Writing Israel: A Love Letter, A Tragedy


Published January 14, 2010.

Rich Cohen often writes books about eccentric Jews: Brooklyn mobsters, World War II resistance fighters, and even his own family (he is the disinherited grandson of the inventor of Sweet ‘n’ Low). His latest book, “Israel Is Real” (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) is what Cohen calls a love letter to the Jewish state. But the Forward’s senior columnist J.J. Goldberg insists that Cohen has written a tragedy. They spoke recently in the Forward’s studio about Israel of past, present and future, its false messiahs and how the Jewish state is like the Third Temple.

Produced by Allison Gaudet Yarrow.

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