Tag: Israel

The thing about punk in Israel is that it’s basically just like punk everywhere else: kind of boring, mostly apolitical, and more often than not sung in English. Conversations about the root causes of (sub)cultural hegemony aside, I feel like that sort of thing is especially glaring in a place that is as … Israel, as Israel is. (More…)

Good morning.  I know you are all puzzled about why you have been invited here today. All will become clear very soon.

But first of all I must tell you that what you learn today may surprise, shock and even horrify you. I ask only this: listen and try and reserve judgement until you have had a chance to process what you hear. This will not be easy. (More…)

Seeing this poster in Tel Aviv for a Don McLean concert, you might think, “I didn’t even know he was still alive,” then ponder the afterlives of music careers, how even one-hit wonders make good money playing resorts and fairs. Or you might think, “How incongruous!” and marvel at the strange feats of decontextualisation that the intersection of capitalism and culture makes possible. (More…)

Every photograph is a cliché. That is if you consume news every day. Whether it’s on your smartphone, or your laptop, a computer at work, or on TV, we are subject to an overwhelming barrage of programmed sameness. The same holds for social media. When a story goes viral, it has the same reach as a planned advertising campaign. The only difference is how it reaches us. (More…)

Born in 1906, Hannah Arendt was a German-American theorist and seminal scholar of the rise of totalitarianism in twentieth-century Europe. It is little surprise then that, upon Donald Trump’s inauguration as President of the United States last year, her 1951 essay The Origins of Totalitarianism suddenly sold out on Amazon alongside Orwell’s 1984. (More…)

Dear Ahed,

I write to confess that I love you.  Although you are sitting in Ofer military prison and might not be too happy, I want to persuade you that I am your own true love.  Prison may give you time to think about where your affections can best be directed.  You will come to love me too. (More…)

TBILISI – International actors have been positioning themselves to exploit new realities in Syria and solidify their involvement in rebuilding the country. Among the usual cast of world players, however, a new contender has emerged: Chechnya. (More…)

Throughout Jewish history, despite the constant injunction to refrain ‘from calculating the date of the end,’ men have arisen who have claimed to be messiahs, and these have mostly asserted their claim on nationalistic pleas. They were to be kings of Israel as well as inaugurators of a new regime of moral and spiritual life. (More…)

An Israeli gig poster may have changed my life. Back in 1992, backpacking round Israel as a student, I kept seeing posters advertising a gig by Benediction, the British death metal band. And every time I saw one I wondered ‘A metal scene? Here?’ (More…)

One of the questions to be asked of a translated novel is ‘why was this translated?’  The answers can range from the author’s perceived importance, to providing foreign readers with cultural insight, or to publishing economics. (More…)

I loathe seeing people in handcuffs. It is a common enough experience, yet not one that I witnessed until mature adulthood. There is a deep offense to the sight of people in handcuffs or leg-chains, worse than imprisonment. (More…)

In 2004, King Abdullah of Jordan warned that a “Shia Crescent” of Iranian-led movements and governments would begin to dominate the northern Middle East. His predictions were quickly echoed by regional leaders, from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to defensive Persian Gulf monarchs, and an American security establishment overly focused on Tehran’s influence in a number of regional capitals.  (More…)