Friday, June 18, 2004

What did Arafat really tell Haaretz?

It's worth noting that the Haaretz interview of Yasser Arafat was done by veteran correspondent Akiva Eldar and new Haaretz Editor-in-Chief David Landau. The reason is because a few years back, during the current intifada, Eldar had an exclusive interview with the Palestinian leader which suggested that Arafat was ready and willing to end the violence and make peace.

But the Haaretz staffperson who transcribed that taped interview for the Haaretz English edition felt that Arafat's comments on the tape - some of which were omitted from Eldar's report - were not nearly as optimistic regarding peace as Eldar made them out to be. Upon mentioning this to a very senior member of the Haaretz English edition, it became clear that some at Haaretz feel Eldar, among other Haaretz reporters, allows his leftist political views to obstruct his objectivity as a reporter.

Maybe that's why Eldar wasn't allowed to visit the Muqata alone this time.

What's Bret talking about?

Can anyone tell me what today's column by Jerusalem Post Editor in Chief Bret Stephens has to do with Israel? I get the feeling that he's recycling an old university paper he wrote because he clearly doesn't understand what's going on Israel. Of course, if would be unfair to expect him to - he's doesn't speak Hebrew.

Deadly dog finds a home - in the IDF

An Amstaff dog who on Thursday killed a four-year-old girl from the Tel Aviv family that owned it is to be adopted by the Israel Defense Forces. If I was the father I would kill the dog myself, so it makes me wonder why the dog is still alive.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

An open letter to rabbis at weddings

Where do rabbis get the completley inappropriate material they use at weddings? I'm currently in the U.S., where I attended a wedding on the east coast, and am still trying to figure out why the rabbi at the wedding thought his comments were appropriate. I imagine a group of old rabbis getting together, encouraging one another to use material that simply doesn't work for Jews of my generation. (I can hardly believe that it would work for any generation.) They must get no feedback from the congregation.

Below are some of the comments - as best as I can remember them - that the rabbi made during the ceremony, which took place in a tent outside in a light drizzle:

"There's a saying that when it rains at a wedding, don't take the bride to the bakery, because she's a nosher." [My friends and I were scratching our heads trying to figure this one out. ]

"There's another saying that when it rains at a wedding, it means that the bride is fertile."

"Judaism is a man's religion."

"This ketuba (wedding contract) will be among the cheaper gifts the groom will buy the bride."

Unfortunately I don't recall more of his comments, but I wasn't the only one among the attendees feeling uncomfortable and thinking that my good friend, the groom, deserved a rabbi with a little more sense. And the Jewish community in North America wonders why it's having trouble keeping my generation interested.

Monday, June 07, 2004

On vacation

I apologize to my faithful readers (do I have any?) for my recent absence, but I'm currently outside of Israel. I'll try to find time to write soon.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Sharon plotting his next move

Yoel Marcus from Haaretz writes that reports of Sharon's demise are premature and a government shakeup is imminent in wake of cabinet opposition, especially in Sharon's own Likue party, to the PM's disengagement plan.

"The Big Bang is on its way. It's not going to be the same government anymore," Marcus quotes "someone in the know" as saying.