Yonit Levi of Channel 12 Israel and Jonathan Freedland of The Guardian are two Jews on the news. Each week on the podcast, Levi in Tel Aviv and Freedland in London give their take on developments in politics and life in Israel, the US, the UK and around the world. Since theyâ€™re Jews, you can expect to hear far more than two opinions at any given time.
Israel's PM Naftali Bennett hoped to silence his government's swan song - but the music is getting louder by the moment, with a surprising exit stage left of the coalition, possibly giving Netanyahu the one-up he needed. We discuss the great replacement theory, how the world viewed one funeral in Jerusalem, and why everyone is talking about AIPAC. And this week we are joined by special guest Mayim Bialik, actress and host of "Jeopardy!", who tells us how Jewish mourning rituals influenced her directorial debut, the film "As They Made Us"; shares her experiences as a pro-Israel actress in Hollywood; plus - helps us determine once and for all: is Jonathan Freedland a geek or a nerd? Follow us on Instagram @unholypodcast | Facebook: Unholy Podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during an IDF raid in the Palestinian city of Jenin has shifted the international spotlight back on Israel. Yonit and Jonathan discuss the contradicting narratives and the implications of this tragedy for both sides. In the meantime, the Bennett-Lapid coalition is keeping its head above water for now, but the answer to whether it makes it to safe shores or drowns is still pending. For dessert, we hope you don't mind a dish served cold - as our mensch of the week award is an excuse for a bit of revenge against a certain English co-host.... Follow us on Instagram @unholypodcast | Facebook: Unholy Podcast See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
**This episode was recorded before the terror attack in central Israel** On Israel's Independence Day, Yonit and Jonathan talk to award winning author Matti Friedman about his new book, "Who By Fire: Leonard Cohen in the Sinai", in which he details the extraordinary episode of Cohen's musical tour during the Yom Kippur war. In the shadow of the Roe v. Wade row in the U.S. - how do Judaism and Israel view abortions. Why Israel in practice is more liberal on abortions than the U.S. Plus – we discuss Israel's slowly shifting its position on Ukraine, and which country (yes, a whole country!) receives the mensch award of the week? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are back from Passover break and seder with a lot on their plate – We tackle Israeli PM Naftali Bennett's huge takeout bill, the results of the French Presidential election through the eyes of French Jews and French expats in Israel, and our mutual addiction to the series WeCrashed about Israeli entrepreneur Adam Neumann. We're joined by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Ronan Farrow to discuss his recent piece for The New Yorker on NSO group, his groundbreaking reporting on the Harvey Weinstein case, his experiences in Jerusalem, and what it's like to be a college student at age of 11. We also discuss Jonathan's new book coming out in June, "The Escape Artist" – the story of the man who broke out of Auschwitz to warn the world. You can pre order the book here: https://linktr.ee/JonathanFreedland See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Just before they return from Passover break, Yonit and Jonathan revisit their conversation with Kara Swisher, the most influential tech journalist in the world. They discuss the big tech companies and their accountability (or lack thereof), U.S. politics, the success of Israeli tech companies, and tips on how to co-host a podcast… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For Passover, Yonit and Jonathan revisit their conversation with intellectual icon Yuval Noah Harari. They discuss the future of humans, pandemics, climate change, corporations vs. governments, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, trans rights, and Yuval shares his secret of success… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
**This episode was recorded before the terror attack in Tel Aviv** A week of political turmoil in Israel, Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Amit Segal, political analyst and bestselling author who broke the story that Naftali Bennett's coalition is now hanging on by a thread. They discuss the different scenarios that can unfold, Bennett's biggest mistake, and what are the chances for Benjamin Netanyahu's to make a comeback to the Prime Minister's chair. On the Ukrainian front, we discuss what President Zelenskiy's meant when he said that Ukraine will become "a big Israel" and for our mensch award we need to travel as far as the north pole... See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As Israel faces a new wave of terror attacks, Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Ehud Barak, former Israeli Prime Minister. He shares his insights: what can be done to break the cycle of violence, and why he is still optimistic about peace even though the signs point in the opposite direction. We discuss Israel's moral ambiguity on Ukraine, and what Barak Thinks should be the global plan to prevent a nuclear Iran. And for the mensch award of the week we go to the Oscars but make a surprising pick… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan discuss Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy's speech to the Israeli parliament: he thought lawmakers weren't doing enough, they thought he said too much. Why the whole world should be concerned about the influence ISIS has on one terrorist in Be'er Sheva, and is this week's deadly attack a precursor to a new Intifada. In the mensch category we'll say goodbye to a venerated diplomat and trailblazer; our chutzpah nominee goes to someone who's won it so often we might name the award in his honor. And the most ancient Hebrew tablet excavated doesn't include too many nice words… See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett stepping up his mediation efforts between Russia and Ukraine; the Biden Administration intensifying its crackdown on Oligarchs; and the internal debate in Israel rages on the issue of accepting Ukrainian refugees. Yonit and Jonathan are joined by journalist and author Oliver Bullough, an expert on financial crime, to discuss Russian Oligarchs in Israel. We have a double mensch award and an attempt-- even under the shadow of a war in Europe – to celebrate Purim ReplyForward See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As the war in Ukraine intensifies, Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Pulitzer Prize winning author Anne Applebaum to discuss Zelenskyy, Putin, Bennett and the high stakes everyone is playing for. In this episode we also give a nod to Israel and Turkey's old-new bromance; we go to great depths to give a mensch award; and a chutzpah award you probably weren't expecting… Email us firstname.lastname@example.org See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Professor Scott Galloway, marketing guru and bestselling author, to talk Ukraine and Russia, U.S. and Israel, angry young men and big tech. And, as Jonathan braves a covid diagnosis, our chutzpah and mensch nominees this week are inevitably tied to Ukraine. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Following the Russian onslaught in Ukraine- Yonit and Jonathan talk about the price of intervention and the price of non intervention, What is left of the new world order, Russian oligarchs around the world and Israel's tightrope act becoming increasingly challenging. And how all this affects the nuclear talks still taking place in Vienna, with the U.S. and Russia on the same side. On the lighter side- Chutzpah award from the newspaper business and one of our co-hosts has a birthday… Email us Unholy@keshet-tv.com See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
For the latest edition of Unholy, Yonit and Jonathan are joined by one of America's most admired journalists, David Remnick. The editor of the New Yorker draws on a long career, including a spell in Moscow reporting on the last days of the Soviet Union, to reflect on everything from possible war in Ukraine to the state of Israeli society, from the threat of Donald Trump to Remnick's own Jewish identity...and the joys of conversation with Leonard Cohen. There's also a chutzpah award for a convicted conman, and a mensch nomination for a woman whose public persona is seemingly superficial but, who in reality, is completely different. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In an exclusive interview, Yonit and Jonathan question Shalev Hulio, the CEO of the NSO Group, the Israeli company that has become one of the most controversial in the world. NSO sells spyware to governments across the globe for use, it says, against criminals and terrorists. But media organisations and human rights groups say Pegasus hacking software has been deployed against dissidents, journalists and activists. Hulio answers those allegations, tells us what explains the US government blacklisting of his company and sets out his view that the failure of the NSO could open the door to a more dangerous world. For this week's chutzpah award, Yonit pursues a culinary theme - nominating the US Congresswoman who confused soup with stormtroopers. While Jonathan's choice for mensch stays much closer to home. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Despite suffering from Covid and with the help of chicken soup, Yonit throws herself into spirited discussion with Jonathan about Whoopi Goldberg's inflammatory remarks on the Holocaust, and Amnesty International's labelling of Israel as an apartheid state. They also talk about how Israel's largest circulation newspaper has switched its support from Benjamin Netanyahu to Naftali Bennett. And for the mensch award Jonathan nominates (and inflicts) his new word-based obsession upon Yonit. While her chutzpah award goes to a leading Israeli politican who has been campaigning for the poor from his luxury hotel in Switzerland. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As Yonit enjoys the novelty of a heavy snowfall (by Middle Eastern standards) in Jerusalem, Jonathan is captivated by the political drama in London with scandal and cake simultaneously ambushing Prime Minister Boris Johnson. They also contemplate how Israel is walking a diplomatic tightrope in trying not to offend either the US or Russia as the danger of war looms in Ukraine. Also on Holocaust Memorial Day, Yonit and Jonathan reflect on the memory and meaning of the Shoah for Jews and non-Jews. And finally, our chutzpah and mensch awards range from America's highest court to the supermarket checkout. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
In this edition Yonit and Jonathan consider the 'deal of the century', in the light of the negotiations underway between former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the legal authorities in Israel for him to avoid a trial in exchange for lesser charges and being excluded from public office. They ask what it could mean for him, his party and the politics as a whole in israel. And in the week following hostage crisis at a synagogue in Texas, Yonit and Jonathan assess the impact of yet another attack on a Jewish institution in the US. They speak to a leading Los Angeles Rabbi, Sharon Brous, about the implications of rising anti-Semitism for American Jews and the sense of vulnerabilty despite the community's apparent success. And finally for chutzpah and mensch, we get a fallen star of Hollywood and a super-Rabbi. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
David Baddiel, the British writer, comedian, commentator, and author of the acclaimed polemic ‘Jews Don't Count' joins Yonit and Jonathan to talk about who gets to play Jewish figures on stage and screen, along with the complexities of identity amid discussions of antisemitism, Israel, and progressive politics. For chutzpah of the week Jonathan sounds a discordant note (that's a hint!), and to mark Unholy's first ‘podiversary' Yonit brings Jonathan a special gift. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Hebrew word of the year marks a good way to start 2022. Yonit and Jonathan discuss how Israel is losing its place as the trailblazer on COVID, allowing a more flexible policy on testing and policy of living alongside the pandemic. Benny Gantz is ruffling political feathers meeting with Arab leaders, including Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, cementing his position as an alternative to Bennett and Netanyahu. Also, we talk about the appearance of the Jew-goblins of Harry Potter, courtesy of Jon Stewart. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
On the cusp of the new year, Yonit and Jonathan talk about what they dread and what they look forward to in 2022. As optimistic as we are, expect more of the former than the latter. Wishing us all a happier, healthier 2022. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Outside Israel, the world is preparing for the festive holiday period. In Israel, meanwhile, this is just another work week. Yonit and Jonathan catch up to discuss what Christmas is like for jews around the world. We also discuss the fallout of Donald Trump's comments on the Jewish community we aired last week. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Israeli journalist Barak Ravid following his explosive interview with former President Donald Trump, including never before heard excerpts: What Trump thinks of the Jewish community, Sheldon Adelson and the New York Times? Speaking of U.S. Presidents – we pick one for mensch nominee of the week And what film did Jonathan embarrassingly admit to never seeing? See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
New quotes from Donald Trump shed a new and disturbing light on the relationship between the Former US President and Former Israeli PM. This week Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Dara Horn, acclaimed author of "People Love Dead Jews", the thought provoking book about the double standard when treating Jews and Jewish history. Boris Johnson is claiming Chutzpah again, and we have a new found group of Mensches. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
No one living in Tel Aviv was surprised it was crowned the most expensive city in the world; Yonit and Jonathan return to the topic of the high cost of living in Israel compared to the rest of the Western world. Anti-Vaxxers' campaign evoking insulting comparisons to the Holocaust even in Israel, A new BDS initiative in Canada aimed at kosher food. And we don't let you down -- the mensch award this week just has to be connected to the Beatles. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As we light our first candle, we deeply fry some Israel/Diaspora Hanukkah traditions. Yonit and Jonathan also talk about the lively discussion following Israel's project to vaccinate its children, and the new plot twist in the never ending Netanyahu trial. And how did Yonit end up in the Back to the Future Delorean? Happy Hanukkah everyone! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As the new Israeli coalition passes its budget, Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Guy Rolnik, Founder of TheMarker, Israel's leading business publication and Professor at University of Chicago Booth School of Business. We ask how Israel has become one of the most expensive places to buy a house (or go to a restaurant?), why does it continue to attract so many foreign investments, and why isn't the economy on top of the political agenda for Israelis? Also - Yonit shares some interesting finds from her moving house experience, and Jonathan gives us a sneak peek at his upcoming book. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We are delighted to have Prof. Yuval Noah Harari as our special guest this week. Right before he leaves for a two month meditation retreat, Yuval gets together with Yonit and Jonathan for a conversation on pandemics, climate change, corporations vs. governments, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, trans rights and shares some interesting Bar Mitzvah experiences. Yuval's new book Sapiens: A graphic history is available now. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israeli PM Bennett left quite an impression at COP26. In reality, Israel is nowhere near the environmental targets set, and the Israelis aren't doing much to get there.Yonit and Jonathan also discuss the alarming rise of the far right populist newcomer in France, who, unfortunately, can play the 'I'm Jewish' card. In Chutzpah, we re-enact a Jewish version of Succession, courtesy of an NYC synagogue. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As world leaders come to Glasgow for COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, Yonit and Jonathan talk to former Obama Advisor Ben Rhodes. We discuss the dynamics behind the scenes and what the US and the world are missing as we tackle this challenge. In Israel, PM Bennet's coalition is starting to show some cracks, only 4 months in and ahead of a crucial budget vote. Finally, Yonit reclaims her spot at the nominating committee of Mensch of the week See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are back together after meeting up in London! This week, we have an in depth conversation with the woman who leads the Israeli efforts to fight COVID, Dr. Sharon Alroy-Preis, Head of Public Health Services at Israel's Ministry of Health. She shares how she makes decisions as a worldwide leader in vaccinations and booster shots, and her concerns of a fifth wave. Finally, we discuss why it's only the normal people who suffer from the Sally Rooney boycott scandal See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israeli PM Naftali Bennett reveals the Mossad's latest attempt to unearth information in a mystery that has haunted Israel for 35 years. We are joined by New York Times journalist Ronen Bergman to discuss the frustrating and futile search for missing Israeli Airman Ron Arad. In Hollywood – actress and comedian Sarah Silverman ignites a debate about the casting of non- Jewish actors in Jewish roles – Yonit and Jonathan discuss the provocative term "Jew-face". Also, the heartwarming story of how London's Jews came together to save a synagogue, And a chutzpah award worthy of a king. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The high holidays are behind us and the news is back to some routine. Israeli PM Naftali Bennett spoke to the United Nations General Assembly in New York and with the US Jewish community: Jacob Kornbluh of The Forward was in the room and is joining us to share his insights. As Angela Merkel bids farewell, Yonit and Jonathan discuss the 'charged' emotions older and younger Jews in Israel and around the world have towards Germany. And... Jonathan realizes it's easier to choose a Chutzpah nominee than to fill your car with gas (or petrol). See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are in festive Sukkot spirits and have invited rockstar journalist Kara Swisher for a conversation about tech, politics and Israeli unicorns. Happy holidays everyone! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan catch up right before Yom Kippur with some tips for fasting and book recommendations. They also share experiences from their interviews with Israeli PM Naftali Bennett and Hillary Clinton See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
We recover from Rosh Hashanah with the crazy Israeli prison break story. Six high risk Palestinian security prisoners escaped and left Israeli authorities puzzled. Yonit and Jonathan also look back at the effect of 9/11 on Jews and Israelis, and devise an alternative plot of The White Lotus starring... The Netanyahu Family. (Click here for Netanyahu's photo reading David Cameron's book) We'll see you next week on Wednesday for a special 'Pre-Fast' episode for Yom Kippur. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan are back with a second season of UNHOLY, just in time for Rosh Hashanah. Sacha Baron Cohen and Gal Gadot choose their "Mensch of the Year", we ask how are President Biden and Israel PM Bennett doing regarding Afghanistan, Iran, COVID and... each other. And we finally learn Jonathan's not-so-secret nickname. Shana Tova everyone! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
From In Treatment to Fauda, Homeland to Shtisel - Israeli TV is now a global bingeing phenomenon. Yonit and Jonathan are joined by Former Chairman and CEO of HBO, Richard Plepler, to talk about how Israeli stories have broken new ground with viewers around the world. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
COVID is hitting back in Israel and Iran is presenting a new challenge to new PM Bennett and new-ish President Biden. In the US, progressive events are starting to shun Israeli participants. Finally, Yonit and Jonathan grade Quentin Tarantino's Hebrew. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
While the newly formed Bennett-Lapid government is taking its first steps, Yonit and Jonathan discuss the one who is stepping down. What did Benjamin Netanyahu's 12 consecutive years in power mean for Israelis and for Jews outside of Israel? Follow us on instagram @twojews See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As a new political reality takes form in Israel, we try and estimate what a Netanyahu-Bennett handover would look like, and what are the challenges of this unusual coalition. Yonit and Jonathan are joined by CNN's Jake Tapper for a conversation about politics, Judaism, his new book and his semester at Tel Aviv University. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan explain the forces behind the historic coalition formed in Israel, and the forces that might stop it. What does the new President-elect Herzog mean for world jews? And no need to Google our Chutzpah nominee for this week See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Even though a ceasefire is maintained between Israel and Hamas, tensions are still high, especially around the world. Yonit and Jonathan are joined from New York by CNN's Bianna Golodryga, who called out antisemitic remarks by the Pakistani Foreign Minister - to present her with her mensch award! We also update on the looming threat of fifth elections, give some context on the who the next Israeli President will be, with a surprising Unholy cameo from one of the candidates. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The war between Israel and Gaza is generating new hardships for jews in Israel and around the world. Yonit and Jonathan discuss how this escalation is different than those who came before it, and how influencers Gigi and Bella Hadid are dominating the global narrative against Israel. Finally - some vintage Freedland, celebrating the 50th anniversary of "You don't have to be Jewish", the monumental BBC Radio programme by Jonathan's late father, who hosted all the who's and jews of the time. ** Click here to join the virtual event See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yonit and Jonathan get together at the end of a tumultuous week in Israel, which started with tensions in Jerusalem, and ended in an all-encompassing war: hundreds of rockets landing across Israel, destructive attacks on Gaza and riots by lynching mobs throughout the country. **Click here for Jonathan's interview with Dennis Ross** See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett are busy crafting a coalition that defies all rules of math, on their way to topple incumbent PM Netanyahu. The disaster at Mount Meron unearths big questions regarding the Israeli establishment's dealings with the Haredi community. In Chutzpah and Mensch, Yonit and Jonathan discuss the latest UK-France standoff, and offer some TV bingeing recommendations. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israeli PM Netanyahu is showing signs of losing his magic, when a failed attempt at appointing his loyalist as Justice Minister ended up getting his rivals closer together. Yonit and Jonathan also discuss the latest report accusing Israel of apartheid. In France, a new ruling raises old concerns by the Jewish community. And we pay homage to the first Israeli transgender soccer referee. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Welcome to our Bar Mitzvah episode! Netanyahu's rivals have outsmarted the Prime Minister on a crucial vote and were caught winking behind his back. Is he on the brink of losing power? Yonit and Jonathan discuss. In the US, TV personality Tucker Carlson is creating a new concerning discourse in the right. And some big names on our Chutzpah and Mensch awards list. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israel is celebrating its 73rd year of independence and Yonit and Jonathan are back behind the mic! In politics, Netanyahu has the mandate from the president, but not a coalition or a government, as the deadlock remains. The covert war in Iran is out of the shadows and part of the political game for Israel's security heads. A farewell to Bernie Madoff and a Freedland-Levi faceoff on Duolingo with their latest language addition: Yiddish! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Israel wakes up to a new political reality: PM Netanyahu can't form a government without reaching out to an Arab leader, and a new Kingmaker emerges, along with the likely possibility of a fifth election. Yonit and Jonathan are here with a Special Edition of UNHOLY and a detailed debrief of (another) crazy Israeli election night. Yes, we are also getting ready for Passover Seder! See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The Elections in Israel are approaching the final furlong, and Yonit is sharing some trade secrets with Jonathan on what to look out for come Election night. Above all, we are delighted to be joined by special guest, David Axelrod, talking to us on Biden, Obama, Netanyahu and what it means to be a jew in the US. And... follow us on our new instagram page! @twojewsonthenews See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.