Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I've been hearing tales of woe from Jewish friends in the UK as the fallout from Gaza turned into rallies condemning the "Holocaust" there. They described a prevalent atmosphere, not just of virulent criticism of Israel but also of a frightening anti-semitism. However it took an article by the brilliant Anglo-Jewish author Howard Jacobson to better comprehend the insiduous way that anti-semitism lies beneath the discourse.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Maybe Kadima will join Bibi's right wing government and maybe it won't. In any event the situation is critical. As someone wrote in the trendy/lefty Ha-ir local TA paper, it's romantic to be a leftist again, for the few to huddle together in companionship and wallow in the glow of being special.
Lone tree still survives development along the old Ottoman train line
In these situations the thing to do is to take a wintry walk around the neighbourhood in search of other versions of reality
Horses in Neve Tsedek raised a smile from the locals. People stuck their heads out of the windows and strangers started talking to each other.
A recent and intriguing news items not related to the elections was a report that
"The Obama administration has given the Palestinian Authority a "green light" to
talk to Hamas about forming a Palestinian unity government, a PA official in
Ramallah said over the weekend. The official said that Washington had also given Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak the go-ahead to resume his efforts to achieve reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah. "The new administration has a different policy than that of [former US president] George W. Bush," the official told The Jerusalem Post. "The administration of President Barack Obama believes that a Hamas-Fatah government is good for stability."
Since Bibi's election promise was "to topple the Hamas", this does not augur well for future Israel-US relations. And with the possibility of a two-headed government in Israel and a similarly shaped creature in Ramallah, Obama will now have to bash at least four heads together to make some headway.
Street art in Florentin. Walls Start in the Head
Someone painted a pink shadow behind a tree in Neve Tsedek
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
and Kadima squeaked ahead of Likud, it was easy to forget that the figures also showed that the right bloc had a 10 seat lead on the left. Without going into the details, this means that it would take an act of God for Livni to form a coalition. Consequently, the heavy set gentleman below, Avigdor "Yvette" Lieberman , head of the Yisrael Beitenu party is very likely to be Bibi's second in command. Oy!
Worse yet, while Bibi's real desire was to head a centre-right coalition (with Kadima and possibly Labour), since Kadima is demanding first crack at forming a government, Bibi has no choice but to pre-empt it and form a blocking majority of 65 MKs that would include some real headcases in the form of the National Union. In short this would be hard-right/religious government that would quickly collide with the rest of the world.
On the third hand, there are a few cynics on the left who argue that it has to get worse before it can get better. In other words, a dose of international sanctions might be just what the doctor ordered for the populace to wake up to the choice between taking the peace process seriously or suffering the consequences. Since we (and the Palestinians) are incapable of sorting out an agreement, a hard right Israeli government might be the trigger to finally prompt some serious international intervention.
Saturday, February 7, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Here's Gan Meir (Meir Park) abutting onto King George Street, near Dizengoff Centre.
And here's a garden shared by several old blocks of flats on Mazeh Street. We met someone who lives here and invited us in to take a look. Another oasis, very near to one of the busiest streets in Tel Aviv.
On the same subject, here's a picture of the new park in the old Templer Sarona neighbourhood, surrounded today by skyscrapers. The fence in the foreground is from the 19th century. The kids, unfortunately for them, are from the 21st.