A moment before the interview started, Muhamed Mesic was having an oversea conversation with a work colleague in Spanish. “We have some legal issues with the government of Guatemala; they run their affairs there like in Iraq or Syria”, he switches to a perfectly formulated Hebrew and then apologizes: “Sorry for my bad language. I haven’t spoken Hebrew since 2009”. The truth? One cannot notice. Apparently this is how it feels like when you speak more than 60 languages, not including a holding few academic degrees in Law, Judaism, International Relations and Japanology. And all these before even turning 28.
Der Artikel wurde in der Juni Ausgabe von WINA – dem wiener-jüdischen Stadtmagazin veröffentlicht.
Israel gilt heute als die einzige Demokratie der Welt, in der Paare eine Ehe nur religiös schließen können. Gemäß geltendem Recht, das ein Relikt aus der Herrschaft der Osmanen vom Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts ist, werden Eheschliessungen nur religiös durchgeführt. Und diese ausschließlich bei anerkannten Religionen: Judentum, Christentum, Islam und bei den Drusen. Andere Gruppen, die nicht diesen vier angehören, werden als „konfessionslos“ betrachtet, und können nicht heiraten. Dies gilt auch für interreligiöse Paare.
Dementsprechend, sind die Zivilehen eines der am stärksten diskutierten Themen in der jüdischen-israelischen Gesellschaft der letzten 20 Jahre geworden. Das Oberrabbinat Israels ist die Behörde, die das exklusive Recht besitzt jüdische Ehen zu schließen. Dies wurde 1947 als Bedingung von „Agudat Israel“ (heutzutage eine charedische-politische Partei) an David Ben Gurion gestellt. Ben Gurion, der die Unterstüzung der Religiösen beim Kampf um die Grüdung des Staates brauchte, sagte zwar nicht direkt zu, aber konnte auch nicht direkt ablehnen. Seither gilt das Thema Eheschließungen in Israel als Hornissennest: bis heute hat es keine Regierung gewagt, diesen empfindlichen Status Quo zu ändern der das fragile Gleichgewicht zwischen Religiösen und Sekulären ins Wanken bringen könnte. Nun mussten Paare, die diesen religösen Anforderungen nicht folgen wollten, oder Paare, deren Hochzeitsantrag aufgrund von halachischen Gründen abgelehnt wurde, sich also auf die Suche nach Alternativen machen. Im Laufe der Zeit haben sie auch solche gefunden.
The picture of Israel that you won’t see on cnn, in the new york times, or from any arab publication… PLEASE CLICK SHARE AND SPREAD THE TRUTH…
I visited Poland recently, the country my parents had to leave in 1968, because they were Jewish. Working on a radio documentary on our parents Polish-Jewish history, in search of our roots, me and my cousin went to Warsaw and Wroclaw, interviewing both scientists/historians and others about the antisemitic campaign during 1968, launched by the Communist Party. I discovered these dolls, depicting Jews, holding gold coins in their hands. It seems like the echo of antisemitism is still alive Poland… With a sad, creepy feeling in my body, I thought, what would these men selling “greedy Jews” on the streets of Poland think if they went to Israel and found that one of the most common souvenirs was “Polish greedy men” with golden coins in their hands? Aren’t people thinking at all? It’s 2012. Over 60 years since the Holocaust and over 30 years since around 20-30 000 Jews were forced to leave their homeland in Europe. In my heart, I feel Jewish… And also want to feel Polish. But some part of me is still waiting for that country to erase that last echo of antisemitism, for me to feel that Polish as I wish. When will Poland make me proud and throw away these horrible dolls? Hope we don’t have to wait 30 more years.
Wir fahren mit der Straßenbahn. Wir sitzen auch ab und zu im Kaffeehaus. Wenn man richtig hinschaut (und zuhört…), kann man uns sogar beim Wiener Schnitzel naschen erwischen. Beinahe echte Wiener sind wir schon geworden. Und neuerdings, man trifft uns sogar in der Synagoge. Jawohl, meine Damen und Herren: Die Wiener-Israelis haben das Judentum wieder entdeckt! Aber bevor wir einen feierlichen Kigel backen und die Gläser erheben, müssen wir noch einiges gestehen, ja uns sogar entschuldigen.
The two brown horses gallop lightly on the famous Viennese Ringstrasse. Calmly, ignoring all the cars driving by, from left and right. “This part is called Karl-Lueger-Ring, after the former Mayor, who happened to be a big Anti-Semite. Last week I heard that the city is going to rename it – justified I must say”, the carter explains, surprisingly in Hebrew! Well, not an academic Hebrew, “but good enough for the kitchen”, he admits.
It’s hush-hush no more. Former spymasters are coming out of the woodworks to spook the current government into not attacking Iran.
First it was Meir Dagan, the “superhero” Spymaster from the Mossad, who, as soon as he left the service, launched a campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak – over the issue of attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. In his own words, Dagan says that a military attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities is the “stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” He also says that he has no faith in Netanyahu and Barak’s ability to lead the country into such a fateful decision.
And now comes Yuval Diskin, the former head of the internal spy service, the Shin Bet. In YouTube videos released over the weekend, the former security chief goes one up on even Dagan’s scathing criticism of the Israeli leadership.
In the videos, Diskin makes the following main points:
1. The current Israeli government has no interest in negotiating with the Palestinian Authority because PM Netanyahu knows that if he makes even the slightest compromise or move toward the Palestinians that his erstwhile stable coalition will implode.
2. Anything else the government says about this issue is rubbish. Don’t believe the spin coming from Jerusalem that there is no partner on the Palestinian side. It’s true, says Diskin, I’ve been there and I’ve seen this government up close. READ MORE
On Thursday we celebrate Israel’s 64th Independence Day.
I will leave it to others to expound on Israel’s wonderful achievements over the past 64 years. There are plenty of examples, and many people are doing great things to shore up our morale and show our positive side. We indeed have a wonderful country, a miracle really, a dynamo which thrives on adversity and intensity. We are unique in the world, and I love my country very much. It is because of this love, and because I believe that my job as a journalist is to point out the cracks in the system, the things that need fixing, I will rather give you my analysis of some of the important things that I think you need to know if you are to make informed decisions regarding your life here. Furthermore, it is quite likely that we will have general elections here before next year’s 65th Independence Day, and if elections are to be held, and you plan on voting, which I hope you do, you should make an informed choice.
Our governments – and here I’m talking about all our past governments not just the current one – are unable to plan and execute long-term strategic national projects. About 70% of the government’s decisions are not carried through and implemented. There is a huge amount of populist legislation, tons of bureaucracy, foot-dragging, empty promises, lack of accountability, lack of oversight, nepotism and corruption. Year after year, our State Comptroller publishes reports showing vast amounts of incompetence, corruption and waste; and worst of all, non-implementation of previous reports. We, the citizens of Israel, continue to not hold our authorities responsible. This is our political culture; these are the men and women who staff our halls of power. We put them there, and we must demand more of them. As you look at the political parties on offer for the next elections, look for parties and politicians who have a record of getting things done, of honest, hard legislative work, and stay away from politicians who are just full of hot air. READ MORE
What does the future hold for the Israel-Egypt relationship? Will Egypt become increasingly, openly hostile? Will the Camp David Peace Accords between the two neighbors hold? Will Egypt provide diplomatic and security cover for Hamas in Gaza? How will the central government in Cairo, whoever it turns out to be, handle the growing lawlessness of the Sinai Peninsula?
These are just some of the important questions people are asking themselves regarding the important relationship between Israel and Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime. They are coming up again today as the Egyptian national gas company unilaterally terminated its contract with Israel.
The first, most pressing issue is the constant stream of terror from the Sinai, and its strategic implications for both countries. Sinai is three times the size of Israel. It is a vast badlands that is becoming a serious strategic headache for Israel. The central government in Cairo has lost control of the territory, which is now rife with armed Bedouin groups and Islamic fundamentalist cells. The two are mixing and influencing each other for the first time, and the result is noxious. The Bedouins have traditionally not been Islamic fundamentalists, and that could be changing. Israeli military intelligence has revealed that the IDF has thwarted about 10 terror plots being hatched in the Sinai. That’s a lot. Israel will find it increasingly difficult not to enter the Sinai in force and take care of the problem. But if Cairo doesn’t take care of the problem, we might have to. And that could lead to the dreaded confrontation between Israel and Egypt. This might even be what the various terror groups in Gaza and the Sinai are aiming for.
The peace treaty with Israel will not likely be abrogated, but the border will not be quiet. There are those who believe that it is inevitable that the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists take control over all Egypt. I wouldn’t rush into this conclusion. The Egyptian military has in its hands all of the powers of the Presidency, and the Parliament is not in control of the country yet. One of the main bones of contention now in Egypt between the military and the Islamists is over who will write the country’s new constitution. So far, the military has not allowed the Parliament to determine the nature of the new constitution, and it is unlikely that they will allow this in the future. In the impossible economic and diplomatic situation that Egypt finds itself in today, the military cannot allow the Islamists to create the conditions for an Islamic state governed by Sharia Law, devoid of tourism, development, international investment, and antagonistic to the West. READ MORE
When I asked Marko ‘Max-Mordechai’ Feingold, the President of the Jewish Community in Salzburg, about his feelings after lying a “Stolperstein” carrying the name of another Nazi-victim, the old man just put his hands on the left chest, as saying: “my heart stops beating for a moment”. This was the 150th time his heart lacked this very heartbeat since he initiated the project in his hometown in 2005. Not the healthiest thing to do when you are a Holocaust survivor and you approach the age of 99. But Feingold does not care.