Gaza for Ideological Gain

by Cary Nelson

‘Close and unprecedented’ was how the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OCHA) described Israeli-Palestinian cooperation in its first ‘COVID-19 Emergency Situation Report’ on 24 March. This has not stopped antisemites and anti-Zionists the world over trying to exploit the pandemic to demonise the Jewish people and Israel. Cary Nelson examines the phenomenon, focusing on a recent letter published in the medical journal The Lancet before being withdrawn. Blaming The Jews Again...

Voice of the Week


Image of the Week


Mandate100 | ‘Neither a Jewish State nor an Arab State’: How Zionist Bi-Nationalism Tried and Failed to Change the Face of the Middle East
by Ben Reiff

In a penetrating study that draws on extensive archival research Ben Reiff asks why the small but vociferous Zionist minority that sought to establish a...

Remembering Robert Fine
by Philip Spencer

The late writings of Robert Fine, who died in 2018, can help us understand the manifold connections between the Enlightenment roots and the contemporary forms...

Book Review | The Making of the Israeli Far-Right: Abba Ahimeir and Zionist Ideology
by Donna Robinson Divine

It is hard to imagine a more fitting time for a study of Abba Ahimeir, not only because his ideas may have been critical for...

From Stephen De Wijze to Matthew Levitt, Fathom writers share their favourite books and films (Week 3)
by Fathom Editors

Each week Fathom writers will recommend five Israel-related books, films or podcasts to help our readers through the lockdown. Earlier recommendations can be found here...

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