Gvirotai ve’rabotai… balagan

NB: This post was scribbled out by your humble writer at 3am on election night and relies on the early exit polls for seat numbers. I wanted to retain the raw reaction to unfolding events so the piece hasn’t been updated to reflect final seat tallies.  On election night 1977, as the votes poured inContinue reading “Gvirotai ve’rabotai… balagan”

Israel, the Will and Promise

Israel: The Will to Prevail By Danny Danon Palgrave Macmillan, 240 pages The Promise of Israel: Why Its Seemingly Greatest Weakness Is Actually Its Greatest Strength By Daniel Gordis Wiley, 256 pages If you do not recognize Danny Danon’s name, you would probably recognize his face. You will have seen him talking on Fox News or atContinue reading “Israel, the Will and Promise”

Who’s afraid of the big bad Likud?

Hysteria is the default mode of Israeli politics, the timbre of discourse a panicked shriek, but this week things went full-on meshuggah. Ehud Barak resigned as Defense Minister, figuring he had little chance of retaining the job after the election, while former prime minister Ehud Olmert hinted at a grudge-match comeback to take down hisContinue reading “Who’s afraid of the big bad Likud?”

Home Alone: Licence to Kill

Daniel Craig looks rougher, grislier, and altogether more jumpable in Skyfall, his third outing as the spiffing secret agent 007 – and that’s all to the good because this movie, like its sculpted leading man, is sex on legs. Bond had grown darker in recent years, matching the Bourne series torture scene for torture scene,Continue reading “Home Alone: Licence to Kill”

Innocence of Muslims: A Review

“Don’t you blame the movies,” protests Skeet Ulrich’s horror-fanboy serial killer in Scream (Wes Craven, 1996). “Movies don’t create psychos. Movies make psychos more creative!” The Obama administration falls into the former camp, blaming the past week of anti-American rioting and the murder of US officials on a dreadful YouTube film assailing the Prophet Mohammed.Continue reading “Innocence of Muslims: A Review”

New sheriffs of the old west

The Western and the superhero movie—the two most American genres in cinema—come from the same literary tradition: the great American mythos. In that tradition, America is history told as legend. This is not to say that the nation’s history is fabricated, but that it is attuned to the rhythms and themes of storytelling: the taciturnContinue reading “New sheriffs of the old west”

A Long Way From Cable Street

Professor Robert Wistrich is the world’s foremost scholar on the ideological pathology of anti-Semitism. A former leftist, he has drifted to the Right in recent decades and in doing so has noted the growing clamour by some on the Left to reboot long-standing reactionary prejudices against Jews as “criticism” of the state of Israel andContinue reading “A Long Way From Cable Street”

Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott

The poet Liz Lochhead, known to a generation of Scottish schoolchildren as “the one that’s not Carol Ann Duffy”, has joined calls for a boycott of Batsheva Dance Company. Batsheva is an Israeli troupe which – unless Lochhead gets her way – will be performing at the Playhouse on Thursday as part of the Edinburgh Festival, Scotland’sContinue reading “Liz Lochhead’s selective boycott”