Ami Kaufman

Ami Kaufman

Ami Kaufman

Ami Kaufman was chief night editor for Haaretz, for the prominent Israeli financial daily Calcalist, and correspondent on Israeli affairs for 93.6 RAM FM, a joint Palestinian-Israel radio station. His interest in food and cooking led to culinary studies at the "Israeli CIA" (Tadmor, Herzliya) and a brief stint in the restaurant business. Ami lives in Bat Yam with his wife and two daughters. In his spare time he blogs at Half & Half.

My Facebook chat with Rabin killer’s accomplice on why ‘he was eliminated’

Remember a few weeks ago when I sent a friendship request to Hagai Amir, the brother of Rabin’s assassin Yigal Amir, on Facebook? Here’s what I wrote about it back then.

Well, a few days later he accepted and we’ve been pals ever since. OK, not really. We haven’t spoken. Was never inclined to.

But last night something happened. I posted a small photo album of pictures I took the night before. They were from the anti-war-with-Iran demonstration under Ehud Barak’s luxury apartment in central Tel Aviv.

Not long after I posted the album, Hagai Amir left a comment on it. A discussion ensued. READ MORE


‘Nonexistent occupation’ memes go viral in social media

As soon as the news about the Levy committee findings hit the web, social media networks in Israel were swamped with memes making fun of the fact that apparently there was no occupation to begin with. Here are a select few (I might add some more later if I find any good ones).

originally posted at +972


King Bibi, the last King of Zion

King Bibi, as TIME Magazine recently crowned him, the fiercest Zionist to ever lead Israel, will go down in history as the one who brought Zionism to its knees

TIME Magazine published a lengthy item on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, with a close-up photo of him on the cover so huge it left just enough room for the headline: “King Bibi.” It was a Hasbara official’s wet dream. No hard-hitting questions; but rather soft, caressing queries.

As the cover said, the feature claimed to ask, yet not answer, the question of “Will Bibi make peace?” Well, for left wingers in Israel that was a pretty easy lob. In fact, with a bit more effort, TIME could have answered its own question.

But, it still would not have come to the conclusion that may be a tad unbelievable for most people when it comes to “King Bibi.” And that is that Netanyahu, head of the most right wing, most Zionist government this country has ever seen, will go down in history as the one who brought about its demise.

Since he gained power in 2009, Netanyahu has become stronger and stronger – yet does less and less to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. From the Bar-Ilan speech (where he committed to a two-state solution), through the blocking of the Palestinian unilateral declaration of independence at the UN last September (where he essentially killed the two-state solution) to the latest fiasco concerning the Ulpana neighbourhood and the promise to build 850 more units in the West Bank (and it’s this decision that truly shows his colors and vision for the future).

Even with a huge coalition of 94 Knesset members, Netanyahu has shown no intention of making any progress on the diplomatic front. Instead, he wastes his time managing the huge government, which has in a way become a Knesset within the Knesset. This is where he deals with the real forces of opposition. The “opposition” of 26 seats outside Bibi’s entity, led by Labor chief Shelly Yachimovich, is of no importance. In fact, with all the battles inside his coalition, he might be wondering if joining hands with Kadima was worth it. READ MORE


The Kaufman Critique: Keeping Passover real at McDonald’s

It’s been over a year since the last Kaufman Critique was published.  It’s not that I haven’t been to restaurants lately, more of a time issue.

And certainly, writing about McDonald’s isn’t the best comeback post, but hey – maybe it’ll get me back into the food-groove.

Anyway, it’s Pesach. The holiday I hate the most. Because of that whole bread thing. Pointless.

McDonald’s, though, doesn’t agree. And McDonald’s would know. They know a thing or two about… money. So, what do they do during Pesach, when it comes to buns? Well, as you may or may not know – McDonald’s is divided into Kosher and non-Kosher brancיes in Israel. But most of them offer Kosher buns. In fact, they limit the menu to meals with kosher buns. So, you can’t get a Big Mac, for example. You can only get a Royal (Quarter pounder in the States).

But — you can get it with cheese.

So you can keep Kosher, but not really Kosher.

I always find this little ritual that McDonald’s does every year to be very telling of Israeli society. And corporate capitalism, too.

Nonetheless, critique-wise this bun is actually pretty good for a Kosher for Pesach bun. One usually expects something chewy that doesn’t digest well, but here, the McDonald’s scientists have done it again. Light, fluffy – and none of that Pesach smell and aftertaste of the usual dodgy buns. Bravo and Chag Sameach!

As originally posted on: +972


MK Ahmad Tibi gives Israeli Jews a ‘lesson’ in Hebrew

MK Ahmad Tibi is probably the most well known Arab MK in Israel these days. Unfortunately, much of that has to do with the occasional media stunt he pulls. But hey, if Bibi can use the media – why not Tibi?

I found it quite amusing that Tibi was a guest on the ancient radio segment on the Voice of Israel called “A Moment in Hebrew,” a short little program that deals every day with everything and anything that has to do with, you got it: Hebrew.

I can’t say I agree with just about everything Tibi says here, and my translation might be off in a few places (apologies), but in some instances he makes a pretty good point.

As originally posted on: +972