Conflict often puts Israel at the world’s center stage, but the country’s inner life tends to go unexamined. In addition to the hostility of its neighbors, it is grappling with political gridlock and a changing population, even as it enjoys a vibrant democracy and overachieving economy.
More Stories From This Issue
The Despair of Zion
Any effort to bring peace between Israelis and Palestinians must reckon with the fact that bitter experience has taught many Israelis to doubt that their foes want a lasting concord.
Israel at 62
Israelis are increasingly unhappy with a political system that seems to deliver nothing but strife and division.
The Rude Birth of Immigration Reform
As America debates immigration reform, it is in danger of repeating the mistakes made a century ago when the flawed foundations of today’s policies were established.
America: Land of Loners?
Americans, plugged in and on the move, are confiding in their pets, their computers, and their spouses. What they need is to rediscover the value of friendship.
The Irish in Paris
For centuries, the passionate and sometimes persecuted Irish have felt a peculiar sympathy with Europe’s self-anointed capital of sophistication.
Turkey's Role Reversals
In Turkey, secularists cling to a decaying old order while pious Muslims lead the way toward modernization. But will the upstarts create a genuinely pluralist new order?
In Defense of Capitalism
The real threat to capitalism comes not from socialist ideologues, but misguided technocrats.
The Tea Party's Short Sip
Unlike most American populist movements, the Tea Party seeks to neutralize, not use, political power.
Judges for Sale
It's one of the ugliest warts on the U.S. body politic: About 90 percent of America’s state judges are chosen in elections.
American military has a long-standing tradition of political neutrality, but in recent presidential elections a “disturbing trend” has emerged.
Reaching Out to the Russians
Today, NATO is making a strategic mistake by not integrating Russia into the alliance, argues Charles A. Kupchan.
Measuring Military Might
It's the million-dollar question of international relations scholarship: Why are some states stronger than others?
The Risks of Oil Independence
If the United States and the rest of the developed world no longer needed foreign oil, what would become of oil-exporting countries?
Closing the Achievement Gap
The racial achievement gap, one of the deepest and most intractable American social problems.
Toward a Post-Prison Society
More people go to jail each year for violating probationary “community supervision” than for committing fresh crimes.
Anger Under Siege
Studies show that today Americans are more likely to want to conceal their anger than the Chinese.
In India, religion is becoming uniform, politicized, and, often, fundamentalist—a menace to the pluralism and tolerance that have long characterized the country’s religious life.
To Americans, cassava root is a stranger in the produce aisle. But for 800 million people around the world, it's the main staple of their diets.
Publish and Perish?
How to raise the revenue needed to produce science journals? Charge the authors!
Off the Dolphin Deep End
Up until the late 1950s, no one thought of dolphins as intelligent, peaceful, or uninhibited.
Chapter and Verse
A diminishing sense of literary style, poet Robert Alter writes, is depriving us of "one of the keen pleasure in the reading experience."
“The artist protests a chaste love, but he does so with a passion that, for a modern sensibility, can only with difficulty be conceived as chaste.”
In Russia, there wasn’t a law on the books criminalizing human trafficking until December 2003.
Indonesia's Democracy Pie
Indonesia is alternately hailed as one of the great democratic success stories or bemoaned for its corruption. Both judgments are justified.
Red, White, and Balkan
“To walk around Ferizaj is to move through a weird fantasy that never came true in the Middle East.”
Muriel Spark forms, with Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene, “a grand triumvirate of Catholic-convert novelists."
Islam's Political Problem
In the annals of well-meaning ineptitude, Western efforts to locate and support moderate Muslim voices deserve a place of distinction.
The three pillars that once bolstered black Americans—community, school, and family—are now miserably failing at-risk black kids.
Germany, With a Side of Quirk
It is not easy to be funny about the Germans, and unusual to be affectionate about them.
What's for Dinner in Africa
Particular dishes have become symbols of a rich and complicated culinary heritage that has spread into the African diaspora.
When They Were Out to Get Us
The strange, paranoid days of the 1970s are back. In fact, they never really went away.
There was a time when the United States had no qualms about using books as “weapons in the war of ideas.”
All surgeons must devise a “way in” to their operation—choosing the entry point and the methodology for each complex procedure.
Up to Here
Hoarders' connection to objects is so real that some have committed suicide after forced cleanups.