Category Archives: Israel

The Chutzpah of Shas and Other Observations

Here’s one major reason why I don’t like Israeli coalition politics or why I really don’t like this coalition in particular: The Interior Minister and Chairman of Shas has told the Yesha Council of settlements that it will exploit its influence and resources to continue expanding settlements in the West Bank.

Haaretz has learned that Yishai has instructed officials at the Interior Ministry to come up with ways to help the settlers, by allowing continued construction within the major West Bank settlement blocs where building has stopped as a result of American pressure.”

Now Shas is one of the smaller parties to which Israel had to grant concessions like the Interior Ministry post in order for them to join. Now they are using their position to conduct a chutzpadik policy not to mention the fact that they find it perfectly all right to use my taxpayer money to fund the so-called “natural growth”¬† of these areas.

The Israeli government’s negative reaction to Obama’s pressure on stopping settlement growth also points to the chutzpah and cluelessness demonstrated by my fellow Israelis. The major complaint that gets me is that they claim they had an agreement with President Bush. And how could Obama not honor these promises? Um, well I hate to break it to you people, but when a new president comes in, he can enact a new policy so old promises really don’t chalk up to anything. Doesn’t everybody know this?


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Loyalty Oath

I am still here with less than 2 weeks to go. Our wedding anniversary is this Thursday, and Eric asked me what I wanted. I jokingly told him I wanted a baby (although I wouldn’t mind going out to eat too). Who knows, he might decide to make an early appearance and be an anniversary present.

Besides obsessing about baby (which I think is a good thing), I wanted to breach a topics which has been in the Israeli and international news: the so-called Loyalty Oath espoused by Yisrael Beiteinu.

According to yesterday’s Haaretz

“The ministerial legislative committee rejected on Sunday a bill stating that those who wish to retain Israeli citizenship would have to declare their loyalty to Israel as a Jewish state.

The bill, put forth by Yisrael Beiteinu’s MK David Rotem, stated that oath would include a pledge of loyalty to Israel as a Jewish, Zionist, and democratic state, to its emblems and values, and serving Israel either through military service or through any equivalent alternatives.”

Thank G-d.  An initiative like this would have surely backfired. Of course I have no disillusions of Israeli Arabs ever accepting the Jewish, Zionist nature of this country. I think as far as they are concerned, they could accept Israel, but only as a secular State. And the anti-Israel declarations and demonstrations following the recent wars in Lebanon and Gaza are disturbing. Continue reading

Encounters with Israelis

The Obama Netanyahu confrontation has been on my mind, although I find it more appealing to write about the more mundane things. It’s hard for me to contribute new ideas to the political discourse when so much has been said before. It is also hard to wrap my brain around these scary, existential issues without feeling depressed and pessimistic.

The day-to-day personal experiences and encounters are easier to digest, take apart and relate to others. For me, it is easier to draw the extraordinary and profound from the ordinary and mundane than the reverse. Nevertheless¬† I will make some time to write about the socio-political situation here. Just not yet…

Continue reading

Where Have I Been?

Hi there! You probably thought I have dropped of the face of the planet. No not yet.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like I haven’t wanted to write posts in the past few months. Let’s see, Bibi’s new government, the Obama/Bibi confrontation, the crappy Israeli budgetary process not to mention my own personal life would have provided ample sources of inspiration. But for some reason I’ve always gotten carried away with other projects. It might have to do with the fact that I am having a baby or that I am a lazy perfectionist.

Well to keep it simple, let’s just provide an update on my life. The political world can be left to the msm and other bloggers for now. So here goes: Continue reading

The Depressing State of Israeli Politics

Hi everybody,

I’ve been on blog hiatus because of my university exams–but of course I’ve still found other ways to procrastinate my studying. The recent Israeli elections are causing me to come out of my hibernation and provide a few thoughts.

It looks like I’ve left one right-wing administration (Bush) for another one (Likud), which thrills me to no end. My aliyah was really bad timing!

I didn’t vote for one of the big three. I actually voted for the green party because I couldn’t warm up to Kadima or Labor, and I liked the values espoused by the greens. Perhaps in hindsight that was stupid because I could have been one of the people to hold down the fort. My party didn’t even win any seats. People like me split some of the left vote and not only detracted from Kadima/Labor but also helped Meretz lose seats. Ech. Continue reading

Israel in the Spotlight

Israel is getting a lot of attention these days, and unfortunately so are the Jews as antisemitic attacks and anti Israel rhetoric is on the rise.

You sure get a different perspective of the international response and international media once you’ve become an Israeli citizen. It never really dawned on me before this year how much focus there is on this tiny country compared to lots and lots of other places. Continue reading

Not all US olim are extremists

Hey!

I found this link on the ICCI newsletter, and thought it offered perspective on American olim that are doing some interesting work in Israel. As the title of the article says, not all olim are extremists that move to a remote part of the West Bank and shout obscenities at the news camera.

It seems to me that there are a lot of civil society organizations that are created by Americans. Why is that?

That is an issue which interests me and I am thinking about writing a thesis about it. What impact do these American olim have on Israeli society? Do American norms get transplanted here, or is there an adaptation process with Israeli norms that enables these organizations to thrive? What do you think?

I am still thinking about whether I want to do a thesis. I have the option of writing a thesis or taking more classes. It will be a juggling act trying to do school, raise a kid and write a thesis, but if I can find an insructer who will allow me more time to do it, I would seriously consider it.¬† Also, on the other hand, if I have to take more classes that means less time with the little bear and more time on campus. As it is I don’t like schlepping to campus 4 days a week. Ech.