Monday, November 30, 2015

The New Don Quixote: Facebook

Only six days have passed since Yinon Magal, the charismatic M.K. from the Jewish Home Party, was first accused of sexual harassment in a Facebook post, and today he resigned his position in the israeli Knesset. Magal never denied the facts detailed in the post (that was done by his many friends who used typical victim blaming techniques to fight back). However in his first response to the post Magal condescendingly chided the accuser for "shaming" him in the social media.”
I, for once, am thankful that Facebook could do this important service for victims of sexual harassment. A year ago I wrote an essay about a similar case in which Facebook became the voice of the women, who were victimized by a powerful man, and the effect this campaign had on empowering them.
In the last few weeks we witnessed extensive protests in the social media against the decision to award the Landau award, by the national lottery association, to the writer Yitzhak Laor.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Blogging And Roller-Skating

Recently I came across some comments about blogging. The writers claimed  that blogs were no longer fashionable or effective, and no one bothered to read them. Furthermore,  because there was too much information on the net, blogging was dead. Although in my case, my low visibility is a living proof (forgive the pun) of the veracity of this statement, I am well aware that many bloggers are very successful, and some have thousands and even millions of followers.
Still, for me, the best thing about blogging, is the inherent freedom that this genre allows. No one prevents me from writing a blog, or censors its content. Moreover, unlike academic papers, there is no peer review, and once the essay is written, publication  is almost immediate.
This month I mark 3 years of writing a blog. In the first two years I had a comfortable home in Red Room, an American site for writers. Unfortunately this site was suddenly closed in July 2014.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Sunday, November 22, 2015

What Do Boyer Graduates Do For Fun?

Somehow it wasn’t out of character for  Boyer Class of 1970  to spend its annual reunion weekend in Yeruham. The program for the weekend would be considered a big yawn for most vacationers, but not for  Boyer graduates. It included an hour long lecture on Friday by a social activist, a meeting on Saturday with the mayor, and an informal get together with a committed, some would even call him quixotic, philanthropist.
In addition, a special social minded tour guide took us around town and as part of Yeruham’s contemporary history we visited the home of a witness. In 1955 he  arrived from Morocco as a young boy, and together with his family was dumped there in the middle of the night. The tour ended with lunch at the home of a member of a group of women who cook for tourists and visitors.
This choice of the Boyer group could be better understood if we remember the mission of the school from its beginning in the second part of the 1960s.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Israel Conference On Peace and The Missing Parents

Israel Conference On Peace last Thursday brought together an impressive roster of speakers, whose opinions matter. There were Israelis and Palestinians, representatives from the left and from the right and even several statesmen like Tony Blair and Martin Indyk who are involved in the peace “industry”. They all spoke to a full house that was waiting for some encouraging message of hope.
Still if we need a proof that the Israeli left is out of touch with the life of most Israelis, we could start with the location of the conference and the price of registration.
The conference was held at a luxurious hotel in Tel Aviv.
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

A Senior Intern: Stereotypes and Reality

I know from experience that as they get older, women and men tend to become transparent. To women it  usually happens somewhere between 50 and 60 years of age, and about a decade later to men, since in their 50s many of them are still at the prime of their career.
Thus, on a recent stay in the US, I wasn’t surprised to discover that in commercials, if older people are seen or heard from, it is usually in a very specific context. For example  I saw them mostly in advertisements for prescription drugs (usually constipation and impotency), where they are portrayed as anxious or confused consumers.
From there it is only a small leap to becoming a full blown nuisance,
Please keep reading in the Times Of Israel

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

See No Evil: "The Night In Question"

Twenty years ago today our Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered.
A year earlier we returned to Israel after a long stay in the US. From distant Texas the summer of 1994 seemed like a wonderful time to be back in Israel. No one could have guessed that all that would end on October 4th 1995.
I recently took part in “the Narratives Project,” an initiative organized by The Parents Circle-Families Forum (PCFF). It brings together 15 Palestinians and 15 Israelis for several meetings in order to get to know each other and to promote understanding and peace.
The first meeting was for an intensive weekend in Beit Jala. In one of the organized activities we were asked to write down dates with special meaning and to stick the notes on  a rug at the center of the room. 
Please keep reading in the Times of Israel