Monday, July 31, 2006

Help Us Find an Apartment!

Y and I are trying to move to Tel Aviv. We're apartment hunting. It's hard. Help!

We've checked out homeless and other web resources. We've called some realtors too. But as of yet we haven't found anything that fits.

We're looking for a 3 room (two bedroom) apartment in central Tel Aviv (from like Bazel to Rothschild or there about) that has AC and is renovated or in good shape. Our budget is around $800.

So, if you or someone you know has an apartment that will be available in Sept or Oct - tell us about it! Or if you have a recommendation of a realtor or other resource - tell us about it! One thing that I've learned in Israel is that this country works on the "who you know" principle. Any help would be greatly appreciated. You can email your helpful hits to shalomisraelblog[at]gmail[dot]com. Thanks!

Doing the Dirty Work

I was shocked when I saw the pictures of the children being taken from the building in Qana yesterday. It was terrible to see. I think that those images will stay with me always.

I watched the Lebanese and Israeli ambassadors to the UN speak about the incident at the UN. Here's what I want to say about that:

Hezbullah is a terrorist organization. They have launched thousands of rockets over the past few weeks indiscriminately into Israel - targeting anyone - men, women and children. The rockets have intentionally targeted population centers like Haifa. Israel tries to take out Hezbullah's capability and to attack the rocket launcher sites. Those launchers are right in the middle of residential areas and even close to UN installations. Even with precision guided weapons, civilians are bound to be killed and injured if they live near these rocket installations. Israel does not try to target civilians but is doing what it can to protect her citizens from rocket attack.

No other UN or NATO country or coalition wants to step up now and impose a cease-fire in Lebanon. I am convinced that a UN force would be ineffective and would allow Hezbullah to restock their weapons, obtain more powerful missiles, and remain a serious threat to Israel.

I bet there is back office talk in the UN about the need for Israel to do her job at this time - to continue to diminish the Hezbullah threat in a meaningful way so that UN forces can come in and be effective. Israel is doing the dirty work that no other nation wants to stand up and do. These other nations let Israel take the black eye. (and put her children on the front lines...and risk the economic security...etc.)

So I say to these European countries - stand up! Stand up and say that Lebanon hasn't enforced it's part of the UN resolution. Stand up and say that Hezbullah is a terrorist organization that put Israel and Lebanon at war with each other. Stand up and call Syria and Iran out on their involvement in this conflict. Stand up for Israel! Reaffirm Israel's right to defend herself - and her basic right to exist.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

0% Yankee!

Your Linguistic Profile:
50% General American English
40% Dixie
5% Upper Midwestern
0% Midwestern
0% Yankee

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Proof I am Alive

Here I am.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Boker Tov Means Good Morning in Hebrew

I'm posting this poem because I'm feeling the need for a little encouragement today.

Maya Angelou's Inaugural Poem

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed, Marked the mastodon.

The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully, Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than The angels, have crouched too long in The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me, But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside, If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs The Creator gave to me when I and the Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your Brow and when you yet knew you still Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew The African and Native American, the Sioux, The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh, The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher, The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher. They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of Other seekers--desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot ... You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree I am yours--your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain, Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change. Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out And into your sister's eyes, into
Your brother's face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Spoils of War

I am conflicted. War is bad. Bill Hemmer is so, so good - and he's in Israel covering the story!!! If there is a light in this dark time it's Bill Hemmer. Um, but when did he move from CNN to Fox News?!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

How to Help

Just posting to say to all of my lovely readers that I am OK. Things here are tense to say the least, but life goes on. Yesterday I went to Y's parents house and swam in the pool and then to Tel Aviv to hang out with friends at the beach.

The Northern half of Israel is under attack in a serious way. There is a feeling of helplessness as we watch the action on TV. But you can help.

My e-friend, David, over at Treppenwitz has a list of things that you can do to help. With his permission, I've reposted the list here:

If you are in Israel
  • Give blood. Under normal circumstances the blood supplies are critically low. Now more than ever you must find time to donate. Not only will it help save a life, but it will give you and your family 'blood insurance' in case (G-d forbid) the need arises.
  • Open your home. If you have friends or relatives living in communities that are currently under fire, please don't assume they have plans. Pick up the phone and invite them for Shabbat... for a few days... for a week.
  • Support businesses. It may not be this week or even this month... but when things quiet down there are going to be a lot of hotels, restaurants and other small businesses which rely on the tourist industry teetering on the edge of ruin. This tourist season is essentially gone. It will be almost a whole year before the next tourist influx (maybe) has the nerve to venture back here. Make it your business to spend your next free weekend up north. Eilat isn't going anywhere... take your next vacation in the Golan or Galilee.
  • Buy products made in areas that are under attack. If you or your business have the choice of purchasing goods or services from companies in areas where the missiles are falling, please don't put it off... they need your business.
  • Support Charitable efforts. Please don't assume that the Israeli government will be able to step in and make everything right for the communities once the missiles (please G-d) stop falling. Find well-established, reputable charitable organizations that are doing important work in these communities and give generously.
  • Pray. I don't care whether you recite the entire book of Psalms, pray the rosary or sit in the Lotus position meditating on regional/world peace. This is one of those 'it couldn't hurt and might actually help' kinda things

If you are outside of Israel
  • Come visit. It may seem counter-intuitive to discuss tourism, but many people outside of Israel forget that this country relies on the tourist industry for more than half its GNP. I'm not saying you need to book a bed & breakfast in the upper Galilee or Golan (although once things quiet down that is exactly where you should be going). Just come. During the the Intifada too many people who claim to support Israel voted with their feet and stayed home. Don't let it happen again.
  • Support humanitarian and lifesaving organizations such as Magen David Adom, Yad Sarah and Zaka.
  • Plant a tree. As far as it may be from your mind at the moment, thousands of acres of Jewish National Fund forests are burning as a result of the hundreds of missiles that have been fired into Israel. Replanting those areas will cost money. You know what to do.
  • Do business with Israeli companies. In the coming days and weeks there will be increased calls for divestment from Israel. If you or your business have the ability to use goods or services provided by Israeli companies... please do so. If you want to find out more about this, please contact your nearest Israeli consulate and ask for their assistance in identifying Israeli partners, suppliers and resources.
  • Buy Israel Bonds. This may sound cliche... like something that our grandparents do... grudgingly.... and only during the annual Kol Nidre Appeal. But individuals and companies have the ability to help themselves while they help strengthen the State of Israel. Israel Bonds have never once failed to deliver promised returns and are the cornerstone of many portfolios and pension funds (including my pension fund with Local 802 America Federation of Musicians). So if you were casting about for the perfect wedding or Bar/Bat mitzvah gift... buy some of these.
  • Keep them honest. Don't get involved in intractable emotional battles with Israel bashers and anti-Semites. But DO keep tabs on your local media and take them to task each and every time you see them misreporting historical data or misrepresenting current events. For best results keep your communications polite, brief and to the point. Encourage others to be equally vigilant.
  • Educate and inform. For most of your non-Jewish coworkers and neighbors, the conflict here is as inscrutable as those in Northern Ireland, Sudan and the Basque region of Spain. Make it your business to stay well informed and take the time to personalize this war for people. This is not rocket science... although rockets certainly play a role in the conflict. Keep it simple. Explain the news and the significance of events as they are happening here. If you don't do it, their sole source of information will be whatever CNN or the BBC are serving up.
  • Pray. I don't care whether you recite the entire book of Psalms, pray the rosary or sit in the Lotus position meditating on regional/world peace. This is one of those 'it couldn't hurt and might actually help' kinda things.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Blufr: Bruising Your Ego One Bluf at a Time

Blufr is fun! Check it out. All the kool kids are doing it. (I can't get the embedding thing-a-ma-bob to look right. It looks great in preview but sucky on the blog. Hmmm. Anyway, check out the game. ;-))

blufr - bruising your ego one bluf at a time

The malapropism, "for all intensive purposes," is often confused with the expression, "for all intents and purposes."

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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Democracy Hijacked

Ultra-religious Jewish terrorists, determined to silence thousands of gay, lesbian, trans, and bisexual voices in Jerusalem by force, recently posted fliers in Jerusalem offering a reward of NIS 20,000 (about $4,500 US) for "anyone who causes the death of one of the people of Sodom and Gemorrah." According to reports, the flier recommended using firebombs and included instructions on how to make them.

Ultra-religious Jewish zealots, with their threats, are attempting to hijack democracy in Israel's capital city. Due to the threat of violence (which they have demonstrated that they are capable of - stone throwing at cars on Shabbat, burning of non-Kosher businesses, kidnapping of dead babies!) the police are now debating their ability to secure the democratic right of free speech of thousands of marchers.

These religious terrorist have started their Jewish jihad in an attempt to force their views on thousands of Jerusalem residents. Some surveys have indicated that a large percentage of Jerusalem's population doesn't support the Pride Parade in Jerusalem. If just 20% of Jerusalem's population of 600,000 (1996 figure - it's closer to 700,000 now) support the parade, that's 120,000 people - if just 5% support the parade - that's still 30,000 people! The numbers shouldn't matter though. If I want to go and protest something as a parade of one, then I have the right of free speech in a democratic society. Our government is entrusted with the responsibility to uphold the laws that protect this right.

What is not protected by free speech is hate speech. Calls for death and personal injury should be taken seriously. Democracy must be preserved in the face of this challenge.

Inadequate police response to other Haredi rioting and law breaking has given this ultra-religious gang the permission to hand out vigilante justice as they see fit. It's time for the rule of law - democratic law - to be affirmed as the governing power in Jerusalem not gang enforced codes of behavior.

Even if these fliers turn out to be a prank, the over excited evironment created by religious incitment must be addressed by religious leaders. They must join together and condemn any form of illegal incitement and violence.

The LTBTQ community in Jerusalem - and Israel - will not give in to violent threats, and on August 10th we will peacefully march in Jerusalem, as part of the week of Jerusalem WorldPride 2006 events, for tolerance, inclusion, and equality.

Technology Licked the Red Off My Lollipop

So, I got a job a couple of months ago and I was looking forward to getting my first Israeli paycheck. I was thinking of making a copy of the check just as a keepsake. Turns out my payment will be by direct deposit. I guess I'll get a statement but it's just not the same. "Oh! Look! I totally forgot I had this. Here's a copy of my bank statement that shows my first direct deposit in Israel!"

Monday, July 10, 2006

No Return to the Closet

This article is from Ynet.

Rabbi Akiva preferred 'love your neighbor as yourself' over the 'abomination' of homosexual sex
Fania Oz-Salzberger (Amos Oz's daughter - and straight!)

To those Orthodox Jews who oppose the Gay Pride parade

I write to you as a secular Jew, with a deep respect for you and your beliefs. But only when that respect is mutual. My principles, morals and my way of life are as important to me as Jewish law is to you. I feel no inferiority, need to apologize or discomfort with my "partial" Judaism.

My cart is not empty, and my beliefs are well reasoned and crystallized. They are called secular, liberal humanism. I have written these lines in a spirit of pleasantness and manners. I hope they are received in the same way.

Losing battle
I understand your anger and pain over the Gay Pride parade planned next month for Jerusalem. It is clear to me why it is difficult for you to see homosexuals and lesbians, alongside their straight supporters, marching through the holy city with their heads held high. I know you find kissing and hugging in public offensive, especially between members of the same sex, and I appreciate that it stands in contrast to your beliefs. Still, allow me to tell you why in the long run you are fighting a losing battle.

There is no way to turn back the clock. The values of a liberal society cannot be folded up and returned to the historical closet, unless we are willing to dismantle all of modern Israel society. Most Israelis would be unwilling to pay this price.

The fight against homosexual public legitimacy is lost, just like the fight against bare-shouldered women, bare-headed men and heterosexual couples walking arm-in-arm in public. Your fight is destined to fail, just like you failed to censure expressions of sexuality in the Israeli media and art and literature and film.

You have no hope, just like you had no hope when you tried to silence or scare or re-educate thousands of people with a wide variety of opinions from gaining public voice.

Free to offend
No longer will the multi-faceted Israeli society be channeled or disciplined, and the more society matures, the more faces it acquires. To me, this is a good thing, but even without my opinion, this is how liberal societies develop in the modern world. No one can beat a pluralistic society into an Orthodox template. Plenty of 20th century totalitarian regimes tried and failed, not before spilling huge amounts of blood.

Every free society now recognizes, on both a legal and societal level, the ability of each individual to express his sexuality openly, in addition to his political opinions and other preferences, as long as they do not physically harm others or present a clear danger to public safety.

I'll tell you something tough, but it's not something I created. The Bible itself, in the Book of Chronicles, says it is forbidden to hurt another person, but we are permitted to hurt other people's feelings. Essentially, it says we have no choice but to offend others: There is no way to express an opinion without offending someone else, and there is no personal freedom without freedom of speech, and there is no democracy without personal freedom, and there is no modern, functioning society that is not democratic. Therefore, until we find a better recipe, voices must not be silenced, and hands must not be tied of those whose actions upset others.

Proud about what?
But why must we march with our heads held high, ask "moderate religious people" and "enlightened secularists" alike. Even more, they want to know what these homosexuals and lesbians have to be proud about. I will propose several answers.

First of all is the principle of equality. Every person has the right to express his sexual identity in public, within normative limits of general society. If straights have this right, gays do, too. That which the former seek to forbid to the latter should be forbidden to the former as well.

The sight of two men kissing makes you sick, you say? So sorry to offend. I, for example, feel nauseous when I read the talkbacks to articles on this website that curse me and those like me, and those who aren't like me. It is nauseating, offensive and repulsive, and to me it is also a blow to a society's dignity, but it is also legal and legitimate and stems from the principles of free speech and individual freedom and democracy. Insults are a small price to pay, in my opinion, for living in a free society.

What is pride?
Secondly, what does "pride" mean? The literal Hebrew phrase for the homosexual community means "the proud ones," and there is a secret to their pride. It is a pride that pursues you, the pride of the outcast and the pride of the scorned. Allow every person to love who and how they want, and no one will feel the need to hang their pride out in the open.

Or the opposite: Let all lovers take pride, and let all haters be ashamed. Thus, love will be increased in the world. They say there isn't enough.

Competing commands
And what will happen to Jerusalem, our holy city, and to Israel, a country whose Jewish nature takes precedence over its democratic nature to many? Will the homosexuals and their supporters defile the holy, or will they remind Jerusalem that all people were created in the image of God? Both are written in the book of Leviticus, which commands, "you should not lie with a man as with a woman, it is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22), but also says, " You should not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you should love your neighbor as thyself: I am the Lord" (ibid 19:18).

These are two faces of Judaism, and sometimes we must make choices. There was once a great humanist called Akiva, who chose the command to love others, and said it was the Torah's greatest principle. But has Orthodox Judaism chosen to abandon the command to love others?

It is not my intention to bait you. Many of you are disgusted by the sight of a secular Jew preaching moral lessons from the Torah and Talmud (this should really have made you happy) (even if you could have been happy about it). But I ask you, humbly and respectfully, to think again about your beliefs and to examine your ethical priorities. What do you do when two Torah commands contradict one another?

Choose democracy
I assume that the fury and the threats will work, and that the pride march will not take place this year in Jerusalem. I assume a violent man will commit the sort of crime prohibited by the ten commandments (which, by the way, don't prohibit homosexual sex).

These two options will be very bad for Israeli society, for us, for our humanity and for our Judaism. So shout out. Protest. Hold a counter-protest. Try to get a democratic majority to change the law. And if you offend my liberal, secular senses, so be it. Those are the rules of the game.

And as far as the Torah is concerned, listen respectfully. But remember that all the Torah's paths are pleasant, and all the Torah's roads are peace.

Dr. Fania Oz-Salzberger is a senior lecturer at Haifa University and the head of the Posen Forum for political thought

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Reading Magic

Last week I walked to downtown Jerusalem and visited one of my favorite places in Israel - Sefer ve Sefel or "Book and Mug". Sefer ve Sefel is probably the largest used English book store in Israel. That said, Sefer ve Sefel is less than 1000 sq feet of magic.

I saw a movie a couple of weeks ago on TV called Practical Magic. The book of the same name on which this movie was based was on one of my "to read" lists. I ended up enjoying the movie and was interested to see if the book was better - it usually is. That said, the book was an enjoyable read. It's not going to change your life or anything, but it was good entertainment. However, I liked the movie better! I guess there is a first time for everything.

The book had places that were long lulls in action and it got a little boring. I was tempted to just flip forward 50 pages to get on with it. Besides good Hollywood action and romance, the movie does a better job that the book cultivating characters and developing relationships among them. It's also has more magic! I don't know if the author was consulted on the movie, but it's as if she was able to fix some things in the screen play that were problematic in the book.

I am still plodding through Myra Breckinridge and I am look forward to reading Atonement. Y is reading the Hebrew translation of Atonement and it'll be fun to chat about it.

Friday, July 07, 2006

22nd Annual Jerusalem Film Festival

Debra Winger and Jeff Goldblum were on hand last night to open the 22nd Annual Jerusalem Film Festival. In rough phonetic Hebrew Jeff said that he was excited to be in Jerusalem - and last night was indeed exciting! The opening night of the Jerusalem Film Festival was attended by a full house, a crowd of 5000, in the Sultan's Pool Amphitheater at the foot of the Old City's walls. The Jerusalem Film Festival is part of the life work of Lia Van Leer who has been a tireless advocate for culture in Jerusalem.

The opening movie was Someone to Run With, an adaptation of the best selling novel by David Grossman. I enjoyed this movie and thought that it was well done for the most part. Israeli cinema - a mirror of Israeli life and culture - is not as polished at what Hollywood produces. I think that this adds an element of authenticity to Israeli films. This was evident in Someone to Run With and I liked it.

Last night as we huddled against the Jerusalem summer evening chill, (It was cold and I even had on a sweater! The daytime high was 89 degrees F though - welcome to the desert!) we were sitting behind the family of the movie's star, Bar Belfer. They had a whole row for family and friends. The younger girls were dressed in a revealing Israeli style and the grandfather kept pulling on their dresses and shirts as they stood up to cover them up a little more - SABA! Another of the movie's stars is a yellow Labrador retriever. As we were exiting the amphitheater, I got to pet this star! That's one really cool thing about Israel - people are approachable here still and there a community feeling at these kinds of events that's absent in the US.

Earlier in the day, Y and I had a little argument. I wanted him to check and see if I could bring my bag into the amphitheater. We had planned to bring snacks from home and I didn't want to haul them all there just to be told I couldn't bring them in. (I know, this is Israel! What was I thinking? Of course you can bring them in - and even no isn't a no.) Anyway, we bought our snacks. It was a good idea too because there weren't vendors in the amphitheater. There were though traditional Jerusalem snacks being sold outside- bagel-le with zatar.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

You've Got Hate Mail!

From time to time I get spam comments on my blog. For each comment I get an email notification and that way I can keep track of the comments. Yesterday I checked recent comments and I found this beauty:

At 6/30/2006 7:49 AM, Anonymous said...
If there were any mighty men in of reknown .....and Holy unto Hashem, these Sodomites would have all been slain. May Hashem send Moshiach now to cleanse the Holy City of filth.

You can read it for yourself here. Just to decode a little for my non-Hebrew speaking readers, Hashem=God, Moshiach=Messiah.

I am not going to leave that nasty comment up for long at that post.

Here's the thing folks: I know that this person is hiding behind the anonymity of the internet and probably wouldn't express these sentiments in a public forum. But the fact that they have them, even as a joke, should be enough motivation for those of you who are lovers of free speech, democracy, and religious freedom to come and march in Jerusalem in August!

To me this is not a "gay rights" issue. This is the front line of preserving an important democratic principal in Israel - free speech. It is not democratic to ban a group of law abiding people from sharing their message and gathering together anywhere in a democratic country just because you don't agree with the message. Jerusalem is the new Selma.

My test of discrimination is simple. Many people are saying things like, "Gays cannot march in Jerusalem." Take out the word gays and replace it with women, blacks, or Jews. Still comfortable with that? Gay, trans, and bisexual people are a minority and it is the responsibility of a democracy to ensure that all voices are heard. Democracy is not tyranny of the majority.

I have a friend in Jerusalem who is gay and has his own person conflicts about the parade. Yesterday we were talking and he said that maybe the parade was too controversial and that the LGBTQ community in Jerusalem should try to accommodate the concerns of the religious and have the parade elsewhere. That's like the slave asking the master, "Well, when you are comfortable with letting me go, it's a nice thing to do. I am not going to complain about these chains until then either." The religious right in Jerusalem isn't going to compromise - they don't want the parade in Jerusalem. The LGBTQ community in Jerusalem makes concessions all of the time in our big closet on the hill - and for one day - ONE DAY, people! - we are going to come together and say NO! You can't tell us where to go and what to say! We will not ride on the back of the bus! You can't gag our expression! We will not be threatened into repression! Our love is love too.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July!

Happy Fourth of July everybody! Light some sparklers and eat some watermelon for me!

The Jerusalem Post Gets It Wrong (Again)

Yesterday I wrote about a recent article in the Jerusalem Post. The Jpost reported that the Israeli police were meeting soon and "expecting to decide this week" whether to allow WorldPride to take place.

I took issue with one totally inappropriate comment in the "talkback" section of the online edition. The outrageous comment is still on the site after directly contacting the reporter and the email address he provided to address my complaint.

Last night I learned that the planners of WorldPride, the Jerusalem Open House, contacted the Israel police responsible for issuing the permits for the parade out of concern from reading the article. The police said that there were no current plans to meet regarding this issue and that the article in the Jerusalem Post was misinformed.

If you go back and read the article, the reporter doesn't reveal his sources. He only says, "Jerusalem police are expected to decided...". Had he spoken with the police and checked his story - well, there wouldn't be a story - and he could have written "According to the Israeli police...". The rest of the article is just regurgitation of previous articles printed in the Jpost.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Talkback Responsibility

Today there is another article in the Jerusalem Post about WorldPride slated for Jerusalem in August. You can read it for yourself but the long and short of it is that the police are meeting soon to discuss granting permission for the parade. This is part of the preparations of every public event in Israel and isn't especially for the Pride Parade. The police grant permits to march based on "security issues".

My beef today is with the "talkback" section of the online edition of the Jerusalem Post. There is a talkback comment that reads:

14. only death will result
born in jerusalem
07/03/2006 01:01

3/4 of the city is against this abomination! there will definately be repurcusions! u have been warned

Again, you can read it for yourself in the talkback section below the article posted here. To me this crosses the line as far as talkback comments go. This is a threat and I think that the Jerusalem Post needs to step up and take responsibility for this kind of hate speech. Obviously, the talkback section must be moderated. I am all for free speech; that's why I strongly support WorldPride in Jerusalem. However communicating threats and inciting violence against a minority group in a newspaper is not OK.