This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at

Life v.s. terrorism : Israelity : Journalist Dave Bender chronicles events in Israel

"The entries ...are not focused on the "CONFLICT " but about ... " making a life here... (quite doable despite the headlines...)"
March 23, 2005

MIM: Dave Bender was one of the founders of the first english language radio station in Israel, and gives a picture of how people are going on with their daily lives despite the constant threat of terror attacks.

Dave Bender David Bender
Former Director Dave Bender has a rich background in radio news and features broadcasting. Prior to a stint as Jerusalem Post Internet Latest News Editor, Dave produced and hosted programming on several English and Hebrew-language web and broadcast radio stations, in Israel and the US. Dave was born in New York, and grew up in Florida and Texas. He has been in Israel for many years. He is a blues and R&B musician and songwriter.

New York born, I grew up in Florida and Texas, the latter I consider my US "hometown." Residing in Israel going on 25-years, I work as a freelance journalist and editor, including radio reporting and production, still and video photography and website administration. More on that here. Past performing songwriter/ guitarist, I occasionally keep a hand in with blues and R&B classics in living room jam sessions, write songs and perform far too infrequently at local venues.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

'Israelity' 'n' me 'At Level Ground'

Just hung my name on the roster of a great new cooperative Israeli blog, "Israelity," posted by "Anglo-Israelis" - (English-speaking Western immigrants) started up by Israel21c.

The entries are, generally speaking, not focused on the "CONFLICT," but rather the day to day events, joys and foibles of making a life and home here (and it is quite doable, despite the headlines, you know...).

Anyway, thanks to weblog editor Harry R's e-butt kick to contributors, I am posting there as well as here. So there, Harry. By the way, great premier podcast, Harry and Ziva! Harry, you're sooo "indie" and edgy over Eurovision - and soooo right. Hey, if the weblog doesn't cut it over time, you two have a real career choice out there in radio... remember RadioWest (z"l), Ziva?! (For all you'se others out there, RadioWEST was Israel's only all-English language, 24/6 radio station and an aural home-away-from-home for many Western-born immigrants. Semi-legal and broadcasting in Jerusalem from a super-secret locale - oddly enough - just across the street from the Second Channel Broadcasting Authority, RadioWEST was a true labor of love for many on both sides of the mike, in Jerusalem and the environs. Go here and control + F with this: "Pirate broadcasters claim they have been used as scapegoats" for more).

Anyway, nowadays, daughter Inbal has, thank God, just finished her six-month round of chemotherapy treatments, and is due - barring awful surprises - some two years of pill-taking to finally defeat her lymphoma, once and for all.

Wife Mazal has re-jumpstarted studying for her economics degree at the Open University, and together with that, started working back at her bank - where's she's been for the last 25 years. Where the hell IS that gold watch, anyway?

Purim, as well-covered by co-blogger Dave Bogner here, is bang on target as far as what the scene here is like locally and nationally, as far as ramping up to the lunacy on Sunday goes...

The kids are preparing for Purim, what with costumes, usually homemade and, umm, creative, and are starting to get their fill of traditional "hamentashen -oznei Haman" triangular pastries, and, of course, arak well in hand, I'll be studying the Torah from Krusty. Go. Go and learn, my child...

I'll be posting lots 'o' pics in coming days about that, including parties, kiddierama, and other related events so stay tuned.

posted by Dave at Thursday, March 03, 2005 0 comments

Monday, February 28, 2005

Still alive and well...

Took a long break from blogging, in order to jobsearch 24/6, take care of intensive family matters, both at home and at large, do radio for a new foreign client in the Far East, set up a "real" Flash-based website with a great designer (that, after getting all the digi-kinks and typos out, should be up in a few weeks), begin a new evening job with a local telemarketing firm, and - of all things - get my Goverment Press Office card renewed for 2005. It has been a wickedly tough, bone-wearying few months around here, I'll tell'ya.

A bit on what's been happening, without getting into last Friday's terror attack and it's reprecussions, "Disengagement" politics, the wider disputes and, oh, the meaning of life in general. That's all for the next entry...

Best news is that daughter Inbal, 17, is responding well to her chemotherapy treatments. She has about a month to go, and then goes on a two-year pill "maintenance" regimen. Only after- God willing - 5 years, according to statistics, can we start talking about "remission." Unfortunately, she's ingesting enough steroids and chemotoxins in her last few batches to choke a horse. Makes her real moody (as if being 17 itself wasn't enough), and she, apparently, caught an infection. Since her immune system is leaning towards negative numbers due to the medicines, she's back in the hospital for a few days to suck down antibiotics. Wife Mazal is with her around the clock. Avner is doing his best, and I'm working.

Working: I managed to get a weekly freelance spot writing for In Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Post's metro edition. Did four editions, so far and love being back in the newsroom, at least to meet once a month for planning - despite all the controversy (mostly justified) about working conditions, the recent sale of the organization, and such. That is a newspaper with dedicated staffers, administration and interns... Here are two of the latest articles I've done for them:

"Taxing Times"
"Routing for Rachel"

Had a genuine saga trying to renew my GPO ID card, as noted above; it's a tough to get into many press conferences and other secured or otherwise closed venues for coverage without that sly slip of plastic... Turns out that, according to the GPO, far too many in-duh-viduals were gaining access to those events with - formerly - casually handed-out cards, so they cracked down on their definition of the term (epithet?) journalist/correspondent.

Now, since I've been mainly tending to family matter as noted above, I didn't have requisite number of Internet "hits" for articles, or print/radio press coverage to be considered worthy. So they turned me down on first and second application. What a drag... so there I am, metaphoric hat in hand, running pillar to post at the GPO and begging indulgence to give me a break, so I can make a living... Ugh.

Been working at CSM for a few months now. Great place, great crew and ambience, too, despite my initial misgivings about working at a call center. There are so many new, "middling," and veteran immigrants from around the world working here, and a good "rosh" - headspace. Now to just buff up this weeks sales figures...

posted by Dave at Monday, February 28, 2005 0 comments

Sunday, November 28, 2004

November 29, 2004: Anniversary of the UN vote on Resolution 181

(This entry is cross-posted by a host of participating websites in a "blogburst," led by to commemorate a milestone in Israel's history.)

Tomorrow, Monday November 29th, is the anniversary of the UN vote on resolution 181, which approved the partition of the western part Palestine into a predominately Jewish state and a predominately Arab state. (It is vital to recall that the UN partition plan referred to western Palestine, to underscore that in 1921 the eastern part was ripped off the Jewish National Home by the British Government and handed over to the then Emir Abdullah.)

The partition plan was approved by 33 to 13, with 10 abstentions. The 33 countries that cast the "Yes" vote were: Australia, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Byelorussia, Canada, Costa Rica, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Haiti, Iceland, Liberia, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, Union of South Africa, USSR, USA, Uruguay and Venezuela. (Among other countries, the list includes the US, the three British Dominions, all the European countries except for Greece and the UK, but including all the Soviet-block countries.)

The 13 countries that voted "No" were: Afghanistan, Cuba, Egypt, Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey and Yemen.

The ten countries that abstained are: Argentina, Chile, China, Colombia, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Honduras, Mexico, United Kingdom and Yugoslavia.

On November 30, 1947, the day following the vote, local Arabs murdered six Jews in a bus making its way to Jerusalem, and proceeded to murder another Jew in the Tel-Aviv - Jaffa area. This was a prelude to a war that claimed the lives of 6,000 Jews, or 1% of the total Jewish population in 1948. This toll is the per capita equivalent of today's Canada losing 300,000 lives, or the US losing 3,000,000. In addition, immediately after the UN vote, Arabs attacked their Jewish neighbors in a number of Arab countries, with notorious murders in the Syrian city of Aleppo leading the list.

Here's a map of the areas affected by the vote.

Bruised and bleeding, Israel prevailed nonetheless. More, including pics of the actual Biblical "Hill of Evil Council," and it's current occupants (can't make this one up folks - it goes way beyond satire or parody) here in a later blog...

posted by Dave at Sunday, November 28, 2004 0 comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Netanya seashore the morning after the storm...
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 23, 2004 0 comments

Nir in gear with "Bingo," at Road Radio 90FM. Read the blog further down for details about this and the rest of the series of images.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 23, 2004 0 comments

Netanya seashore before the storm...
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 23, 2004 0 comments

Radio 90FM's DJ Nir Eichel with family at their Netanya studios. See blog further down for details.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 23, 2004 0 comments

Netanya: IKEA, bowling & 'Emtsa Ha'Derech'

Been away from the keyboard for a few days, as Mazal, Inbal, Avner and I took off a few days at the beginning of the week as guests of the "Hayeinu" cancer-support organization.

Family counselor Ze'ev Weingarten arranged a three-day stay at the "Blue Weiss Hotel," a classy serviced-apartment/hotel in Netanya, at full-board in a two-room suite facing the sea. Sorry - they don't seem to have a website up at the present time... hmm.

After settling in (along with near gale-force winds and rain from the first big storm of the season - but great weather for ducks), we did what any self-respecting Israeli does when visiting the Netanya environs: we stopped off to gape at the home furnishings at IKEA, that Swedish Mecca of the Near-East, of course.

Those clever Swedes, (all together now kids - let's hear those Sesame Street "Swedish Chef" 'oopie-doopies' ring out!) after dissing Israel for years with the Arab blacklist - even reportedly refusing to ship here from "up there," they all-of-a-sudden decide to open a major outlet at the busy "Poleg" Junction along the Tel-Aviv-Haifa highway. Hard cash on the hardwood talks louder than scores of political yammerings, huh guys?

Next morning out, we went over to "Ye Olde Industrial Zone," where we were first on the lanes at the Netanya Bowling center. Since it was Mazal's first time bowling, she, of course, rolled a strike. Notice those final scores. Read 'em and weep, boys...

After showing off all our best "Flintstones" twinkle-toed bowling technique, we headed back down stairs to Netanya's own "Emtsa Ha'Derech - Road Radio - 90FM." For those reading this abroad, what's referred to here as, "regional radio," means that local stations are free to set their own content and playlists, get local advertisers etc, but link up to a national radio network on the hour for "Channel 10 news."

Co-owner and program director Margalit Hadar graciously gave us a tour of the (impressive) facilities, stopping to sit in along with 11-year veteran DJ Nir Eichel during the broadcast of his "Bingo" morning-drive game show. It was great being back behind the mike - even if it was someone else's and I kept my mouf' shut...

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 23, 2004 1 comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

And the blogroll keeps marching along...

Mucho toda to "Celestial Blue" for adding yours truly to her blogroll. Now, I have a lot more to live up to, since she's a damn sight better and more proactive photoblogger than I am, not to mention having leaves and a Canadian autumn that lasts more that two weeks...

Drove through what is a great approximation of the dark side of the moon, straight through to the morning star yesterday evening to pick up a donated TV. More about that later today.

In the meantime: "We drove along the Jerusalem-Dead Sea Road until we came to Alon Road. And that is when I realized we were really off the beaten track. Except for the well-paved road, there's nothing man-made for miles, just mounds of sensuously curved sand in pinks and beiges, a landscape like none I'd ever seen before."

One of my daughters broke her leg at school yesterday - chasing a boy to slap him, apparently - and I will be with both her, and my older daughter Inbal Chaya, at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital writing up the rest... what a way to blog.

posted by Dave at Tuesday, November 16, 2004 1 comments

Sunday, November 14, 2004

'Blue State Blues... Dollywood Values'

Thank God for wickedly good parody. Here in this region, parody is often - no, make that usually - kicked far back in the shade and rendered impotent by increasingly ludicrous reality. Iowahawk is in the side of the wrong business, not to mention residing on the wrong landmass; he needs to get over here quick and start pumping out copy for the major news agencies. It's at least as good as anything they put out:

"'I'm not sure where we went wrong,' says Ellen McCormack, nervously fondling the recycled paper cup holding her organic Kona soy latte. 'It seems like only yesterday Rain was a carefree little boy at the Montessori school, playing non-competitive musical chairs with the other children and his care facilitators.

"'But now...' she pauses, staring out the window of her postmodern Palo Alto home. The words are hesitant, measured, bearing a tale of family heartbreak almost too painful for her to recount. 'But now, Rain insists that I call him Bobby Ray.'"

"'During a cross-country trip to New York, he stopped at the Iowa 80 Truck Stop in Walcott, Iowa, and bought a John Deere gimme cap as a gag souvenir,'" says Levin. "'Within a year, he had dropped out of graduate school, abandoned his SoMa apartment, and and was working at a drive-thru liquor store. Today he is a wealthy televangelist in Bossier City, Louisiana.'"

posted by Dave at Sunday, November 14, 2004 0 comments

"Mighty quiet out there tonight... Yeah - maybe a little too quiet, you know?"

Here's the latest batch of audio I got out to radio stations in the States on events here in Jerusalem during and after the Arafat funeral. These and other exclusive reports, regularly updated, are available at my beta site - some clips will take a few moments to download and autoplay in a new window):

Public Security, acting Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra on security concerns and tourism, chaotic funeral of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat and future relations with successors.
Security Minister: hopeful about PA

Supt. Gil Klieman on national high security-alert, after interment of Arafat coinciding with end of Ramadan prayers. Florida. Friday, Nov. 12, 2004.
Police spokesman: high terror alert

Latest update on comatose Arafat, plans for funeral, developing Palestinian leadership triumverate. WINK/WNOG Radio, Ft. Myers, Florida. Wednesday, Nov. 10, 2004.
Arafat & the PA: the day after

Segment of a live international report on the US absentee ballot and voters in Israel for WINK/WNOG Radio, Ft. Myers, Florida. Wednesday, Oct, 20 2004.
Elections 2004: US voters in Israel
'Democrats Abroad' Israel branch

Audio: News & Features
Text: News & Features

Archive report: Jerusalem bus No.19 bombing: Eyewitness report

posted by Dave at Sunday, November 14, 2004 0 comments

Blogrolling: Keep That Card and Letter Coming In...

Mucho todas to Jewsweek's "The Yada Blog," and "Israellycool," for adding me to their blogroll. Guys, the check is enclosed in the javascript. May you grow and prosper, and your servers ever reign.

And all you other bloggers? Well, do keep that card and letter coming in...

Now why do I suddenly somehow feel like Steve Martin madly waving the telephone book in the air in, "The Jerk?" This is the kind of spontaneous publicity I need! My name in print! That really makes somebody! Things are going to start happening to me now."

And now, back to the news: Yasser Arafat is still seriously dead.

posted by Dave at Sunday, November 14, 2004 1 comments

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Palestinians at Friday afternoon prayers in Jerusalem Old City alleyway, near Al Aksa Mosque and Western Wall plaza.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 13, 2004 0 comments

Friday, November 12, 2004

Border policeman in alleyway near Temple Mount with Muslim prayergoers during Friday prayers in Jerusalem's Old City, at conclusion of Ramadan month. There was no significant violence, besides minor stonethrowing incidents, police report.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Friday, November 12, 2004 0 comments

Internal Security and Tourism Minister Gideon Ezra at Western Wall plaza. Some 15,000 Muslims took part in the regular Friday service on the Temple Mount, above the Western Wall, seen in background, at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Friday, November 12, 2004 0 comments

Western Wall plaza during Muslim prayers ending Ramadan month. Border Police SWAT teams line the earthern ramp in the background leading to Mograbi Gate entrance to the Temple Mount, with security forces possibly outnumbering Jewish worshippers. Meanwhile, PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's chaotic funeral is taking place in Ramallah, several miles to the north.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Friday, November 12, 2004 0 comments

Arafat funeral: Ramallah roils as Jerusalem rests

Tens of thousands of grief-stricken Palestinians swarmed around the two Egyptian air force helicopters returning the remains of PA Chairman Yasser Arafat to his Ramallah "Muka'ta," headquarters Friday afternoon.

Masked gunmen fired in the air, as the massed sea of mourners dragged the coffin out of the helicopter bay, the doors barely openable from the crush.

Rescue and security forces were overwhelmed by the tremendous disarray at the event, with a number of Palestinians reportedly wounded in the melee, possibly from gunshots fired by the masked militias.

Sweating, screaming "we will avenge your memory, oh, Arafat," and, "Jerusalem," the human mass "paraded," the coffin over their heads to the hastily-erected, and reportedly mobile mausoleum on the rubble-strewn compound.

Arafat's coffin was quickly interred in the stone structure, as Palestinians vowed that the gravesite was a temporary arrangement, until Arafat's remains were transferred to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, five kilometers to the south, in a hoped-for future deal with Israel.

posted by Dave at Friday, November 12, 2004 0 comments

Thursday, November 11, 2004

My patch of 'My Little Town:' An aerial shot when I was REALLY high this summer, of our circa 1960s apartment complex (along Herzl boulevard across from hotel row, for all you local yokels). Former veep Al Gore had the best felafel he ever ate at the newsstand/flowershop just nearby. They even got the faded pic to prove it, too. Ahh, fame.

The neighborhood, built by and when the "Histadrut" Labor federation was boss, is very green, sort of like a quiet garden right smack at the noisy entrance to town.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Thursday, November 11, 2004 0 comments

The End of Arafat

"At a time when nonagenarian Nazis and aides to Nazis who killed a dozen people sixty years ago are still hunted down, aged, confused witnesses shuffling up to the stand in desperate attempts to testify against them, Arafat will be buried with pomp and eulogies, and something in me will get buried, too, a hope I nurtured, admittedly weak, that there was enough justice in the world that it would still catch up with him, as the terror raged and more and more victims died and were mangled."

Thank you, P. David Hornick, for - once again - reading my mind and wrestling my thoughts down on screen with the article appearing on

posted by Dave at Thursday, November 11, 2004 0 comments

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

'Arafat & the PA: the day after'

Earlier this afternoon, I did a live radio Q&A update for WINK/WNOG Radio in Ft. Myers, Fla. on PA Chairman Yasser Arafat's condition, plans for the funeral, and what may be developing into a new Palestinian leadership triumverate. You can hear it here:

'Arafat & the PA: the day after':

In a brief recorded segment of a longer conversation, I spoke with a Palestinian shopkeeper in Jerusalem's Old City about Abu Maazen, reputed to be the next in line (as of this posting, although Farouk Kaddoumi is screaming bloody murder...) to take over Arafat's post.

He said that neither he, nor anyone he knew, were familiar with Maazen, considering him an "outsider," one of the Tunis crew brought in with the Oslo Accords.

Not surprisingly, the shopkeeper (in the longer seg - available upon request off-thread) placed the responsibility for all their troubles on their own leadership, the EU, the US, and, of course, Israel.

Events here are developing so quickly, the report may well be out of date by morning, so listen soon.

posted by Dave at Wednesday, November 10, 2004 0 comments

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Scroll down to 'Wireless Jerusalem: Where reaching out to God is a local call,' for the story behind these pics. DB
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Scroll down to 'Wireless Jerusalem: Where reaching out to God is a local call,' for the story behind these pics. DB
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Scroll down to 'Wireless Jerusalem: Where reaching out to God is a local call,' for the story behind these pics. DB
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Scroll down to 'Wireless Jerusalem: Where reaching out to God is a local call,' for the story behind these pics. DB

Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Downtown Jerusalem prayer rally against planned Gaza / West Bank Disengagement. November 1st.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Wireless Jerusalem: Where reaching out to God is a local call

Covered two events in downtown Jerusalem; both at central Zion Square, and at the top of City Hall last Monday, November 1. First, a politically sedate, but religiously and emotionally riveting prayer rally pleading for God to intercede in foiling the Gaza Disengagement Plan brought some 30,000 into the streets for fervent prayer, Psalm-reading and, later, dance.

Meanwhile, three blocks away at City Hall, Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky and a bevy of high-tech and investment leaders, dignitaries and and city officials were holding a press conference announcing "Unwired Jerusalem," offering free Wi-Fi Internet connectivity throughout the city center - for the first year, at least - in an effort aimed at putting Jerusalem's hi-tech community squarely on the world's Internet connection map, sweeping consumers out of an economic recession to upgrade to Wi-Fi-equipped computers, and a dose of good ole' local Chamber of Commerce-style boosterism. If only my Sony Vaio laptop's battery held out long enough to make it all worthwhile...

While the press, um, pressed around the hotshots for close-ups, I spied a chance to get pictures of a lovely autumn sunset in Jerusalem - from a God's-eye view. Here - at least for the first year - reaching out and talking with God is now only a local Wi-Fi Internet call away.

posted by Dave at Saturday, November 06, 2004 0 comments

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Walking in Jerusalem

Walked and window shopped this evening with the wife in downtown Jerusalem. Bought a few frocks and such at the 19-29 shekel stores along Jaffa Road, the main thoroughfare and also the site of scores of terror attacks over the last four years.

Blase', huh? Nope. Not really. Actually, a pretty nice change from wondering if the next passerby in a bulky coat and leering smile, flicking a thumbswitch, was going to be the last thing I saw on Earth.

As Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat drools into a Parisian bib and gets sucked dry in platelet counts, as aides frantically try to get him to tell them where the 5-800 million dollars are stashed and Suha and daughter Zahawa wonder when the cash tap gets turned off, as Hamas & Co. keep their eyes wide to the skies for IAF-delivered wake-up calls, I realized, standing outside the former location of the Sbarro pizzeria (site of a singularly horrific suicide bombing, recently moved down the block and now a chic' coffee shop, packed with latte' sippers) that we - Israelis - have reached a turning point in this war. I've read that before; but really hadn't quite sensed it – until this evening.

And we're still here. Standing, dammit. Dazed. But on our feet.

You, over there in the States, from now until Tuesday night - keep up that momentum to keep John Kerry out of 1600 you-know-where Ave.

In recent email discussions with friends and family in the States, I've noticed that many, who are otherwise staunch Democrats, are dismayed - did I say dismayed? Aghast is better, by the "too clever by half" Teresa Heinz-Kerry and her mouth. Apparently, it's a mother-son genetic thing.

Not to show my colors here, but the "51-State," as her son Chris puts it, is about to pack her and hubby a walloping bitch slap come Tuesday, at least going by numerous conversations I've held with very active US voters and party officials from both sides of the aisle here in recent weeks. Here's why:

Following is a representative segment of a letter I was Cc'ed on about Israel's security concerns, written by an individual running for Democratic office and who strongly supported, um… Howard Dean. Yeah. "Arrrrrrrhhhhgggh," and all that. He's nominally Jewish and "progressive," natch' - and my reply:

"The mail from David Bender was interesting. He is a one issue guy and has been influenced by sound bites and fear. Both parties will support Israel as the only democratic government in the Middle East. However the Democrats will be more engaged in the peace process as was Clinton. Just based on the record Dubya deserves to be punished."

Well. I just simply could not countenance being dismissed so casually by someone who has no idea who I am or what life here is really about, just to make easy political points.

Right. More Clintonesque gestures to resuscitate Arafat and Sons. Just when we were starting to see, if not exactly daylight, then the glow on the horizon of an end to mass murder.

Actively working in the press at ground level for the last several years, as well as living and raising a family here nearly a quarter of a century, I have - in all modesty - amassed no small degree of fair, in-depth and compassionate interviews and reports with government minister and members of Knesset from across the spectrum; Palestinian Authority officials - both on and off the record, Israeli and US academic think-tank and military experts, and "just plain folk" from all walks of life both within Israel and PA areas.

"Before working in the press, I worked - literally - shoulder to shoulder with Palestinians and Israeli Arabs for a period in construction and the automotive repair field - far from cameras, microphones and the press. I have learned from many deeply personal conversations with them at workbench and jobsite, as well as from heart stopping/breaking personal experiences far too closely to scores of 9/11- equivalent terror attacks - along with family, friends and colleagues, just how they feel about Israel and Jews."

"Unlike him (the Democratic runner), I actually live here, walk the walk, and so, have the street cred far more than he does to talk the talk about the issues at hand."

I am hopeful for the future, (and not "driven by fear"), otherwise I would have simply packed up and left long ago, not daring to raise children in this part of the world.

There are Palestinians - at least those referred to as Palestinians (pre-1948, Jews here were referred to internationally as the "Palestinians," with the original name of The Jerusalem Post newspaper being "The Palestinian Post." Really - you can look it up!) who do want to live in peace with Israel. They, however, are in the vast minority, and do not presently present a viable talking partner for the time being."

They hate and envy us. Israelis, Jews, Americans of any stripe.

And although a symbol, they hate Arafat, the Palestinian Authority and everything they represent even more. I have been told this personally, many times; once even by a mid-level Fatah member - an Arafat flunky, to boot - who told me this only behind closed doors and drawn window shades - and after the TV camera and minidisc were turned off.

Once, while building a house in a Jewish community near Bethlehem – but within the pre-1967 Green Line, a Palestinian building engineer I was working with checking the slab - a local resident - asked me how I felt about Israeli roadblocks, since he was stuck in Israel and couldn't get home for several nights.

We had kids the same age, and were sharing stories about raising toddlers. He missed his young son dearly. I understood his pain, but also understood the need for that roadblock. 14 female Palestinian suicide bombers have been nabbed this month alone. While that does not justify the stupid, violent treatment some receive at the hands of idjits in uniform, remember, Israelis are also checked numerous times daily as well. And I, for one am sick of those body checks and magnetometers. But, as they say, "When the terror ends, the wall falls." I asked him - and I will never forget this reply - "aren't you happy that we've acceded you freedoms unheard in the Arab world for Palestinians, not to mention arms (weapons for policing)? He looked at me and snorted, "Great. You've just armed the mafia."
To a man, they have said that they are riven with internecine violence, ravaged by the thugs in the PA and other groups, and are now saying more and more openly, "the intifada and Arafat have brought us to utter ruin and futility." And as far as Arafat goes, he, along with many other Arab leaders - most despots and tyrants - have come out foursquare for Kerry.

Now, what am I to make of that?

posted by Dave at Sunday, October 31, 2004 0 comments

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Left-wing protesters at Knesset Parliament rallying in support of PM Ariel Sharon's Disengagement Plan.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, October 30, 2004 0 comments

Youthful left-wing protester at "Peace Now" rally on eve of crucial Disengagement Plan vote. Shirt says "Peace Now"
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, October 30, 2004 0 comments

Family of protesters at gates of Knesset Parliament on afternoon of Disengagement Plan vote.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, October 30, 2004 0 comments

Demonstrator at afternoon prayers during right wing rally against Disengagement Plan at Knesset Parliament. Note giant map in background: "Terror State in Center of land"
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, October 30, 2004 0 comments

Taken on rainy Friday morning (first rains of the winter - after a drenching hailstorm) as the US elects (or re-elects) a President, gravely ill Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasser Arafat flies to Paris for medical treatment, and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon probably wonders about the future of his Disengagement Plan.
Posted by Dave

posted by Dave at Saturday, October 30, 2004 0 comments

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Don't blink: Autumn in Jerusalem


That coolish' feeling that wakes you up just before dawn, eyes closed, as you pull the blankets just a little closer; snuggling down a bit deeper. The birds busily cawing and chirping just outside the still-open windows. Smoke rising over houses in villages and surburbs from first seasonal tries at firing up the fireplace. Smoking like Weber barbecues on a new tank of gas.

Nah - on second thought, drop that last metaphoric image - far too midwestern.

Smoking like "Mangal" barbecues in Sacher Park on Independence Day, as burly (ok, fat-bellied) Moroccan fathers madly wave cardboard fans to start the coals in flimsy tin contraptions passing as portable barbecues.


Trees shaking free of their foliage, like they got an itch they can't scratch because they're, well, trees, so what are they going to rub their backs against? People? Each other like Baloo the Bear from "The Jungle Book?" Ahh. Jerusalem autumn in the air.


Damn, ya' missed it...

"Here comes that rain again..."

posted by Dave at Tuesday, October 26, 2004 0 comments

About Me

Location:Jerusalem, Israel

New York born, I grew up in Florida and Texas, the latter I consider my US "hometown." Residing in Israel going on 25-years, I work as a freelance journalist and editor, including radio reporting and production, still and video photography and website administration. More on that here. Past performing songwriter/ guitarist, I occasionally keep a hand in with blues and R&B classics in living room jam sessions, write songs and perform far too infrequently at local venues.

This item is available on the Militant Islam Monitor website, at