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My Machberet

“Machberet” is the Hebrew word for notebook. Since it’s also (appropriately) one of the very first words I learned in my first Hebrew school in Brooklyn (and, I confess, one of the few conversational Hebrew words I still remember), I’ve chosen it to title this blog, where I offer write-ups on Jewish news (especially of the literary sort) and occasional commentary.

Words of the Week, V

More current-events items culled from the news (& the blogosphere).

John Ging, UN

From Terrence McCoy, “Why Hamas Stores Its Weapons Inside Hospitals, Mosques, and Schools,” in The Washington Post:
“During one short-lived lull in rocket fire, The Washington Post’s William Booth saw a ‘group of men’ at a mosque in northern Gaza. They said they had returned to clean up glass from shattered windows. ‘But they could be seen moving small rockets into the mosque,’ Booth wrote. He also reported that Shifa Hospital in Gaza City had ‘become a de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices.

Wall Street Journal reporter Nick Casey tweeted an image of a Hamas spokesman giving an interview at a Gaza hospital. With the shelling, ‘You have to wonder … how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.’ The tweet was later deleted.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, IV

Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, III

From Chloe Valdary, “To the Students for Justice in Palestine, a Letter From an Angry Black Woman,” Tablet magazine:
“You do not get to pretend as though you and Rosa Parks would have been great buddies in the 1960s. Rosa Parks was a real Freedom Fighter. Rosa Parks was a Zionist.”

From Ilan Ben Zion, “Rockets Found in U.N. School, for Third Time,” The Times of Israel:
“A UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that a stockpile of Hamas rockets was found in one of UNRWA’s Gaza schools — for the third time since the onset of Operation Protective Edge.

The incident, however, was not publicized by UNRWA on its website or official Twitter feed, or that of its spokesperson.” Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week, II

It’s beginning to look as though I should rename this feature “words of the day.” I’m going to try to remain optimistic, though, and hope that current events will become sufficiently peaceful to allow for less frequent postings–and the end of compilations.

From Nick Dyrenfurth, “Gaza and Israel: Why I Will Not Be Silent,” The Age
“Enough is enough. Ignore the sirens calls of hate. If so inclined, donate to the International Red Cross’ Israel and Gaza Appeal. Get informed. Read and share Shavit’s meditation on his country’s condition. Read and share Izzeldin Abuelaish’s heartfelt plea for peace. This is a Palestinian man who lost his three daughters during the 2008-09 Israeli-Gaza war. Stand up and reject the extremists on both sides. Don’t fall silent when you see the hashtag #HitlerWasRight pop up in your Twitter feed, or when all Palestinians are tarred with the brush of Hamas. Support moderates committed to a two-state solution. As Abuelaish implores, ‘This is a moment in history that must be captured.’ Continue reading ›

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Words of the Week

A new week, a new set of recent words to share with you:

From David Horovitz, “While Hamas Celebrates, Israel Focuses on Its Security,” The Times of Israel:
“But for now, as it seeks to keep the death toll down, to bring credible protection for its people, and to grapple with the aggressive challenges from Hamas that most of the public certainly underestimated, this country is focused on its key imperative: ensuring that, while Hamas will always claim victory, Israel emerges from this conflict on terms that leave it dependably safer.”

From Maurice Ostroff, “Why Is Gaza Blockaded?” The Jerusalem Post:
“And although facts seem to have lost their importance in the media as well as in politics, intellectual honesty and journalistic ethics should tweak our interest in checking on the roots of the blockade that generates so much righteous indignation among some pseudo human rights NGO’s.”

From Sara Hirschhorn,“Debating the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Demands Empathy, Not Just History,” Jewcy.com
“But in those few moments when people—especially those who are perhaps not involved or ideologically committed—plead with you to proceed, to continue the authentic multi-dimensional discussion, or even to begin to redefine what Israel and Zionism mean to our generation, how can I give up? Online engagement is one important component of that precious opportunity to be a Jewish and Zionist leader—it’s a mission I won’t pass up.”

From Rabbi Peter Kessler, Ohev Sholom Temple:
“I’m not sure how to convince the New York Times to accurately portray the violence in Gaza. Maybe one photograph showing the actual location of those rockets aimed at Israel, or a photo of the Gazans being transported to Israeli hospitals or the tons of food, water,and medical supplies that Israel sends to Gaza every day. Maybe that’s not news to the New York Times…maybe it doesn’t sell newspapers…I don’t know.”

From Jodie Shupac, Canadian Jewish News:
“But for an Israeli child or adult with an intellectual disability, or for an elderly person and his or her family, retreating to safety in time can be simply debilitating.”

From Barak Ravid, “Kerry’s Latest Cease-fire Plan: What Was He Thinking?”-Haaretz
“Kerry isn’t anti-Israeli; on the contrary, he’s a true friend to Israel. But his conduct in recent days over the Gaza cease-fire raises serious doubts over his judgment and perception of regional events. It’s as if he isn’t the foreign minister of the world’s most powerful nation, but an alien, who just disembarked his spaceship in the Mideast.”

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