Authors / Joshua Leifer

Joshua Leifer is a Jewish Currents contributing editor and a member of the Dissent editorial board. His essays and reporting have also appeared in The Guardian, The Nation, Jacobin, +972 Magazine, and elsewhere. He is currently working on a book about American Jewish identity. He lives in New Haven, CT, where he is a history PhD student.

The End of Widady
Settler attacks are rapidly depopulating Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank.
Joshua Leifer September 6, 2023
The PA’s Slow-Motion Collapse
In the aftermath of Israel’s attack on Jenin, the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to regain legitimacy risk hastening its potentially terminal decline.
Joshua Leifer July 18, 2023
Netanyahu’s Salami Method
Using a classic authoritarian strategy, the Israeli right has quashed dissent and entrenched the occupation slice by slice.
Joshua Leifer June 6, 2023
The Intentional Cruelty of “Conflict Management” in Gaza
Successive Israeli governments have embraced a paradigm that all but guarantees perpetual war.
Joshua Leifer May 16, 2023
Biden Won’t Stop Netanyahu’s Judicial Coup
The US has diplomatic tools that could put pressure on Israel—but the president seems unlikely to use them.
Joshua Leifer March 14, 2023
Israel’s Class War Conservatives
The divide over the Netanyahu government’s “judicial overhaul” plan is defined less by ideological differences than a populist politics of resentment.
Joshua Leifer February 22, 2023
Empty Gestures
Even unprecedented criticism of Israel by American Jewish leaders rings hollow without action.
Joshua Leifer February 16, 2023
The Nationalist Heresy of Temple Mount Activism
For Israel’s right-wing religious Zionists, ethnonationalism has overwhelmed the commitment to Jewish law.
Joshua Leifer January 18, 2023
The Israeli #Resistance Demands a Return to Normal
Domestic backlash to the incoming far-right government ignores its plans to further entrench the occupation.
Joshua Leifer December 20, 2022
Israeli Settler Violence Surges as Palestinians Turn to Armed Resistance
The increase in settler violence is part of an intensification of Israeli repression—which also includes a closure on Shuafat, preventing Palestinians from leaving for work or study.
Joshua Leifer and Activestills October 18, 2022
Kahanism’s Raucous Return
Knesset member Itamar Ben-Gvir, a follower of far-right ideologue Meir Kahane, is surging in popularity on the promise of realizing ideas like the forced expulsion of Palestinians and leftists.
Joshua Leifer September 23, 2022
Decline Personified
Biden’s Israel trip didn’t accomplish much, but it symbolized the increasingly passive US role in the region.
Joshua Leifer July 19, 2022
The Challenge of Defending Memory in Germany
A Berlin conference organized to combat right-wing appropriation of Holocaust memory faces enduring backlash over Palestine.
Joshua Leifer July 7, 2022
On Ukraine, Israel’s Communists Choose Not to Choose
Some left-wing politicians are reluctant to condemn Russia’s invasion because of deep historic links between the Soviet Union and the Communist Party of Israel.
Joshua Leifer March 31, 2022
The Jews Expelled from Labour over Antisemitism
To improve the British Labour Party’s electoral prospects, its leader, Keir Starmer, is pushing out the anti-imperialist, socialist left—and sanctioning a generation of Jewish activists.
Joshua Leifer February 7, 2022
The Rise of the New Settler State
In Lod and other so-called “mixed” cities, recent violence stems in part from the presence of religious Zionist groups that have transposed the settler movement’s methods back inside the Green Line.
Joshua Leifer May 27, 2021
A Guide to the Current Crisis in Israel/Palestine
We asked our readers what they needed to know about the situation in Israel/Palestine. Our staff is compiling a developing set of answers to the most commonly asked questions.
Mari Cohen, Joshua Leifer, and Alex Kane May 13, 2021
Can New York’s Progressives Stop Andrew Yang?
The shape of the mayoral race reveals the limits of the electoral power the left has built in the city since 2018.
Joshua Leifer April 15, 2021
The Long History of Anti-Asian Violence
A conversation with writer Mark Tseng-Putterman, who situates the recent attacks on Asian Americans within the structures of white supremacy and imperialism.
Joshua Leifer March 26, 2021
Israel’s Islamists Side with Netanyahu
The prime minister is the main beneficiary of the fracturing of the Joint List.
Joshua Leifer February 16, 2021
The Tragedy of Jeremy Corbyn
Corbyn’s leadership augured a new era of left ascendancy in the UK. Instead, it has ended with the left badly defeated and bitterly divided.
Joshua Leifer November 27, 2020
The New Heimish Populism
The protests in Borough Park reflect a shift in Orthodox communities, long in the making, toward a Trumpian style of politics.
Joshua Leifer October 15, 2020
Restoring the Bipartisan Consensus
Joe Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris, who has always toed the AIPAC line on Israel/Palestine, is part of the campaign’s pitch that polarization can be undone.
Joshua Leifer September 15, 2020
cori bush
Cori Bush’s Message From the Grassroots
Bush’s victory in a St. Louis congressional primary escalates an insurgency from the Democratic Party’s left wing.
Joshua Leifer August 5, 2020
The Real War on Free Speech
Some of the Harper’s letter signatories use their defense of “free speech” to silence support for Palestinian rights.
Mari Cohen and Joshua Leifer July 23, 2020
The Resilient Fiction of the Two-State Solution
The lack of a viable two-state solution doesn’t mean liberal Zionists will stop believing in one.
Joshua Leifer July 9, 2020
Leaked Memo Details ADL’s Annexation Response
A leaked memo shows the group hopes to maintain a pro-civil-rights veneer while opposing any policy pressure on Israel.
Joshua Leifer June 26, 2020
Jamaal Bowman Reminds Progressives They Can Win
The 44-year-old Bronx principal deals a blow to the Democratic establishment—and the hawkish pro-Israel groups that rallied behind his opponent.
Joshua Leifer June 25, 2020
de Blasio
Why de Blasio Defends the Police
In a city reliant on real estate capital—and thus, on policing—even a self-professed liberal mayor is still, ultimately, a law-and-order mayor.
Joshua Leifer June 22, 2020
An Argument Among Friends
The muted Haredi response to Bill de Blasio’s comments reflects a longstanding relationship.
Joshua Leifer May 1, 2020
Orbán’s Illiberalism Tests the EU
After a dramatic power grab by the Hungarian prime minister, will the European Union finally stand up against the nation’s slide into autocracy?
Joshua Leifer April 16, 2020
“The Beginning of Breakdown”
Benny Gantz’s capitulation to Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition has left Israel’s constitutional order more vulnerable to right-wing efforts to undermine it.
Joshua Leifer March 31, 2020
“The Only Left That Is Left”
After its gains in the latest elections, the Joint List has a chance to become Israel’s true opposition: one rooted in Arab–Jewish partnership.
Joshua Leifer March 5, 2020
Civic Religion and the Secular Jew
The discourse around Bernie Sanders’s faith highlights the inadequacy of conventional frameworks for understanding American Jewish life.
Joshua Leifer February 14, 2020
Trump Bibi Vision
A Threat, Not an Offer
Trump and Netanyahu’s so-called peace plan is designed to be unacceptable to Palestinians, to justify the repression that will follow.
Joshua Leifer January 29, 2020
Brooklyn Bridge
A Missed Opportunity
New York’s march against antisemitism, meant as a show of unity, instead highlighted the deep fissures between the different American Jewish communities.
Joshua Leifer January 7, 2020
Bernie Midwood
Too Close for Comfort
Young Jewish leftists are inspired by Bernie Sanders. Older ones find him painfully familiar.
Joshua Leifer December 17, 2019
The Real Target of Trump’s Executive Order
Jews are understandably anxious, but the main threat is toward pro-Palestine activists.
Joshua Leifer December 12, 2019
The ADL Cannot Lead on Civil Rights
At its annual conference, the organization’s Trump-aligned, right-wing Israel advocacy eclipsed its liberal agenda.
Joshua Leifer November 27, 2019
Trump’s Orthodox Whisperer
How Jeff Ballabon steered a community’s turn to the nationalist right.
Joshua Leifer June 27, 2019
Someday, This Occupation Will End
Two distinct but complementary visions of how to fight for justice in Palestine.
Joshua Leifer November 14, 2018
The Jerusalem Embassy Ceremony Was Liberal Zionism’s Funeral
America and Israel’s Monday celebration made it clear what supporting Israel looks like in practice.
Joshua Leifer May 17, 2018