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History As It Happens

May 23, 2024

In the United States and in capitals across the world, liberal democracy is under pressure. We are told that fascism is on the rise. Commentators rummage through the past on the hunt for analogies to explain our current predicament. How does democracy die? What does creeping fascism really look like? Maybe there...


May 21, 2024

In an essay for Foreign Affairs, the Israeli historian Tom Segev argues that a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is impossible. As early as 1919, the future prime minister David Ben-Gurion observed that both nations' competing claims to the land created an unbridgeable abyss. In this episode,...


May 16, 2024

President Joseph Biden's decision to pause bomb shipments to Israel over its planned invasion of Rafah provoked a curious charge from Republican legislators. They accused Biden of "abandoning" Israel despite his steadfast support of the Jewish state not only for much of the past seven months (since the 10/7 Hamas...


May 14, 2024

The American diplomat George Kennan was the architect of the Cold War "containment" policy toward the Soviet Union. Writing in the late 1940s, Kennan viewed the USSR as a hostile expansionist enemy, but one that would be willing to compromise if checked by the United States. Containment did not mean the U.S. could...


May 9, 2024

Campus antiwar protests are disturbing some Jewish students, administrators, and politicians by chanting an Arabic word meaning uprising, intifada. Since Israel began its military occupation of Palestinian territories in 1967, Palestinians have waged two uprisings: in 1987 and 2000. Both were crushed by the IDF. In this...