The Tikvah Podcast

On October 7, Hamas terrorists recorded themselves in a state of joyous excitement to document their murder of so many Jews. But over the ensuing weeks, that emotion has given way to another emotion: pity for the Palestinians as passive victims of Israeli aggression. The men instigated this war are now seen as victims of this war, occupied, displaced, not murderers but among the murdered. That transformation is our focus of this episode of the Tikvah Podcast.

As it happens, that transformation is not unique to the Hamas attacks of October 2023. It is a pattern of Palestinian transformation that can be observed throughout the history of Israel. This is one of the distinguishing features of the Palestinian predicament, according to the Israeli writer Shany Mor, and it’s one of the core themes of a big essay he wrote for us at Mosaic in November 2023, called “Ecstasy and Amnesia in the Gaza Strip.”

On November 15, Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver convened a discussion of Mor’s essay, along with the Egyptian-American writer Hussein Aboubakr, and the Israeli journalist Haviv Rettig Gur. This week’s podcast brings you that conversation.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Shany_Mor_Final_MM2.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 4:48pm EST

After the Hamas massacre of October 7, the Israeli military took three weeks before it responded with a ground invasion of Gaza, a span longer than most outside observers seemed to expect. What was happening? In that time, Israel’s air force was softening the ground for that incursion, and giving Palestinian civilians time to vacate the battlefield. Assaf Orion, a retired IDF brigadier general and defense strategist, joins Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver this week to explain how Israel staged its air campaign, why it would help the ground phase, whether the air force's objectives were met, how bombs and missiles can penetrate subterranean targets, and how hostage fatalities could be avoided. Their conversation amounts to a preliminary retrospective on the earliest phase in Israel’s response.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Orion_Final_2.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 5:29pm EST

When Israeli officials examined shells and munitions that have been fired into Israel recently by Hamas, they realized that they look like they were not made in Gaza. Similarly, when IDF inspectors looked at some of the rocket launchers Israel captured near the Gaza border, they discovered units with the word Bang-122 written on them in Korean. Bang is evidently an abbreviation of the Korean phrase bangsapo, which means “multiple rocket launcher,” and 122 is thought to indicate the caliber—122 millimeters.

It turns out that North Korean arms dealers have been supplying Hamas with rockets, rocket-propelled grenades, laser-guided anti-tank missiles, and more. North Korean engineers, meanwhile, have taught Hamas how to design and build the many tunnels that underneath Gaza.

Bruce Bechtol, a political scientist at Angelo State University and a former Marine, is the author of the recent article “Hamas Is Using North Korean Weapons Against Israel” at the website 19fortyfive.com, and the book, North Korean Military Proliferation in the Middle East and Africa, published in 2018. Here he joins Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver to discuss how Hamas connected with North Korea, what weapons are involved, and what each side gets out of the arrangement.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Bechtol_Final.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 8:42pm EST

After years of acrimony, several recent meetings between Israeli and Turkish leaders seemed to suggest the possibility of a gradual thaw in relations between the two most powerful nations in the Middle East. Such a reconciliation, combined with a growing relationship with the Arab states in the Gulf, might have firmed up an alliance structure in the region powerful enough to deter Iran and its many proxies.

The Hamas massacre on October 7 has thrown a wrench into that possibility. Senior Hamas operatives live in Turkey and operate there under its protection. On October 11, Erdogan criticized the “shameful methods” that Israel used to strike Hamas targets. On October 25, he disputed the idea that Hamas is a terrorist organization at all, calling them instead mujahadeen—soldiers engaged in jihad. On October 27, he called Israel a war criminal and a pawn of the West. Ambassadors in both nations have been recalled.

Are relations doomed to degrade further? Can they be rescued? Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak is a longtime observer of Turkey based at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security and also at the Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University. In June 2022, he wrote an essay in Mosaic looking at Israeli-Turkish relations. Here, he speaks with Mosaic editor Jonathan Silver to look at that question in the wake of October 7.

Musical selections in this podcast are drawn from the Quintet for Clarinet and Strings, op. 31a, composed by Paul Ben-Haim and performed by the ARC Ensemble.

Direct download: Tikvah_Podcast_Eytan_Cohen_Final.mp3
Category:Great Jewish Essays and Ideas -- posted at: 10:30pm EST

1