July 29, 2019
It’s not European. And it doesn’t divide into right and left, religious and secular. Matti Friedman, author of a new book about Mizrahi spies, on why Israel baffles and infuriates
Israel is in the Middle East.
That may sound like one of the more banal opening sentences to an article, but it’s a fact, argues Matti Friedman, that seems to continually elude many commentators and critics of Israel, many Diaspora Jews who pronounce themselves baffled by some of Israel’s actions and policies, and, indeed, many Israelis themselves.
…The ““real” Israel, Friedman argues, is the Middle Eastern Israel, Israel as “part of the continuum of Judaism in the Muslim world.” The more you understand and internalize that, he says, the better you understand this country — everything from its cuisine and its music to its behavior and, crucially, its politics.”…