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As F-16’s again bomb cities of Palestine, and young men again sacrifice their lives and the lives of others, Martin Indyk, writing in the New York Times, proclaims that the ‘Violence is worsening’[i]. The BBC and CNN reports, like a Greek chorus, echo Indyk with their reports of ‘Violence in Palestine’. The White House issues... Read More
A couple of weeks ago, while travelling in Northern Spain, I came upon the old capital of Navarre. Pamplona celebrated the feria of St Fermin, and thousands of aficionados crowded the narrow streets leading to the famed bullring. There were also a lot of foreigners earnestly following Hemingway's steps. In the morning, young boys run... Read More
I had the honour to be invited to speak in the high international forum of UNESCO in Paris on the question of the media's coverage of the Israeli/Palestine conflict. It was an interesting gathering of upper-middle level politicians and journalists. The key speaker was UN Coordinator for the Middle East, the suave Scandinavian Terje Roed-Larsen.... Read More
With Sunday Times’ disclosure of the Israeli security services’ involvement in the slaughter of the Russian kids in Tel Aviv, the clever by half plot began to unravel. From the first moment, there were reasonable doubts that it was an act of Palestinian terror. The crime had the bloody fingerprints of the Jewish supremacist all... Read More
As the CIA-brokered cease fire went into effect, I received an anxious call from a village of Aboud, on the western slopes of Samarian hills. The village was raided by the army, and two men were shot. Today I went there, to see the village and to feel the cease fire. Aboud is surrounded by... Read More
The Russian discotheque Dolphi, devastated by the Friday night blast, stands on the shore of Manshieh, a destroyed Palestinian neighborhood of Jaffa, not far from my home. Teenage friends of my sons used to frequent the place. It is an innocent crowd, brought to the shores of Palestine by their parents after disintegration of the... Read More
While Broadway successfully hosts a musical comedy Springtime for Hitler, a prominent Californian newspaper published a revisionist article, attempting to reverse the accepted version of Nazi Germany and justify the persecution of its Jews. The author of the article has a highly original vision of the German life before Hitler’s rise to power. By subterfuge,... Read More
Nobody is allowed to enter or leave the Gaza Strip. It is surrounded by barbed wire, its gates are locked, and even with the proper documents, one cannot visit the largest high security prison on earth, home to over one million Palestinians. The Israeli army, once a fabled fighting force, has become mere prison guard.... Read More
Jews are good to eat kugel with, opined that notorious anti-Semite, Sholom Aleichem, and he added, that is all they are good to do with. This maxim came to my mind, as Chicago hosts the 'Junity', or Jewish Unity for Just Peace conference. Maybe Sholom Aleichem was too harsh. He spoke without knowing any Sephardi... Read More
Dear friends, You asked me to comment on the letter of Ali Abunimah and Hussein Ibish. They spoke against what they feared might be my anti- Semitism. I am certainly pleased with their principled stand. As a Jew and a man, I salute them. Any irrational aversion to Jews should be certainly eradicated and condemned.... Read More
Easter greetings to you from Israel Shamir
Today is a beautiful day, a day of new hope and new promise. Two thousand years ago, the first joust of two spirits, the spirit of brotherhood of Man and the spirit of Master-Slave domination, was over. Jesus taught, love your neighbor as yourself, even if he is a traditional enemy of Jews, a Samaritan.... Read More
In the movie based on the mammoth tale by Jean Auel, Clan of Cave Bear, there is a glimpse of the sex life of the Palaeolithic people who roamed the earth some 35,000 years ago. Apparently, whenever a Neanderthal wished to have fun, he didn’t need to bring flowers or arrange dinner for two. He... Read More
On a beautiful spring day, when the skies of the Holy Land are tender blue and the grass is a verdant green, air-conditioned buses ferry tourists from the City of the Plain to the City in the Mountains. A small distance past the halfway point, just beyond the reconstructed Ottoman inn of Bab al-Wad, the... Read More
It is not easy to visit Joseph these days. Roadblocks manned by nervous Israeli soldiers have surrounded his city of Nablus; trenches or heaps of earth block the smallest entrances and exits. On a normal morning, commuters pour in from nearby villages for work or shopping; now they do so at their own peril, and... Read More
When in 1543, the typhoon-blown Portuguese schooners approached the shores of Japan, the astonished sailors could not believe their eyes: on a warm spring day, the tropical island ahoy was buried under snow. They were witness to one of the real Seven Wonders of the World, the flowers of sakura, the wild cherry of Japan.... Read More
After the last episode of the 'Fateful Elections', the actors amiably shared the trophies backstage. The muse of Israeli politics, like Coca-Cola, wishes to please everybody. Whoever thought that Barak was the best candidate, will be pleased to have him back in power as the Minister of Defense. Those who were about to get nostalgic... Read More
While walking by the Tel Aviv seashore promenade, I was approached by a slick blond guy who invited me to visit lady luck. A mixed crowd of tourists and folks from Afula and Dimona had gathered to watch this street artist with fast hands, three glasses and a ball. 'Try and guess, where the ball... Read More
The touching words of Elie Wiesel (Jerusalem in My Heart, NYT 1/25/2001) painted a beautiful portrait of the Jewish people, yearning for Jerusalem, loving and praying for it over the centuries and cherishing its name from generation to generation. This potent image reminded me, an Israeli writer from Jaffa, of something familiar yet elusive. I... Read More
Last September, just a few weeks before the eruption of the second Palestinian intifadah, I wandered over to Cinemateque square in the upscale area of Tel Aviv. In the cool breeze of late afternoon, a few dozen retirees with their families were having a nice outing. The old ladies knitted, while kids drew flags on... Read More
Among the colorful revelers of Allenby street, in crowded restaurants of merry-making Tel Aviv nights, a vision came to me, a vision of an angel in battle-dress, chalking up on a wall three words, Mene, Tekel ufarsin. My Angel-English on-line dictionary prompts a translation: you were tested and you failed the test. These are the... Read More
The Surprising Elements of Talmudic Judaism
The Shaping Event of Our Modern World
Analyzing the History of a Controversial Movement