Ze'ev Chafets was born and raised in Pontiac, Michigan. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he immigrated to Israel. He spent a decade in the army, government service and politics. In 1977, he was appointed director of the Government Press Office, a post he held for five years during the administration of Prime Minister Menachem Begin. Chafets was an active participant in the Egyptian-Israeli peace process and a delegate to the first Israeli-Egyptian peace negotiations.
Chafets was the founding managing editor of the Jerusalem Report magazine. He is the author of twelve books of fiction, media criticism, and social and political commentary, three of which have been named Notable Books of the Year by The New York Times. He is also the recipient of the 2008 Wilbur Award for his book A Match Made In Heaven.
Chafets was a regular columnist for the New York Daily News from 2000 until 2004. He is a contributor to the New York Times Sunday Magazine. In 2008, his NYT Magazine cover story on Mike Huckabee was a finalist for the National Magazine Award.
Chafets is a political conservative and a strong supporter of Israel. He has been a vocal critic of Arab dictatorships, Islamic radicalism, extremist groups such as Hizbollah and Hamas, and what he asserts is a pro-Palestinian bias in academia and the media. He is also known for his opposition to religious political parties in Israel.
After the first primaries of the 2010 U.S. election season, Chafets identified Rush Limbaugh as "the brains and the spirit behind" the Republican Party's "resurgence" in the wake of the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. Chafets reported that Sarah Palin's "biggest current applause line — Republicans are not just the party of no, but the party of hell no — came courtesy of Mr. Limbaugh." Limbaugh is the subject of Chafets' 2010 book Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One.
- Double Vision: How America's Press Distorts Our View of the Middle East (1985)
- Heroes and Hustlers, Hard Hats and Holy Men (1986)
- Members of the Tribe (Bantam Hardcover- 1988)
- Devil's Night: And Other True Tales of Detroit (1990)
- A Match Made in Heaven: American Jews, Christian Zionists, and One Man's Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Judeo-Evangelical Alliance (HarperCollins Hardcover - Jan 9, 2007)
- Cooperstown Confidential: Heroes, Rogues and the Inside Story of the Baseball Hall of Fame (2009, Bloomsbury USA)
- Rush Limbaugh: An Army of One (2010)
- Roger Ailes: Off Camera (2013)
- Inherit the Mob (Random House) (1993)
- The Bookmakers (Random House) (1995)
- The Project (Warner Books) (1997)
- Whacking Jimmy (as William Wolf) ((Villard))
- Hang Time (Warner Books) (1996)
- "A Diluted American" Eve Silberman, Michigan Today, Spring, 2000
- Interview with Zev Chafetz, author of Rush Limbaugh: Army of One
- Taking a Swing at Baseball’s Hall of Fame (and Infamy), New York Times
- The Huckabee Factor
- "The Limbaugh Victory" OpEd by Zev Chavets, The New York Times, May 19, 2010 (May 20, 2010, on p. A27 of NY ed.). Retrieved 2010-05-20.
- A Soft-Focus Look at Fox’s Tough-Talking Tough Guy