In their recent book Never Alone, Natan Sharansky and Gil Troy discuss the former’s experiences as a Soviet refusenik, as a member of the Knesset and the Israeli cabinet, and as head of the Jewish Agency. Here, in conversation with Abraham Socher, the two examine some of the book’s themes in light of both the upcoming holiday of Passover and the troubles of the present. Sharansky recalls celebrating his first seders with other Jewish dissidents, and later in solitary confinement in a KGB prison—where he had three pieces of dried bread for matzah, hot water for wine, salt for a bitter herb, and no text to read from. Yet he had the Haggadah’s declaration “This year we are slaves, next year we will be free men; this year we are here, next year in Jerusalem” to give him strength.
From Freedom from Egyptian Slavery to Freedom from Soviet Tyranny—and Freedom from Anti-Semitism
Why a Government Victory in Southwestern Syria Is Bad News for Israel
Last week, Russia negotiated a ceasefire between the Syrian government and rebel forces in the city of Daraa, where the initial protests that sparked the uprising against Bashar al-Assad began. The agreement ended a 75-day assault on the city, located near the country’s southwestern border, by Russian, Iranian, and Syrian forces. Jonathan Spyer explains the significance of these events: