Living Through Terror

An Encounter in Beit Jalla

November 30, 2011

The last time I even thought about Beit Jalla, it was when rockets were being fired from that Palestinian village towards the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo. Israeli helicopter gunships would regularly fly over our home on their way to fire at terrorist targets. I would wake up at night afraid – that is if […]

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Sweating the Small Stuff Too

August 23, 2011

While it’s the big news that gets all the headlines, sometimes it’s the small stuff that’s the hardest to sweat. Last week, terrorists attacked along the Israel-Egypt border just north of Eilat. The ensuing days have been filled with IDF strikes and Gazan counterattacks. More people have died. Meanwhile in Jerusalem, the seminal rap-rock band […]

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Gaza: a Rock and Roll Response

July 14, 2010

With another ship of questionable humanitarian aid and activists on its way to Gaza this week, I thought I’d take a look back at what my wife Jody and I did during the original “Free Gaza flotilla” and near lynching of Israeli troops six weeks ago: we went to a concert. Not just any concert, […]

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Gilad, Amir and Marla

December 2, 2009

With negotiations heating up over the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for up to 1,000 hardened Palestinian prisoners, debate on the merits of the deal have been all over the news for days, as well as in discussions within our own family. Two recent events have made it particularly personal. The crux of the […]

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Free Phone Calls Courtesy of Israel’s PokeTalk

January 15, 2009

Residents of the southern part of Israel in range of missiles from Gaza can now make phone calls up to 30 minutes to their friends and relatives entirely for free, thanks to a new Israeli startup called PokeTalk. The service, which is already operational in 60 countries around the world, is good for any calls […]

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War in Gaza: Which Way Will the Dreidel Fall?

January 4, 2009

Our friend Joan called last night just as the news broke that the IDF had begun its ground operation in Gaza. Joan was panicked. She knew a number of families in our neighborhood who had boys in combat units. “Why are we doing this?” she said. “Can’t we pull them all out now?” My first […]

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Court Awards $12.9 Million to Marla’s Family

September 20, 2007

How much is a human life worth? According to a Washington D.C. federal judge, $12.9 million. That’s the amount that Judge Royce Lamberth awarded to the parents of our cousin Marla Bennett who was killed in the July 31, 2002 bombing attack on the Frank Sinatra Cafeteria at Hebrew University. Lamberth found that Hamas, which […]

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Losing Marla: 5 Years Later

August 2, 2007

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years since our cousin Marla was killed in the July 31, 2002 suicide bombing at Hebrew University. Marla Bennett had just sat down to lunch at the university’s Frank Sinatra cafeteria when a terrorist detonated the bomb he had planted in a backpack at an adjoining table. […]

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Snakes and Angels: Shavuot Learning on Sderot and Gaza

May 24, 2007

It’s traditional to learn Torah on the Jewish holiday of Shavuot which began this past Tuesday night. Nine-year-old Aviv’s class had a pre-Shavuot student-parent study session at school earlier in the week and my wife Jody and I went. But by the time we walked out, I found myself drawing political rather than religious conclusions. […]

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Iran as Psychotherapy

January 4, 2007

I was interviewed this week by Michele Chabin, a reporter from the New York Jewish Week, and asked to give an “average Israeli’s” opinion on the threat from Iran. How did it make us feel? Were we afraid? Did we have thoughts of leaving? Was the world community’s response comforting or confounding? The interview came […]

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