There was an error in this gadget

Friday, September 24, 2004

The "Average" Voter, A Yom Kippur Confession.

Some time ago there was this daily poll at an Israeli online paper.

You hit to see the polls.

I got tempted.

Entirely by mistake, a second click occurred.

To my great surprise, this registered as well.

It took me about ten minutes and some hundreds of clicks to turn the tables on that poll...

So polls - I'm not too impressed with them.

Now You Big Mouth points us to an article on this very issue: Are Voters Idiots?

Excuse me: "Are the Average Voters idiots?"

A good idea for another poll: Who is the average voter: You/ your Neighbor/ your father-in-law?

It is true that the individual voter is bound to be an intelligent voter. You do not need academic or any education to judge a candidate for his or her actions, not words and promises.

Yet as a group, when in a group - individuality, reason, wisdom are stripped away and you get pushed into the stream of stupidity.

What is left is to try and stay away from the crowd mentality, avoid it.

(another poll: Is this possible/impossible?)

Confronting the Front

Robert Spencer at FrontPage relates to rape committed by Muslim terrorists and by Muslim criminal gangs in France and concludes with great conviction:

"...This indicates there are two things the massacre in Beslan have in common with the ongoing massacres in Darfur: both, no less than the 9/11 attacks, are examples of Islamic jihad terrorism, and both are characterized by rape."

If only life was that simple: The US soldiers who raped Vietnamese women not such a long time ago.

The Japanese, the German... Back and forth in history we can go and see the same pattern repeated, with or without the Qu'ran or any other holy tradition.

In war and in peace, nothing is more sacred than the universal tradition which sanctifies and enables criminal violence against women.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Let's Celebrate Farsi!

Languages, they are the camels of civilization. Throughout the ages they've dutifully carried the heavy, ever-growing loads of each community's cultural uniqueness.

Now we notice with pain the disappearance of ancient languages, we behold with uneasiness the tide of The One And Only Language.

Some say, "It is pre-destined. Give up and turn your back upon your singular culture. It creates division and we want to be One Nation, One Language, One Herd!"

No, it creates mono-culture, this all encroaching weed. Language is Identity. It is our human right, and duty, to preserve each one his or her unique identity.

Today I feel so happy with the addition of Farsi to our evolving blog.

Thanks to Mehdi.

Farsi. The very word carries such a sweet musical sound.

An old, rich, carrier of a most important culture. I will never know it, I may not ever be enabled to visit it's spiritual and physical landscapes, but now it's here with us, close to heart..

Thank you, Mehdi, for your generous contribution .


Read this in Farsi.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


Slowly and on tip-toe TimeIn Tel-Aviv is day by day combing the forty corners of the world, branching out more densely than MacDonald...

Ladies and all the others... Let's applaud Natalia in Polski!

And Meda in Romanian and English.

Oh, we do take questions. Just turn off the TV lights, please. They blind us.

Yes, there are still some franchises left.

No discrimination, oh, no, never!

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Noble People

I know close to nothing about Iran today or since the Islamist Revolution.

I know some about suffering complete, immediate, fully conscious fear of annihiliation.

Burried deep in my heart and essence, rearing it's trembling head daily throughout this modern brutal existence.

Like a soothing balm to the soul come noble people from the forty corners of the world and say, Let's stick together.

Happy new year, Universe.

No, no: MultiVerse.

It's the New Year. What do you give to ...

I was debating with myself, What can one give as a present to someone that has everything, really really almost everything.

Luckily, around the forty corners

of the world some friends were sharing my distress.

So now I know, the best gift would be the compact empathy blocker. More efficient than any check-points, less expensive than any Walllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

Above all - it's worldwide effective.

"...That's what I dreamt about.

While touring the respiratory ward of a filthy hospital with many miserable looking patients ready to die, I would try to speak only to be prevented by a piercing lung pain or excessive phlegm, and dark fluid gushing out of my mouth; or the perceptible feel of a sudden collapse of portions of my lung coupled with the sort of panic that would effectively prevent me from uttering a single word.

Then the fellow walking with me calmly directed me to a room and sat me on a chair. The room was clean and well lit, and had a purple sliding door. He began to play with the door and each time the door separated me from the ward, I felt I had my voice back.

Sliding the door open again would simply make me lose my voice. He grinned mischievously and said, "What do you think of our new sliding empathy blocker? The latest model! And I woke up murmuring, "now, that's what I really need... a portable empathy blocker!"


Happy New Year!


Read it in Polish;in Hungarian;

Wednesday, September 1, 2004

Notes on Once She Was A Child

Instead of introduction, a few personal notes...

When my children were little we were standing one day at the bus stop. It was very hot, August.

Suddenly, across from us, two children, suddenly one of them cried to his friend: "You Arab!" I looked at my children startled. The younger was then three, the same age I was when I came out of kindergarten and they threw stones at us and cried, 'Jidans, go away to Palestine!' Children I'd played with the day before. I wanted my children to know that 'Arab' was the name of a people, not a curse. I made contact through friends of some friends with members of the Arab intelligentsia who lived in a village in the Galilee and we visited them, they visited us, a contact was made. Mahmud and Lutfia Diab, from Tamra, two hours from Tel Aviv.

That was in 1970.

Three years later Lutfia's younger sister, Amal, married her teacher, Munir Diab. And Munir began in those years to manage there the first Arabic community center. So in 1975 the idea occurred to me to arrange a meeting between educated youths from Tamra and from a neighboring Jewish town with Jewish and Arabic artists.

Munir loved the idea and thanks to him it really happened. We had meetings and conversations with Aharon Meged, Anton Shamas, A. B. Yehoshua. Once every two weeks. One time in Tamra and one time in Shlomi.

Finally we had an evening of theater improvisation with the late Peter Fry. He came several times and prepared them. From the start I'd limited my involvement in that for only half a year. I would come there every two weeks.

Shlomi is located eight hundred meters, half a mile, from the Lebanese border. At that time terrorists murdered at night a mother and her two year old daughter, in Dovev. And still people came to the meetings and participated. Very willingly. But in one of the meetings, in Shlomi, someone said,

'Fine. Only you are returning to Tel Aviv and we are staying here not knowing what terrorist will roll upon us at night from the mountain.'

In my apartment in Tel Aviv we lived at the time five people in a space of four hundred and twenty square feet. No room of my own, there wasn't even a bedroom.

Then I thought, if there was a place to which artists would come for a stay of some weeks or months so they can be free to create, then both the artists and the community would benefit. It would answer to the needs.

I returned to Tel Aviv and began telling all kinds of people and organizations, that that was what they had to do.

Some said, How come, and some would say, "Why not, do it."

In those days the world was divided for me into dreamers, and doers. Two separate groups. Me, do? I come up with ideas, and they should do.

But all the time it still bothered, burned in my bones.

In 1984 I got up and said, "I am acting to found such a place."

Now I understand that in that moment I turned from a child citizen into an adult citizen.

Very difficult. You need to go to the world, and bow down.

It's impossible without money.

Within all these hardships, in Europe as well as in the United States, I would go into bookstores, to find solace. And I would think, So many books, So many woman writers! Who are they?


(c) Translated from the Hebrew by Michal Sapir

read this in Polish;in Hungarian; in Russian;

Lidia Jorge

A few months after I had returned from the first meetings in Paris in September 1995, as I was transcribing the conversation with the French poet Anne Portugal from the tape onto my computer, I heard her saying again how her name always surprised everyone, it was such a rare name in France.

I opened the Tel-Aviv telephone directory and found there alone some twenty Portugals, Portugalis, Portugueses, Portos.

Half a year later, in April 1996, in Lisbon, Lidia Jorge told me that in fact in Portugal everyone is a bit Jewish - almost in every family there was an element of the "New Christians". That is what they call the Jews who had been forced by the Inquisition to convert to Christianity, and that is also what they call their descendants to this day.

Lidia Jorge lives in a modern neighborhood which was built just after the Second World War. At four-thirty in the afternoon, still in broad daylight, a young woman who had helped me find the name on the doorbell asked me to hold the elevator for her till she picked up her post from the mailbox.

I assumed she was in a hurry, and waited.

Lidia, young looking, opened the door cautiously, and I followed her into a sun drenched living room. The smile, the comfortable clothes she was wearing and the soft coaches signaled warmth. She said, "I’m old-fashioned too. I believe a writer should be engaged in the world."

Before the trip I had read one of her stories, in English translation, "The Proof of the Birds".

In the story a man tries to count birds in order to prove the existence of God.

I told her that was exactly what I was doing - trying to count, the women writers...


excerpt from my introduction to Lisbon's chapter at "Once She Was a Child" (Noffey Haneffesh, HudnaPress 2002