Israel Now

How The Other 20 Percent Lives

Israeli Arabs say the country under-serves
their community, and underestimates its value.

Staff WriterIsrael Correspondent
05/12/2010

F lag Season is the time in the spring when Israelis remember victims of the Holocaust and military battles and terror attacks by standing in silence while sirens wail around the country. 

For the vast majority of Israeli Jews, it’s a time of somber remembrance and national pride, flags, and barbecues in the park. A period of reflection cushioned by the reality of having a Jewish homeland. 

For Arab Israelis, flag season conjures mixed emotions. Michele Chabin

Off Message

Israel’s public relations problem can be fixed,
experts say, but not by clinging to the old narratives.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

F irst, the good news. 

Despite frustration among Jews in Israel and North America that the country is losing the public relations battle because of the recent Gaza war and its current hard-line government, recent surveys show remarkably robust support for the Jewish state. 

The Gallup 2010 country-favorability rating ranked Israel fifth, trailing stalwart allies like the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Canada. Israel enjoys a favorability rating of nearly 50 percentage points over the Palestinians. 

Since the war in Gaza and the UN report authored by Richard Goldstone, inset, Israel has been on the PR defensive. Photos by Get

The Gap Generation

Between Israel and many younger Jews here
stands a gaping cavern. Needed: a new narrative
to bridge the divide.

Staff Writer
05/12/2010

 A nyone checking out some popular Jewish websites a few weeks ago learned a subtle lesson about American Jewry. On “mainstream” home pages, which appeal mostly to an older demographic — affiliated members of the Jewish community — were these: travel missions to Israel (jewishfederations.org); articles about “Israel’s Ethical Defense” and media coverage of the Middle East peace process (aish.com); several essays about relations between Israel and the United States (jewishworldreview.com).

So Near, So Far

Birthright Israel and the complicated — and contradictory —
business of building Jewish identity.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

 A traveler’s quiz: When American Jewish tourists arrive at Israel’s Ben-Gurion Airport, which two words are they more likely to be greeted with?

A) “Welcome home!” 

B) “Passport, please.”

Building diaspora identities? A recent Birthright trip.

‘We Know The Quiet Won’t Last’

The current Israeli-Palestinian situation seems a tolerable — even a desirable — alternative,
but perhaps only for now.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 

The main shopping mall in Kfar Saba, a suburb of Tel Aviv, was bombed by a terrorist in 2002 during the most recent Palestinian uprising. It’s been more than seven years, but glass barriers still ring the mall’s perimeter, forcing shoppers to pass through a security check — a reminder of the uncertainty that nags Israelis even though the uprising has long since died out.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Cracks In The Pro-Israel Wall

The emergence of J Street and what it means.

Assistant Managing Editor
05/12/2010

The  recent exchange of letters between Elie Wiesel, on one hand, gently reproaching the White House over its Jerusalem policy, and dovish Israeli politician Yossi Sarid, on behalf of J Street, on the other, seems to encapsulate the debate American Jews are having these days over what it means to be pro-Israel in 2010.

Eight candidates endorsed by J Street PAC stand in front of the Capitol building. j street

One Foot Out The Door

Keeping non-haredim in Israel’s
poorest city is an increasingly difficult task.

Israel Correspondent
05/12/2010

 A September 2009 New York Times travel article (“West Jerusalem Shows its Hip Secular Side”) praised the many “secular” attractions the city has to offer, from trendy new shops and restaurants to cutting-edge architecture.

While Israelis were gratified to read a positive article about their country for a change, portraying Jerusalem as a capital of tourism and not terror, many were amused by the use of “secular” and “Jerusalem” in the same sentence. 

Outside haredi neighborhoods, young Jerusalemites feel comfortable wearing shorts and mini-skirts. Michele Chabin

Celestial City, Terrestrial City

The dizzyingly complex question of sovereignty over Jerusalem.

Special To The Jewish Week
05/12/2010

 Late last month, as Israelis celebrated the 62nd birthday of the Jewish state and the 150th of its inventor, the great Theodor Herzl, a full-page ad appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post. The text was penned by another esteemed Jew, the Nobel laureate, prolific author and Auschwitz survivor Elie Wiesel. Needless to say, his piece drew a lot of attention.     

 Jerusalem

Israel Now: May 2010

Defining Moment, Critical Questions. A look at crucial issues facing Israel today, from the status of Jerusalem to the changing pro-Israel movement to the impact of Birthright trips.

05/12/2010
Israel Now

Bauhaus Is Our House

05/22/2009
Staff Writer

Cream-colored stone apartment buildings line nearly every street in central Tel Aviv, each varying slightly in shape and size but adhering to a loosely defined style of openness and movement that is particular to Israel’s “White City.” (In 2003, the area was designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.)

A tour of the distinctive architectural style that helps define the Tel Aviv look.
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