Matti Friedman

Matti Friedman is the author of a memoir about the Israeli war in Lebanon, Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story of a Forgotten War (2016). His latest book is Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel (2019).

Netflix's "The Spy" Manages to Convey the Ethnic Irony at the Heart of Eli Cohen's Life

In 1960s Israel, Arabic-speaking Jews were invaluable as spies for their new country. In normal life, they were marginalized.

Oct. 29 2019 12:01AM

Podcast: Matti Friedman on How Jews from Arab Lands Have Shaped Israel

The journalist and author joins us to talk about Israel as a Mizraḥi nation.

Sept. 26 2019 12:18AM

What Really Happened at Masada?

The desert fortress has become a powerful symbol of Jewish resistance. A new book examines the evidence to see how much of the story, including the famous mass suicide, is true.

Aug. 14 2019 12:01AM

Playing Defense in Lebanon

A new book explores the changing tactics, and essential continuities, in Israel’s decades-long but mostly undeclared war against Hizballah.

Dec. 27 2018 12:01AM

Israel and the Moral Striptease

Self-flagellation, if performed at the behest of someone else, with money from somewhere else, is no longer just self-flagellation. Israelis would do well to remember this.

July 20 2015 12:01AM

The Latest "Breaking the Silence" Report Isn't Journalism. It's Propaganda.

The Israeli NGO won international attention last week for claiming to expose IDF malfeasance in Gaza. It exposed something else.

May 14 2015 12:01AM

From Mosul to Jerusalem

By winning wars and becoming sovereign, the Jews of the Middle East have inverted the regional order of things, and been spared the fate of other native minorities.

June 22 2014 9:20PM

Mizrahi Nation

Long shut out of the country’s story, Middle Eastern Jews now make up half of Israel’s population, influencing its culture in surprising ways. Who are they?

June 1 2014 9:30PM