The Jewish Left Is Trying to Hold Two Thoughts at Once

Produced by ‘The Ezra Klein Show’

Grief moves slowly and war moves quickly. After Hamas assailants killed at least 1,400 Israelis and took hundreds more hostage, Israel dropped more than 6,000 bombs on Gaza in the first week of a conflict that is still ongoing. So far, more than 5,000 Palestinians are reported dead and many more injured. There’s no one way to cover this that reconciles all that is happening and all that needs to be felt.

My approach is going to be to try to cover it from many different perspectives, but I wanted to start with the one I’m closest to, which has felt particularly tricky in recent weeks: that of the Jewish left. So I invited Spencer Ackerman and Peter Beinart on to the show.

[You can listen to this episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music, Google or wherever you get your podcasts.]

Ackerman is an award-winning columnist for The Nationand the author of “Reign of Terror: How the 9/11 Era Destabilized America and Produced Trump” and the newsletter Forever Wars. Peter Beinart is an editor-at-large of Jewish Currents, the author of the Beinart Notebook newsletter and a professor of journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. And they’ve each taken up angles I think are particularly important right now: the way that Sept. 11 should inform both Israel’s response and the need to empower different kinds of actors and tactics if we want to see a different future for Israelis and Palestinians alike.

Together we discuss the goals behind Hamas’s initial attack on Israeli Jewish civilians, how the attack changed the psychology of Jews living in and out of Israel and what Israel is trying to achieve in its military response.

You can listen to our whole conversation by following “The Ezra Klein Show” on the NYT Audio app, Apple, Spotify, Google or wherever you get your podcasts. View a list of book recommendations from our guests here.

(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)

Credit…Efrat Kussell and Courtesy of Peter Beinart

This episode of “The Ezra Klein Show” was produced by Rollin Hu. Fact checking by Michelle Harris, with Kate Sinclair and Mary Marge Locker. Our senior engineer is Jeff Geld. Our senior editor is Claire Gordon. The show’s production team also includes Emefa Agawu and Kristin Lin. Original music by Isaac Jones. Audience strategy by Kristina Samulewski and Shannon Busta. The executive producer of New York Times Opinion Audio is Annie-Rose Strasser. Special thanks to Sonia Herrero.

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