Israel at 60

From long-life tomatoes to camera pills

By Rachel Fletcher, April 18, 2008

60 years of invention

Israel is a land flowing with more than just milk and honey. If you have ever purchased long-lasting tomatoes, used a device to pluck the hairs from your legs, or sent an instant message, thank Israeli technology.


Heard the one about...?

By Simon Round, April 18, 2008

Did you hear the one about the Israeli comedian?

The answer is probably not. We have all got our favourite Israeli writers, our favourite Israeli politicians, and even our favourite Israeli spoonbenders.

But Israeli stand-ups? Possibly the nearest many of us have come to Israeli humour is comedian Mark Maier’s comic alter ego, Roni Shmoni. When two English girls ask the fictional Israeli soldier for directions to the beach, he replies: “So you want to sleep with me?” (or words to that effect). We find it easy to laugh at Israelis; but can they laugh at themselves?


Russian Aliyah: Culture, not just shelter

By Natan Sharansky, April 18, 2008

Russian aliyah:  The massive influx from the former Soviet Union brought ideological challenges — but art offered a way to reach out



Palestinian Identity: the complicated idea of Palestine

By Sari Nusseibeh, April 18, 2008

Palestinian identity 


A symphonic array of musical variety

By Paul Lester, April 18, 2008

Israel is a new country, albeit one with roots tracing back thousands of years. So its music combines modern and ancient, with the influx of people from all over the world creating an astonishing array of musical influences, including Russian folk, klezmer, Arabic, Yemenite, Iraqi, Yiddish and Ladino.


Ehud Olmert says happy birthday to Israel at 60

April 18, 2008

Israel’s Prime Minister celebrates his country’s achievements so far — and explains why peace is its greatest ambition The famous passage in Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) prescribes that people reach the station of “old age” on their 60th birthday. Some commentaries claim that it is actually “wisdom” which is conferred upon reaching this milestone. From either perspective, 60 years since the miraculous creation of the State of Israel, this is a time to reflect.


My quest to snatch Eichmann and finally bring him to justice

By Rafi Eitan, April 18, 2008

1960: Eichmann's capture

In 1958, David Ben-Gurion made a decision that Israel would bring the major Nazi war-criminals to justice, so that the world would see and learn about the Holocaust, and so that the survivors in Israel, who before then had been ashamed of talking about their experiences, would have a chance to give testimony.

As head of operations in the Mossad, I was part of a small team that decided on the targets. We narrowed the list down to four. One was Adolf Eichmann, who had headed the SS Jewish department and been in charge of all deportations.


Zaka’s tragic task

By Anshel Pfeffer, April 18, 2008

One group of strictly Orthodox volunteers became a familiar sight during the bloody second Intifada. Anshel Pfeffer meets the anti-Zionist radical who turned to a mission of rescue and recovery

Many in the strictly Orthodox community view Yehuda Meshi-Zahav as a renegade. For 30 years he was the main organiser of the battles with the police in the Jerusalem enclave of Mea Shearim. Any reason was good enough for a holy war: opening a cinema on Shabbat, autopsies that “desecrated” bodies, the launch of a sex shop or archaeologists digging up burial sites.


An eyewitness account of the 1948 declaration of independence

By Arieh Handler, April 18, 2008

1948: The declaration of independence



An eyewitness account of rabbis at war in 1967

By Rabbi Menahem Hacohen, April 18, 2008

1967: Rabbis at war