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Avraham Burg
The former Speaker of the Knesset, an author and a senior fellow with the Bruno Kreisky Forum for International Dialogue.

Entries by Avraham Burg

My Tofu, My App

(3) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 10:00 PM

"Tofu?" my vegan running partner spat. "I hope it is not genetically modified," he added. And that was it. Suddenly my whole world order collapsed. In order to explain, I need to expose a little of my personal biography. After high school I worked for a short time in a...

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Independence and Nakba: Intertwined and Inseparable

(55) Comments | Posted May 5, 2014 | 7:08 PM

Israel's Independence Day is also Nakba Day. This is inescapable. The reality of Israeliness can't help but incorporate not only the Jewish story but the Palestinian story as well (Nakba, or "the catastrophe," is the Palestinians' term for what happened to them when the state was founded in 1948.)


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The Future of Yesterday

(2) Comments | Posted April 10, 2014 | 5:20 PM

My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel, by Ari Shavit, Spiegel and Grau, (Random House, 464 pages) $28

Ari Shavit's My Promised Land is the best book written in recent years about the waning Zionist empire. The book draws a touching and painful picture, highly sympathetic and gently...

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When the Walls Come Tumbling Down

(12) Comments | Posted April 1, 2011 | 6:00 PM

The month between Purim of wicked Haman and Pesach of Pharaoh is the right time to contemplate the relationship between Jews and anti-Semitism. It is a delicate, complex package, crammed with clichés and unrelenting cries of panic, but surprisingly meager in insights. Two writers, Jean-Paul Sartre and A.B. Yehoshua, were...

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Goodness Over Genes? A Jewish Father's Marriage Advice

(22) Comments | Posted January 7, 2011 | 8:24 PM

The letters of the rabbis and the rabbis' wives are arousing all the dormant Israeli demons. Although sometimes it seems as though the demons are already wearing down, they still have the power to frighten us and cause damage.

The first reaction is automatic and loud: Gevalt! Racists! The second...

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Racists Are Over You, O Israel!

(46) Comments | Posted December 14, 2010 | 12:15 PM

From the media: "Around 150 people protested on Wednesday in front of the Jerusalem Great Synagogue. The protestors carried signs reading, 'Rabbis' letter - public blasphemy.' Violent arguments between protesters and a few far-right activists occurred at the scene."

This protest came after hundreds of rabbis signed a manifest...

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The Israel That Is No Longer

(14) Comments | Posted November 6, 2010 | 3:22 PM

The anniversary of the murder of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin rang particularly hollow this year. Most of the public discourse dealt with forgetting, as if that were not a welcome natural trait. Public figures who were part of the system of incitement that led to the murder suddenly became Rabinists...

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American Jews, You Are Next

(20) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 3:01 AM

Last month American Jewish activists succeeded in shooting down Israel's provocative conversion bill. It is an old trick of Israeli right-wing and religious politicians: whenever they need something for their constituency or want the Prime Minister Netanyahu's attention, they shoot the "enemy": the progressive, non-orthodox, innocent American Jew. This time...

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A New Party of Good Tidings

(17) Comments | Posted July 26, 2010 | 11:26 AM

The second year in office is always a year for making things clear. The government's energy has waned, its weaknesses are obvious, and anyone with a sense of smell can detect its fears. Unless an act of God intervenes such as a sudden death, an enforced peace, a dramatic indictment...

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Is Netanyahu Capitulating?

(59) Comments | Posted June 11, 2010 | 1:35 PM

Israel is a state that knows how to embark on war but has no idea how to return from one. Every time, we get excited by our finest men, our leaders' courage, and the spirit of our nation -- yet later on, oh dear, come the screw-ups, wars among the...

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From Italy to Peace

(3) Comments | Posted June 1, 2010 | 1:50 PM

Sometimes you have to travel far from home in order to see things that are right next to you. Last week I was in Italy engulfed by the beautifully curved, soft hills of Umbria. There I discovered again, anew, my next-door neighbor. I can only see this neighbor up close...

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Oy Jerusalem, Oh My God!

(70) Comments | Posted May 4, 2010 | 11:53 AM

Provided you are an average westerner and not a news-addicted consumer, hearing the name Jerusalem probably evokes positive feelings in you. You imagine a city with a rich and glorious past, and the great people who walked its streets. It is the cradle of both biblical and western civilization, the...

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Elie Wiesel, a Reality Denier

(4) Comments | Posted April 24, 2010 | 11:12 PM

The famous Jewish author and moral authority, Elie Wiesel, published recently an outrageous letter about Jerusalem. He joined the Netanyahu coalition aiming to threaten and deter president Obama, putting to work his notable weight as a moral "voice". In his open letter he writes: "For me, the Jew that I...

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The End of the Israeli Bomb

(61) Comments | Posted April 19, 2010 | 5:29 PM

Today's headlines are full of Iran, Israel, peace and global nuclear realities -- and rightfully so. This is an issue of the utmost urgency. The Israeli Prime Minister might have successfully evaded the world summit in Washington D.C., but he can no longer continue evading reality. The day when Israel...

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Our Holocaust, but Not Ours Only

(78) Comments | Posted April 7, 2010 | 4:44 PM

This coming Sunday evening in Israel and around the Jewish world, is the Holocaust Remembrance Day (in Hebrew, 'Yom Ha'Shoah'). It is a well-known, accepted and respected reality amongst the Jewish people that the horrors of World War II and the atrocities against the Jewish people are a national tragedy....

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My Parent the President

(90) Comments | Posted April 1, 2010 | 8:02 PM

Reading American politics through the Israeli and Jewish media is like looking at a solar eclipse through a very special filter; not a classical dark one but a very special and private one; rarely pink, often black, but always custom made, never off-the-shelf. Different than the rest of the onlookers are the Israelis: they all watch the democratic celebration...

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