Arab Poetry for Jews: Sasson Somekh

Haim Watzman “If we had soldiers read the poetry their enemies write, we could prevent war,” declared Haim Gouri , an old poet and an old soldier, at Jerusalem’s literary café Tmol Shilshom last night. Sasson Somekh, whose new memoir was the subject of the evening, smiled. While he was polite enough not to contradict … Read more

The Four Slaves — Dvar Torah for Pesach in memory of Niot Watzman z”l

Haim Watzman In memory of my younger son, Niot, eight years after his death at the age of 20, during Pesach. From the Pesach 2019 issue of Shabbat Shalom, the weekly Torah sheet of the religious peace movement, Oz Veshalom. להורדת הגליון של “שבת שלום בעברית” “The slaves of time are slaves of a slave, … Read more

Gazing at Iris — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman Iris opens an eye to the sun above, then turns it to Yehoshua. Around them, a clearing of May’s green grass, not yet browned by the summer, stretches between the exuberant purple blooms of three jacarandas, among which iridescent blue sunbirds hover. Iris lies, and Yehoshua sits, on the top of a knoll … Read more

On This Side and That — “Necessary Stories” from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman Zealot lifted the lid of the pot, taking care not to topple it from the primus and spill gravy all over the front of his new tolstovka. Taking a deep breath, he closed his eyes and lifted his head so that, had they been open, he would have been gazing at the damp … Read more

Reborn Jews

Haim Watzman This article was solicited last year by the Jewish Review of Books but got cut in favor of material on the summer protest movement. I forgot about it and just yesterday found it in my computer. I hope it will interest SoJo’s readers I had two adoptive families in Kiryat Shmonah, Israel’s northernmost … Read more

Winter — “Necessary Stories” column from The Jerusalem Report

Haim Watzman “Can I get some cooperation here?” asks Yoel in the firm but plaintive voice of a reserve platoon commander. Tourjeman, Brosh, and I are sitting like three monkeys (bald, sandy blond, bearded; wiry, fit, and flabby) on a small mound at the foot of the dusty spur that we’ve been charging up all … Read more

Police to Protesters: Move to Migron

Gershom Gorenberg Earlier this month, the Israeli Supreme Court woke up from a deep slumber and issued an order to the government to evacuate the illegal outpost of Migron on the bypass road between Jerusalem and the Israeli settlements north of Ramallah. Migron, according to founder Itay Harel, was originally established on the hilltop in … Read more

My Wife Watches Me — A Poem by Giora Fisher

Haim Watzman The one great emotion most neglected by poets is the profound love of the long-married couple written from the perspective of middle age. Most poets who reach that age (one wonders what Byron might have sounded like at 60), the male ones in particular, seem to be hung up over their lost libido … Read more