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Odysseus Eats — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

February 7th, 2013 · No Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman “Have a biscuit,” I offered, pushing a plate of petit beurres toward him. “Sorry I don’t have anything better.” He giggled. I took a sip of syrupy Turkish coffee and a bite out of one of the flat and fluted cookies, cardboard with a whiff of artificial vanilla. I picked up my pen, […]

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Spring — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

March 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman Dani held his coffee glass up to the sky. The residue the Turkish coffee grounds left on the sides filtered the rays of the late March sun like a gossamer veil that brings to light precisely what it hides. Nuriel, Dani, and I were on our bellies on the top of a desert […]

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Sendoff for My Son — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

August 22nd, 2010 · 14 Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman Dear Niot, The scene at your enlistment next Monday will not be as dramatic as your grandfather’s. He set off for infantry boot camp in the U.S. Army on February 19, 1944. His entire family—Ma, Pa, and sisters Jean, Bernice, and Laki—accompanied him to the train station at Cleveland’s Terminal Tower. Your great-grandmother […]

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My Very Own Genre

June 12th, 2010 · 2 Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman Once again I’ve been called on to review a book about an American who served in the Israeli army. This time it’s stand-up comedian Joel Chasnoff’s The 188th Crybaby Brigade, in The Jerusalem Report. (Four years ago I reviewed Jeffrey Goldberg’s Prisoners in The Washington Post.) The American-in-the-Israeli-Army book has become an annual […]

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Commandoes against Demonstrators? Israel Shoots Itself in the Leg–Again

May 31st, 2010 · 20 Comments · Politics and Policy

Haim Watzman Why send a crack naval commando unit to quell a political demonstration? We don’t know all the facts yet, but on the face of it Israel has again overreacted and, in doing so, gotten itself into a situation much worse than it would have been in had it not responded to this pr […]

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Red Briefs and Rain Ink–”Necessary Stories” Column in The Jerusalem Report

September 16th, 2009 · 2 Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman The dust rose so high to the sky that heaven and earth seemed to have reverted to a dull yellow primordial chaos. The engines of dirt-caked, drab army transports rumbled, the horns of master sergeants’ white vans honked. I stood, trying to be seen and heard, at the Fatma Gate in Metula, seeking […]

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Unaerobics: Bibi’s Speech Tonight

June 14th, 2009 · 5 Comments · Politics and Policy

Haim Watzman It’s a hot afternoon and I’m still feeling heavy from overeating on Shabbat. So should I go to my Sunday night masters swim group or stay home and watch Binyamin Netanyahu’s much-heralded policy address? Which will get my pulse up higher? I think I’ll go for the swim. By all accounts, Netanyahu will […]

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Soldier, King, Slave–”Necessary Stories” Column from The Jerusalem Report

April 2nd, 2009 · 1 Comment · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman The heart is two It’s yes and no. It’s an Avraham Halfi moment. Like an overstimulated actor, I’ve pushed my way to center stage. Slipping between mothers sitting in chairs, climbing over brothers and sisters on stools, I’ve gotten to the edge of the clear spot next to the screen on which we’ve […]

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Bad War, Bad Soldiers

March 22nd, 2009 · 14 Comments · Politics and Policy

Haim Watzman One of our regular readers, Alon, comments (ungermanely) on my previous post: i would like to know is how do you feel on the day that the testimonies of soldiers on the killing of civilians and vandalism in gaza — after saying in your “Bad War, Good Soldiers” post that you were “happy […]

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Dueling Ethicists in Gaza

February 24th, 2009 · 17 Comments · Culture and Ideas

Haim Watzman What was most surprising about the conference on Battle Ethics in the Cast Lead Operation held on Sunday by the Ethics Center at Mishkenot Sha’ananim in Jerusalem was how much agreement there was among speakers with ostensibly different points of view. Everyone from noted liberal Mordechai Kremnitzer to the IDF’s favorite ethicist Asa […]

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No Wimps in SoJo

January 1st, 2009 · 26 Comments · Politics and Policy

Haim Watzman I would really like to punch Ismail Hanieh, the Hamas prime minister of the Gaza Strip, in the face. I would derive great pleasure from seeing every Hamas facility in Gaza reduced to rubble and every fanatical Islamic Jew-hater there blown to smithereens. I just want to put that on the record for […]

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No Happy Endings in Gaza

December 30th, 2008 · 13 Comments · Politics and Policy

Haim Watzman I’ve got war refugees in my home today. I mean my daughter’s fellow second-year students from the animation program at Sapir College, located right next to Sderot. The campus is under fire and has shut its gates, so these budding cartoonists are unable to work on their projects or attend their classes. The […]

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