Thursday, October 11, 2018

the ice cracked..

lucy aharish and tzahi halevy got married..

after hiding their love for so long - they finally tied the knot.. mazal tov to two wonderful media personalities for their love and perseverance.. for smashing the illusion that any country is able to contain separate peoples and for reminding us of the essence of life..

it was obvious that the event would grad more attention than probably any other wedding this decade and i am encouraged that for every negative talkback there appears to be a tsunami of supporters.. thank you for unveiling the more current and more compassionate side of our nation - including its jews and arabs..

at the end of the day - anyone who cares about religion should remember that all "sides" are praying to the same god.. and love is love is love..

my one wish for them is that their notoriety not overtake their intimacy and not shape their shared destiny.. may people remember that they are just a couple and that they never signed up for a reality tv wedding.. their life is their business and so is their love..

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

watching from afar i see pawns..

i have not been living in the middle east for some time - although unfortunate circumstances have required that i arrive relatively frequently..

i see the violence bubbling and i see peoples being politically manipulated but i also revel in the resilience.. whether its the thriving israeli economy that just seems to plow through every storm or its the incredible people of gaza and syria persevering through unbelievable misery and although drowning in chaos still holding on to that glimmer of a brighter future..

on all my flights back to israel i have had conversations with israeli arabs.. yes i have decided to call them that recognising that some might specify a different identity if ask eg palestinian citizens of israel etc but really.. they are israeli arabs.. a different kettle of fish living a different life with a different mentality and a different destiny and a different world view.. some have been villagers and some hitech workers.. some have been house wives and others doctors.. all have been nice to me even though i am clearly a - wait for it - israeli j e w.. yes nice to me.. yes about me being jewish..

two old ladies i met knew friends of mine from yaffo.. we laughed the whole way to israel together.. i helped them drag their wheel-less bags down long airport thoroughfares.. they rewarded me with blessings and tales of their journey to morocco in a group of 30 israeli jews and stories of their acceptance within the group notwithstanding their head cover dress or loyalty to their heritage..

not that an arab should need to judaise to be treated as an integral part of society but in the past those were the accusations against publicised instances of arabs (especially muslims) who decided to "fit in"..

i have said this for a while - but i think the arab spring made many people wake up or at least begin to wake up..

(a) life in israel for an arab is incredibly free even with all the racism and stereotypes - we have arabs in all ranks of society from mayors through to members of parliament through to media stars and celebrities

(b) arabs in israel - despite their collective resistance - are largely a peaceful minority who if given half the chance would probably deliver the highest standards of citizenship possible and they should be treated with less blind suspicion and xenophobia because they are not outsiders no matter how you slice the pie..

i believe that reality tv did wonders in making the intimate lives and thoughts of israeli arabs accessible to the mainstream.. some of the first arabs on tv were very westernish and then we got some oriental appearing arabs with gentle views and then we got the hard core opinionated ones.. and you know what? each and every one of them won the heart of the public - just for being whoever they were.. talented individuals interacting..

so maybe it is time to relax the paranoia and make some more concerted efforts to draw the populations closer.. no one is going anywhere (except those of us who have relocated haha) and its time for a peaceful era to kick in..

i believe that greater relations within israels sectors will greatly help israelis to forge trust and act more respectfully towards the folk across the green line..

heres for hoping..

Friday, February 24, 2017

couldnt do it anymore..

as a single man i was tireless.. i was able to rationalise everything that was going on around us and then drown the bad in a surf session..

it was more or less easy..

telaviv is a great town - so much is happening there - in spite of everything.. and there are so many things that need to be spited..

and telaviv does it.. sticks a finger up to all of those things and blows raspberries in their ugly faces and gets on with trying to be a mini city..

but even this bubble doesnt have an impenetrable surface and the illusion of isolation no longer achieves that suspense of belief as soon as your kids arrive into your life..

in the beginning it was paradoxically some kind of bliss.. i lathered my soul with my daughter's integration into a jewish and arab microcosm.. xmas trees excited her.. mohammad was the name of the funniest kid she knew with long hair and an enviable ponytail.. until this day she asks for a mohammad ponytail even though i dare guess that the kid has long been forgotten otherwise..

she was a part of something special.. i bragged about it a lot.. sullying statuses with arguments as to who was more delusional and defending my views at the cost of friendships diluted by time and on FB life support..

but as the wars broke out - one after the other - and as the nightmares piled on - steeling my nights and offering me a crash self-applied course in post traumatic stress disorder - i began to fear for the minds of my kids.. how long would it take them until they started categorising people like a filing cabinet.. how long would it take them before hamas and hizballa and daesh and whoever became their boogymonsters..

so we left.. i dont know how long for.. and i dont know what the roadmap is.. but i had to make sure they grew up without the paranoia.. that moment when israelis and arabs say to you you dont understand you grew up elsewhere thats what i wanted them to have.. the clarity of elsewhere..

i know i havent written for a long time anyway but this venture may well rob me of my sense of part ownership over this dispute - maybe thats what i wanted.. so these may be my parting words from peace blogging..

and in case  they are i wish us all peace shalom salaam and all things in between..

if there is one thing i have learned over time it is that peace is more than just the absence of war.. it is not a dichotomous option simply to be elected and then acted up but rather a choice that requires social construction..

putting down guns may deliver a cease fire like the one we have with egypt and jordan but peace is much more than that.. and in turn can only survive if people go out of there way to humanise the other.. the little known latent perk is that doing so is so much fun :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

eat cake..

my daughter had her birthday last week.. we celebrated in the park in yaffo.. her kindi is multicultural anyway.. we have mostly jews in her group but also christian and muslim arabs | refugees | foreign workers | interfaith families | cross-cultural families and all continents are represented..

it was a hot steamy afternoon.. the breeze was cruelly scorching.. but we soldiered on.. it had to happen.. so off to the park we went counting down two hours of open air sauna conditions..

the cake - the blood sugar spiking crescendo - was the tipping point - people just started to pour home as their sleeves were saturated with forehead juice.. and we were left with a 2/3s full tray..

an arab clan just near us was busy debating where they would eat and i interjected with the offering of the left over chocolate cake..

they blessed us and adopted the carb..

Thursday, June 9, 2016

only 4 dead..

there was a terrorist attack in telaviv last night.. 4 innocent civilians dead and 16 wounded.. it rarely settles on the original count.. typically that number grows as some of the wounded pass away.

the vicious terrorist attack happened right under my office at the sarona market.. the place i have most of my lunches at and dinner probably once a week.. so yes it could have been me..

i had a relatively late evening at work yesterday.. i knew my girls had already eaten and randomly decided to go home without grabbing dinner first.. at the sarona market..

imagine yourself at the indian food market in singapore having dinner with your family.. or in china town in sydney at golden century.. or in the collective dining area of the timeout market of lisbon.. or at whatever trendy eating precinct you might go to in your home town..

now 4 people - people who had full lives just like yours are gone.. and 16 others are dealing with their wounds.. seems like a terrible movie..

telaviv is normally a sunny city oscillating between warm and scorching inside and out.. but today clouds flew at half sky and an apologetic sea breeze randomly pushed me on my bicycle to work.. no one was smiling..

telavivians were wearing their habitual morning after face - that suspicious airport security look they don the morning after a terrorist attack takes place.. as if their supposedly quick instincts will save them from the next arbitrary murderous insanity that some self appointed terrorist decides to bestow upon us..

as i walked past a construction site i felt that morning after expression impose itself upon my features with my eyes suddenly condensing into a cautious squint..

and then i remembered - that was the war - that was the real battle.. turning people that ordinarily love everyone around them to haters and agents of panic.. so tired of fighting the urge.. im so drained from this rubbish.. last night should not have happened.. it simply should not have..

we have a new minister of defence.. avigdor is a hawk (oddly) with no military experience.. whats going to happen now? will all palestinians be under curfew for ramadan? will we put up some more roadblocks? will we kill some? will we block more kids going to school? will they then send more killers to our towns? what brilliant bicep exposing maneuvers are we about to pull? anyone ever think that maybe peace might be a worthy investment?

people complain that our peace with egypt is a "cold peace".. are you guys nuts?!?!?!?!? your're waiting for hugs and kisses?? cant we just end the madness first and then seek affection in other pastures..

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


we all knew it would happen..
its the essential ingredient to this madness..
but last night it finally did..
in a fierce dispute while watching the news sanity left the house completely defeated and paranoia slept diagonally across the bed..

i used to require my kids to let me walk on the road side of the footpath to buffer their access - theyre only little..
now i do it out of concern that a terrorist might purposely run us over - this way (i delude myself) i can try to push them out of harms way if i have to..
i used to look both ways before crossing the road..
now im looking all around even while sitting..

dropping off the girls used to be a fun a happy event..
now its filtered by locked gates and security codes..
now its burdened by excessive precaution and concern..
now its a chore that torments me completely - is it really irresponsible to walk the 700m that we need to walk? does it really make sense to drive?

on my way home - i walked past a fence..
i imagined climbing up it quickly if any car chose to aim my way..
i used to love the noise and clamour of the markets in the morning..
now all i hear is the crickets - i didnt know we had any in yaffo.. since when do markets have crickets..

watching the hollow alleyways..
i try to convince myself that its just early..
noting the smile free faces drive past..
i tell myself those people are just tired..

why is everyone listening to the news so loudly..
back at home i can hear a radio outside even through my tripple glazed windows..
7 dead.. so and so wounded.. the stats begin to blur..
as paranoia makes itself comfortable..

its feels like this time sanity has left for good..

hebrew and arabic juxtaposed..

all we here these days is arabs yelling allahu akbar and jews screaming that a terrorist attack has occurred.. hebrew and arabic should really however sound more like this when the two languages are juxtaposed..