Leaders here struggle with what Zion Square beating means for Israeli society.
A dizzyingly complex society that has managed to deal, however problematically, with the demands of ethnic minorities of every stripe?
Or a culture of increasing racism?
Those were the characterizations of the State of Israel being drawn by Jewish leaders here this week in the wake of the severe beating of a 17-year-old Arab by a group of Jewish teens on the streets of Jerusalem last week.
What are we to make of the latest events in Libya, where the feared and hated despot Muammar al-Qaddafi appears to be at the end of his long reign? Will the revolution there lead to unity and democracy or tribal warfare and chaos? And how will Qaddafi’s fate impact on Syrian president Bashar al-Assad, whose continued defiance in spite of calls for his ouster is sure to garner even more attention now as the international spotlight turns to him?
Earlier this week the Israeli-Arab actor and peace activist Juliano Mer Khamis, 52, was shot dead, presumably by Palestinian militants. The New York Times had a moving story about the funeral for Mer Khamis held on Wednesday, reporting that the Israeli government allowed his coffin to be taken briefly to the edge of a West Bank checkpoint. They made the gesture so his Palestinian supporters could pay their respects, as they were not permitted to go to his burial inside Israel.
Pardon my bloggerly desuetude, but last week I was out on vacation. Now I'm back, and to make up for the lost time in blog-o-land, I'm posting a few longer essays you might have missed. (I did, at least.)
Quick. When you hear the phrase "consensual sex," what comes to mind?
Rape? How about "Rape by deception."
Because that is what one unfortunate Arab man is convicted of for having had the misfortune of sleeping with the wrong Jewish woman. His crime? Pretending he was a Jew. His punishment? Two years of house arrest and a possible 18 months in jail.
Israeli Jews and Israeli Arabs may not always get along, but two young pianists — one a Jew from Tel Aviv, the other an Arab from Nazareth — will be living in harmony next week at Carnegie Hall. Onstage, that is.