Israel at 60

How we went from two cheese to 900

By Eric Silver, April 18, 2008

60 years of Israeli food

Amos Oz wrote in his haunting memoir A Tale of Love and Darkness that the first time he went to France as a young author, his hosts refused to believe him when he said that Israel had only two kinds of cheese: white cheese and yellow cheese.


Shouting for identity, unity… and gold medals

By Simon Griver, April 18, 2008

Israel has successfully used competitive sports to advance priorities such as integrating immigrants and nurturing a sense of national identification among Israelis themselves and Jews worldwide. Sport has also been highly effective in promoting coexistence between the country’s Jews and Arabs.


The day peace died

By Paul Lester, April 18, 2008

The Oslo Accords promised a new era of hope. Paul Lester talks to the rock star who saw those hopes dashed late on November 4, 1995

If The Oslo Accords of August 20, 1993, were a new ray of hope for the settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, then controversial rock star Aviv Geffen’s performance during a peace rally in the centre of Tel Aviv on November 4, 1995, saw those hopes dashed in one night.


The 1967 six-day war: a sweetness that turned into ashes

By David Landau, April 18, 2008

The 1967 six-day war 


The outgoing editor of Ha’aretz recalls the drama of a war that Israel was winning — and confronts his own fears for the future

Not bloody likely,” the callow nineteen-year-old grandly dictated to the telegram clerk at the post office on Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road, a week or so before the Six-Day War. In Golders Green, my parents received the cocky cable with a mixture of pride and trepidation.


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.