Thursday, June 25, 2009

Coffee lashevet

by Kasey Bar

As I write, I am relaxing in a little coffee house with warm lighting and Nora Jones playing softly in the background. I am having the usual conversation with myself about whether to order an ice coffee or a fruit shake. At least the high temps have conquered my indecision about the latte and mocha. I wonder who started the whole coffee house trend? I find the quiet mix of conversations with the clinking of coffee cups and pastry plates the perfect setting for mental stimulation. Would you believe I am in the Middle East?

Yes, there are more than deserts, camels and terrorists here. I know, it is hard to believe if you get your information from the mainstream media. Israel is in fact a thriving, legitimate democracy with cultural and religious freedom and technological advances like no other place in the Middle East. And yes, coffee shops not only exist in all their charm here but are the thriving social centers of the Israeli culture.

Everyday that I watch the news it is painfully obvious that the mainstream media is writing its own narrative without regard to the inconvenient facts of history. The news is skewed to lead people to believe that Israel, which is the size of the state of New Jersey, is the greatest obstacle to world peace. I mean, why worry about the brutal suppression of freedom in Iran or the fact that North Korea is threatening to launch a missile at Hawaii when there are Jews in Israel wanting to build an addition on their house in an area deemed by the United Nations as “occupied” or “disputed”.

The media, and the forces that propel its mission, would like you to believe Israel is, at best a land full of angry, abusive, waring thugs and at worst, an illegitimate European settlement creating havoc in the world and fueling peace-loving Muslims to take up arms against their brutal oppressors. There is another perspective. In fact there are several other perspectives and this is why I have decided to enter the blogosphere and create a collective blog on life in Israel beyond the conflict.

I have invited a dynamic team of writers from different backgrounds and countries with unique experiences and insights to contribute to More Than a War Zone: Perspectives on Israel. It is our goal to bring you a closer, more intimate picture of the life in Israel as well as historical perspectives on current events. We want our readers to understand that Israel not only has a “right” to exist, but that her existence has been benefiting the world with incredible information and technology since long before 1948.

We will publish articles on a wide range of issues from ancient theological insights to reports on the present high tech boom in Israel. We hope to create vibrant discussion with our readers on any issue related to the land of Israel and the Jewish people. We hope that More Than a War Zone will not only be a site to read great articles but will also be a hub of interactive discussion. We encourage you to comment and gladly welcome your own perspectives.

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