Miriam Shaviv

If Israel did listen to friends..?

By Miriam Shaviv, July 1, 2010

How seriously should we take the current groundswell of diaspora Jews declaring their friendship for Israel, and then begging it to change course before disaster strikes?

It is certainly a popular message. J Street, the doveish lobby in America, led the pack in 2008; then there was J Call, its European imitator. Last month we had writer Peter Beinart fretting that young American Jews were becoming alienated from the Jewish state because of its "illiberal" policies.

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The Orthodox atheist rabbi speaks out

By Miriam Shaviv, June 30, 2010

The blogosphere has had its share of honest, sometimes too-honest, rabbis and rebbetzins writing about the challenges of their work, and more often than not carping about their congregants (fair enough, most congregants spend quite a lot of time carping about their rabbi). Mostly, they have elected to stay anonymous, aware that much of what they write could get them fired.

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The Israel test

By Miriam Shaviv, June 29, 2010

According to the Guardian,

The British and Irish governments were today investigating allegations that members of a suspected Russian spy ring living under deep cover in the US had travelled using false passports from their countries.

It will be interesting to see whether they expel a Russian diplomat over this.

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Gaza's life expectancy

By Miriam Shaviv, June 25, 2010

Here's a riddle.

According to the CIA World Factbook (2009), life expectancy in Lebanon is 73.66. Egypt's is 71.12. Turkey's is 71.96.  Iran's is 71.14. Pakistan's is 64.49.

What is life expectancy in the West Bank and Gaza?

(Answer here.)

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The real problem with writing novels about the Holocaust

By Miriam Shaviv, June 24, 2010

Over the past few weeks, the literary world and Holocaust scholars have been engaged in two rows over fictionalised accounts of the Holocaust.

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With friends like these....

By Miriam Shaviv, June 24, 2010

I have a piece in the Forward this week about the kinds of friends Israel does not need. It has already generated some heated responses:

Israel needs friends in Europe, but there are some friends that it could do without.

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Worm-shaped berries and blue bananas, only in Israel

By Miriam Shaviv, June 21, 2010

The LA Times reports:

If Willy Wonka had a farm, it would fit right in here in Israel.

Want a lemon-scented tomato or a chocolate-colored persimmon? How about some miniaturized garlic cloves for the home chef who doesn't have time to chop, or a purple potato that tastes buttery when cooked?

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Gaza's food problem

By Miriam Shaviv, June 21, 2010

Media Backspin links to some recent AP and AFP pictures of Gaza, showing buzzing markets and well-stocked supermarkets, backing up what the JC's own stringer in Gaza, Moeen Elhelou, wrote a couple of weeks back. While not all foods may be available, there is no food shortage per se.

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Bloom's restaurant, you were awful but we will miss you

By Miriam Shaviv, June 11, 2010

Forget the flotilla, and the increasing mess of admissions to Jewish schools. The real story for British Jews this week is the closure of Bloom's restaurant in Golders Green, an Anglo-Jewish treasure if ever there was one. And not in a good way.

As food critic Jay Rayner put it a couple of years back: "Bloom's is an institution. Mind you, so is Broadmoor [prison], and nobody ever went there for dinner."

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Hey, liberals: Palestinians need 'tough love' too

By Miriam Shaviv, June 11, 2010

Bret Stephens poses an excellent question:

What does it mean to be a friend of Israel? What does it mean to be a friend of the Palestinians? And should the same standards of friendship apply to Israelis and Palestinians alike, or is there a double standard here as well?

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Bummer, that

By Miriam Shaviv, June 10, 2010

The New York Times has stopped Jeffrey Goldberg using the word 'tuchus' in print (forcing him to say 'tush' instead).

They're very conservative in New York....

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The Ironic Orthodox generation

By Miriam Shaviv, June 10, 2010

Across the pond, there seems to be an emerging consensus that something is changing in Orthodoxy, particularly on its left wing. The problem is that no one is exactly sure what. Over the past year, there have been several attempts to define this new breed of Orthodox Jew, loosely labelled - thanks to Hirhurim - 'post-Orthodox'.

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Fast-roping 101

By Miriam Shaviv, June 7, 2010

 

Via Abu Muqawama, a blog on insurgencies and counter-insurgencies hosted by the Center for a New American security. Take a look also at this post, particularly the bits about Israel's loss of deterrence and its army's loss of standing amongst other military personnel.

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Giving Hamas a chance

By Miriam Shaviv, June 7, 2010

Nick Cohen, in the Guardian, has written an impassioned and generally excellent piece on the real reason the Arab states attack Israel, and the effect this has on Western liberals. Read it in its entirety.

Towards the end, however,  he makes the following disturbing suggestion:

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The question Israel's accusers have failed to answer

By Miriam Shaviv, June 3, 2010

A confused editorial, I think, in the Times today.

The bulk of the leader is spent explaining why the passengers on the Mavi Marmara were a "lynch mob" who were clearly out to kill Israeli soldiers, there not to deliver aid but to gain publicity. It also asks some difficult questions of the Turkish government and its role in this episode (though in my opinion, not difficult enough).

So far, so good - in fact, so refreshing.

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Analysis: Facts no longer matter to media

By Miriam Shaviv, June 3, 2010

I could hardly bring myself to read the accounts of the raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in the British press on Monday. It was simply too painful.

First, it was obvious that by opening fire Israel had committed a fatal strategic error, walking into a trap set by the so-called "peace activists". How could it have been so stupid?

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Solitude and fresh air under a glass roof

By Miriam Shaviv, June 3, 2010

On our first morning in Centre Parcs, my three-year-old daughter stood staring out the patio window of our cottage, into Longleat forest.

"Imma," she turned to me. "Is that a dog?"

I'm not quite sure what I imagined - a snarling dingo? One of the neighbour's pets preparing to pounce? I rushed to the window.

There, right on our doorstep, stood a deer and a bambi. Completely oblivious to our presence, they grazed for a minute or two and quietly trotted off.

It was a stunning moment, which for me encapsulated the Centre Parcs experience.

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If Lady Gaga was Jewish...

By Miriam Shaviv, June 3, 2010

In case you've missed it, this video of the 'Tichel Cuties' covering Lady Gaga with a Jewish twist is currently going viral:

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Why Israel is unlikely to get a fair press in Europe

By Miriam Shaviv, June 3, 2010

I could hardly bring myself to read the accounts of the raid on the Mavi Marmara ship in the British press on Monday. It was simply too painful.

First, it was obvious that by opening fire Israel had committed a fatal strategic error, walking into a trap set by the so-called “peace activists”. How could it have been so stupid?

But beyond that, it was the media’s demonisation of Israel — its insistence Israel was evil in intent, not merely inept — which felt unbearable.

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Why dictionaries should be allowed through the blockade...

By Miriam Shaviv, June 1, 2010

Pro-Palestinian demonstrators, again, show a limited understanding of the word 'peaceful':

Protesters demonstrating against the Israeli attack on a Gaza-bound aid ship have attempted to storm the BBC in Manchester.

More than 800 people marched through the city centre
and down Oxford Road, where the crowd surged at the BBC's entrance,
smashing its front doors.

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