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Wednesday, February 23, 2005

A word of explanation...

... might be in order.

At the end of yesterday's second post (yes, I actually published two entries in one day!), there was a short note that read:

"Cross-blogged @ Israelity... the soft underbelly of Israel21c"

I've been so jazzed about this new endeavor that I forgot I hadn't written anything about it here on treppenwitz.

My bad.

Israel21c (Israel in the 21st century) is a site that has finally done what nobody seems to have been able to accomplish.  It has elevated the discussion of all things Israeli above and beyond 'the conflict'.  Simply put, Israel21c refuses to allow Israel's detractors to define/limit the image of Israel that is presented to the world.

This may seem like a very simple concept, but to date not one web site, blog, news service, email list, lobby group or advocacy organization has even attempted to frame the discussion of Israel in anything but the terms selected by its detractors: The conflict. 

It's like having a close friend that talks incessantly about his health problems whenever you get together.  After a while you have to chose between taking charge of the discussion... or reluctantly allowing the friendship to slip away.

You and I know that loving Israel is so much more than mounting a cogent argument against the accusation /bias du jour.  Yet if you take a moment to look over your 'sent items' box I'm sure the overwhelming majority of Israel-related stuff you've been forwarding has been limited to this very narrow range of discussion. 

Also, if you look down the list of recipients to whom you sent those strident missives, the names probably look like a list of donors on a UJA/ Federation fundraising list. In short, you're sending out clarifications, petitions and rants to people who probably don't really need convincing.

What's happened is we've all unwittingly become that friend who can't talk about anything but his bad back... his prostate... his gout.... and it's high time someone took charge of the discussion.

Israel21c lives up to it's tag line: "A focus beyond the conflict".

What you'll find on this attractive, well written site is positive stuff about Israel that transcends political, religious and cultural 'turf'. 

To put it in terms that Sunday New York Times junkies might understand:  This is like finally being able to get past the front page and op-eds in order to spend some quality time curled up with the Arts & Leisure, Science and Regional sections.  If Israel 21c had a crossword puzzle I think I'd just cry from sheer happiness!

One of the neat things connected to Israel 21c is a collaborative blog called Israelity (Life beyond the conflict).  I'm one of several Israeli bloggers/journalers who will be contributing to this new forum.  As with Israel21c, Israelity is about everything and anything except the conflict.

I don't know how often I will be contributing to Israelity (just as I never know in advance how often I'll be updating treppenwitz), but my guess would be once or twice a week. 

Sometimes I may cross-blog (meaning I will post the same entry both here and there), and other times I will publish in only one of the two venues.   I guess I'll see what works best.  In any event, it pays to bookmark both Israelity and Israel21c because they will always be brimming with lot's of fresh, positive content.

So now that I've explained the cryptic little note from yesterday's post, I hope you're as excited as I am that we finally have an opportunity to take charge of the discussion... and renew our special friendship with the real Israel.


Posted by David Bogner on February 23, 2005 | Permalink


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Tracked on Aug 28, 2005 8:48:11 PM


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When do you ummmmm WORK!!! If I didn't know Zahava better I"d think you were a 1950's husband!!

Posted by: Marjorie | Feb 23, 2005 2:48:30 PM

OOPS! Mazel Tov on the new blog.


Posted by: Marjorie | Feb 23, 2005 2:49:11 PM

Very cool sites.

Posted by: Alice | Feb 23, 2005 3:27:45 PM

It's about time someone is doing this.

Hopefully it won't just be about Jewish infighting.

BTW, I have a friend in Israel who sends me nothing but info on technology developments in Israel.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Feb 23, 2005 4:46:55 PM

all these great bloggers posting in ONE PLACE??

Posted by: celestial blue | Feb 23, 2005 7:01:52 PM

WOW! Marjorie! I think you hit on one of David's secret fantasies!

Okay, I'd like to see a show of hands from every woman who is convinced that no man would EVER have a midlife crisis if he got a permanent "get-out-of-jail-free-card" from all household chores.....

Posted by: zahava | Feb 23, 2005 7:37:14 PM

Um, Zahava? I'm not a woman, but I'm pretty sure there were midlife crises before men were doing laundry/dishes.

It comes at the point where you reach the peak of your life and look around and realize you're about to start the trip back down and you still haven't gone-to-the-moon/married-a-supermodel/bought-a-fancy-sports-car and you likely never will.

Of course, David won't have to worry about that, since he already did plenty of interesting things in his youth. He's toured the world and elsewhere.

Posted by: psychotoddler | Feb 23, 2005 11:13:59 PM

Marjorie... Just for you I'm going to snap a picture of my honey waiting at the door for me with a pitcher of martinis. No really! :-)

Alice... I thought so too.

Psychotoddler... Tell him to put me on his distibution list. :-)

Celestial Blue... I'm sitting here breathing into a paper bag trying not to feel the pressure to perform! Glad your enjoying yourself, though. :-)

Zahava... Lucky for you I had my mid-life crisis already (the Jeep Wrangler Saharah Edition and my Route 66 Trip). Now where is my martini?

Psychotoddler... I've already married a supermodel (my wife)... bought my fancy car (my jeep)... and if I keep asking my wife to bring me a martini she's gonna launch me to the moon!

Posted by: David | Feb 23, 2005 11:25:07 PM

Congratulations. I hope Israel 21c and Israelity are successful. I tend to be a little cynical because I believe that those who hate Israel do so regardless of the conflict. They use the conflict as a pretext and as a club with which to rhetorically beat Israel. They hate Israel because it's full of Jews. This belief/realization has come to me recently, and it doesn't make me happy, but I think it's true.

That doesn't mean that the efforts on those two sites aren't valuable, but in the English speaking world there aren't that many minds on the fence that would be swayed by happy news about a new microchip or a yummy restaurant review. But maybe the efforts would be valuable not just in winning new fans for Israel, but also in reminding the loyal base that there is a rich life there, and it's not all war and politics.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 24, 2005 1:26:49 AM

I like that Israelity - the concept, the articles, the posting!
great to see it happening!

Posted by: timna | Feb 24, 2005 9:38:21 PM

Wait a second here! Without a post on Thursday, where am I supposed to eagerly await Photo Friday? Now I have to comment on Wednesday's post, which is so far removed from Friday I look crazy. And I don't need any help looking crazy.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 25, 2005 1:34:59 AM

It is after midnight and no Photo Friday yet. How am I supposed to get to sleep tonight. ;)

Posted by: Jack | Feb 25, 2005 10:14:33 AM

Doctor Bean... Nobody thinks you're crazy [looks up and whistles]

Jack... Bourbon usually works for me.

Posted by: David | Feb 25, 2005 11:19:28 AM

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