Festival 2022 Saturday 26 February - Sunday 06 March | Tickets now on sale

Anshel Pfeffer

Anshel Pfeffer has covered Israeli politics and global affairs for two decades. He is a senior correspondent and columnist for Haaretz, and the Israel correspondent for The Economist. He is the author of ‘Bibi: The Turbulent Life and Times of Benjamin Netanyahu’. He lives in Jerusalem.
Can We Talk About Israel
Can’t you just explain the Israel situation to me? In, like, 10 minutes or less? This is the question Daniel Sokatch, head of the New Israel Fund, is used to answering on an almost daily basis. Can We Talk About Israel? is the story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and of why so many people feel so strongly about it without understanding it at all. It is an attempt to grapple with a century-long struggle between two peoples, see...
The Vaccine
In January 2020, just weeks after the first known case and months before it took grip globally, immunologist Uğur Şahin told Özlem Türeci, his wife and decades-long research partner, that a vaccine against what would soon be known as COVID-19 could be developed before the end of the year. Initially facing widespread scepticism in the scientific community, by November their firm BioNTech, in partnership with Pfizer, became the first to develop and test a working vaccine; as of 2021 over ...
Israel: A Jewish State or a State for Jews?
Ever since the movement’ s inception, Zionists have advocated very different ideas of Israel: would the dream of Herzl, Ahad Ha’am, Weizmann, Jabotinsky, Ben Gurion or Begin triumph? Would Israel be a ‘normal’ state, or a ‘light unto the nations’? The state that emerged, partially out of the ashes of the Shoah, became a refuge for those escaping the horrors of WWII and its aftermath, and to many a utopian ideal. Seventy years on, at the heart of one of the ...
The Age of the Demagogue
“Strongman politics are ascendant”, Barack Obama wrote recently: “The politics of fear and resentment… is now on the move”.  From America to China, from Europe to Brazil, in India and across the Middle East, ‘macho’ leaders are very much in fashion. So why is the strongman proving so attractive to so many, and will the fashion be a passing one? Our panellists debated the character traits, neurology and behaviours of the political strongman – as ...
Demagogues and Philosophers
Double Bill Offer: Book for the Jewish Book Week events in Hall One and Hall Two tonight – ‘The Age of the Demagogue’ at 7pm and ‘Great Philosophers and Where They Went Wrong’ at 8.30pm – for the special price of £24. At 7pm our panel of experts on politics and economics examine why the world seems to be falling for the charms of strongman leaders, and at 8.30pm Ferdinand Mount examines some of the greatest ideas and thinkers in world history, and explain...
Gamechangers Series – Shimon Peres: An Insider’s Account of the Man and the Struggle for the New Middle East
Sponsored by the Jerusalem Foundation The late Israeli President Shimon Peres was a colossal figure in Israeli and Middle Eastern politics. But what drove the hawkish statesman behind Israel’s nuclear deterrence and early settlement policy to stake his political reputation on peace negotiations with the Arab world and the Palestine Liberation Organization, Israel’s sworn enemy? Author Avi Gil, Peres’s closest confidant an...
The Middle East: A New Era
Everything we thought we knew about Israel is changing – politics, relationships with Arab neighbours, the secular-religious divide, demographics, the economy and perhaps most fundamental of all, the values. Dr Raphael Marcus leads a panel of experts on the question: where will Israel be in 20 years’ time? In Association with the Anglo Israel Association and the Rabin Chair Forum, George Washington University &nbs...
Israel: Its Own Worst Enemy?
  A three-decade military career that began in 1963 saw Ami Ayalon awarded the Medal of Valour, and a meteoric rise to the position of Commander of the Israeli Navy, before becoming head of the Shin Bet security agency and later serving in the Cabinet. Now in his Friendly Fire: How Israel Became Its Own Worst Enemy, he provides powerful personal testimony and an urgent call for the country to change direction. He seeks input from Palestinians and Israelis whose experie...
The Strange Death and Curious Rebirth of the Israeli Left
Once the nation’s political powerhouse, the Israeli left is now a bit player in the country it created and ruled. What is behind its dramatic demise? Could it make a comeback? As Israel enters a post-Netanyahu era, one of the country’s leading correspondents, Anshel Pfeffer, explores the changing political mood and looks at whether the left can come up with a new story to tell Israelis. He will be in conversation with Israeli polling expert and political analyst Dahlia Scheindlin....