Saturday, May 24, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
- Two cartoons by Dutch cartoonists, one about ( the referendum in ) Burma/Myanmar, the other about the critical condition of the Dutch Labor Party ( the same cartoon could be made about its Israeli sister party ).
- I agree with every word of this analysis, by Nahum Barnea ( not exactly a blind nationalist or hawk ), of the situation in Lebanon and the Middle East, and subscribe to its basic conclusion: Israel can and should only rely on itself. The 'compromise' reached in Lebanon is a clear victory for Hezbullah ( and thus for Iran and Syria ). Maybe this could make life easier for Israel in the next war: chances are that by then this country will have to face Lebanon ( and Syria ) as a whole, and the IDF and IAF will not have to pretend anymore that they are fighting only against one particular faction. I truly feel sorry for most ordinary Lebanese - who, together with the Israelis, in the end will be the ones who pay the most for the fearful indecisiveness of the West - and for brave and patriotic men like Mr Hariri, who in fact was thrown to the dogs by his Arab 'brothers', as well as by Europe and the US. In a country such as Lebanon you need guts in order to take political responsibility, especially if your political opponents are supported by one or two of your country's most powerful meddlers.
- While eating breakfast I saw a news bulletin on television and learnt that the Israeli contestant Boaz Ma'uda ( I think he won the Israeli version of American Idol last year ) will participate in this year's final of the Eurovision Song Contest. I did not realize that that contest takes place this week, or that Israel participates. At a press conference young Mr Ma'uda - who is of Yemenite descent and sings a song that was written by Dana International - pointed out something that I had not noticed yet: until now all three Israeli winners of the Contest were Yemenite Jews ( Yizhar Ashdot, Gali Atari ( with Milk & Honey ), and Mrs International ). Of course he hopes to follow in their footsteps. I won't watch the final but wish him good luck.
- This weekend I will finish reading the proofs of my book, which Be'Ezrath HaShem will be published next month. I am very happy with ( and will be very proud of ) the result of several months of very hard ( and interesting and mostly very pleasant ) work.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
- Last night I received an e-mail telling me that my book - interviews with 15 Dutch VIPs and celebs about their relationship with Israel - will be published and presented next month. This means some more work against the clock in the next week or so, but finally the end is near, and I am looking forward to it.
- Here is one article that made me smile this morning: God must be a leftist.
- In the Dutch daily De Telegraaf I read that the Saudi government understands what Israel has been telling the world for many years: Teheran is behind much of the instability and violence in Lebanon. For just as many years Damascus has been the ayatollahs' little helper in this. Not that other Arab or Muslim countries, the West or Israel ever contributed too much to the stability on Israel's northern border, but it is important when even Israel's enemies recognize who the real and main villains are in this sad and ongoing saga.
- Behatslaha! to the new commander of Israel's Air Force, Major General Ido Nehushtan.
Monday, May 12, 2008
Sunday, May 11, 2008
Friday, May 09, 2008
Thursday, May 08, 2008
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Today I won't be posting, I have to write an interview that I had yesterday with Israel's Foreign Minister, Tzipi Livni, for three Dutch newspapers. The interview will be published on Saturday and Monday, on a full page. In honor of Remembrance Day ( Yom HaZikaron ), which starts tonight, I post a beautiful rendition of my favorite national anthem ( I love quite a few national anthems, including the Dutch one, which like the Hatikvah gives me goose bumps, even though I am in no way a fanatical nationalist ) by Aki Jacob. For tomorrow night, when Israel's 60th Independence Day celebrations start, I will try a new Blogger feature, scheduled ( i.e. future ) posting, with another version of HaTikvah.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Friday, May 02, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
- Holocaust is a word that the Jews have appropriated unlawfully. As if Gypsies, gays and many more do not fall in that category. Typical "Jews' trick".
- From my mother I heard about the Jews. In the war a Jewish family had to leave (*). That is why they left the main household effects with neigbors. With one neigbor they left a box of with shoes. A few streets further down they also left a box with shoes. After the war, when those Jews did not come back (**), the box was checked more closely. In one box there were only left shoes, and a few streets there were only right shoes in that box. My mother always said after that: "...those are real 'Jews' tricks' ".
(*) Notice the euphemism.
(**) You can almost hear Tuurke think: "Good riddance!". Many if not most Dutch Jews who wrote or spoke about their return from the camps or from hiding mentioned neighbors who refused or were quite unwilling to return valuables, clothes and other effects that the Jews left with their neigbors before they went into hiding or were deported. The cynical term for these neighbors is "Bewarier", a combinatie of the Dutch words for 'to keep/save' ( bewaren ) and 'Aryan' ( Arier ).
( Also posted on PoliGazette ).
- About two days a year most Israeli media talk about only one subject, the Holocaust. Of course the Shoah is discussed and mentioned during the rest of the year as well, but on Holocaust Day and the day preceding it we are simply overfed with excellent, very good, good, reasonable, bad, very bad and horrible documentaries, interviews and movies that somehow deal with the Shoah. I am very much interested in the subject, both personally and professionally, but I can understand why some young Israelis ( my wife is one of them ) are very uncomfortable with it, or simply ignore it for 363/4 days a year.
- It is a known fact that Israeli politicians love to abuse the Holocaust to further their own interests, thereby contributing to falsification of Holocaust/Nazi historiography and Holocaust denial, and making it even easier for our enemies from within and without to make unhistorical and unjustified comparisons and analogies. But why is it that a major Likud politician such as Yuval Steinitz has to choose Yom HaShoah to make a stupid and historically ridiculous remark ( " Hamas is Nazi movement " ) that insults not only the intelligence of all of us, but also the memory of the victims of both Nazism and Hamas terror?
- That highly intelligent people can do dumb things is no news, but this really struck me as gross and foolish.
- I recognize some of my own feelings and doubts in this article.
- This article, written by a non-Jewish Greek blogger and editor of Ha'Aretz in English, I read with great interest. I agree totally with his conclusion: "The Holocaust does not make Jews or Israel infallible. Nor did the Holocaust alone make Israel - that is post-colonial gibberish of hateful extremists. But so long as there are those out there dreaming of another Holocaust, I know whose side I am on. "
- There are a lot of unjust, stupid and bad things being done in and by this country, and the last sixty years have given Israel and the Israelis not only many, many reasons to be proud and grateful but also many, many reasons to make amends, do some soul-searching, improve our own lives and those of the people around us. Still, when I hear an Auschwitz survivor tell me during an interview how she listened with tears in her eyes to the radio broadcast of the UN vote for the partition of Palestine ( November 29th 1947 ) and what she felt at that moment ( "I was so happy that I, a little girl from the camp, had been able to live and see this day" ), and when I hear and see our daughter ( 9 ) and son ( 5 ) (*) sing Israel's national anthem in beautiful Hebrew, I feel hardly anything but a lot of pride and joy that I have been able to play a tiny part in the history of this state.
(*) Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of Holocaust survivors and great-grandchildren of a man of exactly my age who was arrested in France, deported from Drancy and murdered in Maidanek; our 1 1/2-year-old son is named after him.