Sunday, October 19, 2008

Preparing for Israel

Next weekend I am flying to Tel Aviv for four days. I've never been before and hope to learn a lot about Israel and its politics. I want to brief myself a bit before the trip as I will be meeting quite a few important Israeli political types, so if anyone has some recommendations of things I ought to read (articles, features etc) do let me know in the comments.

Also, what's Tel Aviv like?

UPDATE: The trip is being organised and paid for by Conservative Friends of Israel, who, each year, take several groups of politicians and journalists to Israel to learn about the country and its politics - as does Labour Friends of Israel. I haven't seen the itinerary yet but I am told we will be meeting a wide range of people from all sides of the political fence.

88 comments:

Anonymous said...

Iain fascinating

pretend to be of Palestinian descent for a day and see if they really are treated as an "other"

Shaun said...

If you see Lauren Booth on the other side of the wall, throw something heavy at her! *

*any Blair or Cherie (auto)biography would have obvious ironic appeal

Unsworth said...

Try the cuisine - it's suberb. To me Tel Aviv is the same as most other middle-eastern cities - but generally cleaner. Busy, noisy - it's a city, for God's sake...

Anonymous said...

be sure to visit Shenken Street area for great cafe life & free wifi - so no excuse for lack of posting!!!

Peruse "The Case for Israel" by Alan Dershowitz on the plane

Anonymous said...

Learning about Israel from Tel Aviv is like learning about the USA from New York. You must break out and visit Jerusalem (Knesset, Shrine of the Book, Yad Vashem, Church of the Holy Sepulchure, Western Wall, Garden of Gethsemane) and Galilee at least.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of one good reason to go to that "shitty little country Israel", to quote Ambassador Daniel Bernard as leaked by Tubby Black.

But if you have to go, ask Olmert why he waited until he was out of office to say what he felt about Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

Tony

Anonymous said...

Yes, try visiting the Occupied Territories.

Anonymous said...

Talk to Lee Scott MP

Anonymous said...

Well I'm currently reading '6 Days' by Jeremy Bowen, but if you haven't started already, it may be a tad late to work through this coverage which is very thorough, but quite a hard slog.

Sorry, I know that ain't much help - but rather as with Northern Ireland - if you think you know what is going on 'then you haven't understood the situation'..

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Iain, You'll have a great time. Tel-Aviv rocks.

Try getting a copy of the JC this week and catch up on sites like this

(Pity you still allow Anonymous posts)

Anonymous said...

Also I do hope you will be meeting some people from the 'other side' as I doubt you are going to get much in the way of an impartial view from the Israelis..

Anonymous said...

You could try asking them when they expect the 'roadmap' to reach its half-way stage...

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Iain

Try this

http://www.ynetnews.com/home/0,7340,L-3083,00.html

Anonymous said...

Problem solved - the Jeremy Bowen book might take too long, but the radio programme is still on the 'non-iPlayer' part of the BBC.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/documentary_archive/6676265.stm

Listen and learn...

Jeremy Jacobs said...

learn from Jeremy Bowen?!!

Try catching up with Melanie Phillips instead.

Anonymous said...

Tell them about your interest in contemporary art [well, you don't want to seem like a stick-in-the-mud] and ask if you can take home a 'Banksy' from the 'security wall' / 'freedom barrier' / West Bank Barrier

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, of course - that well known 'impartial' commentator Melanie Phillips...

Of course, if the skin colour is brown, well, they can hardly have any opinions worth listening to, now can they..

And they wonder why have problems in the Middle East...

Anonymous said...

Now that you are at it, why don't you give us the benefit of your 'impartial' views, JJ..

http://www.jcomradio.net/presenterProfile.asp?id=15

Jeremy Jacobs said...

thanks for the plug!

Doug Chaplin said...

Everything is biased, but one of the more profound personal stories (from a peace loving Israeli Arab) is Elias Chacour's Blood Brothers (foreword by James Baker – yes, G H Bush's sec state)

Anonymous said...

There's a monster tome by Sir Martin Gilbert that you could skim read on the plane.

Otherwise, just take a look at Haaretz.

You will have a great time but don't adopt your political position solely on that basis. There is so much right about Israel, but so much that is terribly wrong, and you're not going to divine that from a single visit.

Anonymous said...

Ignore the Israel haters Iain. (It's fascism for Guardian readers.)The big joke is that the PCs they use to post on here all use Israeli technology.. Perhaps they can tell us why that "shitty little country" has won 4 times as many nobel prizes for science as the entire Arab world put together? And why its Israel that black muslims fleeing the Sudanese genocide escape to?

Anonymous said...

Iain just have a good look around see what you can see don't get sidetracked speak to as many people as possible enjoy the food forget about reading books unless it's a touristy one and make your own mind up

Enjoy

Mike Law said...

The Case for Israel by Alan Dershowitz

Anonymous said...

"Gordon Brown's Labour government slash Tory David Cameron's opinion poll lead"

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2008/10/19/gordon-brown-s-labour-government-slash-tory-david-cameron-s-opinion-poll-lead-115875-20820311/

Anonymous said...

a pre-visit chat with Michael Gove for a rational non-Jewish perspective

Anonymous said...

Head up to the port and go to the bar called Cruise, they have gogo boys and crazy stuff

Anonymous said...

For food, go to Noa in Jaffa - fantastic bistro.

For historical background try Ilan Pappe or Avi Shlaim.

To see what's going on, visit Qalqiliya. It's 20 minutes from Tel viv, but a world away.

Diogenes said...

@ anon 12:39

"Gordon Brown's Labour government slash Tory David Cameron's opinion poll lead"

Labour (up 1%) 34%
Tories (down 1%) 42%
LD (no change) 14%

At that rate of slashing Labour will be a dead cert for any election held in 2012, assuming the BBC can continue the unabated frottage for that long.

Johnny Norfolk said...

Iain do not believe anything published by the BBC. The are anti Israel and do not believe it should exsist. You need to ask youself 'Should Israel exsist'. The answer to that question is the answer to all others.

Anonymous said...

Ask Benjamin Netanyahu why it is permissable to celebrate terrorist actions against the British. Any true patriot will ignore this man until he apologises

Anonymous said...

link

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/middle_east/article690085.ece

nomad said...

Go spend a night in a kibbutz up near the Lebanon/Syria border. That way you will be speaking to and mixing with real Israelis rather than the political mouthpieces in the capital. Also try to fit in a visit to the Jerusalem souk for some nice trinkets. Bon Voyage.

Anonymous said...

I just read To Jerusalem And Back by Saul Bellow. He did much the same thing as you (though for more than 4 days) in 1976. Excellently written. (He starts from a default position of sympathy for the Israeli predicament). But his insights are good, his exposition clear, and he speaks to most of the great and the good in the 70s. What amazes is how little has changed.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:06, I'm curious, what is the "Israeli technology" used "in all PCs" that you mention? I suspect this is nonsense - PCs are essentially a US invention with some UK and Japanese input. What did Israel contribute?

I think the main problem when thinking about Israel is attempting to separate the Israel-bashing stuff (mostly motivated by closet or not-so-closet good old fashioned Jew-hating) and Israel-fervour from some elements of the right, which can be equally off the wall.

The truth is that Israel has done some great things and had great people and visions, and has also done some pretty awful things, but due to history it's people naturally feel locked in a life-and-death struggle and that doesn't help contribute always to rational decisions.

What isn't helpful is people here taking sides and spreading lies. Be reasonable, both about Jews and Palestinians.

Steve said...

I went about this time last year, 29-30 Celsius so it was hard to get beyond the great beaches and the extraordinarly fresh fruit juices! It's one of those cities where there's not a single thing that is a 'must-see' (although the art gallery is good and the Irgun museum is a real eye-opener, full of weapons purloined from the British, bit like having an IRA museum) but the whole place is worth experiencing. No-one seems to have mentioned the architecture - TA is famed for interwar Bauhaus or 'International Style' buildings in the so-called White City. Fascinating mixture of Western (mainly central European) city with more middle eastern influences (tho I haven't been elsewhere in the ME) - the southern/eastern side of the city particularly(there's a big market, forget the name, which is wirth seeing). The port has been turned into lots of restaurants/bars etc which are good quality. Get to Jaffa for the contrast - I think it is one of the oldest continuously inhabited sites in the world.

johnbc said...

Iain

Check out Naomi Ragen's website (http://www.naomiragen.com/); you could even try and meet with her. A courageous woman, talented author and passionate for Israel’s well-being

On Israeli input on the pc / Windows...

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2465676412

http://www.matimop.org.il/newrdinf/company/c4059.htm#general

norman said...

My suggestion is not to read anything. Keep an open mind, see and feel yourself and talk to people, not necessarily the politicos.
Please do not miss The Old City and the historic sites. Have a good safe trip.

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale is removing comments from this article about his false claim that NBC are in direct communication with him.

Iain Dale said...

Dont you just love these anonymous commenters? I havent removed a single comment.

Anonymous said...

OK, on the "Israel invented the PC" claim.

It is true that Intel have bases in Israel which were instrumental in creating duel-core technology - this is only a recent development and is hardly the same as inventing the PC.

Israel has also contributed in a number of software areas, most notable in Windows NT, which Microsoft purchased from an Israeli firm originally - hardly a revolutionary breakthrough in PC technology though, more just bringing Microsoft almost as good as other pre-existing server platforms that have been around for much longer.

In short, Israel has made contributions to the computer and software industries which outweigh it's small size as a country but do not in any way justify the "PC invented here" campaign which is much quoted in the US press and appears to have originated in the campaigns of several Jewish-origin congressmen in the US.

Israel does box above it's weight in the same way that the UK does in a number of ways, but it's important to be realistic - Israel is also a leading producer of oranges but that doesn't make it automatically a fine and moral country.

sniper said...

Go to Mike's Place and leave your politics at the door.

Abe Bird said...

Hi Iain Dale
Israel is beautiful in the autumn (and also in the winter, spring and summer) and the weather is quite cool with flashes of quite hotter days. If there is a rain in October it usually will be very soft or short. The food is wonderful, good restaurants in every main street. If you are in a hurry you can ask for a "Falafel" or "Shawarma" in a Pita for a quick eat. If you are invited to Tel Aviv just jump for some hours to Jerusalem (40 min. by car) and vise versa. In few days you won't be able to navigate through along the tiny land. Try to visit the surrounding of the main Tel Aviv "HaCarmel" market (in Hebrew: 'Shuk Hacarmel') or Jerusalem's "Makhneh Yehuda" (Yehuda's camp) market and the near small coffees and small restaurants through the streets around these markets. Meet there the "real" Israelis (Jews and Arabs are mixed together with harmony in these places) and try to talk with some in any matter you would like. Let them express their vision and ask smart guide questions. Israelis love to chat on every thing and are quite very polite to strangers. Keep your money in deep pocket because thieves are waiting to their chance as in every other busy place in the world. Although, as I was impressed, in Israel this phenomena is quite a bit lower than in Rome, London or Paris.

Tel Aviv is as little Manhattan, a very modern and busy city. Lot of youngsters, businessmen, artists and so on, that reflect the main social and political spectrum, are moving all around the city in day times and night times. Good night clubs and restaurants are all night open in north TA (old) harbor (the Marina) and vicinity (notht Ha Yarkon and Ben Yehuda streets).
http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&q=tel+aviv&um=1&ie=UTF-8&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&resnum=1&ct=image


Here are some blogs that reflect true Israel from various angles:
http://www.israel21c.net/
http://israelplug.com/
http://www.blogcatalog.com/blogs/israel-today-daily-life-in-tel-aviv.html
http://www.israelity.com/
http://www.onejerusalem.com/
http://madinisrael.blogspot.com/

And here are more good links:
http://judaism.about.com/od/israeliblogs/Israeli_Blogs.htm


And by the way I'm closed to Michael Gove's view on the Israeli Palestinian – Arab Palestinian conflict. Generally, my view is that the only solution in to cut the one and great Palestine in two: Jordan as an Arab Palestinian state and Israel as a Jewish Palestinian state with the Jordan river as the border in between. Arabs will vote for Amman' Parliament and Jews will vote for Jerusalem's Knesset, and each one will be citizens in their national state and inhabitants at their home town. The daily life won't gonna changed but the political aspirations will meet the needs of both peoples.

Welcome to Israel, enjoy and have a good time and good business, if you come for to make one..

Abe Bird,
a Palestinian Jew living in "occupied" (by the Arab's Jihad's dictionary) Netanya,
a Mediterranean sea shore wonderful city

Niccolo Machiavelli said...

great gay scene, probably the only place in the Middle East of which you could say that.

Then again, it's a liberal democracy...

Anonymous said...

Iain - get the AA guide to Israel - it's (surprisingly) a cracker. And have a wonderful time. I think you'll love it.

Half The Story said...

Why not talk to some folk about the Palestinian issues, as opposed to just Israeli ones?

Robert said...

Maybe go and talk to some Palestinian olive farmers...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7679399.stm

Auntie Flo' said...

Watch Sophie Rawreth's Mandelson interview on Marr. What a knockout! On the canvas in three punches.

Go, Sophie!

Auntie Flo' said...

Mandelson V Raworth.

Watch Guido's recording of it on the Andy Marr Show, not the, now, edited BBC whitewash.

Guido has a transcript too.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00f1w9b/The_Andrew_Marr_Show_19102008/

Auntie Flo' said...

How old is Mandelson now? Early 60s?

Anonymous said...

Obv speak to the wise and sensible RHHalfon... although you may already be going through his good offices...and make sure when you are there that you get to hear both sides of the story.

Auntie Flo' said...

Anonymous said...

Obv speak to the wise and sensible RHHalfon... although you may already be going through his good offices...and make sure when you are there that you get to hear both sides of the story.


What a bl**dy cheek, Anon. Will you stop suggestng that I am Harlow's next MP, Rob Halfon or a member of his staff.

Ask Newmania, he knows me... and will unequivocally state that
I AM A WOMAN and not Rob Halfon and that I do not work for him - though I am one of his many admirers. So there!

Where are you Newms? please shut up this anon.

Anonymous said...

For a comprehensive file on Israel see
whatreallyhappened.com "News by Category" section "Israel".

Britannia Radio said...

Suggest you make contact with Tamar Yonah and or Malkah Fleischer of "Israel National Radio".com

They represent a view of Israeli/Arab relationships that rarely gets out in the M.S.M in Europe, UK.

www.britanniaradio.blogspot.com

Harold Hoffman

Guthrum said...

Its nice place if you are Jewish, not so hot if you are an Arab,the standard of driving when I worked there was abysmal- my hire car was hit three times from Ben Gurion to the Hotel.

Yad Vashem is interesting, but very anti British in the museum

Helena Handcart said...

Israel is a wonderful country, replete with history and one of the cradles of civilisation. It is at the very crossroads of culture, has majestic scenery and also enjoys a wonderful climate.

Israel is very much like New York, in that the only thing wrong with Israel is the people.

A little angel said...

See if you bring about a little peace in that area - that would be worth a Nobel peace prize if you could...

Anonymous said...

Niccolo Machiavelli said; "Then again, it's a liberal democracy".

Except that it isn't.

Israel is a theocracy with elections, just like Iran.

Because the ultimate arbiter in a democracy is the people. In Israel it's religious law, just like Iran.

Why do you think El Al doesn't fly on a Saturday? Can't think why they don't employ a few Saturday goyim pilots.

Tony

Helena Handcart said...

Israel is a wonderful country, and occupies the site of one of the cradles of civilisation. It is at the crossroads of culture, is favoured with magnificent scenery and enjoys a delightful climate.

Israel is, in my view, very much like New York City, in that the only thing wrong with it is the people. Venal, noisy, self-righteous, grudge-bearing, sacntimonious, amoral and arrogant, they make you believe in the moral justifications for the neutron bomb.

Ed said...

Tel Aviv is great and the woman are beautiful. Presumably the men are also. The people are very friendly, nothing like the rep Israelis have, especially if youre not Jewish and are prepared to go.
Jerusalem not so good - a bit tense and insane.

Anonymous said...

I read "Holy Land, Unholy War: Israelis and Palestinians" by Anton La Guardiathis a few years ago.

It is very informative, seems very even-handed and covers all the ethnic groups that make up Israel - not just the Jewish and Muslims. You get a much clearer sense of why the issues run so deep and are so hard to resolve.

Elinor said...

Tel Aviv is pretty wonderful, but it's twenty minutes away from a million other great places in Israel too, so get in a bus/train/taxi to see some places outside the city.

Israelis LOVE to be asked their opinion - they're generally very abrupt and extremely honest, which can be a bit of a contrast to Britain - but for a politico it's a blessing. But Tel Aviv is generally more left-wing than the rest of Israel, especially around Shenkin.

To meet a more diverse bunch of people, go on a hike ('tiyul'). Israel is 70% desert, so if you want to get a feel for how amazing it is that Tel Aviv could grow to what it is today out of sand dunes then go and see some. Lots of buses go to makhtesh ramon - beyond walking and staring there's not much to do there - but it's spectacular.

There are also trails around Tel Aviv:
http://www.tiuli.com/default.asp?region_id=11&lng=eng

Have a lovely time.

seneca said...

Machiavelli - 'liberal democracy'? Dont make me laugh. The state itself is a terrorist state - it was created through terrorist activity against the British in Palestine.

EA said...

Things to see Iain:

1. The airport, a great modern architectural beauty… makes it a pleasure to travel in and out of. The walk from the plane to passport control is visually stunning (no joke)

2. Taste the humous in Abu Ghosh, world famous, delicious stuff.

3.The history of Jerusalem’s Old City and the history throughout. See the Wall, the Temple Mount, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Walk the Via Dollorossa….

4.The Yad Vashem.

5.Tel Aviv night life, hit Boulevard Rothschild for the true Israeli experience

6.The beach in Tel Aviv, drop in for a pint at Mikes Place

7.The view from the top of the Azrielli Tower (TLV)

8.The marina in Herzlyia for supper

But most of all Iain, enjoy the only democracy in the middle east!! see for yourself how well women and Israeli arabs live and prosper compared the their oppressed brothers/sisters across the border. See how safe you feel travelling all over the country whilst being endangered by the Arabian peninsula and still protected by a wonderful civilian army.

Talk politics of course, eat lots (the quality of fruit and veg there is frighteningly good compared to the UK), and try and understand why Israelis are so proud of what they have built out of the desert in 60 years.

Don’t forget what Israel inherited in 1948 and what it has created. Admire the architecture, the sky scrapers, the beauty of Jerusalem (which was a public urinal in 1967), and see for yourselves all the blue chips investing there and the hub of development; be it IT related or scientific.

Have a great trip!

Pete Wass said...

I hope guns don't make you nervous.

Lovely place though. Enjy the trip and make your own mind up about the politics.

Marquee Mark said...

Avoid the lobster bisque!! It did for me in Tel Aviv....

ancient mariner said...

Not that long ago, if you wanted to travel elsewhere in the middle east you should not be found with an Israeli immigration stamp in your passport as that would mean automatic refusal of entry. Not sure if that is still the case, but the Israeli immig officers were aware of thid and were quite happy to put their stamp on a separate piece of paper which was kept in the passport and removed on the way out. Might be worth asking/checking with those who might know about these things nowadays. Don't want you being deported in future from an Arab/muslim country before you even set foot outside the airport.

Anonymous said...

Iain, have a good time, and make your own mind up.

One thing that you will experience, for the first time in your life, is proper airport security...an interesting experience in itself

Richard Buckley said...

My boyfriend and I were in TA last month for a week. We really enjoyed it. Lovely people, great weather, nice beaches, excellent restaurants (I recommend Mul Yam at the port for wonderful fish). The city is a bit tatty in places but never threatening or unsafe. Very gay-friendly - perhaps too much as the nightlife is very integrated and the gay men (who are gorgeous by the way) seem to be spread around too thinly.



We did a few trips to sights around the country. I did get a strong sense of how proud Israelis feel about their country, and so they should - they've obviously done a lot to it in sixty years. The contrast with the apparent poverty and barrenness of the Palestinian farms and villages over the very-visible security barrier was pretty shocking.



Anyway, you only have four days and that's not enough time to get into the politics - just go and have fun. I can't think of many better places to do that. As non-Jewish non-heterosexual holidaymakers we were the object of some curiosity, but never hostility.


If you go to Jerusalem, be aware that some of the blokes hanging round the Western Wall are con artists who will try to get you to part with cash on false pretences. Fighting them off was the only moment that left a sour taste.

Jon said...

When Israelis shout at you rudely do not take it personally. Shout back, be specific about your feelings and requests, then listen to them suddenly become polite and helpful!

Anonymous said...

I trust you will visit Palestine? Go and look at "the wall" and speak to some Palestinian farmers whose land is on the "wrong" side and whose livelihoods have gone. Go to one of the new Israeli settlements and find out what fine balanced people they are.

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ancient Mariner's warning on Israeli immigration stamps, I can't imagine anyone of Iain's persuasion visiting a Moslim country so it shouldn't be a problem. Just because buggery is mandatory within their own culture doesn't mean they tolerate it amongst the infidel. Ps I understands it's allowed in Israel.

Mr Angry said...

Ahh as ever anonymous Jew haters demonstrating that the only acceptable form of racism these days is anti-semitism.

Israel, in common with most countries, is a mass of contrasts, contradictions and contrary views. You won't even begin to understand it in only four days but you'll have fun trying.

However you might wish to ponder this question:

There is only one small piece of our planet that is a Jewish state, so why does that one small country receive so much opprobrium, and find its very existence continually threatened, when so many other dictatorial, oppressive and murderous regimes do not, unless it is because it is a Jewish state?

Anonymous said...

"The state itself is a terrorist state - it was created through terrorist activity against the British in Palestine."

And Britain was created through terrorist activity against the Romans, so your point is what exactly??????

Anonymous said...

Reading Richard Buckley's comment I cannot believe that it was only the "blokes hanging round the Western WallW who "left a sour taste". I suspect it's an occupational hazard ...

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't the size of the piece of land "Israel" occupies, it's the treatment of what was the indigenous population. Many of the settlers are of relatively recent European or African descent with no historical connection with Israel whatsoever, only desire for a perceived better life. I am not sure that they have a greater call on Palestine than the so-called Israelis.

Anonymous said...

Helena Handcart: "in that the only thing wrong with Israel is the people." …"…. the only thing wrong with it is the people. Venal, noisy, self-righteous, grudge-bearing, sacntimonious, amoral and arrogant… "

Anonymous: " ultimate arbiter in a democracy is the people. In Israel it's religious law, just like Iran."
whatreallyhappened.com is a lunatic trash.

Does ignorance protects you?
Iain Dale, I hope that you will write some diary about your travel and impressions. It will be very interesting.
http://www.jr.co.il/hotsites/i-tour.htm
http://www.infotour.co.il/

Chris said...

I was going to be a pedant, and say that there are only two sides to a fence, then I remembered all those Palestinians tunnelling under the fence that must not be mentioned on the BBC, between Egypt and Gaza.

Mike Law said...

MR Angry -Well stated!

Anonymous said...

So the trip is being organised by CFI

What is the point in going?
You will get a trip to Sedot where the alarms have already been programmed to go off. They have never yet failed in one CFI trip.

Try not to laugh when it happens or ask for the actors autographs.

I am a conservative party memeber and on this issue anonymity is safer.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 11.42. OK, I won't go then, because clearly I don't have a brain and am not able to make my own mind up on anything.

Why on earth would you bother reading a blog of someone who you thought would just swallow any old guff they are fed?

Broon's Spunked Our Money Away said...

Tel Aviv is completely characterless - architctually the least distinguished place I've ever been. And I've been to Burton on Trent.

It's the second-best track on Duran Duran's self-titled 1981 album, however, after Careless Memo-rees.

Anonymous said...

Is there a conservatives friends of Palestine?

Iain Dale said...

Yes, it is the Conservative Middle East Council, run by Crispin Blunt. A very excellent organisation it is too.

Rob Marrs said...

I'd recommend Six Days by Jeremy Bowen

Alan Hood said...

An excellent book to read is called O Jerusalem which was written in the early 1970's. The book is about the creation of Israel and the subsequent war. As it was written in the early 1970's many of the eye witnesses were still alive then. Very interesting and also very sad.

Other articles worth looking at are by Uri Avnery, the veteran Isaeli journalist and former Knesset member. He is now in his eighties and was involved in the war in 1948. He is a regular contributor to the Arab News newspaper which is the Saudi Arabian English newspaper, http://www.arabnews.com Search his name or Israel on the web site.

He is a peace activist and is often very critical of the Israeli government.

Alan Hood said...

Sorry, I forgot to mention the authors of O Jerusalem! which might help in someone is interested. They are Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre. As mentioned it was written in the early 1970s so not sure how available the book is but well worth reading if you can get hold of it.

Britannia Radio said...

I'd be happy to meet with him and show him some things here in YESHA he should be aware of. Tell him to email me, and we an try to arrange something.
best,
tamar

www.israelnationalradio.com
and go to Tamar Yonah section.

Harold Hoffman
www.britanniaradio.co.uk
www.britanniaradio.blogspot.com




At 09:54 PM 10/20/2008, you wrote:






Preparing for Israel




Iain Dale 9:01 PM


Next weekend I am flying to Tel Aviv for four days. I've never been before and hope to learn a lot about Israel and its politics. I want to brief myself a bit before the trip as I will be meeting quite a few important Israeli political types, so if anyone has some recommendations of things I ought to read (articles, features etc) do let me know in the comments.

Also, what's Tel Aviv like?

UPDATE: The trip is being organised and paid for by Conservative Friends of Israel, who, each year, take several groups of politicians and journalists to Israel to learn about the country and its politics - as does Labour Friends of Israel. I haven't seen the itinerary yet but I am told we will be meeting a wide range of people from all sides of the political fence.

Email | Permalink | links to this post | Comments (75)
britannia radio said...

Suggest you make contact with Tamar Yonah and or Malkah Fleischer of "Israel National Radio".com

They represent a view of Israeli/Arab relationships that rarely gets out in the M.S.M in Europe, UK.

www.britanniaradio.blogspot.com

Harold Hoffman

October 20, 2008 1:38 PM