My Unfinished Apartheid Thriller

                 An Israeli Prime Minister as imagined by the DALL-E AI programme     About six months ago, I was revisited by the writing bug and decided to try my hand at fiction  - a "diplomatic thriller" to be more specific. The choice of genre was not dictated by any literary preferences. I'm not a big fan of thrillers. But the idea was to use the thriller as the most suitable vehicle to write about what was really bugging me - Israel's inevitable slide into apartheid.      I also thought that my professional experience might come in handy. For more than two decades I worked as the press officer for the EU Delegation to Israel and followed the sometimes turbulent relations between Israel and the European Union from the vantage point of an Israeli working inside the EU, in other words as someone with a split identity. I believed that this familiarity with the mind-sets and decision making processes of both sides would somehow provide me with the tools to weave a b

Four Views From the Roof - West

Four Views From the Roof - South


Four Views From the Roof - East

Four Views From the Roof - North

Four Views From the Roof - Introduction

  Four Views From the Roof   Introduction      In 1994, against the advice of friends and family, we managed to scrape together the deposit for a dilapidated three room, third floor flat in an old apartment building on Yehuda Halevi Street in south Tel Aviv.  It was all we could afford if we wanted to put down a stake in Tel Aviv.    The building and its environs literally reeked of negligence. The once impressive but now deserted building opposite ours that had once served as a courthouse, was populated by  drunks and junkies. To the west was tumbledown Neve Tzedek just starting to attract artists and students. To the east was a business area heavy on cheap eateries, wholesale textiles and low-end fashion outlets. Old men on tricycles navigated long bales of textiles against the traffic on the narrow streets (and still do). On parallel Lilienblum Street, dubious characters would whisper “Dollar? Dollar?” to passers-by interested in by-passing official restrictions against holding for

Three Philippines Scenes

A trip downtown We are staying with our gracious Filipino hosts in Santa Rita, a suburb of Olongapo, a city of about 240,000 situated on the coast, a two hour drive north-west of Manilla. The street outside the family compound is buzzing. Mom and pop stores and street restaurants are doing brisk business. By 11 a.m. pupils in school uniforms are returning for their lunch break after starting at 6 a.m. A peddler yells “taho!” - a popular breakfast drink made of silken tofu and tapioca pearls. There’s plenty to see here but today we’re going downtown. Getting to downtown Olongapo involves two trips using public transportation, first by a motorized tricycle or tuk tuk taxi and then by a jeepney bus (originally made from leftover American jeeps). Both vehicles are canvases for the Filipino art form of kitsch decorations that add anarchic flashes of colour to the streets.   Many of them also carry the uplifting municipal slogans – “Transparency and Good Governance