September 8, 2022

Eran Lerman on Iran’s Hatred of Israel, and Daniel Polisar on the Meeting that Changed Jewish History

This week, Israeli leaders released a collective sigh of relief when American officials announced that a new nuclear deal with Iran is unlikely to be signed soon. While these leaders’ focus can now return to readying options in the time that remains, Shalem senior lecturer Col. (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, the former deputy director for foreign policy and international affairs at Israel’s National Security Council, urges them to give thought to a more basic question: Why is Iran so committed to Israel’s destruction in the first place? The better we understand the roots of their hatred, he believes, the better our ability to respond effectively. Hear Lerman explain his answer in an interview with Koret Distinguished Fellow Dr. Daniel Gordis on his podcast Israel from the Inside.

Meanwhile, last week marked the beginning of the Hebrew month of Elul, and with it the 125th anniversary of the First Zionist Congress in Basel. Today, nearly three-quarters of a century after the establishment of the modern State of Israel, it’s easy to assume the meeting was a natural, even obvious step toward the rebirth of Jewish nationhood. The truth, explains Shalem College Executive Vice President Daniel Polisar in a recent interview for the Tikvah Podcast, is that the success of the gathering of Jewish nationalists was far from a given, and far more improbable than we might like to admit. Fortunately, the facts behind the legendary meeting that changed the course of Jewish history make for a more thrilling story—and offer more meaningful lessons for today. Listen to the full interview here.

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