The creation of the State of Israel and its subsequent victory over the assembled Arab armies arrayed against it was widely regarded as a modern miracle in 1948. Coming after the trauma of the Shoah and fulfilling an ancient longing for a return to Zion made for a heroic moment in Israeli and Jewish consciousness. In the years since, different historians have helped to uncover the more complex history of the war and its aftermath, even as that history has become an object of political debate. Our panel will discusses the developments in the historical research of 1948, the uses of that history and its impact on contemporary political discussions. This event took place on January 22, 2014 at Adas Israel Congregation as a part of Embracing Democracy. Use the player below to listen to the podcast or download it by right-clicking on this link.
Left to Right: Dahlia Lithwick, Shay Hazkani, Professor Donna Robinson Divine, Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer
Moderator: Dahlia Lithwick, senior editor at Slate. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Harper’s, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, and Commentary, among other places.
Panelists Include: Professor Donna Robinson Divine, Morningstar Family Foundation Professor of Government and Director of Middle East Studies at Smith College Shay Hazkani, Visiting Scholar at Berkeley Institute for Jewish Law and Israeli Law, Economy and Society Dr. Yehuda Kurtzer, President of the Shalom Hartman Institute of North America
I wish I had been in the marketing meeting where this one was thought up. How do we get people to think of DC as a sexy destination? Get someone who talks about sex. Oprah? Too expensive. Dr. Drew? Too many reality tv and addiction associations. Dan Savage? Too partisan and waaaay too gay. There is a sigh of exhaustion in the room, when someone says over the din, “Wait. Get me Dr. Ruth Westheimer on the phone.”
That’s right, everyone’s favorite 82-year old, former Haganah sniper and legendary sex therapist is Destination DC‘s new spokesperson for a campaign to run around Valentine’s Day. She will get an official title as “Secretary of Love and Relationships” and the campaign will make clever use of phrases like “stimulus plan” and if they get really desperate, “reconciliation conference,” “solicitor general” and “Dick Armey.”
Personally I think this is a genius idea. For a town like Washington, we need someone like Dr. Ruth to help us openly acknowledge our sexuality. The old trope is that in DC power is the ultimate aphrodisiac — but Dr. Ruth reminds us that since we can’t all be powerful, there are powered accessories that can help us out. Plus, in case you get nosebleeds or go deaf and numb after sex, she’s your go-to-lady. Face it. She’s 82 years old and from Nazis to nymphos, she’s probably seen and heard it all. There’s very few kinks one could find in Penthouse Forum or the House of Representatives that could throw her.
It’s nice to see DC re-embracing its sexual side. After the over-sexed Clinton years the Bush administration was one, long latency period. We went from one extreme to the other. Dr. Ruth is a welcome reminder that sex in DC need not be either scandalous and sinful or so sacrosanct that it can only be mentioned in the context of abstinence education. Heck, it is a healthy activity for consenting adults. A great way to spend the weekend.