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Articles in the Opinion Category

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Written by: [21 Aug 2012 | 5 Comments | ]
Writing is a Lonely Art

Writing is a lonely art.  Unlike the numerous other forms of art lavishly chronicled in this arts-fartsy online magazine—genres of art performed before smiling, clapping, admiring audiences—the things you read were almost always written by some poor lonely soul, sitting in a room by him or herself, working alone. Actors, dancers, singers, musicians, performance artists and mimes: they all get their fix of the addictive drug of applause at the end of their shows. Even beat poets could expect their early-1950s coffee house audiences to snap their fingers and hiss …

Culture, Free, Music, Opinion, Performance »

Written by: [26 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Layla Lavan 2012: Culture and Controversy | ]
Layla Lavan 2012: Culture and Controversy

When a cultural event stirs up controversy, I can’t help but feel a surge of excitement: at least culture is getting noticed. Layla Lavan (white night), an all-night marathon of music, art and other urban pleasures, is coming up this Thursday, June 28th in Tel Aviv, and has become a hotly debated issue. Some are calling to boycott the events as a protest against the Tel Aviv Municipality, (which sponsors and produces the event) in response to the arrests and violence that took place during the social protests last weekend, …

Arts, Culture, Literature, Opinion »

Written by: [24 Jun 2012 | Comments Off on Not Black & White: The Color Purple | ]
Not Black & White: The Color Purple

In one important respect, fiction writing possesses a crucial advantage over other art forms: its capacity to illuminate the personal, without necessarily losing sight of the wider context within which individual perspective is shaped and experienced is lived. It doesn’t always get there, but the potential for this is always there or thereabouts.
For precisely this reason, The Color Purple is a special book. First and foremost, it is a book about Celie, its heroine: her rape, her marriage to a man who she can never love, the humiliation of caring …

Culture, Opinion »

Written by: [14 Jun 2012 | 2 Comments | ]
Baseless Love

It’s a bizarre city.  I mean that in the truest sense of the word.  It’s weird, it’s peculiar, it’s whatever synonym you wish to substitute for ‘unusual’ or ‘strange.’  Fortunately, I have always been under the conviction that nothing worthwhile in life is normal, and it’s oddness that fuels the world and invigorates my being.  This is because in everything odd there is something quaintly wonderful, and Jerusalem has precisely that.  It has this mysterious charm, this enchanting curiosity that lures you into its sphere of eccentric energy and doesn’t …

Culture, Opinion »

Written by: [12 Jan 2012 | 3 Comments | ]
Why Writing is Like Smoking a Cigarette  with the Lit End in Your Mouth

I used to live in the Philippines a whole lot of years ago. I went there alone, for what was supposed to be a two year stint in the United States Peace Corps. I left 13 years later—with a wife, two kids, and a résumé of odd jobs that still provides colorful fodder for late night conversations with strangers on trains.
Around two or three days after my arrival to “the land where Asia wears a smile,” I was walking through one of downtown Manila’s most downtrodden neighborhoods when I saw …

Culture, Opinion »

Written by: [24 Dec 2011 | One Comment | ]
Youth Protest Closing of Hafuch Tel Aviv

“It was a tough time for me because my parents had just died and I was,” the young woman paused slightly then continued, “I was very… you know…in a bad way emotionally. Hafuch really helped me and it’s a shame that they want to close a center like this that helps ‘regular’ kids who can easily fall into becoming ‘youth at risk’. I was very close; I was really on the edge.”
Y., an attractive, confident young woman of 19, was one of many who gathered at the Tel Aviv Municipality …

Culture, Opinion »

Written by: [5 Dec 2011 | One Comment | ]
Where to Go in Tel Aviv?

Do you want to dance, listen to music, eat, drink? Maybe you just want to go somewhere where you can sit and talk with your friends, somewhere where it’s easy to be. I love Tel Aviv; there are always hundreds of things to do and places to go. It’s the place I call home and it seems like there is a place for everyone in this urban mix, but Tel Aviv teens are about to lose the one place that is their own: the Hafuch Al Hafuch Youth Center.
Teens and …

Culture, Opinion, Performance, Theatre »

Written by: [30 Jan 2011 | 2 Comments | ]
German Ambassador Dr. Kinderman on Jelinek’s Rechnitz

The Cameri Theatre in cooperation with the Goethe Institute and the Embassy of the  Federal Republic of Germany will be hosting the Munich Kammerspiele production of Rechnitz – Angel of Death (Der Würgeengel), by Nobel Laureate Elfriede Jelinek, directed by Yossi Weiler, from February 12 – 14, 2011. The play will be performed in German with Hebrew surtitles translated by Hanan Elstein.
Jelinek’s play (for which she won the Mülheim Playwright Award 2009) refers to the events of the night of 25 March 1945, when SS officers, Gestapo commanders and local …

Culture, Opinion »

Written by: [8 Jun 2010 | One Comment | ]
Cultural Boycotts

“Are you Polish?” The question comes in an unexpected place: the cafeteria of Al Qasimi College in Baqa Al Gharbiya, where I am attending a writer’s conference, yet another attempt to promote dialogue between Arabs and Jews in Israel. My answer is immediate, and to me, obvious: No. I was born in Israel and raised on the stories of my mother’s childhood in the Jezreel Valley. Originally from Laschov, Poland, my grandfather Zvi Elboim, came to what was then Palestine to create a socialist egalitarian utopia. Hebrew was the only …

Culture, Opinion, Performance, Theatre »

Written by: [19 Apr 2010 | Comments Off on The Narrative of Loss | ]
The Narrative of Loss

War can break out in the middle of anyone’s childhood, transforming it forever. There are two sirens: the air-raid siren that signals war and the siren that commemorates the fallen. Many children already know how to distinguish between the two, because they have heard both sirens. When the siren sounds on Yom Hazikaron, this day of remembrance, the silence has a presence stronger than words. The narrative of loss is a narrative of absence, how does one put it into words?
Two sisters, Hagit Bodankin and Osnat Zibil, have wrought a …