The deconstructed tourist trail reaches the mystical Galillean town and its many ghosts. Safed is the incredible shrinking city, forever threatened by its own capacity to be more than one thing. Part six of Yuval Ben-Ami's journey. Safed makes me sick. Literally. As soon as I hop off the bus, take in the obligatory breath of fresh mountain air and settle at the "Baghdad Café" for an Americano, my stomach begins to torment me. I know this isn't only the snack I had in Geinosar. This place makes my spirit sad, and my body sympathizes. Safed is one of many cities…Read More... | 3 Comments
<< The Christmas Journey Home Nazareth - Tiberius - Capernahum - Safed, Of war and peace "Peace on Earth.” - When living in the States I would see this statemet/wish/declaration of intent printed on Christmas cards and spelled out in Christmas lights. It seems to be a slogan of the holiday, and to be honest – one of the best reasons to love it. If Christmas is to be a time of peace, Nazareth certainly showed some holiday spirit on Thursday night. The city's Christmas market, launched two years ago, was festively opened with greetings in Arabic, Hebrew and English.…Read More... | 1 Comment
Staying on the move in Israel and the Palestinian territories through a month of trial. And today: heading north, "for terror from the north will boil out on the people of this land." (Jeremiah,1:14) There's a town in northern Israel \ with dreams, comfort, memory to spare \ and in my mind I still need a place to dwell \ all my changes were there. Well, not all my changes, however much I would love for my paraphrasing of Neil Young to be seamless, but at least one change that effects me did occur in the town of Rosh Pina:…Read More... | 15 Comments
The Knesset passed a segregation bill today. Palestinian Israelis are not allowed to live in Jewish localities built on land confiscated from them. Government policy also makes sure they cannot build on the little private land that was left in their ownership. How long can Jewish Israelis continue pretending that Palestinians do not exist? In a session lasting well after midnight, the Knesset passed (Hebrew) a new law, which allows communities of up to 400 members, in the Negev and Galilee (the south and north of Israel, respectively) to form "acceptance committees" that will screen candidates who wish to live in…Read More... | 25 Comments
By Shalom Boguslavsky Over the past decade or so, the religious Zionists and the ultra-Orthodox have joined forces to push for an Arab-free greater land of Israel. The racist ideas of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, once considered marginal, have gained new power as they are expressed by important ultra-Orthodox rabbis with wide authority in religious matters. With this authority comes a dangerous new fundamentalism that is gaining increasing political power in Israel. In the early 1950s, soon after Israel declared its independence, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews, a segment whose recognition of the secular state of Israel and its…Read More... | 7 Comments
Rabbis signing the public letter are state employees; so far, not one of them was prosecuted or fired The Israeli media is reporting this morning that some 50 rabbis have signed a declaration calling for Jews not to let Arabs hire apartments in their communities. The Rabbis expressed support for Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu of Safed, who was the first to issue such ruling. The rabbis' declaration states that anyone renting his apartment to an Arab is doing harm – both in the eyes of god and for his fellow men. The Rabbis state that it is not allowed to have…Read More... | 15 Comments
Hebrew media roundup: Ehud Barak fires back, while the search for someone to replace him continues; Yedioth: Government was blackmailed by high-ranking official > Defense Minister Barak fires back at the Labor insurrection against his leadership (more on the move against Barak here). In their desperate search for a candidate to replace Barak, some MKs are mulling [Heb] a bill that would shorten the “cooling-off” period and allow the outgoing chief of staff, Gabi Ashkenazi, to compete in the next elections As Labor's head. Ashkenazi became Barak’s bitter rival when the two fell out over the appointment of Ashkenazi’s successor,…Read More...
The Headlines: Bad for Israel > Israel’s outgoing chief of Military Intelligence (and future head of Mossad?), Maj Gen Amos Yadlin, warns Israelis not be fooled by the “unprecedented” security they have enjoyed recently. The IDF’s own Jeremiah predicts that the “next military conflict” will happen on multiple fronts and may incur more fatalities. As I have written here in the past, the importance of such assessments is not derived from the predictive power of Israeli intelligence, which has often proven quite poor. Rather, what worries me is the IDF’s tendency to produce self-fulfilling prophecies: by reacting to every event…Read More...
When racism becomes too ludicrous for comfort About a week ago, the deputy mayor of Carmiel, a man named Oren Milstein, was stupid enough to boast to a Yediot Ahronot reporter that he is operating, along with some shadowy group, a “snitch hotline”, which the good Jewish residents of Carmiel were invited to call and report neighbors attempting to rent, or – Gott forbid – even sell apartments to non-Jews. This caused a minor uproar; the ever-vigilant Mondoweiss noted it a short while later. Now, Carmiel is not the only Israeli town where such ideas take root. The city rabbi…Read More... | 12 Comments
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