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Watch this on YOUTUBE - The Conversations with History BLOG

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This interview is part of the Institute's "Conversations with History" series, and uses Internet technology to share with the public Berkeley's distinction as a global forum for ideas.

Conversations host Harry Kreisler welcomes Rich Cohen, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, for a discussion of his new book Israel is Real.  Cohen reflects on writing, story telling, and  finding his voice as a writer.  The conversation then focuses on the changing conception of a homeland for Jews in the Diaspora--the theme of his new book. Cohen describes Jewish responses to defeat by the Romans and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. He explains how Jews turned the loss of the real Zion to a focus on an ideal Zion that would be realized in an unknown future.  He then traces the rise of the Zionist movement and the ways in which the establishment of the State of Israel brought to the surface tensions between Jews for whom Zion was a virtual vision and Jews in Israel for whom Zion had become a real state with a border, an army and a concern for security and land. He concludes with an analysis of the implications of his book for the current debate with regard to U.S. policy toward Israel.

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