Sunday, March 19, 2006

Anglos, Politics and Quotes in Context

This appeared in Haaretz on Friday as part of a feature on Anglos involved in the election where i am proudly included next to an Ultra Orthodox women who is on the Meretz list and a neo fascist who wants to expel all the Arabs...

and for those interested, the last quote was in response to a question about me diving in the deep end of Israeli life...

Monday, March 13, 2006

Purim in Israel

For someone who often confuses the words LeHitchapess (to dress up) and LeHitpashet (to undress / get naked), Purim can potentially be a testing time when asking people about their plans for the festival... and for someone who didn't think of bringing random colourful clothes when they were packing their 75kg for Aliya, the mass panic over what outfit to wear can raise some difficulties.

Yet at the end of the day, Israel is a great place to be for celebrating, even if there are a few too many fairies and cross dressed men (some enjoy that a little bit too much if you ask me - a bit like Purim is an excuse to do those things you always wanted to, but didn’t think you could get away with – and that is perhaps why the real frummers get really really drunk).

Yet seeing Israeli kids walking the streets in costume, store keepers wishing people Chag Sameach and the general enjoyment of a Jewish festival by mainly secular people is one of things that, in my opinion, is special about Israel and that one couldn’t find anywhere else.

So whether it’s the goth like Halloween-gone-wrong outfits sported by some, girls dressing up as monsters in Tel Aviv (I think they were dressed up) or those people i saw today in Bnei Barak that dressed up as Charedim, there are plenty of laughs and fun to be had over Purim.

And if you really want to see something that will make you laugh on this joyous day, please click on the following two links (I know I will regret this, but hey its Purim…)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Politics and Arguments

For those who read the first posting on this blog, you would know that it wasn’t supposed to be about politics…But what to do – I live in Israel, its elections in two weeks, its something that everyone talks about, and for the past month I have been working in the Foreign Press Section of the Kadima Party.

I should probably start with a word of warning about those wanting to enter Israeli politics – if you mix in religious Zionist circles, shy away from arguments about politics, and generally don’t like conflict with people, you probably shouldn’t work for Kadima…

But I came to Israel wanting to work in some sort of political / governmental niche, I realized that the elections offered some sort of opportunity, and with a bit of self promotion and noodging of people, I started updating Kadima’s English website and arranging interviews for the foreign press a few weeks after I started at ulpan.

So whilst not wanting to make this blog into party propaganda, i will say that any election campaign that has a full on lesbian kiss in the political broadcasts (Green Leaf - the legalise marijuana party - the headline was 'we have other aspirations aswell') can't be that bad. And if you're not sure who to vote for, this website has come up with an easy way (for ivrit speakers) to decide who to cast their vote for.

enjoy the campaign - and remember that whoever wins, we will probably still be complaining over shabbat dinner about the state the country is in for the forseeable future