Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jewish & Democratic or Democratic & Jewish?

At the end of the tortuous bureaucratic nightmare of acquiring Israeli citizenship, I signed a declaration swearing loyalty to the State of Israel.

These days, things are getting a little more complicated. A recent cabinet decision means that anyone gaining citizenship will now have to declare loyalty to the Jewish and Democratic State of Israel. While I'm not Jewish, I'd have no issue in signing the declaration . This is after all the homeland of the Jewish people, and I don't feel it hurts me in any way to acknowledge that.

However, if an Arab Israeli citizen marries a foreigner - say from Jordan or wherever - their new partner would have to declare loyalty to the "Jewish and Democratic". Given the sorry history of the past 100 years, that may be a bit hard to swallow. Since the Arab population makes up around 20% of the total, "80% Jewish and 100% Democratic" might be a better formulation. Although I'm not entirely sure about the 100% Democratic either...

So why now? Why has our beloved government chosen this particular moment to introduce a change that seems solely designed to irritate 20% of the country? Maybe it was a sop to the Yisrael Beitenu party so they'll wave through a mooted 2 month extension to the building freeze? We'll just have to wait and see.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Back on the chain gang

Had a wonderful time in the UK. The twins greatly enjoyed themselves, and therefore so did their parents ;)

To our Chinese friends: I'm aware that you get paid for each spam comment you leave on this blog, but I don't believe that anyone apart from me actually reads it, and nobody will ever follow the links you leave. So please - do me a favour, and don't bother posting.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Through a combination of diet and busting my ass off in an overpriced gym, err... health club, I've dropped from 99.9 to 87.8 kilos. Unfortunately I seem to be stuck at that point. The initial target is 87, and the dietician wants me to get to 82 sooner rather than later. So I need to get back on track with the diet, and not nibble the icing off my wife's cakes while she's not looking. And bust my ass even harder. Sigh...

Having lost all the weight hasn't done anything to improve my blood pressure. I saw a specialist who gave me a bunch of tests and a different sort of pill, which makes me need to pee at unearthly hours of the morning. Usually I can't get back to sleep afterwards, which means I've been somewhat tired of late. At the second appointment with said specialist, he didn't relate at all to the test results, and told me to keep taking the pills and come back in a few weeks. I rather imagine he wanted to go home early.

We're heading off to the UK (me, missus and twins) next month. Always a joy travelling with them, 'cos ya just don't know whether they're going to erupt into a bout of screaming over something that appears entirely trivial to any sane person, but is obviously of Earth-Shattering Importance to a 3.5-year old. Heard of the Terrible Twos? Yep, it appears that it continues into the Terrible Threes. Ominously, friends at work assure me that it continues into the Flippin' Awful Fours. The flipside of course is that they're so funny, the hugs, being told that Only Daddy Can Fix this broken toy, the sheer delight at dressing up as princesses (them, not me...).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Time Out

Quite busy for the last month or so. The Day Job sent me to Atlanta for a week - where it was incredibly cold. I'm not really used to -4c temperatures any more. There's an ornamental fountation outside our offices there and we watched in fascination as it froze up during the day.

Earlier this week, the entire company descended on Tel Aviv for the first ever all-company meeting. Almost 200 people came over from the US and UK, and were joined by another 200 from the offices here. For the vast majority of the visitors this was their first time in Israel, and from what I gather they really enjoyed the experience.

Now I'm deeply enjoying the backlog of work that accumulated during the three days of the conference...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

If you're in Israel and do Christmas...

then I warmly recommend the Christmas Eve service at Immanuel Church on Beer Hoffman St in Yaffo. You can't miss it - it's that church-like building with a tower, and all. There is a parking lot on Eliphelet.

The service starts at 19:00, and is in English with Hebrew translation. After the service, Christmas refreshments are served in the Congregation House at the other end of the street.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Is that the time already?

I joined a gym a few weeks ago. I am decidedly not the sort of person that joins a gym, but desperately needed something that would give me some exercise. The gym is both (a) painfully expensive and (b) located in the same building as The Day Job. Both these factors make it easier to attend regularly. I'm managing to maintain a 3 times a week schedule. Let's hope it continues. I do actually come away feeling better each time. Amazing.

I have an automated radio station at Radionomy. It's kind of in its infancy, but has on occasion come up with excellent tracks that I wasn't familiar with. You could call the format "eclectic", for want of a better term. There is a mixture of classic rock/AC/alternative, and a few Hebrew songs thrown in for good measure. I also included a daily reggae hour. For some obscure reason, the Radionomy system likes to bung in French songs from time to time. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but they don't really "fit" with anything else.

You can find a player over on the right. Let me know what you think.

Gute shabbes!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Voices of Peace

Well, there now appear to be not one, but two reincarnations of the Voice of Peace.

Radius 100FM continues with the daily show at 18:00 Sun-Thurs & Sat. Listen at 100FM or http://www.100fm.co.il. It's now been joined by a 24/7 Internet station at http://www.thevoiceofpeace.co.il. Far be it from me to suggest which is the best (ahem...) but in any case, you now have more opportunities to indulge in a little nostalgia for what was a much-loved pirate station from 1973-1993.