Special event: Israel conflict in historical perspective

A private event for $JASON coin holders and paid newsletter subscribers

Special event: the Israel conflict in historical perspective

Several people asked me this week to help make sense of what’s happening in Israel. So, I’m going to hold a special, small conversation on the violence in the Middle East in a private Clubhouse room tonight, Saturday, 5/15 at 10:00 pm ET

This’ll be a private event solely for $JASON coin holders and paid newsletter subscribers.

To get access:

The app will check that you have 10 $JASON coins in your Rally holdings. You’ll then receive a text message with a link to the Clubhouse room before it opens.

(You can also get access by becoming a paid newsletter subscriber. If you’re a paid subscriber but not yet a $JASON coin holder, text me and I’ll send you special instructions.)

You’ll need Clubhouse installed on your phone to attend; the app is now available on iOS and Android.

The goal for the event is to have an honest and civil conversation about the history behind the conflict; sort through the misinformation and propaganda (of which there is a lot); and talk about potential solutions and where the parties go from here. 

The Chatham House Rule will apply.

Recap: athletes as activists

No recording of this week’s room on athletes as activists, but here are a few topics that came up during the 2-hour conversation:

  • Athlete activism today is an exercise in strategic communications and brand alignment. Agents, publicists, brands, and families have conversations with athletes about what they’ll support and what the messaging will be. It’s far more sophisticated than it was 70 years ago.

  • While contemporary athletes have been vocal on social justice causes, athletes in the North American major sports have been largely silent on other issues, e.g. climate change or immigration policy.

  • The business interests of the professional leagues affect how vocal athletes can be, e.g. the NBA and its business interests in China.

  • How “active” does an athlete have to be in order to be considered an “activist”? Does wearing a t-shirt in support of a cause suffice, or do athletes have to invest money and time into causes in order to legitimately bear that title?

  • Women athletes have been at the vanguard of sports activism, particularly the WNBA, which is often looked to for leadership by leagues around the world.

  • Conversations about athlete activism often focus on the most fit and photogenic of athletes (e.g., Colin Kaepernick or Megan Rapinoe) but almost always overlook Paralympic athletes, who are championing highly marginalized communities in athletics and society more broadly (e.g., Chantal Petitclerc).

  • Politics always have a bearing on professional sports (think segregation in professional baseball, for example); thus, it’s not surprising that sports would be political in response.

Special thanks to sports historian Lindsay Krasnoff for spending the evening with us talking through these ideas.


This week in History Club, we’ll mark Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month with an important conversation about the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin and its ramifications for Chinese Americans today. More about the event will be in this coming week’s newsletter; you can RSVP here.

Kind words

We get lots of nice comments about History Club each week (see the History Club website for some of the best). But, we got some especially nice messages after this week’s event and I thought I’d share them:

“Absolutely fascinating. Thank you! My husband and I really enjoyed listening to the tail end of this [on our drive home]!”

and my personal favorite:

“This conversation is badass and the history club seems right up my alley.”

History doesn’t always get described as “badass.” But we’re very glad when it does.

Thanks to everyone for the kind words and for showing up week-after-week. The community we’ve built around History Club has been—and remains—its best part.

Enjoy the weekend. See some of you tonight on Clubhouse at 10PM ET for our conversation on the conflict in Israel.

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