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Funding an Israel We Disagree With?

The following is a transcript of Episode 71 of the For Heaven’s Sake Podcast. Note: This is a lightly edited transcript of a conversation, please excuse any errors. 

Donniel: Hi, my name is Donniel Hartman, and I’m the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and this is For Heaven’s Sake, a podcast from the Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project. Major support for For Heaven’s Sake comes from the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation. Our theme for today is money and the Israel judicial debate.

In each edition of For Heaven’s Sake, Yossi Klein Halevi, senior research fellow at the Institute here in Jerusalem and myself discuss a current issue central to Israel in the Jewish world, and then Elana Stein Hain, head of the Beit Midrash of Shalom Hartman Institute North America and Senior Fellow explores with us how classical Jewish sources can enrich our understanding of the issue.

Unfortunately, today, Elana is recuperating from a flu, won’t be able to join us. I hope you get better really soon, Elana, we miss you. Let’s dive into this intriguing topic of money and the Israel judicial debate. 

As the Pesach political freeze comes to an end and the Presidential compromise negotiations resume, today we wanna reflect on the hindrances to achieving a social compromise. Now, our intent is not to speak about the the legislative reform and particulars of that reform and what possible compromises might be. Our focus is on what is making compromise more difficult to achieve on a social level even? Even, do we want compromise? I believe many of us don’t really even want it. 

This has been a period of great ideological divide, one of the most profound in Israel’s history. As many on each side believe that nothing less than the future of Israel and Zionism is on the table. And how is compromise even possible?

But as we debate issues of democracy, human rights, truth, justice, morality, the debate has become increasingly sectarian, aggressive, personal. We’re often not even debating any more ideologies, like who even knows the different principles of the judicial reform? Very often what we started to do is we start vilifying institutions individuals. The carriers of these ideologies, not even the ideologies themselves. And if you have an ideological debate, it’s one thing, but how do you have a debate when, when the evil is not, or the, that what you’re disagreeing with is not an opinion, it’s a person. 

It’s like, I know in the demonstrations that I go to, one of the core chants at every demonstration is Yariv Levin, kan zeh loh polin, Yariv Levin, this is not Poland. And it’s if like, it’s not even the reform, it’s Yari Levine, it’s Rotman, it’s the people. 

Now, one of the issues at the front line of the debate, which is making the conversation especially toxic, is the issue of money. Whose money or more accurately, how do we feel about the money which is coming from Jews or sources outside of Israel.

On both sides, this issue is one of the tools we use to de-legitimize the other, to move away from a debate around content to a personal vilification. For example, advocates of the judicial reform are constantly trying to delegitimize the protest movement as being funded by non- Israelis. And thus when I go and demonstrate I’m illegitimate because I’m really being funded by a foreign intervention. I’m a foreigner, I’m a traitor. It’s a, it’s a foreign intervention into Israeli life. 

Yair Netanyahu, the master tweeter has even accused the demonstrators of being funded by the US state. That there’s a cabal. It was so bad, Yossi, I don’t know if you know this, Yair is not allowed to tweet anymore. These instructions we’re now getting like, get off.

Yossi: I miss him, I miss him.

Donniel: It’s like, like I think Netanyahu was just like enough, it’s like, this is just too destructive. But it’s, by the way, that’s just one side. A similar move is that the for of the campaign of us against the reform as the protest movement is focusing increasingly on the advocates of the reform’s diaspora funders. And because they’re diaspora funders de-legitimizing it, making it not an issue about what’s good for Israel, but an issue of what are these foreigners trying to do with a country that’s not theirs? Even talking about take your hands off of Israel, your children aren’t in the army. This is a conversation that is making, or really increasing dramatically the level of toxicity. 

Now let’s be very upfront. In this debate, we at the Hartman Institute, we’re not disinterested observers. Most of the funding of the Hartman Institute comes from North American Jews. And so the ability to delegitimize us on the basis of our funding, the ability to claim that it’s not you, it’s your funders’ agenda is something that I’ve constantly been exposed to. 

I’m blacklisted, and the institute is blacklisted by certain right wing figures in the government and the claim, they don’t even have to argue about my positions, they just claim who’s funding us. 

One of the funnier things is 10 years ago, I got $5,000 from the New Israel Fund. I wish I got $5 million from the New Israel Fund, but I got $5,000. And since then, since the New Israel Fund is the foreign funder, you know, the Institute is somehow illegitimate.

Yossi, this is where we are. And you know, as the debate is becoming more vicious, the issue of money is increasingly at the heart of some of the more aggressive arguments. And I know for me, For Heaven’s Sake is all about a culture of conversation. And I wanna talk about, together, about the culture of this debate and also the particulars about money.

What is it about money? Is diasporic funding a problem? Should there be limits and what they should be? So that’s our conversation. And before we talk directly about the money, it’s all about the toxicity of the debate. Yossi, you and I agree about a lot of things and, but here we’ve been diverging a little bit. Are you even looking for a compromise or for a consensus or for the different forces to come together here or the divergent forces?

Yossi: So, we’re about to diverge even more, Donniel, because what I feel is happening here, I don’t just mean in our conversation, although it’s happening here too, but more broadly, is that we’re conflating two issues. 

On the one hand, there is a necessary ideological debate that has begun about not just judicial reform, but basic identity. What does it mean to be a democratic state, a Jewish state, these are issues that we’ve in a way suppressed and in some ways there’s something very moving about this emerging at our 75th anniversary. And it’s a debate that we need to have. 

The problem is that it’s happening within the context of a debate over the legitimacy, the moral legitimacy over this government. For me, the burning issue is to prevent a band of scoundrels and fanatics, which is how I see this government, from destroying much of what is essential about not only Israeli democracy, but the Israeli economy, our ability to have minimal social cohesiveness. 

And you can’t have a substantive debate over identity with a government that I regard as morally illegitimate. You know, Netanyahu referred to the Bennett Lapid government as legal, but not legitimate. And I think that’s a terrific way of summing up this government. 

Now it’s, for me, it’s not legitimate for a prime minister on trial for corruption to be touching the judicial system, let alone initiating the most far-reaching changes in the judicial system in Israel’s history, nor is it legitimate for a Kahanist whom the army wouldn’t draft because it didn’t believe that he could be trusted with a gun to be entrusted, not only with the police force, but with his own private militia. 

So I can’t have this debate over identity issues. I can’t conceive of a compromise with people whose motives I don’t trust, who are either personally motivated or whose politics are so radical and fringe that I don’t have the most basic common language with them. 

And so this notion of both sides, and one last point here, Donniel, if I had to sum up the tenor of my 40 year career reporting and commenting about Israel, it would be listen to both sides. That that’s how I defined myself as a centrist, that I was the meeting point between left and right. That left and right weren’t debating out there, but in two rival camps. They were debating within me. That was my Israeli voice.

This year, something broke down for me. I can’t carry that voice anymore when I’m confronting a government that I feel is truly a government of national destruction.

Donniel: You know, I, we’ve said this, and I really appreciate you saying it again and articulating it, not only coherently, succinctly, but part of me agrees with you, but a big part of me doesn’t. And as I’m listening to you, I’m trying to figure out why, because, you know, this is what you and I do with each other all the time.

You know, I can’t tell you how much I’ve learned from you over the years. You know, we listen to each other. So I’m sitting here, 

Yossi: Well, it’s, it’s very mutual, Donniel. 

Donniel: I’m sitting here, I’m listening to you, and I accept each one of the individual arguments, but somehow I come to another conclusion. 

So much of my life, I have experienced people who’ve delegitimized what I had to say without even listening to what I have to say. They’ve delegitimized me just for my last name, just, you know, my last name. You know, or now, constantly, oh, the Hartman Institute and they, they put me into a box.

And so I’ve made it an integral part of my life to not look at people, but to look at arguments. I wanna know what you have to say. There might be people who I don’t vote for. There might be people who I think shouldn’t run for the Knesset. There are lines. But once you’re in the Knesset, I wanna talk about the issues.

And let’s be really honest here. If you would’ve spoken to me a year ago and asked me, Donniel, what’s your attitude towards judicial form? I would’ve said, what do you need it for? Nothing. It’s perfect. There’s no problem at all. The fact that some of these people who you called illegitimate are in power, they forced me to study and to think, and I’m actually now for some parts of judicial reform.

I didn’t think that way a year ago. I didn’t even think that way five months ago. And if I would’ve continued to just look at the people, then we would’ve continued like we’re camps. I have my camp, you have your camp. And I appreciate the nuance cause that’s not who you, your whole life, you’re saying, Donniel, that’s who I’ve been my whole life, in this case, I don’t let myself do that. 

This is a legitimately elected government of Israel. And I don’t wanna call them illegitimate. And you wanna know something, when people call the Bennett government illegitimate, it upset me profoundly. Profoundly. I don’t wanna use that language.

Now it’s true, my arguments with Ben Gvir might be different than my arguments with Levin or Netanyahu. And when I look forward, I, I’m really worried. And this money issue that we’re gonna delve in is just, it’s like fuel to this. We’re gonna have to compromise. We’re gonna have to find compromises, including with people who we don’t trust. We’re gonna have to. There’s no way around it. For the wellbeing of the country. 

And I wanna tell you, there are compromises that can be found, and I believe, when you concentrate on the substantive issues, you can find them.

The problem is, is that we’re not talking the substantive issues. A debate? Let’s have a debate. But when it is the person, there’s no future, Yossi, and the only way this process is gonna progress, Yossi, it’s just gonna get worse and worse and worse. And the notion of change is gonna be the next election in three, four years.

Is there something in the middle that we could channel? That’s what I’m hoping for. Am I upsetting you? Do you feel I’m not presenting you correctly?

Yossi: No, you’re presenting me correctly and I, I appreciate what you’re saying and you are really trying to do a move that again, has been the substance of my Israeli commitment, which is how do we hold together? 

And I think that there is a possibility for compromise provided that we maintain relentless pressure in the streets because that’s brought us to the point where the government has had to pull back.

Donniel: Okay. That I could accept, that I could accept. That’s why I continued to demonstrate and I sat down with myself, I asked myself, should I keep on demonstrating? 

Yossi: Okay, so there we have. There we have a, yes.

Donniel: And I know, I know it’s not gonna be goodwill, it’s gonna be pressure. But at the end, we’re go, we’re go. 

Yossi: Ah, okay. Okay. Okay. 

Donniel: I’m, I, I accept that.

Yossi: Okay, so, so if that’s the case, then you and I have a basis for arguing because we’re really speaking essentially the same language with nuances because I agree in the end, we’re going to have to figure out a way of living together in this little country, obviously. 

Donniel: Even Ben Gvir is gonna be the Minister of Homeland Security for the next three years. What do we do? Like I wanna, to echo the Supreme, the Americans, they say, what is he doing? When he’s doing something wrong, I wanna fight him, I wanna argue. But I don’t wanna necessarily assume that by definition, every single thing that he does is morally corrupt, racist. 

In other words, part of where we move forward is how do we stop this individual vilification, even though we believe that the people have earned it?

Yossi: So that’s where you and I part ways. I think that we need to maintain not just pressure in the streets, but a deep and justified weariness of who these people are and what their motives are. And, you know, Donniel, listening to you, I’m looking at something in myself that I’m not happy with.

And what that is is a growing inability to distinguish between this government that, I don’t know if I made myself sufficiently clear,

Donniel: Yossi. You have. We don’t, it’s like I, I, I can’t hear it again. I can’t. Enough.

Yossi: Have I, have I told, have I told you what I really think of this government? So on the one hand, there’s that critique, and on the other, what I feel about their voters who are ordinary Israelis, friends, neighbors, people we served with in the army, people we do business with, people we love. And I’m not speaking abstractly, the country is too small for that. 

And what I tried to do when this government came in was draw a red line between my critique of this, what I call a junta, with all of the resonance of that word, and you and I can deeply disagree about that.

Donniel: We don’t have to anymore. I think we have, I’m afraid we’re gonna, they’re gonna get nauseous, our listeners. 

Yossi: And on the other hand, they’re voters and, and initially, 

Donniel: Okay. Fair enough.

Yossi: No, but it’s not because I’m not succeeding. I’m not succeeding in, in making that distinction. 

Donniel: Even psychologically.

Yossi: Yes. Because what I find myself saying is, even now, after everything we see, you still support this government? What’s wrong with you? And so, and this is the, this is the problem.

Donniel: Yossi the one thing, can I give you some good news? And maybe we should have a podcast about this. But let’s just put, actually not just maybe. The changes going on in Israeli society, there’s been a 20% shift. 

Yossi: Right, no, its extraordinary. 

Donniel: It’s extraordinary, the shift in numbers. But let’s go now to in this context, now let’s make it complicated. You know, it’s always, the story, ah, it’s just money. You know, money is, is actually the thing that very often makes it the most toxic. This diaspora money, when you hear it, because each side is using it, the Hartman Institute’s been attacked, each side is there, and each side is saying, you, I don’t have to argue about Kohelet, I don’t care about what you say or what you do. Your money, and that, that creates this vilification. 

Where, where are you?

Yossi: So I think that Israelis across the spectrum play a duplicitous game here. And the game is that so long as you are supporting my side diaspora intervention is fine and your money is entirely clean. But if you are supporting the other side, and we all play that game, listen carefully, to the opponents of the government, the supporters of the government, it’s not just legitimate, but it’s the responsibility of diaspora Jews to fund my camp because I’m trying to save Israel. 

But as soon as you fund the other camp, you’re beyond the pale. And who are you to be intervening in our politics? And so the first principle that we need to, you know, here at the Hartman Institute, we’re all about first principles, and I think we need to lay out some principles at this moment.

Principle number one, diaspora Jews not only have the right to be involved with domestic issues in Israel, but the responsibility. And that flows from our own self-definition as the nation state of the Jewish people. It doesn’t only come with benefits, it comes with responsibilities. 

And one of the responsibilities is to provide a seat at the table for Diaspora Jews. And there’s no more concrete expression of that than than accepting the right of Diaspora Jews to fund your Israeli political rivals.

Donniel: So, the duplicitousness or the duplicity, let’s unpack it a little bit cause it really is so interesting how every side believes that we have an inalienable right to receive diaspora money. And when you receive it, it is betrayal. 

Now the duplicitousness of it is so apparent, like, but how does it, let’s try to analyze it for a moment because, you know, I was always, one of the fundamental principles of, in philosophy is if someone says five plus six equals 12, you say, no, no, no, excuse me, it’s 11.

But if someone says five plus six is 4,763,912, you don’t correct them. You realize they’re not doing math, they’re doing something else. Now, it’s so obvious, one side is saying, we know, we know that both sides are receiving money. And I think part of the whole story is, is that on the left, we’ve been accused for so long, the center, center left has been excused so long.

Yossi: Thank you for making that correction, because I’m not left.

Donniel: Yossi, I hate to tell you. I hate to tell you.

Yossi: No, no, don’t, don’t, don’t go there.

Donniel: Okay. But don’t worry. Some of my best friends are left, so it’s allowed. But when mistakes are so huge, you have to try to understand them.

Now, the, literally, judicial reform has been funded, just like every other institution in Israel, the right wing, has been funded and supported, Netanyahu for this is their whole, you know, how much more gifts does Netanyahu have to get from the right wing for us to speak about? Like it’s just there.

The left, of course, we’re, every educational institution, but why are we still using this language? 

Yossi: It’s interesting, because,

Donniel: What is the nature of the debate? Because there’s something that it, it shouldn’t be there. But we use it. And when we use it, one last thing I would like, we do it so self righteously. At least you see, at least if you did it, you know, with like, okay, I know I’m being an a-hole. I know I’m doing, like, I know I’m doing shtick, I know I’m doing falseness. I’m, you know, I’m doing fake. Whatever it is. You know what you, but it’s the conviction. When you meet the people, there’s such anger and like, how dare you? 

Somehow, all of a sudden this whole revolution in Israel is totally the result of North American or the reverse, institute, the whole, all of liberal Judaism in Israel, all of this, this whole demonstration is all just playing out American State Department and liberal American Jews agenda and Israelis don’t, like and everybody is so convinced. So what is it that makes five plus six 4,743,912.

Yossi: So I think that Israelis, first of all, are not being consciously, deliberately hypocritical here. I think the self-righteousness is real. And of course, unconscious, Israelis aren’t aware of the fact that they’re being hypocritical. But I think you gave a really interesting insight, when you said that for both sides, the stakes are so high.

And I think, I think that if you look at the traditional role that Israelis have seen Diaspora Jews playing in the relationship and that the diaspora itself saw for the formative years in the relationship, the diaspora’s role was to support Israel in its existential struggle. And the key word here is existential.

The stakes are so high, and so what we’ve done is we’ve internalized the existential threat, our internal debate has absorbed the existential dread which we once reserved for our external enemies. Now the war is internal and so you diaspora Jews. If you are supporting the other side, you are supporting an existential threat to Israel.

How dare you? You’re supposed to be on the side of Israel survival. I’m the one who’s speaking for Israel’s survival. Don’t you see? And so you are betraying your traditional role of supporting Israel at its existential moment.

Donniel: Interesting. Interesting. I, I like that. I wanna add another dimension to it, and I like very much what you said. I think at the core, Israelis aren’t comfortable with money coming from outside of Israel. I’m not talking about individual institutions. I’m talking on a national level. Israel is supposed to be the great success of Jewish life.

And in many ways, part of the whole Israeli revolution is that when we made Aliyah, we are gonna determine our own future. We, we are, 

Yossi: Mm. That’s great. That’s great.

Donniel: That’s what Zionism is about. And when the world, when anybody, anybody who’s not inside Israel, there’s this myth, there’s no such thing as independence, but there’s this myth of this autonomous Israeli, we have become this autonomous Übermensches, like, we become this powerful, this Jew of muscle and power and we should be determining.

So when you fund me, I’m determining, but it’s, it’s not, it’s not the idea, it’s just, it’s me still funding.

Yossi: That’s great. Totally right. Totally right. 

Donniel: But when you’re funding the other one, somehow, it’s a foreign intervention because at the core, Israelis are unbelievably suspicious of foreign intervention, not because they don’t want North American Jews to determine whether their kids will go to war. That’s the superficial part. 

And then we can make the distinction that you make, which I think is critical, between getting involved in Israel’s internal policy and getting involved in Israel’s security policy, that’s a critical distinction. Critical. 

And in many ways, the whole essence of the Hartman Institute is that what happens in Israel belongs to all of us. And so how could you not get involved if we’re claiming that Israel is your hope? So the intervention, it’s not that this is not security. Usually we try to point to the existential dimension. I think it is just, we are supposed to be autonomous and when all of a sudden, something or someone is empowered as a result of something that, of assistance, it comes from chutz la’aretz, it’s an anti-Zionist move.

I think they might even be aware that they’re duplicitous, but they can’t help themselves.

Yossi: So, it’s so profound, Donniel, what you’re saying, because you’re really touching on a core psychological principle that has been key to the success of Israel. The illusion that we are completely autonomous, and if you listen, if you listen to some of the voices in this government, especially after Biden criticized the judicial revolution of Netanyahu, they were saying, you can shove your money, you know, take your money, we’re proud Jews, you know? 

Yeah. Right. Go ahead and take your bunker busters and take the anti missile system. Go ahead. Just shove it. 

Donniel: The UN veto. Yeah. We don’t need, yeah, we’re,

Yossi: Yeah. That’s right. That’s right. And, you know, but it feels good to be able to say that while, while at the same time know that the money is still coming.

It’s really interesting if just a little bit of historical trivia here. The first debate that tore Israeli society apart was in 1950-51, and it was over money. It was over German reparations. Now, of course, the context was completely different, but Menachem Begin, the head of the opposition then, actually led a riot and invaded the Knesset. And was suspended for six months. We don’t want your blood money. 

Now, of course, the overlays of emotion were raw and the Shoah was only, had, had happened literally five, six years earlier. But there’s something there that I think really has resonated throughout the Israeli psyche about this rage and being dependent on outsiders, let alone Germans. But even, even your own sisters and brothers, we want, you’re right, it’s essential to Zionism. We’re supposed to be leading the Jewish people. We can’t be dependent on outsiders.

Donniel: Right. So this money issue, it’s easy. There’s another side to it. It’s easy to look at the money. And as we talk about compromise, and maybe this, we can bring this to a conclusion, I’ll give you some last words if you want, is that focusing on the money is in many ways a way to avoid talking about the substance, talking about the debate that we’re in.

You know, you and I, we could debate the legitimacy of the government. We could debate the reform, which part of a reform. We could talk about settlements, we could talk about hundreds, state and religion, we could talk about hundreds of issues and we could talk and we could debate. But when you focus on the money, it allows you to create some insidious aura around the other side that at the end it’s not gonna help us.

Because when all is said and done, we’re gonna have to build coalitions and we’re gonna have to learn to live with each other. And so this place of money, I find it fascinating. I find it very troubling. I find the troubling as a Hartman Institute, like, as I said, I’m invested here. I’m a major player in Israeli society. And everything that I do is by virtue of friends who have funded us. 

And so I know that there’s a self-interest behind this podcast, you know, it’s true. So, and those who wanna discount us, Yossi, they’ll be able to discount us. They’ll do the same thing. Oh, they’re getting the money. That’s not it. There is a serious issue that we have to figure out on how we conduct our debate with each other. What’s the way we argue? What’s the way that we try to weaken the other that’s legitimate? How do we try to win a debate? And what’s illegitimate in that debate?

And the place of money in this is, is it’s always the easiest one. The Hartman Institute has suffered from it tremendously. It behooves us, to be very, very careful. There’s one other part about it, and that is when you attack the money, how else are diaspora Jews supposed to get involved? It also hits diaspora Jews at their weakest place.

Cause you could say, make Aliyah, you can’t vote. What am I supposed to do? So, protest? So like, what is it? You know, we have hundreds of thousands. So I actually, in this last lecture trip that I had, I was speaking about how there should be a hundred synagogues across North America and a hundred federations, like all lining up and saying, okay, every fourth week, 25 are gonna have on Sunday between 12 and one o’clock connected to each other on Zoom a demonstration for the Israel we want. 

There are mechanisms in which North American Jews could let their voices be heard, not just when Smotrich comes, and a hundred people show up and say, don’t, you know? And then you always have a problem of who else is showing up. But imagine if there was a consistent movement where North American Jews had a chance to show up. But the reality is when you’re 6 to 10,000 miles, money, whether it was the little money you bought a tree, whatever it was, is a primary vehicle of North American voice. 

And I think the power play around that and the delegitimization of world Jewry on the basis of it is also not a naive move.

Last words, Yossi?

Yossi: It’s very touching what you’re saying Donniel, because in a way, we’ve put diaspora Jews in an impossible situation. We tell them, stand with us. And then when they try to stand with us and whatever side they take, we delegitimize it.

You know, when I speak with American Jews, they say, okay, tell me, what can I do? What should I do? And how much is there really for American Jews to do except to support their vision of Israel, in the way that they can, which is usually financial. And so my takeaway, Donniel, from this conversation, what I’ve learned from this exchange is the need to contain the toxicity of this moment.

And that’s without lapsing into the both sides, need to live, I, I’m not there. And I insist on moral clarity at this moment, and those of my friends who aren’t with us on the streets, people who I otherwise love and respect who have been cautioning, oh, both sides need to listen to the other. Nothing drives me more crazy because you’re missing the requirements of this moment. 

But having said that, I need, and those who feel like me need to be very careful not to let that moral position poison the discourse. And it is poisoning the discourse. When we start de-legitimizing American Jews who support one side or the other, financially or otherwise, we’re destroying the basis for a shared conversation. We need to be honest. We need to own the fact that when you support my side, we welcome that and we need to create a space within ourselves that is generous enough to allow American Jews to genuinely be part of our internal debate.

Donniel: And to be a part of internal debate is to talk about issues. And here, the way I started is the way I want to end. My whole life, I have hated when what I say and what I stand for is not debated, but it’s an an ad hominem, disregard, and cancellation. I’ve hated it. 

I remember the first day when, I went to, I don’t know if I ever told this to our audience, if I did, humor me for a moment.

Yossi: If you don’t remember it, no one else will either.

Donniel: That’s, that’s, but I remember when I once went to a very prominent yeshiva. There were 67 students who were welcomed into the yeshiva that year. And there was someone who was put in charge of all first year students to make us feel comfortable and to make us feel welcome.

And this person decided that he has only to meet with 66 out of the 67 students. And my friend of mine says, he says, I don’t have to meet with him, he’s a Hartman. So I wanna tell you, the most meaningful part of Judaism for me is what is hateful unto you, do not do unto others. That’s the whole Torah and the rest is commentary. 

I hunger for serious conversation. And that includes serious debate. And it’s true. There is a large part of the people who I oppose whose motivations aren’t serious. And there’s a lot of them who have motivations which I feel are destructive. But there are serious arguments out there which need to be had. Let’s have those arguments and let’s avoid the simple ad hominem stabs that make us feel self-righteous. 

It’s so interesting. It seems to be so hard, about, what’s hateful to you don’t do unto others. That which seems to be so universal, doesn’t seem to be so universally applied.

For Heaven’s Sake is a product of the Shalom Hartman Institute. It was produced by David Zvi Kalman with support from Michal Taylor. It was edited by Gareth Hobbs at Silver Sound NYC. Our product manager is M. Louis Gordon. Maital Friedman is our Vice President of Communications and Creative, and our music was provided by Socalled.

Major funding for For Heaven’s Sake, is provided by the Diane and Guilford Glazer Foundation of Los Angeles because of our shared commitment to strengthen the connection between Jews in North America and for that matter, to have a serious conversation about issues. 

Transcripts of our show are now available on our website, typically a week after an episode airs. To find them and to learn more about the Shalom Hartman Institute, visit us online at 

We wanna know what you think about the show. You can read and review us on iTunes to help more people discover the show. You can also write to us at [email protected]. Subscribe to our show everywhere else podcasts are available. See you in, I think, in a week. And thank you so much for listening. 

And Yossi, as always, it’s just an honor and a privilege to be with you.

Yossi: Very much mutual. Thank you. 

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics