a different side of Israel

Tag: 2008

Qassam Rockets — Until When?

These numbers don’t include statistics from December 2008 (this month).

Can you imagine the US, France, or India being hit by several hundred rockets a year? Can you imagine them being hit by even a single one?!

I’m not saying I have a solution for this situation. I’m just saying it’s unthinkable.

Bye-Bye Olympics

Michael PhelpsWell, the 2008 Summer Olympics come to a close today. It’s been a unique journey.

First of all, the day the games began, Russia and Georgia had spiraled fast into a state of war, shocking the entire world.

Next, we had the bad weather in Beijing, and the murder of an American tourist by a Chinese citizen. The violence didn’t stop there, as we’ve seen yesterday the Cuban taekwondo contender kicking a judge in the head!

As for the winners, it’s been the time of their lives for Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt, breaking several astounding records and demonstrating the ingenuity of the human spirit and body. On the Israeli front, Shahar Tzuberi made us all proud with his bronze medal in windsurfing, and rhythmic gymnast Irina Risenzon raised our hopes by making it to the final round.

Nevertheless, the big winners are no doubt the Chinese. They have gained many gold medals, but no less importantly, they’re enjoying the warm embrace of the West despite their failure to improve their human rights record or their environmental attitude. Yesterday they even had the audacity to block the iTunes service within the whole of China, because several guest Olympic athletes downloaded Tibetan protest music via Apple’s internet store. And they do it even before the closing ceremony!

The next summer show will take place in London 4 years from now, but I’m sure plenty water will flow under the bridge by then.

The Race Heats Up

Congratulations to Shahar Tzubery who just won the first Israeli bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics! The race was fantastic.

As for the race to the mayor’s office at Tel-Aviv, today we saw the entrance of a new player to the game: Lawyer Ron Levintal, formerly from Shinui, formed the “Tel-Avivim” party and he’s set on beating the other Ron – Ron Huldai.

As you may remember, Levintal is the man who caused Shinui to disintegrate after he had won Yosef “Tommy” Lapid and managed to gain the party’s No. 1 position.

How is this going to play out? We shall see more in the coming months.

Happy.. hic!.. new civil year

Damn, i hope it’ll be civil. (Direct translation joke — from the Hebrew “shana ezrachit”, meaning the not-specifically-Jewish year, as also counted in the dateline in Israel.)

So, last night, December 31 2007, for the first time in… oh, must be at least a hundred years, i tarted up my 38-year-old booty and headed out to party like it was 1999. Or 2007, whatever.

Yes, last night, I strutted my funky stuff on the dance floor, blew streamers and drank cheap sparkly booze masquerading not terribly convincingly as champagne at the stroke of midnight. (I had one sip, i am NOT a “ma’afan” and i do NOT drink and drive thank you very much — and it was disgusting.)

It’s so bizarre, the notion of celebrating the New Year — and then coming into work the next day. Memories, albeit dim, and distant memories, of partying literally until i dropped at a friend-of-a-friend’s house, falling asleep where i lay, and waking up the following morning stiff and bleary, with a general feeling of — as someone once marvelously coined it — “as if I’ve been slept in”.

It’s been a while, put it that way.

I was at a club for the “Over-30s”. An assignation for which I, unfortunately, qualify, and have done for eight-nearly-nine years. And as we boogied and shimmied (and, in my case, some rather over-enthusiastic jiving and an extremely poorly-executed set of twirls with my inebriated and wonderful friends Lara and Yanca), I reflected on why on earth we were there.

So it’s a new year. Big fat hairy deal. Like i give a shit. Here I am, speeding head-first towards 40, with no respite or time off for good behavior. Why should I care that the year has changed, since all it heralds for me is the ominous looming of the big four-oh?

Any excuse for a party? Yeah, well, maybe. Exercise? Sure.

Well, whatever. Champagne always did make me feel gloomy. The cheaper the champers, the more maudlin my mood. Ignore my downer, and have a good new year, y’all. May it bring us all continued good health to those who have it, significantly improved health to those who don’t, peace, prosperity and if anyone who runs the universe is reading, i wouldn’t mind a lottery win or two…

PS. Why is it called “Sylvester”? Read all about it here.

Happy New Year 2008

It has become a tradition here at OJ to post the Year In Review from Jib Jab. It’s nice to see that the Middle East is always in there. ..
Thank you to our readers, writers and friends and for making this another great year.
Wishing you a Very Happy New Year – Peace, happiness and may everything you wish for come true.


For the Good of All Baby Boomers

Dr. Mark Klein
Just who is this guy who dares to test the political waters as a virtual unknown running for America’s highest political office? Meet Dr. Mark Klein, a physician and psycho-therapist, a father of 4 and a grandfather; who at age 65 has decided to become a candidate for the Presidency of the United States. He’s not a Joe Lieberman, or a John Edwards. And he’s certainly not a Barack Obama. He’s everyman’s candidate, even though he’s never run for political office.

Why? Because Mark represents that large group of Americans born between 1941 and 1960 – in other words, he’s a baby boomer. He represents a large group of Americans who grew up in a different, more innocent America than that which young Americans are growing up in now. The America of Mark’s youth was one filled with hope and promises. It was a period in which guys working for companies like Ford, General Motors, U.S. Home, etc., could live a decent middle class life and afford to put their children through college. It was a period in which people fell in love, got married, and
stayed together to see their offspring graduate high school, go to college, and then begin their own lives.

Mark Klein also represents what is meant by the American Dream. A second generation American whose grandparents immigrated from Eastern Europe, Marks’ father was a butcher in New York and his mother a housewife. Mark was able to attend college due to receiving a scholarship, and this led to being admitted into medical school. In addition to his professional career, Mark was also successful in the stock market; another benefit of living in a free and democratic society where success in only limited by one’s own ability.

Mark may not be strong in foreign policy issues, but he is aware of what is needed locally on the Home Front. And those needs include returning to former values and ideals that have since been lost by too much greed and desire for immediate gratification (No. 1 comes first syndrome).

Mark’s chances of winning the office he wants to run for are perhaps a bit of a long shot. Yet he knows that if guys like him don’t come forward and stand up for what they believe is needed in America, then most likely those issues will not be dealt with, and institutions like marriage, family, and especially America’s middle class will be replaced with those of either the ‘get rich quick’ group or at the other end of the scale, the “Wall Mart generation”.

Americans who created Mark’s generation are either old or gone now, but we all need to think back and reflect on those who lived during a period of one of America’s greatest challenges, i.e., World War II; when tyranny threatened to destroy everything that democracy and human freedom represented. The dangers facing America and the free World today are no less and perhaps even more challenging than those people faced in WWII. People need to come together to meet these challenges, and this can best be accomplished by a return to values represented by people like Mark Klein.

The 2008 Presidential elections are still a long way off, but it’s not too early (or late) to think about what really needs to be changed in America. And for all you baby boomers out there, it’s time to stand up with Mark and be counted!

The writer is an author, free lance journalist and fellow baby boomer, just like Mark.

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