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How Israel Lost: Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist & Author To Speak at Pomona College

On February 15, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Richard Ben Cramer will visit Pomona College to talk about his latest book, How Israel Lost: The Four Questions (Simon & Schuster, 2004). The questions are modeled after the questions asked at a Passover Seder, are: “Why do we care about Israel?”; “Why don’t the Palestinians have a state?”; “What is a Jewish state?”; and “Why is there no peace?”

The lecture will begin at 4:15 pm in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center, Room 208 (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). It is sponsored by the Pomona College Politics Department and Pomona’s Program in International Relations. For more information, call (909) 621-8933.

Richard Ben Cramer was dispatched to Egypt for two weeks in 1977 to cover the Middle East peace talks, but remained in the Middle East through the talks and for the invasion of Lebanon by Israel. His reporting from the front lines of the invasion won him a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting, and he stayed abroad in the Middle East, Africa, and Europe for six years as a correspondent for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Cramer’s experience in the Middle East was both a resource and a motivation for him in writing How Israel Lost. Returning to the area after almost 25 years, Cramer noticed that things were different with regards to Israel and its place in the world. In an interview with Beliefnet (, Cramer explains: “I realized something big had changed. Israel was losing the assumption on the part of the world that what she did was moral and for her own survival.” The self-described Zionist somewhat controversially assigns most of the blame for the changes he notes to Israel itself.

In addition to How Israel Lost, Cramer has written What Do You Think of Ted Williams Now: A Remembrance (2002) and Joe DiMaggio: The Hero’s Life (2000), which examine the public and private lives of the two famous baseball players, as well as What It Takes: The Way to the White House (1993), a chronicle of six presidential hopefuls in the 1988 campaign. As a freelance writer, Cramer has been published in Newsweek, Time, Esquire, Rolling Stone, Sports Illustrated and the New York Times Magazine. Cramer has also written or co-written, and narrated, a number of television documentaries, including “The Battle Over Citizen Kane” (1995).

Pomona College, one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offers a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.