Politics

Why’d You Want to Live Here, Anyway?

July 25, 2014

An article a few weeks ago in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz questioned why someone would ever want to make aliyah from a comfortable country like the U.S. Especially these days – with the murders of the Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Shear and Eyal Shach still on our minds, the revenge killing of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khaider stinging at our […]

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How I Met Ehud Olmert

May 13, 2014

I was nearing the end of an interview with an Israeli business executive for an article I was working on when there was a surprise guest at the door: Ehud Olmert. This was after the point when Olmert, one of Israel’s most veteran politicians, a former prime minister and mayor of Jerusalem, was convicted on […]

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Who Needs Peace Talks? Musical Coexistence in Jerusalem

April 9, 2014

As the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were breaking down last week, the Old City of Jerusalem was an unlikely spot of musical coexistence. And nowhere was that more pronounced than in a hard-to-find back alley called Muristan Square where two performances demonstrated that the situation doesn’t have to be as bleak as […]

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Haredi Nation vs. Startup Nation: JNext and the Irony of Sunday’s Protest

March 4, 2014

The irony was almost too delicious – and at the same time dreadfully serious – to avoid. The hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews who rallied on Sunday essentially against integrating into Israeli society nearly sabotaged an event across town meant to position Jerusalem as the “capital” of the Startup Nation with all the jobs […]

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Must the Mayor of Jerusalem Speak English?

October 9, 2013

It was meant to be a relatively simple, if snarky post to Facebook. I’d received an email in English that Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion would be speaking at the OU Center, a venue that caters nearly 100% to English speakers…but not in English, rather in “easy Hebrew.” I found this rather ironic and commented […]

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A Tough Vote in Jerusalem

September 18, 2013

If you’d asked me a month ago who I would be voting for in October’s Jerusalem municipality race, I’d have answered quickly: the incumbent mayor, Nir Barkat, and the Yerushalmim party headed by Rachel Azaria. But then everything got all mixed up with the entry of a new movement called Ometz Lev (literally “braveness of […]

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Petty Partisanship or Unfortunate Blips: This Week at the Western Wall and Better Place

August 27, 2013

This was not a good week for progress. Or more to the point, for continuing the progress that we thought we’d already made. Rather, it seems like politics and “business as usual” have torpedoed two bold initiatives that could have made real change. The issues on the table: the government’s backward proposal for addressing egalitarian […]

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Moshe Lion vs. Nir Barkat: Twisting the Numbers

August 18, 2013

It’s only been a few weeks since the race for Jerusalem mayor, which was assumed to be a slam dunk for incumbent Nir Barkat, due to the lack of any competition whatsoever, heated up with the entry of a serious contender, Moshe Lion, the former chairman of the Jerusalem Development Authority. Suddenly ubiquitous billboards showing […]

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Dan Ariely and the Black Market

June 23, 2013

The most thrilling session at the Israeli Presidential Conference last week was not the panel on “Should We Wait It Out: Israel and a Changing Middle East” which featured three U.S. and Israeli ambassadors and a former head of the Mossad. It was not Yair Lapid’s speech on how integration of the haredim will produce an economic […]

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Dirty Diapers of Shavuot Past

May 13, 2013

It was Shavuot 1985. I had finished college and had come to Israel the year before, where I was in the flush of religious epiphany. Everything was new, exciting and, as I gushed to family and friends back home, true – my opinions still untarnished by politics, the wisdom that comes when you’ve got more than 23 years of […]

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