Editors can do Better than Turning to Central Casting on Tisha B’Av

When Israeli news outlet editors (many of whom are not Orthodox) are looking for a Tisha B’Av image, they invariably pick one of men somewhere on the ultra-Orthodox spectrum praying at the Western Wall. Maybe next year, picture editors might consider an image that shows ordinary observant Israelis reciting Lamentations perhaps in non-Haredi synagogues orContinue reading “Editors can do Better than Turning to Central Casting on Tisha B’Av”

Anti-Israel Media Bias: It’s Time to Temper our Expectations

“The battle between us and Israel will continue forever.” Yahya Sinwar On May 26, Hamas leader Yahya Sinwar let it be known that Gaza was ready to renew attacks on Israel. “What has happened is but a drill for what will come if Israel violates the al-Aksa Mosque” – whatever that means. “The occupation mustContinue reading “Anti-Israel Media Bias: It’s Time to Temper our Expectations”

Who Lost the Democratic Party?

For some decades after 1949, US politicos debated how the Communist Party under Mao Zedong managed to seize the China mainland from Chiang Kai-shek’s American-backed Kuomintang Nationalists. Were Washington’s policies to blame for the loss of China? Who lost China? I thought about that historical debate as the IDF’s “Operation Guardian of the Walls,” whichContinue reading “Who Lost the Democratic Party?”

Our bad bet on Hamas: the Sheikh Jarrah intifada

Updated Erev Shavuot JERUSALEM – With Israel in the grip of domestic anarchy and under attack from Palestine-Gaza, it is difficult to maintain a dispassionate perspective. So, I tell myself that this conflict began before I was born before even Israel was reborn. That Arab opposition to the idea of a Jewish national homeland inContinue reading “Our bad bet on Hamas: the Sheikh Jarrah intifada”

Meron – Where Lifestyle Demands Risk Taking – and Soul-Searching is not an Option

Just as the oblivious are oblivious to being oblivious, fanatics are oblivious to their fanaticism. People who live within subcultures where extreme zeal is the norm view mainstream society as abnormal. Excessive and unreasonable religiosity appears ordinary if you swim in a subculture unmoored from enlightenment and reason.   Where is the boundary between the religiousContinue reading “Meron – Where Lifestyle Demands Risk Taking – and Soul-Searching is not an Option”

Why are Arabs rioting in Jerusalem? And why now?

There are at least 10 reasons that I can think of (in random order) to explain the recent uptick in Jerusalem violence: Palestinian-Arab Jerusalem youths have few facilities for sports or supervised recreation, as one Arab community organizer explained on Reshet Bet Sunday. The youngsters are bored. Social media lionizes terrible behavior. Part of whatContinue reading “Why are Arabs rioting in Jerusalem? And why now?”

Israel at 73 by the numbers Independence Day

73 years of Independence (Third Commonwealth) 23,928 fallen fighters 9,140,500 total population (end 2020) 21.0% Arab (within Green Line) 73.9% of Israel’s population on both sides of Green Lin is Jewish (***) 27.9% of the total budget expenditure (how much spent on social welfare) NIS 21,063 (average monthly income before taxes) NIS 8,115 (Households ofContinue reading “Israel at 73 by the numbers Independence Day”

Election Results Memo – March 24 Israel – Knesset

So, here’s my quick take on yesterday’s Elections for the 120-seat Knesset. The unvarnished truth is that Israeli voters’ solid plurality stands for Bibi-ism, Kahane-ism, and Haredism. Why do I say this? With nearly 90 per cent of the vote in (meaning small changes will still have a big impact), the Bibi-ist Likud got 30Continue reading “Election Results Memo – March 24 Israel – Knesset”

Israel Knesset Elections 2021: Blog 2 | Netanyahu on N12

With 30-odd days to go, do you still think Netanyahu the most competent, gifted, and able of the candidates? Binyamin Netanyahu has no equal. Watch his performance as anchor Yonit Levy interviews him on Israel’s Channel 12. Swave, informed, articulate, sincere, and doggedly on message. There is even a touch of self-depracation and genuine modesty. Netanyahu is like sugar. You crave more evenContinue reading “Israel Knesset Elections 2021: Blog 2 | Netanyahu on N12”


So, 39 parties will be competing in the March 23rd Knesset election. Do you know which one you are voting for? Too early to tell. But only a dozen of the 39 stand a chance of crossing the electoral threshold. Who are you not voting for? That’s easier. I won’t vote for a party thatContinue reading “Israel Knesset Elections 2021 THE PROCESS OF ELIMINATION BEGINS”