Image - Daniel Sokatch

San Francisco

Daniel Sokatch: Talking about Israel

Sales of in-person tickets end 2 hours before program starts.

If you are not a member yet, now is the time to join our community and receive the great benefits of membership. We are a group of people seeking truth, insight and wisdom about the issues we face as individuals and as a society. Please join! You can become a monthly sustaining member for just $10 a month.

The conflict between Israelis and the Palestinians is one of the most complex and controversial disputes in the world today. It is a complicated conflict that plays a role in the foreign affairs of many countries around the world, including the United States. Yet many issues related to the conflict are misunderstood by people and groups across the political spectrum, sometimes intentionally, sometimes from just a lack of knowledge.

Daniel Sokatch, the head of the New Israel Fund—an organization dedicated to equality and democracy for all Israelis, not just Jews—is often asked to explain these issues as part of his job. In his new book, Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted, Sokatch offers his own primer on Israel and the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The book provides the long story of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and gives basic explanations for the centuries-long conflict. Sokatch also attempts to explain why Israel (and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict) inspires such extreme feelings—why it seems as if Israel is the answer to "what is wrong with the world" for half the people in it, and "what is right with the world" for the other half.

As Sokatch asks in his book, is there any other topic about which so many intelligent, educated and sophisticated people express such strongly and passionately held convictions, and about which they actually know so little? This program will offer some background on this often misunderstood and complicated topic.


This program is one of several that The Commonwealth Club will host on Israel and Israel-related issues in coming months, from a variety of perspectives.

This program has 2 types of tickets available: In-person and online-only. Please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

Safety Protocols for In-Person Attendance

• In-person capacity is limited.
• Masks are required in the building.
• We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.
• All guests, staff and volunteers must be vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.
• Elevators are limited to a maximum of four (4) people at a time.

Our LEED Gold-certified building is designed to cool with outside air, using digitally controlled moveable windows and large ceiling fans. We are deploying additional HEPA filters inside to scrub the air. This is all in addition to increased cleaning of surfaces throughout the building.

Sokatch photo by Tammi Reinhardt.

All ticket sales are final and nonrefundable.

Tue, Nov 30 / 5:30 pm PST

The Commonwealth Club of California
110 The Embarcadero
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States

Image - Daniel Sokatch
Daniel Sokatch
CEO, New Israel Fund; Author, Can We Talk About Israel? A Guide for the Curious, Confused, and Conflicted
Image - Daniel Handler
Daniel Handler
Writer; Musician; a.k.a. Lemony Snicket—Moderator

5:30–6:30 p.m. program
(all times PST)