Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some of the worst is right here in Boston

I promise that this will be my last post re: Richard Goldstein [I hope].  Just in case you'd like to think that we're not so bad here in liberal, progressive Boston, a letter from Barry Shrage, the head of Combined Jewish Philanthropies [CJP], greater Boston's Jewish Federation, was forward to me. It includes just about everything Bibi Netanyahu would like you to know about Israel: security, rockets into Israel, delegitimization, Israel as the only democracy in the Middle East, yada, yada, yada. And he even has the chutzpah to ask us to pass the letter on:
"Help get the word out regarding the Israel we know and love. Lies have now been unmasked and the truth seeks the light of day. As Israel fights for its life and reputation against a worldwide conspiracy of delegitimization, we can do no less. 

To me, Goldstone’s op-ed confirms what we’ve always known. In a region filled with the most murderous violence, Israel is among the world’s most moral nations. The IDF, while under constant threat from genocidal enemies, remains committed to a code of honor that distinguishes it from every other army on earth. . . . ."
And it gets worse. Read it if you have the stomach for it.

Where were you Richard Goldstone when we needed you?

This is an edited version of a post that I originally titled "Where are when we need you Richard Goldstone." In the middle of writing it I received an e-mail about Goldstone's interview with the AP which puts things in something - but only something - in a different light. If you don't have the stamina to read this long post, scroll down to the bottom an read Jessica Montel's [from B'Tselem] piece in today's Washington Post and take a look at the disturbing YouTube video about the Samouni family whose almost annihilation was apparently, says Goldstone, a "mistake".

In the last couple of weeks I have had the opportunity to attend a number of presentations which dealt all or in part on Justice Richard Goldstone and his famous/lauded/ condemn/disparaged report on “Operation Cast Lead,” the Israeli invasion of Gaza at the end of 2008/beginning of 2009.  At the Jewish Voice for Peace national membership meeting in Philadelphia I heard Phil Weiss and Adam Horowitz, two of the authors of the definitive book on the Goldstone Report, who gave a harrowing look into the reality of Cast Lead.  Last week Anat Biletsky, former chair of the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem and currently the Schweitzer Professor of Philosophy at Quinipiuac College, spoke at Boston College where she gave a self-described depressing view of the fascistic trends in Israel that she feels can be reckoned from Cast Lead and the Goldstone Report.  Then I heard Weiss and his other co-author, Lizzy Ratner, at Harvard underscore even more vividly what Weiss and Horowitz had said in Philadelphia. Finally, a few nights ago I heard and spoke with Danny Bar-Tal, a professor in the psychology department at Tel Aviv University who, if anything, was more depressing than Biletsky.

Then comes Justice Goldstones “reconsideration” in last Friday’s Washinton Post, of “his” report [more about the quotation marks around his in a moment]. I feel like I’m behind the curve on this, given how much has already been written about this. But I don’t want to critique what Goldstone did or didn’t say in his op-ed, lots of people have already done that. To read some of this just google Goldstone or check out a searing critique by Ilan Pappe or Alex Kane on Mondoweiss, or see Horowitz and Ratner talking about Goldstone’s article.

I want to address two things here: the Israeli response to Goldstone’s “reconsideration” and the absence of a credible statement from Goldstone himself.

Ever since the publication of the Goldstone Report the Israel right-or-wrongers have condemned it as biased and anti-Israel and have rejected it as totally illegitimate.  Worse, despite Goldstone’s sterling bona fides as a hardcore Zionist and supporter of Israel, they have vilified Goldstone personally as incompetent, untrustworthy, anti-Zionist and self-hating. The attacks were so disgusting that they included threats to demonstrate outside of Goldstone’s grandson’s Bar Mitzvah if he tried attend. Now, based on the Post op-ed, which repudiated very little, those who attacked Goldstone viciously are jumping on a "Goldstone has come home and vindicated us" kind of bandwagon, braying to the world that “we’re okay after all, it was all an awful anti-Semitic farce and look, even Goldstone himself admits it.” Author/journalist Jonathan Cook has a good look at the Israeli reaction on the Israeli Occupation Archive where he notes 
“Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, immediately called on the United Nations to shelve the Goldstone Report; Ehud Barak, the defence minister, demanded an apology; and Avigdor Lieberman, the foreign minister, said Israel’s actions in Gaza had been “vindicated”.

My good friend, the late Hilda Silverman, was hyper-vigilant [but right] about fact checking. She alwys reminded us that if you say that there were about100 people at some action and it turns out that there were only 87 you can be sure that CAMERA, “Honest” Reporting and the Israeli government will not only point that out but use it as a way of [to use a phrase!] delegitimizing whatever else you’ve said. I remember talking to Hilda in 2002 when Israel launched Operation Defensive Shield, the invasion of the refugee camp in Jenin in the West Bank. Over-anxious reporters spoke about a “massacre” with all kinds of numbers being thrown around. Eventually credible sources were talking about 75-80 Palestinians killed and finally there was general agreement that there was about 56 Palestinian deaths. The main story became “there was no massacre!” as if the 56 had not died and the IDF had not leveled a major part of Jenin.

Many people have pointed out that, in reality, Goldstone actually did not renounce very much but, by saying he was “rethinking” certain limited things – mostly that he now seems to think that the awful and illegal killing of civilians might not have been the result of Israeli military policy – although he does not question that there was awful, illegal killing – by saying even this the defenders of Cast Lead are already discrediting the entire UN report.  David Horowitz, in the Jerusalem Post, tells us:

“But the astounding piece in The Washington Post by the Jewish justice, who presided over the Goldstone Report that accused Israel of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, represents nothing less than an apology to Israel.

“If I had known then what I know now,” he writes in the first extraordinary paragraph of his mea culpa, “the Goldstone Report would have been a different document.”

How dramatic the about-face. And how terrible that it was necessitated.

How tragic, that is, that Goldstone so misplaced his moral compass in the first place as to have produced a report that has caused such irreversible damage to Israel’s good name.”

[Read the rest of the article – it gets worse!]

And finally [and I’m rewriting this section having just seen that Goldstone clarified his position in an AP interview], where has Goldstone been in the last four or five days? How could he not have realized the way he would be used by the Israelis by even suggesting that maybe he needed to “reconsider” what the report says. “If I knew then” he says – well sure, whenever we learn new things it informs our previous ideas. But nowhere does Goldstone repudiate the basic truth of the report.  but now, despite good clarifications from people like Adam Horowitz, for much of the world, that doesn’t matter.  The story now is that the Goldstone report was wrong, Goldstone said so, Israel is vindicated. It would have been nice if he had never written the Post piece – but having written it he owed it to us to have clarified it immediately so that he couldn’t be used this way. Some have posited that Goldstone succumbed to the constant pressure and invective that he’s had to endure [See Ian Williams in Foreign Policy in Focus] and wanted, at least to some degree, get his detractors to see that he’s still the good Jew, the good Zionist he was before the report. Well, the reality is that it hasn’t really done anything to mollify those who have attacked him. Most, like Horowitz, are happy to use the Post article to vindicate Israel and the IDF, but they still think Goldstone has neither said nor atoned enough.

One last thought about speaking out. I said at the beginning that I’d explain why, when talking about Goldstone’s report I put quotation marks around “his” report. We tend to forget that there were four people responsible for writing it.  Where are the other members of the UN commission that wrote the report, Professor Christine Chinkin, Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and Political Science, who was a member of the High Level Fact Finding Mission to Beit Hanoun (2008); Ms. Hina Jilani, Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and former Special Representative of the Secretary General on Human Rights Defenders, who was a member of the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur (2004); and Colonel Desmond Travers, a former officer in the Irish Armed Forces and member of the Board of Directors of the Institute for International Criminal Investigations (IICI). A distinguished panel who all signed the final report. Will they say anything about this situation or will they be properly, diplomatically silent?

Two final notes:

If you want to see what really happened to the Samouni family [who was almost wiped out by "accident," click here

 And finally, probably the most reasoned piece about all of this is by B'Tselem's executive director, Jessica Montell in today's Washington Post. Check it out.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

What a difference a few decades makes

Shavua Tov.

This evening I had the problematic pleasure to hear a really nice concert.

Shir Appeal
Honorable Mention
For many years the social action committee at my synagogue, Congregation B'nai Brith in Somerville Massachusetts, has held a benefit for  a wonderful domestic violence program, Respond. This year we sponsored a concert featuring two very different - but each in their own way wonderful - Jewish a cappella groups. Shir Appeal [a wonderful pun: shir ha-piel literally means Song of the elephant] is "Tufts University's ONLY Co-ed, Jewish A Cappella group" and has tremendous energy and a wonderfully quirky take on Jewish/Hebrew songs.  Honorable Menschen [also a great pun] is "Boston's premiere semi-professional Jewish a cappella group" and is really polished with clever uses of a variety of musical styles.

The problem? Shir Appeal opened the evening with the iconic Naomi Shemer song, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav [Jerusalem of Gold].  Just a couple of years after living in Jerusalem I was part of a group that ran a Jewish educational program for teenagers where music played an important part of what we did. Songs like Yerushalayim Shel Zahav were at the heart of our groups' sense of who, as American Jews, we were and what we were connected to. Both the words ["Jerusalem of Gold, of bronze and of light"] and the underlying message [the rebirth of our Jewish homeland, the center of our religious identity] were inspiring, comforting and a sign of God's love and eternal commitment to us. For me personally it evoked the many hours I spent soaking up the grandeur of the Old City from the outside and the enormous sense of comforting spirituality I felt when meandering through the maze of narrow streets inside. I can remember, even decades later, passing the reassuring mixed salad of people: Orthodox Christians in their long black robes and high hats, Orthodox Jews and Hasidim in their black suits and hats and a variety of Arab types in the homes and shops that were packed into to such a physically limiting space.  I remember the feeling of comfort I derived from all of these disparate peoples sharing this palpably holy place. A place I thought of as Ir Shalom, the City of Peace.

Fast forward  more than three decades later. I've driven around the outskirts of the city and once again wondered at its amazing beauty: the gold of the Jews' Temple Mount which Muslims know as the Noble Sanctuary, the blinding sun reflected by the Dome of the Rock and on the ever-present Jerusalem stone, all enclosed within the seeming safety of the ancient walls.  Then I remember walking again through that same labyrinth I walked years ago. But now I can't escape the realization that all the old types - Hasidim, Christian priests, Arab shop keepers, etc. - are still there, except the sense of their moving through a shared, sacred place is gone and all I can see is a mass of people who, while packed together and bumping into one another, seem, in some surreal way, to be inhabiting totally different places simultaneously. Because of this I find that it is painful, almost impossible to go into holy places I was once so moved by. I'm not even able to go down to the plaza near what was once known as the "Wailing Wall" and is now, since 1967, the "Western Wall." I remember that on my last trip there I could only watch from the terrace overlooking the plaza, viewing the mostly black-garbed men [the women are separated by a barrier  into a contained, smaller area,  where they are forbidden to do certain rituals] in various forms of prayer, the golden-domed Mosque looking on over the wall, all "protected" by the always present uniformed, armed Israeli soldiers.

This evening these images forced themselves into my mind as I listened to the wonderful harmonies of Shir Appeal and flavored the rest of the concert for me. I wanted to let myself fully enjoy the music and the energy of the two talented groups but couldn't free myself of the words they sang, words that were once comforting, energizing and so much part of my Jewish being but now insist on reminding me of how the "conflict" has so drained the hopes of so many of those old songs.  James Carroll, the ex-priest who is now an insightful author and Boston Globe columnist, recently introduced his latest book, "Jerusalem Jerusalem." The double title reflects his sense of a city that is the most fully holy place on earth [shalom comes from a root meaning "whole-ness"] and, simultaneously the place that has engendered some of the disharmony between peoples.

Strange how symbols change over the years.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Palestine, economics, Deval PATrick and Bob Kraft - looking for input

Last month, when Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's office announced that he was going on  a "Massachusetts Innovation Economy Partnership Mission 2011" to Israel and the United Kingdom with a coalition of the state’s leading business executives and senior government officials, an alliance of about a dozen local groups and individuals reconstituted the "Massachusetts/Palestine Trade Association. We sent a letter to the governor to suggest that, given the situation in Israel/Palestine he reconsider making this trip - and, realizing that given the late date and the kind of people who the governor was going with he was not going to call the trip off, we suggested that he meet with some business and tech people in Palestine and offered to get him in touch with people we know there. We closed our letter with a request to meet with him before he went and, not at all surprisingly, when I spoke with someone in his office I was told that the advance team had already left, Governor Patrick was very busy, and if we contacted the appointments office maybe they could arrange something when he came back.

Then, this past  Tuesday the Metro Section of the Globe ran "Pats owner’s deep ties to Israel are personal" focusing on Bob Kraft's long-standing relationship with and philanthropy in Israel. The article noted that Kraft "spoke of a grander vision for the country’s economic independence, rooted in a capitalist belief that financial prosperity will promote peace and stability for Israel and its neighbors. He said he had "employed Palestinians from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank at his companies until security checkpoints imposed after the second intifada made it impossible." It quoted Kraft, who has significant interests in Israeli firms:
“We need to create jobs in the West Bank and Gaza and Israel and Jordan and Syria and Lebanon,’’ he said. “I’m rooting for a lasting peace in that area of the world. . . . I hope American entrepreneurs and Mideast entrepreneurs can work to help do that.’’
Gaza Shopping Mall
So, I thought,  maybe the way to address this issue is through Bob Kraft - take him at his word and, given how successful he was in convincing the governor to go to Israel, maybe we could approach him to interest the governor in exploring the potential for investing in industries in the West Bank. I sent an e-mail with these thoughts to the people on my Association list and the few responses I received suggested that there was  little interest in pursuing this either because people thought that Kraft would simply not respond or that the nature of his politics in regard to Israel/Palestine would make it futile to relate to him as some sort of ally. 

Then I had an interesting piece of input. I recently wrote about Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian that spoke at Harvard's Center for Middle East Studies last week. After his presentation I had an opportunity to talk with him for a while during which economic conditions in Palestine came up. I shared what had been going on around the governor's Israel mission. I also shared my concerns about how positive movements in the economy were being manipulated by the "pro-Israel" people. The Israeli PR machine tells us that last year the West Bank had the most economic growth in years, that "they" were building big, beautiful, modern malls [with air conditioning!] and PA Prime Minister Fayyad has made economic development the cornerstone of his program so there's really nothing to worry about.

His reaction, included two thoughts, one which I anticipated and one that I didn't. First he said that we shouldn't be concerned about what was being said, the important thing was to do anything we could to help the Palestinian economy - the other side is going to say whatever they're going to say regardless of what we do and Palestinians need whatever help we can give them.  His second response was that it is really important to project an image of Palestinians as modern, sophisticated people rather than backward, tribal victims and initiatives like this could be helpful, if for nothing else at least educating people.

So, Husam pushed me back into that place of vacillation: would it be helpful to invest time and energy into pursuing the idea of talking to Governor Patrick [possibly through Bob Kraft] or is the potential for getting anywhere with this - coupled with the Massachusetts statehouse's current priorities, so remote that we should just let this go? It would be interesting to know what people think about this.

Friday, March 25, 2011

The JVP Brandeis Petition is On-line

In case you haven't seen it yet, the JVP-Brandeis folks have put their petition up. You can - and should - sign it here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The churning Middle East and . . . .

Yesterday I had the pleasure of hearing Husam Zomlot speak at the Center for Middle East Studies at Harvard where he is, among other things [a PLO representative to the UK (2003-2008);  PhD degree in economics from the University of London, an MSc in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a BA in Economics and Political Science from Birzeit University; specializing in international peace-building and post-conflict reconstruction programs; the United Nations; the Oxford Research Group; the London School of Economics; and the Palestine Economic Policy Research Institute] a Visiting Fellow. His topic was "A Paradigm Shift: The Arab-Israeli Conflict and Regional Transformation." His lecture raised a couple of questions for me, one of which I'll share here.

Husam distinguished clearly between past revolutions in the Middle East which were really coups - violent takeovers of existing regimes, usually led by relatively small groups from the "top." Tunisia and Egypt [but not Libya], however, were mass non-violent, grassroots movements aimed at dislodging the leaders of existing, non-democratic regimes [e.g., Mubarak and Ben Ali]. He presented a mostly optimistic view of what all of this upheaval will mean for Palestine. He was in Ramallah, for instance, when 2000 Palestinians came out to the streets before being dispersed [non-violently] by Palestine Authority police. He expressed his disappointment at the relatively low turnout in the West Bank but feels that this has to be seen in the context of ongoing non-violent demonstrations that have been, and continue to go on elsewhere like B'illin. Husam also contrasted that with 10,000 demonstrators in Gaza who were violently dispersed by Hamas.  

Like the topic of this presentation, many people have been asking what effect the events in Egypt, Tunisia and potentially elsewhere will have on Palestine, which raises a question for me: Were Palestinians to rise up, who would they be confronting? The Israelis whose occupation of their homeland is strangling them? A Palestinian Authority/PLO that many see as helpless at best, collaborationist at worst? A Fatah party that is only marginally less corrupt than it was when it lost the election to Hamas? Hamas whose support has been quite low but grows steadily the longer Israel's siege continues?

My point is this; Palestinians are, in effect, struggling on three fronts all within a physically dwindling battlefield. Add to this the growing paranoia in Israel as its leaders see quasi-allies like Mubarak being pushed out and the fear of what comes next overwhelms them. Along with bombs in Jerusalem, mortars coming from Gaza and horrific murders in "settlements" moves Israel to what seems to be its only way of responding: harder, more violent retaliations. It makes one wonder what Palestinians can do to fulfill the aspirations that a good part of the world agrees they deserve but few will do enough to help their actualization. Many people feel that world opinion is finally shifting and things are beginning to change - certainly that was part of Husan Zomlot's perspective.

In my travels in the West Bank and Gaza I have been continually amazed at the resilience and persistence of the Palestinian people. Yesterday [and I'll say more about this in my next post] Husam repeated something I often heard in Palestine, particularly when people talked about what Israel was doing or trying to do to them: "We're not going anywhere." For a people, many of whom still carry the keys to houses they were forced to leave, some of them six decades ago, that's a pretty amazing statement. Inshallah.

Just a word about the bad news from Israel this week.  There can be no debate over the horrific nature of the murder of the Fogel family in the settlement of Itamar. The settlements are illegal and Itamar is populated by some of the  most extreme Jewish settlers - none of which begins to excuse or explain the awfulness of the slaughter. Likewise, while the growing obstinacy of of the Netanyahu/Lieberman regime makes some of us have some understanding of why a small number Palestinians turn to armed resistance, ultimately we cannot feel anything but condemnation about the recent bombing near the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. And, frankly, I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said about the consequences of lobbing mostly useless missles into Israel from Gaza.
Having said that I can't let a couple of things pass. First, I have to wonder if Israel's leaders will ever learn [as our, Jewish, tradition teaches us] that the cycle of violence is never ended by violence. Already Israel has begun it's usual "retaliation" in Gaza and Interior Minister Eli Yishai's solution is to build 1,000 more settlement units for every Jew murdered [and this while Israel and the PA are still looking for whoever it was that murdered the Fogels]. In the U.S. meanwhile the institutional Jewish community is already churning its well oiled wheels in order to bang the war drums [my apologies for the mixed metaphors] not to mention the e-mails I've already begun to receive asking me, in the wake of the "growing attacks on Israelis," to contribute to one or another institutions or specific funds. I'm willing to accept that when the people making the decisions in Israel hear about these incidents they are first pained by the terrible loss of life but I just can't push away the horrible feeling that, on some level, they are also happy to have another excuse to carry out these terribly misdirected [and I think ultimately self-defeating] retaliations. I could say much more, but what's the point.

Tomorrow: Palestine, Economics, Deval PATrick and Bob Kraft

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sailing with the Exodus - again

[This is not just a nostalgia piece - but you may have to read to the end to understand why I'm writing this.]

The other night I was "cruising" my non-cable TV listings and stumbled on a PBS showing of "Exodus." I first saw this epic movie as a somewhat post-Bar Mitzvah young man with about six years of four day a week Hebrew School, confirmation class and a solidly Zionist family. I thought Exodus was wonderful. Whenever I speak to groups and talk about my background I say - only partly facetiously - that the two great heroes in my family/community were David Ben Gurion and Paul Newman. 

I viewed the film at least one other time many years ago and, frankly, don't remember much about how I felt except that it was very emotional. So now I offer this review, 50 years after Exodus first opened.
To begin with, despite the stellar cast and production group [Screenplay by Dalton Trumbo based on the best-selling Leon Uris novel; directed by Otto Preminger; starring Paul Newman, Eva Marie Saint, Sal Mineo, Ralph Richardson, Lee J. Cobb, Peter Lawford, David Opatashu and Hugh Griffith!] this really isn't a very good film. The dialogue is stilted, sometimes pedantic and frequently preachy.  None of the actors quite overcomes the shortcomings of the script and, at 208 minutes [almost 3 ½ hours!], it's not long enough to capture the enormous scope of the events yet too long to completely capture my attention. 

Then there is the story. Every myth and stereotype is included before the heartbreaking last image fades.  The cast includes every "type" we need for a story like this: There is, of course, Ari Ben Canaan [Paul Newman] the ultimate sabra - hard and prickly as a cactus outside with a soul soft enough to ache for the wall between his father and uncle, and ultimately able to make room in his heart for the shicksa  turned pseudo-Zionist, Kitty Fremont [Eva Marie Saint]; Ari's father Barak, the Ben Gurion figure [Cobb] and Barak's estranged brother Akiva, the stand in for Irgun leader Menachem Begin [Opatashu]; the violently angry Dov Landau [Mineo] whose rage - and expertise with explosives - were born in the hell of Auschwitz where his life was saved by blowing up the bodies of his fellow Jews gassed in the "showers";  the almost unbearably innocent Karen who is the only one who can break through Dov's shell and, for the sake of the story, has to die; Taha, the "good" Arab, an almostzz brother to Ari, whose father gave Barak the land on which his village was founded and who, like Karen, must die, hung by the bad Arab followers of the Grand Mufti and a vicious German Nazi.

 And, as for the mandatory plot lines: a boatload of Holocaust survivors ready to give up their lives if they cannot go to Palestine; the charming anti-Semitic young British officer who is outsmarted by the clever Ari; the hostility between the moderate, heroic, good Haganah [represented by Ben Gurion/Barak Ben Canaan] and the extremist, violent Irgun [Begin/Akiva Ben Canaan], but even the Irgun is made up of well-intentioned, misguided Jewish heroes so even they aren't terrorists [Dov, after blowing up the King David hotel, killing 91 people, reminds us: "We gave them three warnings. If they want their own people slaughtered that's up to them"; the obligatory scene where the American Presbyterian Kitty first begins to understand it all as she sits on the hill overlooking the Jezreel Valley with an intense Ari, taking in the beauty of the resplendent view of the valley that the amazing halutzim [pioneers] brought, literally, to life [Ari to Kitty: "I know every tree we have planted here"]; teenagers carrying babies with taped mouths on their backs, in dead of night, to save them from the impending Arab attack; and, finally, Ben Gurion/Ben Canaan's rousing balcony announcement of the UN partition vote, including a heartfelt plea to our Arab "brothers" to stay in their houses and stand with us to build the new nation.

So, here's the point: everyone should take the 208 minutes to watch this movie. Exodus is the narrative of Israel that my my generation grew up with, never suspecting that any of it might not be true - and certainly unaware of any parallel narrative.  We on the "left" have appropriately demanded that Israelis, Jews and Zionists at very least listen to and acknowledge the Palestinian narrative.  It is just as important that we listen to and acknowledge the Zionist narrative. On the one hand it is only fair to listen to our adversaries and remember, myths are not always false. There was a Holocaust and centuries of the persecution is part of the Jewish experience. And there were Jews who thought they were developing a nation that would include all of Palestine's people [e.g., Buber and Magnes]. We cannot diminish these realities nor should we.  But, if the morality of this isn't persuasive enough, think of the strategy. How can we hope to reach our goals of ending the occupation and guaranteeing the civil/human rights of Palestinians without understanding what motivates those who stand in the way of those goals.
I can't deny that now and again, as I watched the movie, I cried. I could chalk that up to the swelling strains of Hatikvah and the Exodus theme, both used to great effect throughout the film. But, if I am honest, I have to acknowledge that I was also crying for the loss of my innocent past, a time when the story of Israel was simple, when I could count on the ultimate success of my heroic people. For cripes sake: wasn't Paul Newman there to make everything turn out okay?!?!