Tag Archives: Cancer

An Illness Within.

My latest in Haaretz. A look at the importance of language and metaphors in the recent anti-immigrant rhetoric in Israel. Sometimes (if I may paraphrase Nietzsche), one needs to opine with a hammer.

On the day that the first, and highly publicized “repatriation” of South Sudanese migrants begins, we need to look again at the rhetoric employed by Israeli politicians and broadcasters towards those seeking refuge and a better life in Israel.

The incitements that lead to the anti-immigrant riot of March 23 by Israeli politicians Miri Regev, Danny Danon, and Michael Ben-Ari have rightly shocked people of good conscience. Many have asked how, after all, can politicians representing the state of Israel call people living in its midst a “cancer in our body” and a “national plague”? However, a poll taken shortly after the incident (by the Israel Democracy Institute) has shown that 53 percent of Israelis identify with those statements and 33 percent of Jews (along with 23 percent of Arabs) supported the acts of violence against African immigrants.

More recently, media personality and Army Radio talk-show host Avri Gilad said the migrants who enter Israel are a threat by virtue of being Muslims; which according to him is “the most terrible disease raging around the world.” He further explained that even though many of them are moderate, they carry a “virus” that can “explode” at any moment.

To understand the seriousness of Regev, Danon and Gilad’s statements we only have to mine history for the way in which Jews and others have been on the wrong end of similar pronouncements. Almost every genocide in recorded history has been preceded by the instrumental use of language to dehumanize and demonize a particular population – not least the Holocaust, but also Rwanda and Cambodia at the time of the Khmer Rouge. In other words, language – particularly the use of metaphors – matters. Continue reading


Pioneers For A Cure: A Wonderful New Eleemosynary Initiative.

This is worth your support.

Pioneers for a Cure, an artist-driven philanthropy with the immediate goal
of raising $100,000 for cancer research and treatment within the next few months.

Pioneers for a Cure believes that it is time to make cancer a thing of the past. Today’s leading musicians and singer-songwriters are reinterpreting and recording pioneer songs, some classic and some nearly forgotten, for the Pioneers for a Cure recording project. Featuring top artists such as Smadar Levi, Neshama Carlebach, Tovah Feldshuh, Frank London, David Broza, Dov Rosenblatt, Klezmerfest and many others, along with a talented production team, Producer: Rabbi Greg Wall, Engineer: Dave Richards and Executive Producer: Beth Ravin, Pioneers for a Cure is premiering a multi-phase cross-cultural project that raises money for cancer research, while preserving the lost music of the pioneers.

All songs are available for download on the Pioneers for a Cure website.”