Thursday, June 28, 2012

Recommended Reading

The coming weeks I will be very busy, working on a big project, so I probably won't blog frequently. Here are three interesting articles that I have read recently: by Bradley Burston (about Israel's problematic friends, a subject that is as true for the US as it is for the Netherlands and other countries), Steven Grossman, and Carlo Strenger.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tom Janssen on Egypt

Egypt Chooses a President - Military Dictatorship - Sharia - Democracy - Chaos

(I found the cartoon on Tom Janssen's website)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Tom Janssen on football and politics

Euro 2012 - Playing Styles:
Merkel/Germany - Netherlands/Rutte - All together!... - Each one for himself!..

I found this insightful cartoon on the website of Tom Janssen.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Spot the Differences

That I believe that a) our own natio-religious fanatics have much in common with Hamas and other Islamo-fascists, and b) those fanatics endanger Israel (as a state in general and as both a Jewish and a more or less democratic state in particular) more than Iran, Hezbollah, and Hamas combined, should not be a surprise for those who have followed this weblog in the nine years of its existence. Still, I myself was surprised when I saw how similar the results were when I googled "Settler summer camp pictures" and "Hamas summer camp pictures" respectively, after I had read this and other articles on Come-And-Shoot-A-Terrorist type of tourist attractions in the occupied territories / Judeah and Samariah / the Westbank.

Higly Recommended Viewing

Tonight I - together with my colleagues from the school where I teach - saw a wonderful ( interesting, funny, moving ) French movie, Intouchables. Highly recommended.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nog één keer voetbal...

...en dan zal ik mijn best doen om voorlopig geen woorden meer vuil te maken aan het EK, of aan 'hullie jongens' (ik kan de frase 'onze jongens' toch echt moeilijk over mijn lippen krijgen). De onderstaande foto, gevonden op de website van Thomas Schlijper, vond ik best wel geinig, vooral vanwege de achteraf geziene profetische waarde ervan.

Tom Janssen on the EU's Bailout of Spain

Euro-Diet (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland)

This cartoon, which I found on the website of Tom Janssen, proves once again that "A cartoon (just like any other picture) can be - and often is - worth a thousand words".

A Valuable Lesson from the Wiz

Today's episode of The Wizard of Id exposes a truth that unfortunately is all too true and relevant for many countries, including the one where I chose to live. By the way, yesterday was the twentieth anniversary of my arrival in Israel (after I had visited the country for about a month, one year earlier). On 14 June 1992 I landed at Ben Gurion Airport to study for one year at the Hebrew University, and I have been here ever since, with a six months' break in 2003-2004, when my family and I lived near Paris.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Kunt u nog zingen...

(De foto's vond ik ik op de Facebook pagina van Matthew Reynders, een van de mensen achter het Dutch Forum)

Ik vind het interessantste deel van een voetbalinterland vaak de volksliederen aan het begin van de wedstrijd. Ik ben geen nationalist, en nog minder lid van de oranjefanclub (al is het een mooie kleur), maar dat zoveel spelers van het Nederlandse elftal nooit met het Wilhelmus meezingen (en dat heel demonstratief doen) stoort me. Gisteren keek ik aan het begin van Nederland-Duitsland naar de volksliederen, vooral om er zeker van te zijn dat de wedstrijd werd opgenomen, voor onze negenjarige zoon. Toen de camera op Van Marwijk - de man met die mooie voornaam - werd gericht kon je overduidelijk zien dat hij niet meezong, tot hij in de gaten had dat hij in beeld was, toen begon hij zijn lippen te bewegen. Ik vind het sneu voor de mensen die er echt om geven (mijn zoon en zwager behoren tot die groep) maar zelf vind ik het echt niet erg dat de kans dat 'onze jongens' (behalve onze paspoorten hebben die 23 stinkend rijke multimiljonairs en ik niets gemeen) zondag hun vakantie kunnen beginnen redelijk groot is. Misschien snappen die jongens en de overige Nederlanders de volgende keer iets beter dat je toch echt een paar wedstrijden moet winnen om kampioen te worden. Een houding van "Dat doen we wel even" is niet voldoende. In dat opzicht kunnen ze heel wat van de Duitsers leren.

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Recommended Reading

A good friend of mine sent me a link to this very interesting opinion article, on the website of The Times of Israel, a very recent addtition to the Israeli media landscape which - unlike Yisrael HaYom, the highly popular free Hebrew daily that is published by an American-Jewish billionaire who wants to promote Bibi's and other rightwing causes and views - was not established solely to support one side of the political spectrum, as far as I am aware, and which therefore strengthens rather than weakens what is left of this country's democracy. I added a permalink to The Times of Israel, under News in English.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Tom Janssen on Spain's Financial Woes

(found on Tom Janssen's website)

Recommended Reading

I recommend reading today's editorial on the website of Haaretz (which, by the way, I think has not gotten any better or user-friendlier with all the recent changes). I'm afraid I have to subscribe to its conclusion:

Israel needs all the military power it can muster, but the use of force must be wise and cautious, and a last resort. Experience proves that Israel was severely burned every time it got trigger-happy. But the deliberate diplomatic freeze and our demonstrative readiness for war even today, along with the almost messianic longings for an "attack on Iran," shows that we have not yet been weaned from this old, bad habit.

Poem for Shabbat XI

From the Manifesto of the Selfish - Stephen Dunn

Because altruists are the least sexy
   people on earth, unable 
to say “I want” without embarrassment,

we need to take from them everything
      they give,
then ask for more,

this is how to excite them, and because
      it’s exciting
to see them the least bit excited

once again we’ll be doing something
      for ourselves,
who have no problem taking pleasure,

always desirous and so pleased to be
      pleased, we who above all
can be trusted to keep the balance.

(found in Garrison Keillor (ed.), Good Poems)

Thursday, June 07, 2012

En maar zeggen...

...dat Duitsers geen gevoel voor humor hebben. Ik moest hier toch wel om glimlachen.

Mee eens...

Ik ben het eens met wat Avraham Burg in dit opinieartikel in Trouw schrijft.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Now here's a nice game

I am not a big fan of online games, but this one I have played tens of times. It is not very difficult, but challenging enough to keep you busy for 15+ minutes. Enjoy.

Tom Janssen on Syria

(Syrie = Syria; De internationale gemeenschap = The international community)

I found this particularly powerful cartoon on the website of Tom Janssen.