Yair Lapid, Israel’s Obama?

For those of you who don’t know much about Lapid, here are a few insights into the leader of Yesh Atid, who looks like he will be THE big player on the Israeli political scene. Lapid is kingmaker to King Bibi.

Lapid  says he knows Israeli politicians well from covering politics for many years as a journalist, and he’s “not afraid of them.” I wonder though about his staying power: just how much fight does this former amateur boxer have in him? Because listening to his fighting words, especially against the current political system and pretty much every single serving Israeli member of Knesset [especially the religious MKs but not just them], I predict that Yair Lapid is going to get into the fight of his life – whether he joins the next coalition or stays in the opposition. And it’s going to be a long and ugly fight, so it’s just as well that Lapid said he’s going into politics for the long run. “It’s my second career and there won’t be a third,” he says.

He says he’s going to be a good, thorough, and professional politician, that he’s going to take it extremely seriously, and stuck to his promise of not recruiting any serving Israeli MK into his new party.

Like US President Barack Obama when he ran for his first term, Lapid is someone who is banking on a message of change; change in the political system, change in the nation’s fiscal and social priorities, change in the education system, change to the rules of national burden: he promises that he will work for seismic changes to the national fabric of Israeli society: the ultra-Orthodox must serve in the army or national service and they must join the workforce etc.

But like Obama, Lapid may be creating too many expectations, and might suffer from this down the line when he’s faced with the harsh realities of the Israeli political system, and the expected economic downturn and massive budget cuts the next government will have to implement.

But for now, Yair Lapid is clearly enjoying himself. He’s enjoying “telling the truth” as opposed to politicians’ necessity of messaging and towing party lines. He’s enjoying motivating people and firing up the discontented secular middle class.

Like Obama’s first campaign, Lapid crowd-sourced his campaign, mostly on the Internet. His Facebook friends asked him questions, and he sat all night and answered them. I followed one of his staffer’s Instagram account, and I can tell you that Lapid held at least one parlor meeting every day somewhere in the country. Every day. READ MORE


Israel’s election in 1 picture and 1 word: Bibinett

In my mind, the central theme of the 2013 Israeli elections was that there was no challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Within that context, all the main political battles that took place occurred within the political blocs: Yechimovich vs Lapid vs Livni; but more interestingly, between Netanyahu and Habayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett. The latter were canvassing for essentially the same voter base. And if the polls hold true, Bennett emerged victorious – even if he is not crowned prime minister. He will be a major player in the next governing coalition.

Why did Bennett do so well? How did he manage to take away so many votes from the Likud? And how did they succeed in attracting voters so distant from their traditional national religious Zionist base?

For one, Bennett modeled himself on Netanyahu, and that drove the prime minister absolutely up the wall. And talking about walls, take a look at the following two pictures, I think they speak volumes about the two men, and the battle they waged between them. READ MORE


The Jewish activists played an important role in the revolutionary movement, which originated in the Russian Empire at the turn of the XX century and eventually led to the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 and the establishment of the USSR. Some opposers of the revolution even labeled it the ‘Jewish’ one, due to a substantial number of Jewish people (Leon Trotsky being the best known example) behind the turnover. This period of Russian history was indicated by a massive rise of various movements. Workers, communists, anarchists, zionists, independence fighters were all starting their fight. Many of these were indeed lead by Jewish people or actually were Jewish movements (like zionism or BUND , Jewish Workers’ Union). Some memories have survived the massive repressions of the 1930s, which have demolished what was left of the revolutionary spirit. Some were completely forgotten. Aron Baron was probably one of the most rebellious and   unchained leaders, causing unrest in any place he arrived to. But while many were fighting hard for the new government to take power, Baron’s life goal was to fight any form of government, power and order.



World’s biggest Jewish community center opens in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine

The biggest (and probably the most splendid as well) Jewish community center in the world was recently opened in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine. The building, reminiscent both of an ultra modern tower complex and a pre-war constructivism dream, is called ‘Menorah’. Seven towers constituting the building indeed look like Menorah candles, especially at night, when each tower glows with a powerful illumination, looking somewhat like a spaceship landed on the banks of river Dnipro. In the daytime, the towers are shining with a precious Israeli marble. The immense 50,000 sqm construction, which encircles the old synagogue, hosts a luxurious hotel, a youth hostel, a restaurant, a concert hall, a museum dedicated to the story of Jewish life and the Holocaust in Ukraine, a tourism center, office premises and many more. This set is not random: the center is planned to be a ‘harmonious combination of spirituality, culture and business’ as well as to become an important landmark for the whole city and country population disregarding faith or background.




Late-Night-Show mit der norddeutschen Kabarettistin, Sängerin und Moderatorin Ina Müller. Den Abend beschließt die Band ‘Jewdyssee’, die jiddische Klassiker mit modernen Club- und Popsounds verbindet. Da wippen auch die 20 Herren des Wilhelmsburger Shanty-Chors die ‘Tampentrekker’ vergnügt vor den Fenstern des ‘Schellfischposten’ mit, wo sie wie immer bei Wind und Wetter auf ihre Einsätze warten. Jewdyssee tritt mit dem Song Yankele auf. Am 12.1 spielt die sechsköpfige Band um Maya Saban herum den Song aus ihrem aktuellen Album “5773″


Israel: Not Jewish, not Democratic

Let’s call a spade a spade, shall we?

Looking ahead at 2013 and beyond, there are two distinct trends which I see that are coalescing into one unmistakable reality: Israel is not going to be either a Jewish or Democratic state down the line.

We’re not going to be democratic because there is very, very little chance we’re going to have a two-state deal with the Palestinians.

The way things are shaping up, our next government will likely be the most right-wing we’ve ever had here and its common denominator will be the annexation of large areas of the West Bank and ratification of a report which says that Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria are legal under international law. Whether you agree with this worldview or not, the fact is that most members of the next government are going to work to make this a reality.

The Palestinian leadership in the West Bank is the most ‘moderate’ we’re ever likely to have here and what’s depressing about that is that even the maximum that a moderate Israeli government is willing to give isn’t anywhere near the minimum the Palestinians are willing to accept. And since we’re not going to have a moderate government here for at least the next four years, the Palestinians are not going to get their demands. And after the ‘moderate’ Palestinians go, their successors will be much more extreme.

So there won’t be peace and there won’t be two states.




Folge 5 - Samstag, den 12. Januar 2013, 23:30 – 00:30 Ausstrahlung ARD
Moderation: Ina Müller
Gäste: Steffen Henssler, Sven Plöger, Johannes Oerding, Jewdyssee

Informationen zur Sendung ->

Late-Night-Show mit der norddeutschen Kabarettistin, Sängerin und Moderatorin Ina Müller und nach Müllerin Art: Talk, Comedy und viel, viel Musik in der kleinen Hamburger Kneipe ‘Zum Schellfischposten’. Heute begrüßt Ina Müller zunächst den Starkoch Steffen Henssler. Der möchte seine Sushi-Kreationen vorführen und diese spontan per Lieferservice im eigenen nahegelegenen Restaurant bestellen – kommt nur leider telefonisch nicht durch. Nach Hensslers fulminantem Udo Lindenberg-Musikauftritt kommt der TV-Meteorologe Sven Plöger hinzu. Er verspricht Ina Müller, ihr ein Wetterhoch mit obszönen Namen zu schenken, und klärt über das Wesen der berühmten norddeutschen Sturmfrisur auf. Erster Musikgast dieses Abends ist Johannes Oerding, der mit Gitarre, Stimme und im Duett mit Ina Müller einen seiner neuen Songs vorstellt. Den Abend beschließt die Band ‘Jewdyssee’, die jiddische Klassiker mit modernen Club- und Popsounds verbindet. Da wippen auch die 20 Herren des Wilhelmsburger Shanty-Chors die ‘Tampentrekker’ vergnügt vor den Fenstern des ‘Schellfischposten’ mit, wo sie wie immer bei Wind und Wetter auf ihre Einsätze warten. 14 Personen bestreiten das Publikum – mehr passen nicht rein bei ‘Inas Nacht’, aber die dürfen dafür mit Bierdeckel-Fragen ein bisschen mithelfen. Und alle werden wieder bestens versorgt von der Kneipenwirtin Frau Müller – nicht verwandt und verschwägert mit Ina. Klingt leicht chaotisch? Soll es auch!




Die Fragen sind verbraucht wie die Tage,

nur Antworten wandern noch hin und her.

Diese Spuren verwehen: ich trage

jede Last der Erde nur allzu schwer.


Sie drückt die Füße in den weissen Staub,

der Nacken krumm geht unter diesem Joch,

die Stürme der Wut machen mich halb taub,

Flehen und Beten hält die Sinne hoch?



Aus Jerusalem sollte ich kommen,

verflucht bis an das Ende jeder Zeit.

Ich aber bin aus Überall, habt es vernommen:

geboren im Zorn und zum Hass bereit.


In allem und jedem sahen sie mich,

nach Erlösung sollte ich Flehen.

Sie glaubten, der da bäte, bin ich,

der Jude, der Schuld hat zu gehen.



Zentralrat der Juden in Deustchland – JEWDYSSEE „5773“ im Kulturprogramm 2013 wieder mit dabei!

Jewdyssee feiert den „Yiddish Way of Life im 21. Jahrhundert“! Leadsängerin ist Maya Saban, die schon mit Künstlern wie Lena oder Xavier Naidoo zusammen arbeitete und sich mit zwei Alben und zusammen mit Cosmo Klein den Top-Ten- Hit “Das alles ändert nichts daran” in der deutschen Musikszene einen Namen machte. Als Deutsch-Israelin will sie nun ihre doppelte Nationalität musikalisch ausleben. Beeinflusst von den Barry Sisters und unter dem Motto „back to the roots“ mündeten diese Bemühungen in das 2012 erschienene Album 5773. Jiddischen Traditionals wie „Bei mir bist Du schejn“, „Tumbalalaika“ oder „Hava Nagila“ , Kinderliedern und Liedern aus der jüdischen Welt wird hier ein neuer Anstrich verpasst.

Dem Zeitgeist entsprechend frischen Pop-Klänge und Elektro-Beats den traditionellen Sound auf, so dass die Tracks auch beim Feiern die Club-Jugend in Tanzstimmung versetzen. Aber auch der Swing-Begeisterte findet hier seinen Geschmack wieder: Swing-Beat, Trompeten- und Klarinetten-Sounds geben dem Ganzen den letzten Schliff. Orient meets Okzident, Mittlerer Osten trifft Ostblock und Balalaika meets Clubsounds!

Weitere Informationen: soundcloud.com/jewdyssee/sets

Hinweise: Diese Veranstaltung wird vom Zentralrat mit einer festen Summe bezuschusst. Es fallen weitere Kosten an abhängig von Bandgröße, Programm und Technik. Bezüglich Demo-CD, Terminanfrage, Zusatzkosten wenden Sie sich bitte direkt an Maya Saban, eMail: ms@jewdyssee.com.


A Jew and a Zhyd

Picture by pravda.com.ua

A Ukrainian-born American actress Mila Kunis could have become a real pride of the country and join a beautiful company of other Hollywood beauties of Ukrainian heritages (listing her namesake Mila Jovovich, Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and many more). Instead, she unwittingly became a part of a nationalistic provocation.

It’s not that Ms Kunis is not talented enough to be an example of a Ukrainian success story in Hollywood. It’s just that some people strongly believe that a person can only be either Ukrainian or Jewish. Mila belongs to the second group; hence, it’s Jewish people who can be proud of her if they wish, but not Ukrainians.