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Gil Zohar

A Papal Land Grab

May 20, 2009, by

Pope Benedict XVI’s recent eight-day pilgrimage to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories can best be understood in historical perspective. When in 1904 Theodor Herzl, founder of Zionism, turned to Pope Pius X for support for a Jewish state, he was told that until the Jewish people converted to Christianity, the Church would do nothing

Reflections on Yom Ha’atzmaut as a New Immigrant

April 30, 2009, by

I’ve just celebrated my 4th Yom ha-Atzmaut since making aliyah in 2005. What’s life like for a middle-aged, middle class guy from Toronto, Canada adjusting to quotidian Jerusalem, you may wonder. Good, mostly, I suppose. That first year, trying to immerse ourselves in our new-old country, my wife Randi and I went to a series

Show and Tel: The Big Orange Celebrates its Centenary

April 21, 2009, by

Tel Aviv – the brash, provocative, multicultural and tolerant metropolis called by some the Big Orange – is throwing a year-long birthday bash in honor of the city’s centenary. Judging by the 250,000 people who showed up at the opening pyrotechnic concert Saturday April 4 in Kikar Rabin, it promises to be quite a party.

Government Reform in Israel Must be a Priority

March 4, 2009, by

Winston Churchill once famously quipped that democracy was the worst form of government – except for all the others. But then Britain’s wartime PM never met Israel’s dysfunctional form of parliamentary rule, an arrangement that awkwardly perches on the thin edge of democracy. Unlike in other Western countries (except the Netherlands) where voters pick their

Fringe Benefits

February 26, 2009, by

Kfar Adumim factory revives the lost commandment of tekhelet “God said to Moses saying speak to the Children of Israel and bid them that they make fringes on the corners of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe (tzitzit) of each corner a thread of blue (tekhelet). And it shall