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The Bad Thing

Lidija Haas: Ariel Levy’s Memoir, 4 May 2017

The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir 
by Ariel Levy.
Fleet, 207 pp., £16.99, March 2017, 978 0 349 00529 4
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... You can’t​ have it both ways and both ways is the only way Ariel Levy wants it. Levy is best known for her portraits, in the New Yorker, of women who test society’s boundaries, or run up hard against them, and she has often hinted at her own stake in these stories. There was Caster Semenya, the South African runner forced to endure hormone testing and endless discussion as to whether her physical attributes should disqualify her from competing against other women; Edith Windsor, the widow who sued the US government over its refusal to grant legal equality to unions between women and whose case finally brought down the federal Defence of Marriage Act; the Van Dykes, who in 1977 took to the road, shaved their heads, changed their names, and aimed to avoid ‘testosterone poisoning’ by cutting out men almost entirely (they hoped they might one day convert enough lesbians to create a vast Van Dyke population ...

As Many Pairs of Shoes as She Likes

Jenny Turner: On Feminism, 15 December 2011

... of feminism in general: Naomi Wolf (The Beauty Myth, 1990), Susan Faludi (Backlash, 1991), Ariel Levy (Female Chauvinist Pigs, 2005) – big-selling first books by American upper-journalists, young and clever and energetic, bright-eyed and bushy-haired. Unexpectedly, though, Engle’s film also captured the shadow, a living ghost, of something ...

The Beautiful Undead

Jenny Turner: Vegetarian Vampires, 26 March 2009

directed by Catherine Hardwick.
November 2008
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Breaking Dawn 
by Stephenie Meyer.
Atom, 757 pp., £12.99, August 2008, 978 1 905654 28 4
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... about to be descended on and blood-sucked en masse. ‘What are we afraid of? Everything,’ Ariel Levy wrote in Female Chauvinist Pigs, her 2005 study of the way the US media seemed increasingly dependent on pornographic imagery, even as federal funding for sex education programmes ‘except for those advocating abstinence until marriage’ was ...

Israel and the Gulf

Avi Shlaim, 24 January 1991

... The key portfolios in the new government went to the members of Shamir’s Likud Party. David Levy, a populist of Moroccan origins, became Foreign Minister. Mr Levy does not speak English. But since little more than a dialogue of the deaf with the United States was likely on the peace process, this was not considered a ...

Israel’s Message

Ilan Pappe: Gaza, 1 January 2009

... empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them. ‘Gaza is the problem,’ Levy Eshkol, then prime minister of Israel, said in June 1967. ‘I was there in 1956 and saw venomous snakes walking in the street. We should settle some of them in the Sinai, and hopefully the others will immigrate.’ Eshkol was discussing the fate of the ...

The Fighting Family

Avi Shlaim, 9 May 1996

Israel, Likud and the Zionist Dream: Power, Politics and Ideology from Begin to Netanyahu 
by Colin Shindler.
Tauris, 324 pp., £25, August 1995, 1 85043 969 9
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Summing Up: An Autobiography 
by Yitzhak Shamir.
Weidenfeld, 276 pp., £19.99, April 1994, 0 297 81337 4
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Broken Covenant: American Foreign Policy and the Crisis between the US and Israel 
by Moshe Arens.
Simon and Schuster, 320 pp., $25, February 1995, 0 671 86964 7
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A Zionist Stand 
by Ze’ev Begin.
Cass, 173 pp., £15, January 1993, 0 7146 4089 1
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Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorism 
by Benjamin Netanyahu.
Farrar, Straus, 152 pp., $17, October 1995, 0 374 15492 9
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... of Egypt’s disengagement from the conflict, Begin, aided and abetted by his Defence Minister Ariel Sharon, launched Israel on the road to war in Lebanon. Shindler devotes four chapters to the Lebanon war, but the real logic behind it eludes him. The war was about securing the Land of Israel and it was directed primarily against the Palestinians, not ...

The sea is the same sea

Adam Shatz: Bibi goes to Washington, 30 August 2018

Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu 
by Anshel Pfeffer.
Hurst, 423 pp., £20, May 2018, 978 1 84904 988 7
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... had their fascination, from the monastic self-discipline of David Ben-Gurion to the gluttony of Ariel Sharon. Netanyahu comes across as a hollow figure: a ‘marketing man’, in the words of Max Hastings, who met him while writing a biography of his brother Jonathan. Yet Netanyahu can hardly be avoided, or his survival skills denied. If he is not forced ...

Covid-19 in the Time of Netanyahu

Yonatan Mendel: Bibi has done it again, 7 May 2020

... a rock star and once a leading peace activist, said in an op-ed. Even the journalist Gideon Levy, who is usually highly critical of government policies, felt it was time to leave Netanyahu alone. ‘Netanyahu is the best there is for now, with the emphasis on “there is” and “for now”,’ he wrote in Haaretz, upsetting many on the left. He argued ...

A Road Map to Where?

Edward Said: The Future of the Middle East, 19 June 2003

... al-Assad, of course. All this is part of what now looks like a major American push forward. That Ariel Sharon has accepted the road map (although with enough reservations to undercut this acceptance) seems to augur well for a viable Palestinian state. Bush’s vision (the word strikes a weird dreamy note in what is meant to be a hard-headed, definitive peace ...


Yonatan Mendel: How to Become an Israeli Journalist, 6 March 2008

... national and international embarrassment. Ehud Olmert’s shady apartment deal, the business of Ariel Sharon’s mysterious Greek island, Binyamin Netanyahu’s secret love affair, Yitzhak Rabin’s secret American bank account: all of these are freely discussed by the Israeli media. When it comes to ‘security’ there is no such freedom. It’s ...

Palestinians under Siege

Edward Said: Putting Palestine on the map, 14 December 2000

... were provided by the Foundation for Middle East Peace, Washington.]On 29 September, the day after Ariel Sharon, guarded by about a thousand Israeli police and soldiers strode into Jerusalem’s Haram al-Sharif (the ‘Noble Sanctuary’) in a gesture designed to assert his right as an Israeli to visit the Muslim holy place, a conflagration started which ...

Nothing he hasn’t done, nowhere he hasn’t been

Adam Shatz: Claude Lanzmann, 5 April 2012

The Patagonian Hare: A Memoir 
by Claude Lanzmann, translated by Frank Wynne.
Atlantic, 528 pp., £25, March 2012, 978 1 84887 360 5
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... Lanzmann conducted extensive interviews with senior military officials, including Ehud Barak and Ariel Sharon. In Tsahal, Lanzmann’s style of questioning soldiers is avuncular, chummy, even doting at times. He hugs them at pilot school, admires their equipment, compliments them on their looks. The lesson of the Holocaust – the need to remain vigilant in ...

The Israel Lobby

John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt: The Israel Lobby, 23 March 2006

... can’t have an Israeli policy other than what AIPAC gives you around here.’ Or as Ariel Sharon once told an American audience, ‘when people ask me how they can help Israel, I tell them: “Help AIPAC.”’ Thanks in part to the influence Jewish voters have on presidential elections, the Lobby also has significant leverage over the executive ...

Responses to the War in Gaza

LRB Contributors, 29 January 2009

... empty houses and no doubt killing the ‘terrorists’ hiding in them. ‘Gaza is the problem,’ Levy Eshkol, then prime minister of Israel, said in June 1967. ‘I was there in 1956 and saw venomous snakes walking in the street. We should settle some of them in the Sinai, and hopefully the others will immigrate.’ Eshkol was discussing the fate of the ...

Is Palestine Next?

Adam Shatz: The No-State Solution, 14 July 2011

... symbolic – weapon was the stone. When the Second Intifada began in late September 2000 following Ariel Sharon’s visit to the Temple Mount, it looked much like the first, but Israel’s response did not: the IDF, by its own account, fired more than a million bullets during the first few weeks. Before long, the intifada had turned into an armed ...

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