All that Jazz

by Ya'akov Almor "You live in Mitzpe Ramon? Really? That's a far-away place, isn't it?" It's a question - and assertion – that I hear often. Fortunately, most of those phrasing these questions know where to find my little town on Israel's map. "I had lunch at the new shopping center when I drove through on my way to Eilat a while back," an acquaintance enthused. Many locals, myself included, do not share the occasional visitors' enthusiasm. The building, stuck next to our town's central [...]

By | 2022-10-03T21:46:54+02:00 October 3rd, 2022|Blog, Human Interest - English|Comments Off on All that Jazz

A Palestinian Mandela?

Later this week, I’ll be flying back home after spending a month with my love here in Spain. When I flew to Madrid last month, I could not imagine that a few weeks later, I would be following the news coming from Israel for hours at length throughout the eleven days of the latest round of fighting with Hamas. A day after the ceasefire took hold, I listened to the press conference of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu en the Minister of Defense Benny Gantz. As [...]

By | 2021-05-25T19:04:13+02:00 May 25th, 2021|Blog, English - Politcal|Comments Off on A Palestinian Mandela?

Merav Michaeli, A Fresh Breath of Air – and Hope

Every Friday morning, around seven, Mitzpe Ramon’s only paper delivery man hurls two weekend papers over the fence: the Hebrew-language HaAretz and the International New York Times (INYT).  Their arrival is often announced by a loud thud, as the roll, heavy with its multiple supplements, bounces off my front door. While enjoying my first coffee of the day, I always first open the HaAretz weekend magazine to read the column by the investigative journalist Nir Gontarz. Each week, Gontarz calls and ‘interrogates’ a personality who [...]

By | 2021-02-11T18:11:49+01:00 February 9th, 2021|Blog, Dutch - Political|Comments Off on Merav Michaeli, A Fresh Breath of Air – and Hope

With such friends, you don’t need enemies

Last month, Israel “pulled the plug on God TV." the evangelical channel “spreading the gospel of Jezus” to the Jews. God TV is an evangelical TV network that, according to its website, broadcasts worldwide to hundreds of millions of viewers. The programs are made by broadcasters who have an Anglican, Pentecostal, “Full Gospel,” or Messianic-Jewish background.   Messianic Jews are Jews who accept the figure of Jezus as the Messiah, just like ‘normal’ Christians. From a traditional-Jewish viewpoint, Jews who take this step commit no [...]

By | 2020-07-16T15:43:30+02:00 July 16th, 2020|Blog, English - Politcal, Human Interest - English, Uncategorized|Comments Off on With such friends, you don’t need enemies

Different industries, similar issues

Earlier this month, Business of Fashion held a professional summit, entitled How to build a responsible fashion business. The four hour-summit covered a wealth of topics that discussed the fashion business' values, labor rights, discrimination, and racial inequality, and sustainability. It was an inspiring afternoon! Of course, nothing that happens in the fashion industry stays in the fashion industry. These topics, with variations, also apply to the luxury industry, among them the diamond, gemstone, and jewelry trade, as often demonstrated by the content published on [...]

By | 2020-06-28T22:32:08+02:00 June 28th, 2020|Blog, English - Industry related|Comments Off on Different industries, similar issues


I write this column with trepidation, as it discusses how the ultra-orthodox Jewish cities and neighborhoods in Israel have become the central hot spots of the coronavirus. With trepidation, because no matter how careful I will spin the tale and report on the below, it is bad news. The good news is that, in a recent report, Israel was identified as one of the safest countries at the time of this pandemic. That is encouraging news, but it can still change. A humorous look at [...]

By | 2020-04-08T16:45:17+02:00 April 8th, 2020|Blog, Human Interest - English, Uncategorized|Comments Off on Trepidation


BC-AC? No, it’s is not the name of a band. That’s AC-DC. BC-AC is a term we’re going to hear a lot more in the coming weeks, months, and maybe years. I first came across it on March 20, in an article in the New York Times, written by the renowned journalist and columnist Thomas Friedman. “There is the world B.C. - Before Corona – and the world A.C. – After Corona. We have not even begun to fully grasp what the A.C. world will [...]

By | 2020-03-31T23:43:36+02:00 March 31st, 2020|Blog, English - Industry related|Comments Off on BC-AC

Dancing at two weddings at the same time

On Thursday, I watched Martin Rapaport’s webinar. The webinar ran for almost two hours. As Rapaport carried on, I became progressively more uncomfortable. Did he ask valid questions? He sure did. Here are some of the questions he asked. Are diamonds more than a luxury product? Are they better than shoes and pocketbooks? Are diamonds valuable? Why?Who makes them valuable? Who stands behind those diamonds?  Are diamonds a store of value in troubled times? Good questions, you’ll agree. He then continued making some more good [...]

By | 2020-03-21T20:51:23+01:00 March 21st, 2020|Blog, English - Industry related|Comments Off on Dancing at two weddings at the same time

Geen dag zonder Bach….in Israel

Bach-liefhebbers in Israel waren tot een jaar of wat geleden aangewezen op het luisteren naar hun eigen afspeelbare verzamelingen, op de - sporadische  - uitzendingen van Bach's muziek op de lokale klassieke zender, op de uitvoeringen van een handvol barok-ensembles, op het jaarlijkse Bach Festival in Jeruzalem en op andere, eveneens sporadische concerten. Voor de laatste twee moest  - en moet je nog steeds - flink in je geldbuidel tasten en meestal ook een flink stuk reizen. Maar nu is Bach overal 'bereikbaar.' Op mijn [...]

By | 2018-08-11T14:06:42+02:00 August 11th, 2018|Blog, Dutch - Human Interest|Comments Off on Geen dag zonder Bach….in Israel

A blast from the past: Counterclockwise – a review of BaselWorld 2013

This blog, written in 2013, did not make it to the digital screen at the time, but with the Swatch company announcing it is withdrawing from BaselWorld 2019. I'm happy to share it, five years later.... I love going to Basel. I mean BaselWorld, that unique fair that has been held steadfastly, uninterruptedly – even during WWII… – since 1917 and ultimately evolved, over time, into Europe’s leading watch and jewelry fair, and into a must-attend event for European, North American and Asian buyers. I [...]

By | 2018-07-30T13:16:02+02:00 July 30th, 2018|Blog, English - Industry related|Comments Off on A blast from the past: Counterclockwise – a review of BaselWorld 2013
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