Posts Tagged ‘israel’

wall collage

January 31, 2011

i don’t know why i have the urge to snap pics with my iphone in grocery stores.  stop judging me.

what is wrong with this picture?  whoever guesses it gets 1 point.  1000 points gets you a hug from me.

On the other hand, establishing a location where i can be completely surrounded on one side by a wall composed entirely of chocolate and on the other side by a wall composed entirely of wine makes up for the previous flaw.

alsoooo i finally decorated my living room!  wall collage time!  here, i believe that the wall decor as a whole is greater than the sum of the parts, which are: records for a shekel each, knick knacks from here and there, google-image stolen black and white pics of the IDF and Kaveret back in the day, israeli posters from the 60’s, one especially zionist propogandawesome plate, a book, and my grandma’s ukulele courtesy of my sister, adina.

thanks, adina.

thadina.

i’ll post more pics of the room later…whenever i can use someone’s camera instead of my phone…

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turn left

December 10, 2010

so i’m out with my native israeli room-mate and 3 friends…earlier we had a bit of a political/theological argument…

me to friend: take the bus with us, your stop is on the way to our house

friend: you guys live together?

my room-mate: yep

friend: oh how wonderful! that’s great that a jew and an arab are living together in harmony!

har har har….

golly…didn’t think i was *that* left winged…

but seriously… after things like this recent nation-wide survey , i have to think to myself, what are they putting in the cornflakes here?

so 45% of jews would feel uncomfortable having arabs as neighbors and 50% of arabs would feel uncomfortable having jews as neighbors.  really?  way to be racist.  are we really that primitive?  that fearful?  then again, if it was based solely on music choice, i would feel uncomfortable having both arabs or middle eastern origin jews as neighbors.  also both of those groups use way too much hair gel, and it would probably clog the pipes in the neighborhood.

chappy chanukah!

December 6, 2010

yay! it’s chanukah!

chanukah is probably the holiday that i feel most deeply, and most of those feelings are both warm and fuzzy.  they are so warm and so fuzzy that, in fact, if i ever have a soft, furry rabbit as a pet, i will name him chanukah.   he would, of course, be white, like the color that would be found on the streets right now if israel wasn’t so anti-snow.  stupid bureaucracy.

unlike most other holidays, i don’t generally connect to chanukah in what i would call a “spiritual” way, but its traditions sincerely move me as my actions link this living, breathing body to the blood of my past.  while singing maoz tsur, no thoughts of maccabees slaying greek temple-defamers enter my mind, only images of  a young spanish jewess in the 1600s secretly kindling candles from a ghetto, or a little russian-jewish immigrant girl on the lower east side in the 1910’s lighting her menorah from a tenament window,  or a 10 year old ronit kory in the DC suburbs, blue lights sparkling from the snow-kissed bushes in front of our townhouse and glittered styrafoam dredeils and stars hanging from the ceiling by gold beads.  although i have doubts about the supposed miracle of chanukah, i do not say the words “blessed are you….that performed miracles for our fathers in those days” in vain, because there is one miracle that i cannot deny:   god has, in an almost wastefully extravagant mercy, preserved my people across the ages.  (thanks for that, by the way, i like existing.)

i only wish that the jewish people now stood for the justice that we had for so long not been granted, but that’s another blog post for another time…

meanwhile, chanukah via youtube…

this is one of my top 10 favorite songs in the world, but i couldn’t find a good rendition of it without the beatbox…so…have a rappy chanukah (har har har)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xw-ZgyIJh00&feature=&p=3D18A3CFA677612B&index=0&playnext=1

and, now, for the cutest thing ever (check out the girl at 36 seconds)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gMTvGmpVbI&playnext=1&list=PL5C0E285AA459CDF4&index=8

i want you so bad

November 28, 2010

thanksgiving as a vegetarian was unexpectedly awesome.  people seem to focus on the turkey as the iconic holiday dish, but they forget that it’s one of the rare american meals in which vegetables – almond green beans, mashed basil sweet potatoes, and roasted succotash at my family’s table – actually fill up the majority of a the plate.  and, yes, stuffing is a vegetable in my book.  i don’t feel the need to carry the majority of the cultural elements of my upbringing on the east coast to new home in the middle east, but thanksgiving is a gem that deserves a place in my life.

speaking of food, here’s some visual imagery of the current, general situation in israel:

+1 = real parmesan from italy at 14nis for 100g…i used to have to go to a specialty shop to find this, but now it’s available in most supermarkets, and only about 6 shekels more per 100g than the inferior israeli variety (israel makes some lovely cheese, and probably some quality parm-like ones, but that which is available at this particular supermarket is not one of them.)  anyway, one point for you, israel, you win my consumerism.  um, and i guess kind of italy too?  whatever, the point is that this cheese had made this country a better place and might solve the israeli-palestinian conflict.

-1 = fake cheese.  i thought that my eyes forever escaped forced view of this imposter when i left america, but no.  “processed cheese food” has spread like the bubonic plague all around the world (way before i got here, i just have never seen it advertised in this quantity).  this product is called “pizzarella,” fake mozarella, and anyone that actually reads the label will see that the word “cheese” is no where to be found, only the phrase “milk protein and vegetable fat.”  ok, they should think of a better phrase to describe the stuff…but the name “processed cheese food” has always annoyed me because it’s not cheese, so cheese should not be in the name.  how about processed dairy food?  anyway, it even looks gross in the picture, the way it flakes apart instead of streaming in dynamic strings of genuine cheesy goodness.  in any case, i am appalled.  minus one point for israel’s gastronomic landscape.  i understand that people should have the right to buy this product, but it should be hid in the bottom of the refrigerated area in shame.

+1 jerusalem artichokes!  they are neither jerusalemite nor artichokes, but they are my favorite tuber.  they go for about a million dollars a pound in the states but here they cost about a half a shekel, or 10 cents, each.   and jerusalem artichoke soup is part of the top 10 reasons that i adore the colder seasons.  oh, this is my local friendly supermarket guy, scanning a horrid mistake that i made: non-baby raw spinach…my salad tastes like a bowl of tree leaves.

+.75 i have finally found an adequate pasta place to serve as cheap eats for groups of struggling 20 somethings like me.  until now, hummus ben sira was my go to empty-wallet meal out with friends, and still stands as the establishment that i feel offers diners the best deal in the city, but man cannot live on garbanzo alone.  pasta with a choice of about 10 sauces is whipped up for you in a jiffy at just 20 shekels, and added toppings and veggies for a few more.  the down side is that it tastes like 20 shekel pasta, or at least what i ordered.  on the other hand, there are so many places in this city that uncreatively serve what tastes like 20 shekel pasta  but charge you 50.

two fun little links starts NOW!

1. um, i want this for chanukah.  SO BAD.

http://www.bttrventures.com/

or not…cuz they only ship to the US.  boo.

2. how neat…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bXQAgzfwuNQ

huffing and puffing

November 21, 2010

and now for an angry rant, by ronit kory:

this whole darn world’s political opinion about the situation here annoys me.  it’s challenging enough to find an opinion *inside* this country that i agree with now that leftist zionism is practically dead, let alone the painfully one-sided pieces from abroad.  every single blog post or comment on a newspaper article that i come across either contains blind worship of israel and fear/ apathy/ hatred of palestinians or blind victimization of palestine and vilification/ absolute condemnation of israel.  and what furthers my disturbed disposition is that it seems like no one has bothered to simply look up two basic definitions in the dictionary (it’s on the internet now, folks, you don’t even have to pick up a book):  occupation and genocide.  the former group would like to believe and persuade you in their thinking that neither exists here, while the latter insists that they both do, to the point of nazism.  the fact that i’ve read almost no statement from my passionate fellow internet users or heard a verbally expressed opinion from an outsider that recognizes the first of these things while denying the second is troubling and despairing.  why does everyone have to be so radically pro one thing and anti the other to the point of either denying what is obvious or that of twisting half truths?  since when is the world full of the purely innocent and the purely evil, the only situation that would allow for any side being blamelss, a bold claim both views hold for their team?  isn’t there anyone reasonable out there?!?!  gosh darnit world, stop pissing me off, i’m trying to enjoy my morning!

this concludes an angry rant by ronit kory.

in less infuriated news, i’ve happily moved to jerusalem proper and am working for an non-profit called musalaha here in town.   for the first time in my life, i leave the office (yes, i work in an office, and i don’t understand why people complain about them – they’re clean and there’s free coffee!) with the blissful feeling that i’m actively working towards bettering the world in some minuscule way.

random pics from my resurrected iphone (thanks, oz)

omg it’s so close it’s so close!!!!  i wanna ride it!!! it’s so sleek and smooth looking!  i’m so excited!!! go jerusalem!!!  go israel! yay!

nothing says class like an israeli wedding dress!  will someone please tell me *what* is *wrong* with my *people?*

that’s the bathroom in my new rented apartment.  if you say you’ve seen uglier tile in your life then you are a dirty liar.

really, guys?

October 25, 2010

a friend of mine recently visited a food blog that she thought i might like called ottolenghi.  i did, in fact, find it interesting, but what i found more interesting is that three out of the four chefs who founded this highly successful “fresh foods take-away” (think simple, natural, mostly mediterranean dean and deluca) shop that now has at least four locations in england are israeli.  so i decided to do a little googling, see what other israeli born chefs are wandering around the globe.  i recall seeing an israeli chef on the food network show “chopped” while spending time in the US this summer, and after unsuccessful internet research to find his name, i instead learned that two others had also competed on the show: einat admony and  siggy solitto.  shachaf shabtay is an israeli chef who opened up restaurants in mumbai, the czech republic, serbia, and, finally, tel aviv (thank you, mr shabtay, for at least giving a little back to the homeland).  oded shwartz has published more than a handful of cookbooks in the UK and SA.  gadi weinreich is the head chef of one of the highest grossing restaurants in nyc!   super hip miami mixologist elad zvi was a panelist on iron chef.   i could go on if i wanted to spend more than 10 minutes looking into this.  so, what can we make of it all?  obviously the number of israelis emigrants that are entering and shaping the culinary world is far greater than would be expected from the number of expats that exist-around 700,000.

good for them.  good for us.  on one hand, i think this is just peachy.  why wouldn’t i be proud that my countrymen are making a splash on the gastronomic scene, giving israel a good name among a sea of gruesome (but sometimes deserved) publicity?  i want them to become worldly, to travel to places that stretch and mold them into something greater than they could become in this tiny country.  it’s wonderful that they are realizing their dreams and finding success, but please, i beg of you guys (as if someone’s reading this) pay it forward, or backward, should i say.  of course we should venture out of our own land-everyone should-but after a few years, we should bring back to it the things we’ve learned.  some people might feel that israel is no longer their home.  fine.  maybe just come back once in a while to share the knowledge?  maybe just see israel as another potential location for one of your successful business ventures?  or if you’ve become just plain anti, ok, you have an excuse, but only you.

to say that anyone should be forced to live in a country that they don’t want to is ludicrous, but i also think that many israelis who do feel a deep and personal connection to the land leave permanently because life is harder here than it is in the west.  many have already forgotten what their grandparents and even parents fought for, and barely appreciate the existence of a safe haven for our people.  many see the injustices, the violence, and choose to escape instead of stay to help solve it.   i recently talked with a person who complained that people like him-ashkenazi jews-were the privileged class in israel, siting the injustices even other jews here suffer, let alone the arab israelis, let alone the palestinians.  yes, buddy, i know, but what are you going to do about it?  leave, of course!  get on the next plan to america and escape the problem instead of using his so called privileged status as a rich ashkenazi jewish israeli as a platform for change.  “it’s not good for me here,” he said, “i could live so much more comfortably in america (read: money).”  you know what i call that?  a coward.   he refused to join the army out of principle, which i don’t identify with but can respect,  but did he, or others like him, choose to serve the community in some other way?  heck, even volunteering with amnesty international, which outside of israel is pretty much anti-israel, counts as community service equivalent to military service according to the government.  not that it’s just him- most of those who have left, or have expressed to me a desire to do so, are tired of the corruption, of the fighting, but are more interested in relocating to a place full of opportunity, so that they can selfishly enjoy life, instead of nobly standing as a part of the solution.  it’s the bigots, the extremists that can find no compromise, who are the most steady population, staying here out of fervent religious zionism.  people with what i consider to be progressive ideas flee, while those with fanatical ideals not only stay, but have a million babies each.  what ever happened to secular zionism?  i miss you…come back, and bring some the emigrants with you.

oo toob

May 27, 2010

i saw some youtube video linked on facebook and decided to click on it…the video was ok, a r&b’d up version of hatikvah with some mediocre rap….but some of the comments were interesting…

“Jews behind all EVIL
Jews are the master mind of DEVIL”

“i hate jews”

“ALL PALISTINEANS AND MUSLIM MUST DECLARE JIHAD AGAINST THE INVADER’

“Israeli Demonic Forces(IDF) Terrorist Organisation”

i’m pretty darned left winged when it comes to israeli politics, but comments like these don’t quite induce sympathy.  yeah…so all that makes me sort of not happy…and people should learn how to spell if they’re going to dis my country.

oh, and i found another interesting one, a response to one of these comments:

“Definition of a P.I.G.
Palestinian
In
Gaza”

cmon people!!!  you insult, you ask for more insults…it takes two to fight..good golly

encourdiscouraging

March 10, 2010

articles like this encourage and frighten me simultaneously.   the idea of an economically thriving, independent, non-violent state which benefits its citizens and co-exists with israel?  encouraging.   the thoughts of the repercussions that the establishment of such a state would surely bring, as did the establishment of israel to which the featured person’s vision is compared, and the fact that only 13% of palestinians even support this apparently peaceful man as prime minister?  more on the frightening side…

anyway, here’s the article.  thoughts?

speaking of thoughts, the thoughtful, tasteful portion of this blog post has ended.   here’s a puppy in a bikini, as promised to a certain friend.

out

February 11, 2010

hm.  i haven’t updated in a while…

so i’m basically out of the military now-just one more week and it’s official.   like so many other people and places in my past, i feel much less agony over parting with them than i expected.  is the ability to quickly adapt and genuinely enjoy almost any environment a blessing or a curse?

at the last outpost, where we found wild verbena and sage to make tea on patrols, i discovered that there is a lone donkey that resides in the gilboa ever green forests.  he cried whenever a vehicle passed, beckoning us to stop and give him our company and some vegetables, which he would eat out of our hand as we pet him.  i’ve never seen a donkey alone; i suppose they are meant to be communal creatures-this one either lost or abandoned.  my heart broke for him, i must admit, and if i had the means, i would take him home and make him my own little useless donkey.

this pic was taken with my phone at night so…kinda blurry…but you can still make out a bit of cuteness, right?

as for post army plans: first thing was to dye my hair colors and paint my nails in the spirit of freedom, despite the fact that i would otherwise do neither one of those things, then work work work to try to pay off a bit of my school loans, america for my bro’s wedding, and, assuming i’m accepted, college in the north in the fall.

by the way…i encourage everyone to see the documentary food inc.   it’s anger and vomit inducing at the same time!

oh, and the day before i left, we started to plant a garden at the outpost.  i said i’d come back in a few months to visit everyone, but really i just want to see how the first fruits of my labor turn out 😉

mu-sick

August 30, 2009

i’ve had this revelation a hundred zillion times…but once again it came…and it’s so true…so very true…and so very simple.

we can’t live by how we feel or don’t feel.  period.

i’ve been downloading music for more than 10 years, since the age of 12, when napster came out.  yeah, baby, 400 bytes per second.   i’ve felt fine about it, and sorry if this causes you theological issues, but i’ve never heard any small voice saying “ronit, this is wrong” every time i clicked the mouse.  but you know what?  it *is* wrong.  you know how i know it’s wrong?  because it’s stealing.  stealing is wrong.  end of story.

what a hypocrite i’ve been up until now.  my response to the baffled gasps that follow when my fellow soldiers see that my movie collection is in actual, copyrighted and legally distributed reproductions is “i’m not going to download movies like everyone else.  it’s stealing…”  and music isn’t?  perhaps the stealthy justification complex in my head bended the truth, because, after all, movies are multi million dollar productions while a cd is not…and music from cds can be heard for free over the internet legally and on the radio, so what’s the difference?  and i felt just swell about it.

i also felt fine when i picked a few nectarines from a field during a patrol, but i couldn’t escape the truth that was uttered from the mouth of a friend, the commander of the jeep:  “those are someone else’s trees.  that’s stealing.”   the fact that they have acres of land and two peaches would not make any significant dent in the owner’s profits was irrelevant; on principle, my action was taking that which was not mine.  (but don’t you worry about me; there are plenty of free and lonely trees bearing prickly pear, figs, and peaches…and if i happen to catch workers in the fields, they are usually more than happy to share with me a fruit or two.)  my head creates complicated webs of rationalization allowing my feelings to contently comply to my self-centered wants, but it takes a most simple thing, a truth spoken directly and concisely, to pierce through those excuses.

and so i asked my army friend who i consider to be my greatest israeli authority on music if he’d like me to send him the benny goodman track he had just thoroughly enjoyed on my phone to his, and he launched an arrow through the tangles of false justification surrounding my core values in saying, “no, ronit.  that’s stealing.”  in an instant, a fluttering little thought floated about in my mind: “he’s right.”  about 5 seconds were left for me to reach out, capture this fact and insert it into my heart, or ignore its presence entirely and continue walking in delusion.   reluctantly, i grasped hold of it at the last second and said admittedly, “yeah, you’re right.  it is.”

currently i’m at home, where i’ll be for an entire week (yay!)…stopped on the way at tower records and bought 4 new israeli cds (because israeli music is all but missing entirely from my life, and what a shame it is) and then realized that i could have gotten them much cheaper at a used cd store in jerusalem, which i’ll venture to next time.  anyway, it’s not as if i’m going to refuse to listen to a mix cd that someone gives me, and i’m still going to download music that someone far away suggests to me in order to determine whether or not i like it enough to buy it, and if i don’t, say hello to mr. recycle bin.

oh good golly.  where the heck am i going to get $700 to buy legal photoshop?  this being moral business can be expensive…

BUT on more interesting subjects, at least to me, i found the prettiest tomatoes: deep red striped with forest green.  they were a whopping 8 shekels for a basket, which is expensive for produce in israel, because they’re “fancy” oooo (about $2…in america i assume they would be around $4-7, depending on how snooty the store is…sucks to be you, americans.  oh, wait, everything except food is cheaper there.  sucks to be me.)  i also found yellow cherry tomatoes, which are about the size of the mini fresh mozzarella balls that i also bought.  with fresh basil from the deck, the cutest caprese ever…  so, way to go israel on the smaller tomatoes, which are consistently sweet and robust in flavor, but what the heck were you thinking with regular tomatoes?  i don’t even know which species this is but if i did i would commit genocide on it.  the geniuses of this country have developed some of the most advanced agricultural techniques in the world, so why can’t we crank out some full-bodied beefsteaks?   or some ugly looking heirlooms, whose inner beauty shines through in juicy red perfection?  i can’t take anymore of these bland-no, tasteless- tomatoes with an enormous and annoying inner core and come in two levels of ripeness: hard or mealy.  one of my favorite things about this country, in fact perhaps my very favorite thing, is its produce.  one would assume that what is perhaps the most consumed item in the country would have been refined to perfection, or at least available in more than 2 varieties.  israel, you’re letting me down.  i might just have to revolutionize the tomato as it’s known in this country, but that will be after i introduce to it the wonder of the lime.  big dreams, i know, but it can happen… 🙂