It’s more important than life or death; it’s rugby

Those of you who rely on this modest column for your weekly (or so) dose of depression and suicide-inducing negativity, are going to have to find a temporary substitute, I’m afraid. Even a jaundiced misanthrope such as myself occasionally finds himself in situations which require that Israel-bashing take a back seat for a while.

Such an occasion is the Rugby World Cup, which began this morning. As I write, the All Blacks are, not unexpectedly, stomping the shit out of the Tongans, and spectacles of similar magnificence (most of them featuring the South Africans as the stomped-on) will be occurring virtually daily for the next month or so. It is a prospect that can test the self-discipline of even the most grumpy amongst us. Continue reading

The revolting Israeli middle class

I’ll be at the so-called Million Man demonstration tonight, if only because not attending would identify me (in my own mind) with the reactionary majority of the population. Whatever doubts I have about the motives, sincerity and staying power of the demonstrators, they have broken with the self-satisfied apathy that has characterized Israeli society for the past few decades and that in itself deserves to be supported.

There’s an old, Marxist struggle raging inside me: whether to retain the purity of my ideology – and in so doing achieve absolutely nothing – or to compromise with the less ideologically rigorous and perhaps contribute in a very small way to positive change. Continue reading