Jun 16, 2021 • 40M

He's a passionate Zionist, he's Orthodox and he's a founder of "Breaking the Silence"

A conversation with Mikhael Menkin

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There are few organizations in Israeli life more controversial than "Breaking the Silence," which serves as a platform for Israeli soldiers to discuss incidences in their military service that they felt were morally problematic, or worse. From the right, BtS has been accused of undermining Israel, of publicizing stories that are not true, of taking money from anti-Israel organizations ... the list goes on. BtS, of course, disputes some of that. On the left, BtS is often controversial because it is not opposed military service, is not a human rights organization and for a host of other reasons. 

Mikhael Menkin, with whom I speak in this episode, was one of the founders of BtS, and its Executive Director for a number of years. He's Orthodox, a passionate Zionist, not a pacifist ... and he is also profoundly thoughtful and exceedingly articulate.

Israel from the Inside is about breaking out of the echo chamber, hearing views that might be different from our own; this conversation with Mikhael Menkin will, I'm betting, leave you thinking for quite some time. 

Music credits: Medieval poem by Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Gvirol. Melody and performance by Shaked Jehuda and Eyal Gesundheit. Production by Eyal Gesundheit. To view a video of their performance, see this YouTube:

Some readers have asked for a list of books to read to get a more robust understanding of Israel’s history, culture and politics. We’ll soon be posting a list of “thirty-something books to read about Israel to know what you’re talking about.” They’re just suggestions … you don’t have to read all 30! Or any, for that matter!

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