Another Tack: Be a good bully

Dear President Obama,

Your objection to Jews remodeling an inconsequential erstwhile Jerusalem hotel has become the talk of the country here. Everyone knows of your keen involvement in the paltriest details of our everyday existence. Nothing is too remote, trivial or petty for you. So long as it’s in Israel, you make it your business. To resort to a somewhat archaic American idiom, bully for you! Continue reading

Another Tack: The Moor has done his work

Once upon not too many decades ago – before globalized media crassness took over and when Israelis were way more erudite – folks around here freely quoted such literati as German poet and dramatist Friedrich Schiller. It wasn’t considered elitist or esoteric. So when the Palmah was disbanded and its altruists felt they were used and then ungratefully discarded, they resorted to Schiller’s comment in his 1783 play Fiesco: “The Moor has done his work, the Moor may go.” Continue reading

Another Tack: In the footsteps of Sam Lewis's suck-ups

Sometime at the very start of 1982 I attended a function at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, which would have been entirely forgettable except that rarely was I since as nauseated as then. I came away revolted by the spectacle of my Israeli colleagues eagerly milling around ambassador Sam Lewis, seeking his attention and trying to outdo each other in heaping mockery and contempt on their own prime minister. Brutal jokes at Menachem Begin’s expense came fast and furious. Lewis visibly appreciated them and laughed condescendingly. Continue reading

Another Tack: Poster child of razzmatazz-land

The only thing I ever admired about Michael Jackson was his doll collection. He had a hoard of vintage 1930s-era composition Shirley Temples that I shamelessly envy. Otherwise, I confess to being underwhelmed.

That probably marks me as hopelessly out of sync with most of humanity – to judge by the media-hyped hysteria about the self-inflicted demise of yet another showbiz oddball. So sorry to be a killjoy at a time of an obvious international mourning fest. Continue reading