11 thoughts on “Bronner Fetes Tel Aviv’s 100th Anniversary – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم
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  1. “Given the need to separate physically, politically and culturally from Jaffa, Tel Aviv was described, in poetry, art and journalistic and literary works, as having emerged like a “reed inserted into a sea of sand,” of as having been built in “the Sahara desert.” So powerful has this imagery of being born “out of the sands” remained that when it celebrated Israel’s 50th Anniversary, the Economist described Tel Aviv as “having hardly any Arabs… it was built by Jews, for Jews, on top of sand dunes, not on top of anybody else’s home.”

In conceiving of Tel Aviv emerging out of the sands the editors of the Economist likely had in their mind the iconic photograph of the groundbreaking ceremony for Tel Aviv, which took place on April 11, 1909. The image, featured in most every book on Tel Aviv, showed the sixty families who had purchased the first plots of land standing amidst dunes, with nary a sign of life around them.

But if we move a bit outside the frame a different picture emerges, one in which Tel Aviv, while founded on a sandy region near the shore, was part of a complex ecosystem that included citrus orchards and farms, Jaffa and its famous port, mills, bedouin encampments, and six Palestinian villages.”

    I recommend Mark LeVine:


    (Also see the comments on that)

    I was not aware that you are still fighting the ‘48 war on this blog, Richard.

    If Bronner’s piece (which was a byline he shared with another writer, but you pick your bone with Bronner as you have previously in other joint bylines) was too light for you then surely Gideon Levy’s would also be too light for you : Tel Aviv celebrates 100 years of Sanity http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1076399.html

    Bronner is not an activist. Said that already. The article entitled “journal” is not an in-depth look at history. And Bronner is not a “ western curator”; whatever the term’s originator meant by that. Bronner is basically a reporter, a journalist, yes, bureau chief, but with an editor to get by. But in this short NYTimes article the dark side of TA history is indeed recognized though of course not enough for you. As to who wrote what in this article, who wrote the lines you object to- neither you nor I know but Bronner, as usual, is the go-to punching bag.

    Having recently been to Tel Aviv, I can say that being in the city was a breath of fresh air. It looked pretty diverse to these eyes. But we were also stopped by an impromptu checkpoint and asked questions. This city can’t stick it’s collective head in the sand. The conflict is in everyone’s psyche. But they should celebrate like we celebrate here in the USA despite our own history….

    Yes, what happened should be told and cannot not be felt, as the short NYTimes article indicates. But others elsewhere can do more in depth articles. Maybe Ken Burns can even do a mini-series if he lives long enough to get to it.

    If you bash the Israel within the ‘48 lines,to me that means you are fighting the ‘48 war, as the historian you cite.

    1. If it isn’t Ethan Bronner’s resident groupie, Suzanne, sallying forth to defend someone who needs no defending.

      Bronner’s piece (which was a byline he shared with another writer, but you pick your bone with Bronner as you have previously in other joint bylines)

      Bronner is the senior reporter on every story he writes. He’s also the bureau chief. So yes, he’s the one I single out for criticism. I read everything every NYT reporter writes from and about Israel. I critique every article here if I feel it deserves such treatment. Yet wondrously the only articles that move me to speak out are the ones he writes (or co-writes). I have written here more flatteringly of work by previous NYT Israel bureau chiefs like James Bennett and others. The Times reporters get the treatment they deserve.

      It looked pretty diverse to these eyes.

      Maybe you need them checked. Did you visit Jaffo, Ajame or any other neighborhood under threat by developers and too weak to fight back? Next time contact my blogger friend Yudit Ilany & ask for a tour of the neighborhoods you conveniently ignore or are ignorant of. The idea that the lily white Tel Aviv you undoubtedly visited was “pretty diverse” makes me laugh.

      If you bash the Israel within the ‘48 lines

      Ah yes, the proverbial “bashing Israel” charge from the resident liberals. You’ve heard of Nakba, perhaps? I don’t need to bash Israel, it bashed itself on that one. And if you ignore this then your historical eyesight & memory are faulty.

  2. What’s wrong with revisiting 1948? It is the root of the problem. Even if one doesn’t think a one state solution is practical, it’s still important to understand 1948 so that we aren’t told that something like Barak’s summer 2000 offer was incredibly generous.

    The wish to exclude 1948 means we start with the present and start debating how much of the settlements and land Israel has taken since 1967 they have to give back. In that context, if the Israelis offer to return 80 percent it can be portrayed as “generous”. Bringing 1948 into the picture means people keep in mind how much the Palestinians have really lost and then the negotiations can begin from there. It’s not going to lead to a one state solution unless the Israelis make a two state solution so obviously impractical most Palestinians switch over to chanting “one man, one vote”.

  3. Suzanne is like the new PR rep for the White House (Rice or whoever she is) wanting to ‘move forward’ and ‘look ahead’.

    Everything comes back to 48′.

    The Zionists had already begun ethnically cleansing Palestine before the declaration of Statehood. Blah blah blah blah.

    But of course, we must look forward. Keep looking forward! Especially when looking BACK means thinking about the crimes of the State and it’s allies and how it REVEALS a PATTERN of behavior that persists RIGHT UP TO THE PRESENT!

    Nothing has changed.

  4. BTW is this the same Suzanne who trolled Mondoweiss all throughout Gaza, ridiculing Palestinian children who were suffering from malnutrition due to the seige?

  5. The Gaza massacre I should say.

    I do recall a Suzanne, constantly making snide remarks and insults in a playful tone (sort of like a elementary school bully).

  6. RE: The war of [creating a] “white city”…is the war of Tel-Aviv against Jaffa – Gabriel Ash

    MY COMMENT: Several years ago I happened upon an Israeli blog with photos of Israelis dressed in costumes for the Purim holiday. One photo was of three people (Israelis, I assume) on a street (in Tel Aviv, I believe) dressed in identical, immaculate, hooded (slits for the eyes) KKK robes/costumes (and “mugging” for the camera). If I recall correctly, these robes appeared to have the official KKK insignia on them. It might have been some type of replica, but the KKK “cross” was clearly visible.

    P.S. “The (Old) Gray Lady” sho’ “ain’t what she used to be”! In Bronner’s case it is probably more a lack of intellect than anything else. The ‘dumbing down’ of American journalism is truly frightening.

    1. OMG, I almost forgot!

      DISCLAIMER: No insinuations or generalizations were intended by the author of the preceding comment (located immediately above this ‘reply’).

  7. RE: The war of [creating a] “white city”…is the war of Tel-Aviv against Jaffa – Gabriel Ash

    SE ALSO: Tel Aviv suburb starts anti-miscegenation patrol to ‘assist young girls in the habit of mingling with men from minorities’, by Adam Horowitz, 09/17/09

    (EXCERPT) Check out this illustrative news story from Mississippi, 1963 (‘Mississippi, 1963’ lined through) Tel Aviv, today. The great Israeli blogs Promised Land and Dimi’s Notes report that the Tel Aviv suburb of Petah Tikva has established a patrol unit to break up dates between Palestinians and Jews. Dimi Reider explains and provides a translation of a Yediot Ahronot article on the program…

    ENTIRE POST – http://mondoweiss.net/2009/09/tel-aviv-suburb-starts-anti-miscegenation-patrol-to-assist-young-girls-in-the-habit-of-mingling-with-men-from-minorities.html

  8. [No comments will be accepted from this commenter until he provides evidence that he exists by this name and is who he says he is.]

  9. “What distinguishes this neighborhood, not only from Jaffa and the Palestinian villages but also from the older Jewish neighborhoods, is that it was established by white >>>>>>European<<<<<< Jews. It is on the basis of this distinction that the history of Tel-Aviv was written and transformed into a myth of a city created on sands"

    Mr. Silverstein, I am leaning more and more towards the hypothesis of the Khazarian (and then conversions) of the modern Jews, and the (in my opinion) the descendants of biblical Jews being (gasp, shock) the Palestinians, who in meanwhile converted to Islam.

    Just an interesting tangent.

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