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Hadassah and Vine Olympus C5050 Even Sapir, Israel Sunday, June 20th, 2004.

Springtime with My Boy
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Springtime with My Boy iPhone 6S Hod Hasharon, Israel Thursday, April 20th, 2017.

Last Day of the Trip
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Last Day of the Trip iPhone 6S Hod Hasharon, Israel Thursday, April 20th, 2017.

If You Want You Can Build a City
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If You Want You Can Build a City iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Wednesday, April 19th, 2017.

Resort
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Resort iPhone 6S Eilat, Israel Tuesday, April 18th, 2017.

Orbs
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Orbs iPhone 6S Hod Hasharon, Israel Monday, April 17th, 2017.

House & Truck
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House & Truck iPhone 6S Hod Hasharon, Israel Monday, April 17th, 2017.

The Center Holds
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The Center Holds iPhone 6S Israel Saturday, April 15th, 2017.

Achieved
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Achieved iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Saturday, April 15th, 2017.

Native Pink
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Native Pink iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Saturday, April 15th, 2017.

Flowers Along the Path
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Flowers Along the Path iPhone 6S Netanya, Israel Thursday, April 13th, 2017.

Jaffa’s Nine Circles of Parking
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Jaffa’s Nine Circles of Parking iPhone 6S Jaffa, Tel Aviv, Israel Wednesday, April 12th, 2017.

Leaving Nevei Tzedek
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Leaving Nevei Tzedek iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Wednesday, April 12th, 2017.

Herzlia Peninsula
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Herzlia Peninsula iPhone 6S Herzlia, Israel Tuesday, April 11th, 2017.

Just Walking to Wilhelm
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Just Walking to Wilhelm iPhone 6S Hod Hasharon, Israel Monday, April 10th, 2017.

Holy Fecundity
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Holy Fecundity iPhone 6S Herzlia, Israel Sunday, April 9th, 2017.

Control
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Control iPhone 6S Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Water Tank with a Fan
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Water Tank with a Fan iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Inspector
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Inspector iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

School & Pantheon
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School & Pantheon iPhone 6S Kiryat Ono, Israel Sunday, October 2nd, 2016.

Top Hat & Defence Ministry
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Top Hat & Defence Ministry iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Missed
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Missed iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Rarin’
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Rarin’ iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Only for You
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Only for You iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Lobby by Armani
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Lobby by Armani iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

Time for a Chat
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Time for a Chat iPhone 6S Tel Aviv, Binyamina, Israel Friday, September 30th, 2016.

•••

Israel

Briefs

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

The next step in the Trump shibboleth-marauding strategy for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal appears to have just happened: The President has threatened the Palestinians with withholding aid if they continue to refuse to come to the negotiating table.

These were merely tweets, a new lower level of presidential statement, but nonetheless they’re another demonstration to the Palestinians that they do in fact have things to lose by maintaining the conflict indefinitely. It seems a softening up before negotiations begin so that this time they will finally actually end with a deal.

Saturday, December 30th, 2017

In Mosaic, Martin Kramer tells the tale, set over lunch in Ein Kerem, of the closest Jerusalem ever got to internationalization. (At one point I found the internationalization of Jerusalem a heady and exciting notion—providing of course that the UN move its HQ there.) A most vivid history op-ed piece.

Thursday, December 28th, 2017

Read “Antisemitism in contemporary
Great Britain: A study of attitudes towards Jews and Israel
“ [PDF] by the Institute for Jewish Policy Research, published September 2017. The study demonstrates a correlation between anti-Jewish and anti-Israel attitudes.

Thursday, December 14th, 2017

Who showed up, who stayed home, and who broadcast a weather program while Erdoğan spoke at the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit condemning America’s recognition of Israel’s capital. Jordan was there but Saudi, Egypt and the UAR weren’t.

Yes

The Israel I Love, the Bad So Far

If the signage were a bit more effective, the staff’s diction and demeanor more professional, then we might have avoided this testy altercation.

Shanghai Europe

So, finally, we stopped yesterday; the Israeli assault on Gaza of late 2008/early 2009 is over. With it, Israel lost moral purity and made vital strategic gains.

Stop Yesterday

Is the goal of Israel’s current assault on Gaza to discourage Hamas from firing rockets or to render them incapable of doing so? These are two quite different projects.

Yes

Israel’s Greatest Victory Since Osirak?

If Ariel Sharon’s withdrawal from Gaza was part of a masterplan to staunch the damage done by the victory of the Six Day War in 1967, then today we see another step in its unfolding.

Tony Blair and the Four-State Solution

Ariel Sharon’s disengagement policy reflected an understanding that ownership of the Palestinian issue is shared with Egypt and Jordan. If Tony Blair were to acquire this view, perhaps he really could help facilitate an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Yes

Jam and Bread, Jam and Bread!

My dog Jam has spent over a third of her time here in Italy as her fixtures have fallen away—first Maddie, then me. But now I’m back!

A Ride to Gatwick Airport

Airports. They’re so charged, so symbolic, and so empty once you’re at one; I dream of them so often.

Fatahland and Hamastan

Now Israel has a dog in a real Palestinian fight: the nationalists rather than the Islamists.

Such a Tramp

Maddie, who died 18 months ago today, was a mangy mutt and stank, but she was also among the most beautiful dogs I’ve ever seen and for me the longest, richest, widest, deepest streak of feeling lucky.

Don’t Panic!

An academic romp through Jewish American comedy starts out as a veritable rollercoaster ride, but grinds to halt with its obsession with one Bob Dylan.

Ode to Salame

It’s supposed to be the arsehole of Tel Aviv, Salame Street, running east-west at its southern tip, but it always does me darn good.

I Love Laundry

How pleasing it is to have my own washing machine. If all isn’t right with the world, not even in my world, at least the laundry cycle is functioning.

Lovely Scenery, But Walks Getting Boring

Unless I drive somewhere new, it’s not much fun to just step out the door and wander. But driving to go for a walk seems a tad ridiculous.

Shinui and the Seven-Year Itch

How refreshing to see Asian faces out shopping in Tel Aviv, or Africans riding the bus to Ra’anana. With them Israel is given fresh wellsprings of culture.

Allah Help the Jackals

While it’s obvious that overplaying your power can result in a downfall, it’s less obvious that underplaying it also leads to trouble. America did this in the 1970s under Carter. Israel seems to have done it almost perennially.

Yes

For Tel Aviv, Better a Skylift Than a Subway

Rather than copycatting a transportation system from the 19th century, Israel could inject into its civic planning the same audacity and resourcefulness that it has historically brought to agriculture and defence.

Tour of Kitchen Duty

There was yelling and spray and I raced to keep up. One can enjoy, briefly, the company of men.

Tira Saunters

The one-lane road is empty; down below is the Sharon Plain, looking vast. Israel may be a small country but we’re still speaking here of land.

 

Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Tom Gross lays out the case for optimism over an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal happening sooner rather than later. To me this is utterly obvious and almost straightforward but as usual it’s the precise opposite of how the Western media portrays things to be.

Monday, December 11th, 2017

There has never been a West European post-Second World War policy in [the Middle East] except to await the American position and then stake out something more favourable to the Arabs.

Conrad Black, “The Palestinians should take what they can get while they can”

Conrad Black and Caroline Glick publish their Trump Declaration responses. Black says it all so well while Glick argues that this was a masterstroke on many levels. Conrad, Caroline: you’re with me.

Also Abraham Ben-Zvi briefly compares Trump’s defiance of his own government regarding Israel to that of Truman and Kennedy, rather propelling The Donald into the pantheon.

Marcus Pretzell is one German member of the EU Parliament who supports the declaration and says other do too but fear to speak up.

Finally, Rashid Khalidi’s response illustrates the unhappy thrashings-about of the opposing side.

Thursday, December 7th, 2017

On the eve of US recognition of Israel’s capital, very much in-the-loop Ambassador Ron Dermer speaks (three paragraphs at a time!) to the Global Politico podcast.

Tuesday, December 5th, 2017

The guys at The Soul of Enterprise podcast interview George Gilder. I guarantee you he’ll bring you at least some new perspective. It’s about time.

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Monday, September 25th, 2017

Yes, yes, yes — another nice one by Evelyn Gordon. Unusually, Trump’s UN speech did not even mention the Palestinians. The omission is the first diplomatic suggestion to them that they may have something to lose by intransigence. To date, the only policy I can think of that has served this purpose is settlements.

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

Slant Magazine is once again in Jerusalem, this time for Jerusalem Film Festival 2017. By Greg Cwik.

Tuesday, July 25th, 2017

InspireConversation is the parenting blog of, together with his wife, Jason Greenblatt. He is the presidential envoy who accompanied Israel’s Head of Security Services to Jordan to defuse the recent Israeli embassy crisis there.

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Modi and Netanyahu, India and Israel’s prime ministers, are a match made in history. By Jonathan Spyer in The American Interest.

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

Efraim Inbar provides the background to the hugely significant first-time-ever visit to Israel by an Indian Prime Minister.

Monday, June 26th, 2017

“A wordy kind of Kardashian Instagram feed, without the self-awareness.” In this perfectly pitched skewering of Michael Chabon, Ayelet Waldman & Dave Eggers et al’s confrontation of the Occupation in the West Bank, Matti Friedman wonders what it’s all actually about. All this, plus: I don’t think I’ve ever seen such skilful use of the exclamation mark!

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017

“Gazans today are more moderate than West Bankers on the key question of permanent peace with Israel,” reports David Pollock at The Washington Institute based on what he calls “reliable data from a new survey conducted there May 16-25 by a professional, independent Palestinian pollster.” I thought it might augur hope for an eventual end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but 44% of Gazans and 55% of West Bankers still believe the conflict “should continue until all of historic Palestine is liberated”. And 46% of Gazans blame Israel for their economic woes while only 4% blame Egypt. [via dailyalert.com]

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

The Dispensability of Allies by George Friedman — probably the only required reading on President Trump’s upcoming visit to the Middle East, even if it is rather dismal.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Albeit behind Iran, Israel squeaks onto Walter Russell Mead’s list of the Great Eight Powers of 2017. It’s amazing that only one European country makes it here.

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Good point, yes. If under Trump it’s between the symbol of a U.S. Embassy move to Jerusalem or the reality of continued building throughout the city—as it may well come down to—then the choice is clear, writes Nadav Shragai.

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Thank you, Evelyn Gordon, for providing some clarity for those now afar over why so many Israelis are supporting Elor Azaria, convicted of manslaughter for killing subdued terrorist Abed al-Fattah al-Sharif.

Saturday, December 17th, 2016

The New York Times attempts to embarrass Trump’s new appointment by linking to eight of incoming American Ambassador to Israel David Friedman’s columns in Arutz Sheva as if his words alone are enough to horrify. I for one though agree with everything he writes in these, except perhaps in “Time to Regroup on Iran” where he suggests hitting Hamas harder — not sure about that. I’m with him on J Street, and there’s great stuff on what he dubs the two-state narrative.

Monday, September 5th, 2016

In this report on Ryanair’s service between Budapest and Eilat, anna.aero lists the low-cost airlines flying to Israel. All the others fly to Ben-Gurion. So that’s Eilat to Budapest in February roundtrip for 85€!!!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

An inviting tour of the Hebrew writer’s oeuvre as Shai Agnon is translated into English. [via aldaily.com]

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Slant Magazine attends the 2016 Jerusalem Film Festival, witnessing the audience versus Miri Regev, Minister of Culture & Sport.

Friday, June 17th, 2016

As part of a series of articles on Israel in Foreign Affairs, Aluf Benn worries from the center-Left about crumbling social and political norms while Martin Kramer expresses satisfaction about ever-strengthening strategic might [requires registration, only 1 free article].

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Nice piece on poetic military language with examples from the Israeli, American and British experiences.

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

The Weekly Standard visits Jerusalem’s new Shalem liberal arts college.

Monday, December 21st, 2015

A sweeping reminder to anxious Israelis from Edward Luttwak that it’s always been worse than it is today. All cheerleading aside, I say to all citizens at home and abroad: when someone is providing a service, look at their faces. Maybe even smile. Say thank you. Please.

Monday, November 9th, 2015

An excerpt from Dennis Ross’s book about US-Israel relations. This all seems believable, and fascinating as well.

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

A pretty sensible summary by Debka of why it was sensible to reelect the Likud party as led by Binyamin Netanyahu. The gist: all in all it’s pretty good in here and not so pretty out there.

Monday, March 16th, 2015

Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies summarizes its 8th annual conference. They seem in agreement with the international view that progress with the Palestinians is the key.

Friday, December 12th, 2014

The New Yorker review of Zero Motivation wherein the writer, herself a deeply unimpressed Bogeret Tzahal, notes the film’s homage to The Breakfast Club.

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Israel’s INSS thinktank looks at “realizing the strategic opportunity created in the wake of Operation Protective Edge,” ie, reconstruction of Gaza. “Even if it seems that the prospects are slim,” they sensibly write, “the effort is important in and of itself.”

Monday, August 18th, 2014

“Israel is wrong in shirking responsibility for the consequences of its actions and in laying them at Hamas’ door,” writes B’Tselem. “Israel and Hamas are each responsible for their own actions.” This should be self-evident.

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

“Even a just war should be supported unfeverishly.” Leon Wieseltier articulates my own disquiet. “A provocation does not relieve one of accountability for how one responds to it.”

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Not only isn’t the Israel Broadcasting Association listing the names of the child fatalities from the Gaza bombings but refusing to let B’Tselem pay for an ad doing so. And the Attorney General has upheld the decision. This seems to me a mistake. We must fully own these deeds.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Read this serious analysis of the conflict in Gaza so far by Amos Yadlin, director of Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies.

Saturday, August 2nd, 2014

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

Nahum Barnea tells us more than we knew before about Hamas’s tunnels and how Israel chose to ignore them to date. It is thoughtful, analytic, regretful pieces like this that give me hope.

Thursday, July 24th, 2014

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Beyond bracin’, stormin’ Norman Podhoretz eviscerates the Palestinian position in the wake of the Kerry talks collapse.

Jonathan Spyer bracingly articulates the Right’s two fundamental arguments for the inevitability of the failure of John Kerry’s Israeli-Palestinian talks.

 
 

•••

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