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Herzl’s Chutzpah: Unpacking a Founder’s Vision

How did Theodor Herzl come to be the father of modern Zionism? David and “Herzl’s Vision” author Shlomo Avineri take a deeper look.

Declaration of the State of Israel, 1948 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs; photo by Rudi Weissenstein)
Declaration of the State of Israel, 1948 (Ministry of Foreign Affairs; photo by Rudi Weissenstein)

Shlomo Avineri, the author of “Herzl’s Vision: Theodor Herzl and the Foundation of the Jewish State” and director of the Institute for European Studies at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, discusses the father of modern Zionism and his legacy. Avineri recounts Herzl’s meetings with the Kaiser of Germany and the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, the controversial debate over establishing a Jewish state in present-day Kenya, and how the foundations of the Jewish state were formed.

Decision Points is a Washington Institute podcast on key moments in Israel’s history and present. The first season focused on the history of U.S. Israel relations, the second season examined key Israeli and Arab leaders, and the third season shifted the focus to Israel’s toughest contemporary policy dilemmas.

Season 4 of the podcast highlights a set of books which are essential to understanding the U.S.-Israel relationship and the history of Zionism and Israel. In each episode, authors will unpack their books and engage in striking and insightful conversations.

The host, David Makovsky, is the Ziegler Distinguished Fellow in The Washington Institute’s Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship and director of the Koret Project on Arab-Israel Relations. He is a former senior advisor to the U.S. Special Envoy for Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations, as well as a sought-after expert in U.S.-Israel diplomatic relations and territorial solutions to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Guests include Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S.; Natan Sharansky, a human rights activist and former Israeli government minister; David Petraeus, former CIA Director; and Tzipi Livni, former Israeli Foreign Minister.

The podcast is both a history lesson and an exploration of contemporary policy decisions impacting Israel, the United States, and the Middle East at large.

Subscribe to “Decision Points” on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts or wherever you listen.

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