August 03, 2007

Bookmarked: Israeli English-language blogs

So where in the blogosphere do I turn for news on life in Israel?
  • Independent Israeli journalist Lisa Goldman recently made a couple of trips (passport in full view of government airport authorities) to Lebanon, causing no small amount of buzz, horror, gratitude, and awe on both sides of the border and beyond. Lisa lays out her tourist goals and itinerary in recent On the Face posts and in her replies to scores of comments on those posts and in some traditional media. For a random sample of what became a cause celebre, and the attendant conversation, watch Lisa dialog with a Lebanese professor on CNN's "International Correspondents" on his (and some others') criticism about the journalistic ethics of her coverage of life in Beirut, one year after the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. Then browse her blog.

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  • At Not a Fish (profile: The meaningless chatter of your regular split personality Israeli mother no longer trying to make sense of current insanity) Imshin shouts, pouts, mourns, laughs, opines, doubts, and questions goings-on where she lives (with her husband and daughters Eldest and Youngest). To bring home her points, she shares personal stories and family history along with Israel's stories and history. Her captivating writing and images (verbal, visual, and sound) that cover what's on TV, in the market, on the streets (for example, bicycle helmets . . . she disses them), and in the fields make Imshin an incredible credible voice of a political view more conservative, or closer to the "right," than where my instincts usually lead me. Why does this difference draw me here when so many other different voices repel? Perhaps clues can be found in these labels, among several by which she organizes her posts: pretending to know something and politics - yuck.

    Or in this example post: Monday, May 10, 2004
    Israel is not all about abusing Palestinian rights, you know

    . . . Anti-Zionists don’t seem to realize, or care, that abolishing the State of Israel, would create terrible suffering and misery, and it would probably not even alleviate all the suffering of the Palestinian people (at least part of which is self-inflicted, and will continue to be so, until they learn to take responsibility for their fate, regardless of Israel). . . .

  • Poet, performance artist, Tel Aviv University professor, traveler, restaurant goer, recreational shopper, and tireless advocate for survivors' rights, Karen Alkalay-Gut's Tel Aviv Journal reads in staccato-like scream [yes!]-of-consciousness on exactly how she sees, understands, and responds to teeny and huge issues as they impact Israelis and their neighbors one person, neighborhood, balcony, and bunker at a time.

    Example: August 5, 3007. My friend calls up to invite me to join her in the march in Jerusalem in protest of the lack of government support for Holocaust survivors. They've been waiting for the money that was supposed to be given them years ago, and are dying out. Since they are always with me, the survivors, it seemed natural that I should join. And I've never been a friend of this government. . . . I want to know what happened to that money. I want to know what has taken so long and now that the government has finally made the first offer ever, why it is so low (84 shekel per month). And I continue to believe that the survivors were never compensated properly by this society which rejected the whole image of the victim, even while we based our national identity on the fact of these very victims. We don't like victims.

  • Immediately below the header, Occupied, Yudit writes, The word "home" carries many associations. Mine is located in Jaffa (Yafo), once (meaning before 1948) "The Bride of the Sea," now a slummy southern Tel Aviv suburb. Yudit, a photographer who illustrates her work with text, covers Middle East politics, human rights, community involvement, and things right smack in front of you: street names, explosions, demolitions, nature's course. Yudit's exquisite sensibilities sometimes veer to the "left" of my responses, and I welcome the resulting tension. She makes me think or rethink, especially so-called moral or ethical issues. At the companion blog, Occupied Image, Yudit explains her mission: שלוש מאות ששים וחמשה צילומים בשנה כל יום תמונה חדשה . . . [my translation] 365 photographs in a year, every day a new photograph. What grabbed me on a random first visit to this blog pair? The photograph shown below, titled: Monday, May 2, 2007, In the neighborhood.
So where else in the blogosphere can you turn for English-language news on life in Israel? English-writing Israeli-bloggers lists pages of blogs of every stripe, persuasion, style, message, focus, and look and feel.

And when you find a voice that, as in my four bookmarked blogs, is free from nonsense, self-absorption, stridency, and dogma, let me know. Oh, and I would also be grateful for recommendations of male voices.


Anonymous said...

So where in the Internet do I turn for news on life? Well, actually, it’s your blog. I find it so informative and enriching that I’m thinking of making it my home page.

Anonymous said...

the four you have earmarked are decidedly not free of self absorption or stridency...

Tamar Orvell said...

anonymous #1: Shimon, how kind of you to visit this blog for information and enrichment; your anonymous comments always provide that for me. I promise that when you create your blog, I will make it my home page. (As a male voice, you would also be an answer to what I request in my post.) Until then, the New York Times will hold that spot.

anonymous #2: Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. I hope you are having a wonderful summer.

BronzeBuckaroo said...

You do know I want to visit Isreal. Someday! I want to meet the people, absorb the culture, and make friends--not just be a tourist.

Anonymous said...

I recently came accross your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I dont know

what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.