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10 February 2012 0 Comments

Israelis scaring each other

My pal Matthew Kalman just became editor-in-chief of The Jerusalem Report, a much-deserved high-profile position for a thoughtful, creative fellow. In the true spirit of log-rolling he asked me to write this week’s cover story. It’s headlined “What Israelis Fear Most.” Needless to say, they don’t fear what you might expect… Well, they do, but […]

30 September 2011 0 Comments

Happy New Year

Frequently Jerusalem hits the headlines because Jews and Muslims do rotten things to each other. They kill; they shoot; they make the most predictable speeches in the history of the United Nations General Assembly, which is not known for spicy dialogue at the best of times. However, there are many benefits to living in a […]

16 June 2011 9 Comments

The Honest Tours Guide to Jerusalem

The New York Times ran a travel article last weekend about things to do in Jerusalem during the Jewish Sabbath when most things are shut. The article was fairly typical of shorter travel writing in that all the experiences described were unlikely to surprise anyone. Eat hummus at the restaurants. Browse for ceramic bowls. Take […]

17 February 2011 2 Comments

Finding true Mideast reality with kids

It’s always encouraging to meet well-adjusted teenagers (mainly because I wasn’t one.) When they’re Middle Eastern teenagers, it’s inspiring. I met a group of just over a dozen 15-year-olds (some of them may have been older than that, so I hope they aren’t offended when they read this, but when you get as old as […]

16 February 2011 2 Comments

Israel fears its own Giffords shooting

Israeli law enforcement officials, concerned about virulent divisions between left- and right-wing groups in the country, have warned that a political assassination could be imminent. Dudi Cohen, Israel’s police commissioner, told a conference earlier this month that “murder for ideological reasons … could occur in Israel” and that it was “one of the most disturbing […]

20 January 2011 0 Comments

Ehud Barak’s ‘filthy’ move

When Ehud Barak announced his plan Monday to split from Israel’s Labor Party and form a new parliamentary faction built entirely around himself, the defense minister displayed his usual combination of keen strategic thinking and craven self-interest. Barak’s stated logic is this: He wants to stay in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightist coalition because he […]

10 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel tries McCarthyism

The Israeli parliament voted last week to set up a committee to investigate the funding of local human rights groups that right-wingers here say are acting against Israel’s interests —a move opponents compare to the McCarthyism of the United States in the 1950s. The committee, which was an initiative of legislators from several parties in […]

1 January 2011 0 Comments

Israel’s president is no angel

When the residents of Kiryat Malakhi, the southern Israeli town whose name means “City of Angels,” picked Moshe Katsav as the youngest-ever mayor in the country’s history in 1970, he was 24. For decades he was the town’s symbol, an immigrant born in Iran who made it to the top of the establishment and was […]

20 December 2010 0 Comments

Pick-up artist protests in Israel

The Jewish holiday of Hanukkah ended last week, bringing to a close an apparently great opportunity for sexual conquest. The Center for the Art of Seduction, a Tel Aviv business which runs courses to help men succeed with women (“Do you want to get every girl that you want?”), posted a video earlier this month […]

13 December 2010 0 Comments

New West Bank road to peace?

ST. GEORGE’S MONASTERY, West Bank — Gathered in the chapel of this outpost in the Judean Desert last week, the Orthodox priests chanted “Lord, have mercy” in Greek, in a service of blessing for a new road that makes the venerable building accessible to the growing number of tourists willing to dare a visit to […]