Melchett Mike



The Tel Avivit's Subtle Art of Seduction

By Melchett Mike, March 9, 2010

The telephone build-up had been most promising. A, a 37-year old Tel Avivit whose telephone number had been given to me by my kiosk friend Sam, was clearly vivacious, intelligent and worldly.

And the initial chat, after taking our seats at the bar, was even more encouraging. A clearly knew as much about punk and indie music as I did, and considerably more about film. I was having a good time on a blind date, at last!

A remarked how surprised she was that I am single.

"Yes," I thought to myself in a Seinfeldesque aside, "it is rather surprising, isn't it?"

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An open letter to the British investigators in Israel

By Melchett Mike, March 2, 2010

Dear Investigators,

Shalom and welcome to Israel!

Contrary to your likely first impressions, following your arrival on our festival of Purim, we don’t always go around in disguises and fancy dress.

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Getting ready to rock 'n' roll with Iran

By Melchett Mike, February 14, 2010

"If you will it, Dude, it is no dream."

I open my one hundredth posting to melchett mike with a quote from my all-time favourite movie character, The Big Lebowski's Walter Sobchak.

This Polish-Catholic American convert to Judaism – the brilliant creation of the Coen brothers and John Goodman – was, however, quoting some other dude with a long black beard.

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Dexxy, a tale of a God-fearing dog

By Melchett Mike, February 6, 2010

What exactly do you tell a charedi (ultra-Orthodox Jew) when your dog has chewed your tefillin?

Dexxy had experienced, it would seem, a troubled first year. When I found her, nearly three years ago, lying on the grass outside my workplace in Or Akiva (Caesarea's poor neighbour), she was at the doors of doggy heaven.

There was something in Dexxy's eyes, however, which told me that she was worth saving, that she would make a far more loyal and stable companion than the Turkish woman who had given me the boot earlier that same week. And so it has proved.

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The Israeli male, a philistine with a small pee

By Melchett Mike, January 27, 2010

Taking a Shabbes afternoon stroll through Jaffa last weekend, and feeling the effects of a liquid brunch, I had the sudden urge to relieve myself. And, spotting the wrought iron gates of a shack set back and largely obscured from the road, I took my chance.

"Zeh docheh" (that is revolting), Michal, my walking partner, hissed as I rejoined her a bladderful lighter, a (provocative) smirk of self-satisfaction emblazoned across my face.

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Orthodox to Reform: Losing my neshama?

By Melchett Mike, December 31, 2009

I attended a bar mitzvah in Jerusalem on Saturday. At Kol HaNeshama, the Reform synagogue in Baka where I used to pray – or, more accurately, join in the singsong and close my eyes and pretend to meditate while other congregants were meditating (or pretending to) – after making Aliyah, 14 years ago.

And it really was very pleasant.

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Stolen Auschwitz Sign Not "Abomination" No. 1

By Melchett Mike, December 25, 2009

English courts issuing an arrest warrant for Israel's former Foreign Minister, then defining for its Jews who shall and shall not be one of their number. Just another week for the Jews of England.

These decisions were so short-sighted – not to say absurd, discriminatory, and even dangerous – that they don't merit my time. And then readers of melchett mike will ask why I choose to live in Israel!

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Israelis, agents of our own demise?

By Melchett Mike, December 17, 2009

It is extremely seldom that any aspect of my religious education interferes with my relatively secular equilibrium. But Biblical lessons and warnings about the existential dangers to the People of Israel from certain of its own behaviours are starting to appear to me worryingly relevant for the modern State of Israel.

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No Escape: Going to the Flicks, Israeli-style

By Melchett Mike, December 5, 2009

No less than the virtually de rigeur pushing into queues here, the saving of spaces in them with unmanned shopping trolleys, and the continual, blatant invasions of personal space – most infuriatingly, the crowding and looking-over-shoulders at ATMs – the lack of decorum in Israel's cinemas is a phenomenon that no ex-pat Englishman can ever get used to.

No, going to the movies in this country is not, as in others, an "escape" . . . merely a reminder.

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Doss vs. Chiloni: Two Sides of the Same Shekel

By Melchett Mike, November 15, 2009

"Too many dossim."

This is the almost universal response I have received from Tel Avivim these past weeks, when I have informed them that I am considering a move to the country's capital (though many of them probably do not even consider Jerusalem as such).

"Dossim" (singular "doss") is Hebrew slang used to refer to the ultra-Orthodox or charedim (though it can also be used, usually less pejoratively, in relation to modern Orthodox dati le'umim).

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Hendon: just nostalgic illusion?

By Melchett Mike, November 1, 2009

"Hendon-but-not-for-long"

This was the street sign idea I proposed, as a small design project, to a conceptual artist friend.

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Mahmoud and Mrs. P: Reflections on Armageddon

By Melchett Mike, October 5, 2009

With all the talk and speculation about a nuclear Iran, it is impossible, living in Israel – especially in the centre of Tel Aviv (the intersection of the lines forming the “X” on Ahmadinejad's map is widely believed to be Melchett) – not to ponder the possible, dreaded scenarios.

No one here appears to be any the wiser about the likelihood, or the timing, of an Israeli attack on Iran. And those who are certainly don't talk about it. What I did, however, hear about a year ago – from a journalist who claims to "know people" in "defence circles" – is the following:

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Mission Nonsensical: Goldstone's F***ed Findings

By Melchett Mike, September 27, 2009

The talking point in Israel (and indeed the "Jewish world"), this past week, has been whether Judge Richard Goldstone – the head of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza War, whose report accuses Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity – is an example of yet another Jew too willing to sell out to our many enemies . . . or has merely been doing his job.

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melchett mike's Rosh Hashanah Message

By Melchett Mike, September 22, 2009

Dear Friends (well, that’s how “Sacksy” starts),

Dalia, one of the Rothschild kiosk quarter-to-seven crew – and the most balanced and normal of the natives who drink their morning coffee there (the competition, it has to be said, is not all that fierce) – recently surprised her husband, for his birthday, with a long weekend in Budapest.

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The Return of the Lockerbie Bomber: Lessons for the Golan

By Melchett Mike, August 25, 2009

The shameful release of the Libyan convicted of murdering 270 innocent people over, and in, Lockerbie in 1988 disgraces Scotland, its criminal justice system, and its people.

The freeing, on "compassionate grounds", of Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi by Scottish Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill – seemingly more intent on making a name for himself than living up to his title – shows no "compassion" whatsoever for the families and friends of the victims of Pan Am Flight 103, never mind consideration for the rule of law.

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Why I Am Not (Really) an Englishman

By Melchett Mike, August 16, 2009

The most frequent question I get asked, by Israelis and non-Israelis alike, is why I moved to Israel.

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Washing, folding . . . and binning Ha'aretz?

By Melchett Mike, March 30, 2009

I remain befuddled by the continuing international brouhaha triggered by Ha'aretz's (self-titled) "exposé" of IDF abuses during Operation Cast Lead.

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"Dame" Gerald: Our very own "Uncle Tom"

By Melchett Mike, January 19, 2009

He just had to go and open his poisonous gob . . . and just when I'd thought I'd put my Self-Hating Jew series to bed!

I purposely excluded any reference to Gerald Kaufman from earlier posts on Harold Pinter and Alexei Sayle, because I had thought, hoped, that his relative silence on this occasion might be due to his pragmatic assessment that this war – one of self-defence, following eight years of near daily rocket fire – was, indeed, justified. I mean even his "intellectual" bedfellows, in Israel's doveish Meretz party, were supporting the IDF's actions this time.

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Days of Awe, Heroes and Whores

By Melchett Mike, January 6, 2009

I generally don’t “do” awe (it entails reverence). But seeing Israel’s young men (many still in their teens) leaving their loved ones, these past few days, and going off to battle, has filled me with the damn thing.

As a result of my late Aliyah (immigration), my service in the IDF was both short and depressingly pointless – at one stage, I was spending entire weeks in a warehouse, counting nuts and bolts for tanks – and, to quote Woody Allen (yes, I know, again), “In the event of war, I’m a hostage.”

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Jew for Sayle: Alexei's Bid to Become UK's Number One Self-Hating Jew

By Melchett Mike, January 3, 2009

Harold Pinter's body may only just have stiffened, but an unsavoury tussle is already underway for his ignoble position, as The UK's Number One Self-Hating Jew. At a news conference in London, yesterday – calling for an end to Israel's right to defend itself – author and comedian Alexei Sayle staked his claim for the much coveted crown, branding Israel a "murderer", "rapist" and "bully".

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