Matti Friedman is a Canadian-Israeli journalist and a contributor to the New York Times op-ed section. Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel is his latest book. He lives in Jerusalem.
Spies of No Country
In 1948, with Israel’s existence hanging in the balance, four men, part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, consisting of Jews native to the Arab world, went undercover in Beirut. Here, they spent the next two years operating out of a newsstand, collecting intelligence and sending messages back to Israel via a radio whose antenna was disguised as a clothesline. Of the dozen spies in the Arab section at the outbreak of the ’48 war, five were caught and executed. But in the ...
The Aleppo Codex
Matti Friedman investigates the fate of a coveted 1,100-year-old Bible manuscript that was hidden in a Syrian synagogue for 600 years. He discussed the journeys of The Aleppo Codex — for Jews of faith the singular and perfect version of the divine word — and addressed two modern-day mysteries: How did it move from a dark grotto in Syria to Jerusalem in the 1950s? And what happened to 200 missing pages, 40 per cent of the total, which have been sought by scholars and collectors for...
Pumpkinflowers: A Soldier’s Story
In an astute and moving exposé of war’s futility – part memoir, part reportage – award-winning writer and journalist Matti Friedman, in conversation with Hugo Rifkind recounts in his nonfiction work Pumpkinflowers the fate that befell an Israeli military outpost on the Lebanese borders in the 1990s. A lyrical yet devastating insight into the day-to-day realities of war, and a powerful coming-of-age narrative, Pumpkinflowers casts an unflinching look at the nature of modern warfare, in ...
Burn Mark: A Photographic Memoir of the Six Day War
This extraordinary work, assembled in 1968 by Avner Offer – Oxford Professor of Economic History and a former soldier in the Six-Day War – is now published for the first time. Evoking the intimacy of a small unit in wartime, with its moral dilemmas and life and death experiences, the photographs bear witness to some of the most highly charged moments of the war. A selection of his pictures won the first prize in an exhibition at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art in 1968.