America is a continent-wide democracy of some 330 million citizens, hailing from every nation on the planet. By contrast, Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, with some nine million citizens tucked into the Eastern Mediterranean. Despite the differences in political circumstances, populations, and cultural traditions, somehow it seems that intellectuals, academics, journalists, and other carriers of advanced opinion in both countries share more with each other in their attitudes toward the economy, the government, national histories, and hot-button cultural questions than they do with their fellow citizens. In a new book, the Israeli historian, author, and political commentator Gadi Taub analyzes how this came to be, and what it means for politics and public debate in Israel. To discuss how the culture wars stand in the United States, he is joined by the Hoover Institution senior fellow and former State Department official Peter Berkowitz. Aylana Meisel, the Tikvah Fund director of strategic initiatives, moderates the discussion.
Gadi Taub is an Israeli historian, author, screenwriter, and political commentator. A leading voice in the discourse on the meaning of modern Zionism, Taub is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Communications at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been a regular columnist for many of the major daily newspapers in Israel, including Maariv, Yedioth Ahronoth, and Haaretz, and his work has been published internationally in the New York Times, New Republic, Die Zeit, Corriere della Sera, and others. He is the author of several books, most recently The Mobile and the Stationary (2020).
Peter Berkowitz is the Tad and Dianne Taube Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He studies and writes about, among other things, constitutional government, conservatism and progressivism in America, liberal education, national security and law, and Middle East politics. Awarded the Bradley Prize in 2017, he has written hundreds of essays, articles, and reviews on many subjects for a variety of publications, including American Political Science Review, The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Commentary, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, The London Review of Books, National Review, The New Republic, The New York Post,The New York Sun, Policy Review, The Public Interest, Real Clear Politics, The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard, The Wilson Quarterly, and The Yale Law Journal. His most recent book is Constitutional Conservatism, published in 2013 by the Hoover Institution Press.
He holds a JD and a PhD in political science from Yale University, an MA in philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a BA in English literature from Swarthmore College.
Aylana Meisel is the Deputy Director-General of the Tikvah Fund, Israel. She obtained her JD at Georgetown University Law Center and has a BA in Jewish Studies from the Macaulay Honors College. Her work has been published in outlets including Mosaic, Commentary, and The Jerusalem Post. She is a co-founder of the Jewish Coalition for Religious Liberty and Chairwoman of the Israel Law and Liberty Forum.