Tel Aviv

The Art Of Tel Aviv
November 06, 2008

Reporting about Israel in the New York Times is usually gloomy. My old friend Isabel Kershner, one of the Times's correspondents in Jerusalem, has the old politics of the old Israeli peace movement in which almost no one still believes.  It is, in any case, a gestural politics: You go to Rabin Square and sing "We Shall Overcome." Nobody in this evaporating movement has yet recognized that Israel is willing to give up almost all of the West Bank, like it did literally all of the Gaza Strip.

Dear Barack Obama
July 19, 2008

Dear Senator Obama, Welcome to Israel. When you arrive here on July 22, you will encounter a people intrigued by your candidacy and, given the current crisis of Israeli leadership, envious of your capacity to inspire. Issues that have worried some Americans about your background have scarcely been noted here. The whispering campaign labeling you a Muslim wasn't taken seriously by mainstream Israelis. Nor are we fazed by your middle name: Half of Israel's Jewish population has origins in Muslim cultures.

The Most Happening City This Side Of Barcelona
July 11, 2007

I've said this many times. Tel Aviv is the most happening city this side of Barcelona. I'm just got back from the city, and I took a sabbatical there seven years ago. It's even more happening than when I lived there. Why else would the chic British design magazine, Wallpaper, have published with Phaidon a City Guide to Tel Aviv? No other reason that Tel Aviv is, well, the most happening city this side of Barcelona. Culture, food, entertainment and urban life, architecture, cafes, even clothing design. #1.

Damascus rising.; Syriana
December 11, 2006

Yes, I admit it. This is a theme I've been harping on for almost aquarter of a century: Syria sees Lebanon as an illegitimate break away from a great empire ruled from and by Damascus. Parts ofIraq and Turkey, and Cyprus in its entirety, are also duchies in this imagined imperium. And, of course, Israel. In the struggle against the Jewish restoration, many Arabs of Palestine called themselves southern Syrians. That provided a rationale for Damascusto fight in every Arab war against the Jews. Lebanon itself is a contrivance of the French, hewn from thedisintegrated Ottoman Empire.

Jerusalem Dispatch
January 23, 2006

When Ehud Olmert was a teenage leader of the right-wing Betar youth movement in the 1950s, he would mark May Day by tearing down the red flag that hung over the trade union building in his northern village of Binyamina. For Olmert and his friends, that flag symbolized what they referred to as "the Vichy government" of Labor Zionism, which had betrayed the land of Israel by twice accepting its partition—first in 1923, when the British created Transjordan, and then in 1947, when the Untied Nations divided what was left of historic Palestine into Jewish and Arab states.

Jerusalem Dispatch: True Colors
February 14, 2005

Imagine the likelihood of thousands of American students, intellectuals, and Hollywood celebrities marching in support of George W. Bush, and you will begin to appreciate the marvel of the Israeli leftists now rallying around Prime Minister Ariel Sharon. Reviled for engineering the Lebanon war, for masterminding the settlement movement, for opposing every attempt at reconciliation with the Palestinians, and as the personification of Israeli militarism and anti-Arab racism, Sharon today is viewed by many leftists as the settlers' bete noire and Israel's foremost champion of peace.

September 24, 2001

For many months now, since the beginning of the second intifada (and, truth be told, for years before that), I had suspected that Americans simply couldn't grasp Israel's human losses. The numbers weren't big enough to truly register: three one day, thirteen another, maybe one the next. Up and down, ad infinitum, interrupted occasionally by a stretch of quiet (which meant, of course, not that bombs weren't sent—simply that Israel's sappers had defused them). So I began to make the gruesome calculations in my head. Given that there are roughly six million Israelis and roughly 300 million Americ

Manhattan Dispatch: Homecoming
September 24, 2001

At 9 a.m. on September 11, I was sitting in a midtown Manhattan restaurant, reading an Israeli newspaper and feeling very far from home. Almost the entire news section focused on the suicide bombing at the train station in the northern town of Nahariya two days before, claiming three lives and wounding nearly 100. My 16-year-old daughter, who'd spent the weekend with a friend near the Lebanon border, had been at the Nahariya station and had boarded a train for Tel Aviv just before the suicide bombing; her friend's father, who'd dropped her off at the station, was lightly wounded.

Good To Go
January 15, 2001

Five years ago—five years and two months, to be exact—I wrote in these pages that "no president of the United States has had such valent sympathy for Israel as President Clinton." "You could see it on his face," I went on, "...

"Now We Must Fear Our Friends"
July 08, 1967

  “The City of Generals” – June 18  As we drove to Tzahala from Tel Aviv's Lod airport early Sunday morning, my hostess, after explaining that her ex-ministry of defense husband could not meet my flight because he was on a military tour of occupied Jordan, filled me in. The waiting had been terrible, the tension intolerable, the children had dug trenches. It was a little easier to wait after Moshe Dayan had been recalled as minister. They had confidence he would act before it was too late.