A bar for valley girls (bar review)

September 30, 2006

Jerusalem Post, Billboard; September 29, 2006

'My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.' The most happening bar-lounge in Emek Hefer, the rural valley just north of Netanya, takes its name from this famous cinematic phrase of The Princess Bride, which follows Princess Buttercup's love for a blonde farm boy. While you may not find any blonde princes or princesses at Inigo Montoya, chances are you'll find strapping Israeli farmboys and farmgirls, since In

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Blue Oranges

May 11, 2006

Last year at the Israel Independence Day Festival in Woodley Park, anti-disengagement activist Shifra Hastings of Los Angeles was clad all over in orange, the color of protest, right down to her painted fingernails. She tirelessly handed out free orange ribbons, bracelets and T-shirts -- even orange soda -- to passersby at her booth, speaking to them about the dangers of Israel's planned, unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and northern Samaria. Many festivalgoers were more than glad to take orange ribbons and free orange T-shirts, until there were unmistakable ripples of orange among t

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Breakfast Club: the dance-bar (review)

February 17, 2006

Jerusalem Post, Billboard; Friday, February 17, 2006

It's hard to know whether or not Breakfast Club was named after the John Hughes' 1980s coming-of-age cult classic starring Molly Ringwald and Emilio Esteves. One of the owners, a bartender with lots of colorful tattoos on his arms and who resembles the Judd Nelson character, said Breakfast (the shorthand name used by Israelis) doesn't care for or want publicity. In any case, the loud tracks of the DJ made conversation too difficult. Perhaps this exclusivity is what make

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Day 12: The End (Until We Return)

August 21, 2005

I refused to go on the bus after being forced out of the Neve Dekalim synagogue. I wasn't about to leave Gush Katif like cattle. I demanded that I at least go to the bathroom, which was fair enough, since the army kept feeding us water in the synagogue -- like patting us on the back and then stabbing us. The girl who took me out of the synagogue escorted me to the bathroom to keep watch. "I can't believe this. I'm 28 years-old with a lot of experience and this 20 year-old girl is dragging me out of a synagogue. It's so humiliating!" "I'm not at peace with this," she said, "but this is the s

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Day 11: Ariel Sharon vs. God

August 19, 2005

Sharon beat God. I was there.  I saw it, with my own eyes.  I saw the ark of the Torah and the tablets of the Ten Commandments above it.  I was in there when those beautiful, earnest, loving young women were praying and singing with all there hearts, with hope still burning inside them.  I felt their passion, their love for Israel, their love for God. I sang with them.  I heard their cries, and I cried with them. "Our Father Our King, annul all evil decrees against us!" "Our Father Our King, have mercy on us and answer us -- for we have no deeds -- act with charity and kindness and de

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Day 10: What’s This Country Coming To?

August 17, 2005

In all the time I've lived in Israel, my mother has never been so worried. I've lived right near cafes where terrorist bombings have taken place, but she never had my dad and sister call me to try to convince me to be careful. Now, with brutal Israeli Police threatening to use force against stubborn infiltrators, she's all aghast. She's more afraid for my safety under the threat of a Jewish army and police force than under the threat of enemy terrorist attackers. What is this country coming to? Last night soldiers were sitting on the sidewalk near the Neve Dekalim gate and I sat in front of

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