To celebrate fifty years of the biannual Jerusalem book fair, the 2013 programme is full of meeting points with global literature and local stars. Yet have all the opportunities to make Israel's multicultural and multilingual readers more worldly been used up?
The world lost a great poet whose lifespan embrased almost an entire century. Lithuanian-born (we'd like to consider so - he was born in Czarist Russia and lived in Poland, but nonetheless was sort of a part of the culture that thrived in Lithuania at the time) Avrom (Abraham) Sutzkever died on 20 January in Tel Aviv.
The Swiss voted. Minarets are now forbidden in Switzerland. The logic behind banning those minarets is, that they are seen as an imperialistic symbol of Islam. If Islam means surrender or submit – those minarets are seen as a sign that the country is already surrendering or at least should do so according to the Muslims.
Last week, Kurt Masur conducted the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, playing what he is famous for: Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Having visited the concert was an experience in many respects. The orchestra has a very special vibe, as does the audience, which comes dressed very casually - in jeans and sneakers.
The Hebrew University starts at my bus stop in Jerusalem’s neighborhood of Rehavya. At 7.30 in the morning, I stand there and wait for my bus – doing my Italian homework, as Italian class starts at 8.30. Many other students come and join, pulling out papers on Foucault, on history of art or statistics.
16 young Israelis and Palestinians met last month for a 5-day seminar of dialogue in Aqaba, Jordan ■ What began in suspicion and hostility ended in an exchange of e-mail addresses – and an agreement that there’s a long, hard way ahead for both sides By Desert Dweller
Take 8 Israelis and 8 Palestinian, girls and boys, all in their 20’s; box them up in a hotel conference room for 5 days; try to