In terms of Israeli politics, I have always been a left-winger. Or at least that’s what I thought before a Saturday in April, when I attended the TEDx Ramallah conference, which took place simultaneously in Bethlehem, Amman and Beirut. After a long day of listening to inflammatory polemics, I understood that I needed to re-identify, to add a small qualifier to my political affiliation: No longer am I simply a left-winger, but rather a Zionist left-winger.
You can sense that the good times are back in Israel the moment that you step through—or try to step through—the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City. During the four years that I lived in Jerusalem, between 2000 and 2004, this main portal to the country’s number-one tourist attraction was often deserted, a consequence of the Al Aqsa Intifada’s violence. But when I returned two weeks ago, I found myself trapped in the tourist traffic jam from hell.
The Publisher: Henry Luce and His American Century By Alan Brinkley (Knopf, 531 pp., $35) I. Sometimes human beings bring sociological theory to life. Consider the career of Henry Luce. A child of Presbyterian missionaries in China, he pursued wealth and power with unremitting zeal, creating the media empire that dominated American journalism for much of the twentieth century: Time, Inc. Yet Luce never lost touch with his didactic origins, never abandoned the conviction that his magazines should teach Americans the right way of thinking about the world.