The State of The Jewish State: A Mixed Report
08/22/2012 - 11:15
Steve Lipman

 

Is Israel a “light unto the nations” (Isaiah 42:6) or a “state just like any other” (David Ben-Gurion)?

According to the current issue of The Jerusalem Report, the biweekly newsmagazine published by the Jerusalem Post, it’s both of the above.

The magazine’s 48 pages of politics and business, arts and science, religion and travel – temporal, breaking news – also provides a longer-range insight into the state of the Jewish State, that is both sobering and encouraging.

The cover story, “Hip-hop hora,” about Shaanan Streett, “the lead singer and key songwriter of Israel’s most popular band,” profiles a 41-year-old Sabra musician, “Israel’s most renowned rapper,” whose group, Nahag Hadash (Hebrew for “new driver’) has given an Israeli twist to an American idiom, performing up to 30 times a year in the U.S. and Canada. “Streett writes and raps,” the article states, “with a distinctive, iconoclastic left-wing tinge that is a far cry from traditional nationalistic tunes such as Tzena, Tzena or Yerushalayim Shel Zahav.”

That’s old news – tastes change.

But look at the group’s logo, which appears in the magazine and on its cover, on a T-shirt worn by Streett. It’s a kid, baseball cap backwards on his head, taking a leak.

This is the image the world is getting of representatives of the Promised Land?

And there’s a story of the expansion abroad of Aroma, Israel’s successful café chain. Take the branch in lower Manhattan, near the 9/11 memorial. Please.

The New York branch “is nearly identical to the Israeli menu,” according to the article, “but some changes were introduced for an American customer base … Turkey BLT, turkey bacon … which are not on the Israeli menu.”

From Jerusalem shall go forth treif?

On the other hand …

An article about Israeli-developed ultrasound technology, developed by the InSightec firm, which allows medical procedures “without knives, drugs – or pain.” InSightec owner Motti Zisser tells The Jerusalem Report that “on the day I graduated [yeshiva] I told the head of the yeshiva that I planned to enter the business world. He told me to make sure I did something in a field where I would be helping people.”

In the same issue; reports on a solar energy-saving bifacial cell developed by Israel’s bSolar company, and a medical smartphone app developed by Israeli-based LifeWatch Technologies that “aim to help improve health.”

Israel is bringing life-saving technology to the world. And shmutz. And BLTs.

Light Unto the Nations or state just like any other?

It’s a mixed report.

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