The book “Making and Unmaking of Israel” was discussed Monday night by Gershom Gorenberg to an audience of over 100 people.
An hour-long speech was given by Gorenberg in the Law Library on the University of Oregon campus to raise awareness of Israeli politics over the past several decades. Members in the audience were mostly people over 50 years old with students scattered among the seats. Senior psychology major Nicole Tinawi attended the speech to learn more about the issues across seas. “My family is from Syria and I know about Syria-Israel history, but wanted to know more about the other side of things.” Tinawi said.
During his presentation he made it clear that Israel has come a long way in its battle for democracy. “Countries are known by contradictions.” Gorenberg said. “Which way are you going to go?”
Gorenberg has lived in Israel for 35 years and feels very strongly about Israel coming to peace with its neighboring countries and preserve the state as a democracy.
He talked about the education in Israel and how it is focused on religion and the preservation of their country. Their education system produced recruits for the military and the settlement such as in 1967. It was said that to settle territories was getting with God’s plan. There was a gap in the academic system between high school and the military when they would study Judaism.
Although, Gershom was concerned about Israel’s future, “We need to take trends and reverse them.” He said. “I want to raise the issue of concern of Israel moving from democracy to one national group.”
His liberal vision for the future has hope through looking at the history of Israel and the current politics and religion. It is only up to the people of Israel that will determine the future.