Knesset Story Time
Parliamentarians read, ideologically
It’s National Book Week in Israel, and as befitting the People of the Book, the nation’s parliamentarians decided to mark the occasion by reading out loud from their favorite works. As you could probably guess—this is Israel, after all—their literary selections closely mimicked their ideological worldviews. Knesset member Daniel Ben Simon, for example, an intellectual and former journalist for the left-leaning Haaretz, read from Dutch historian Johan Huizinga’s The Waning of the Middle Ages, a rolicking tale of 15th-century France’s descent into violence, pessimism, and cultural exhaustion. Haim Amsalem, of the religious Shas party, read from the collected letters of famed Sephardic Rabbi Yossef Mashash . And Aryeh Eldad, of the extreme right-wing National Union party, read poems by Uri Zvi Greenberg, a nationalistic militant who has called for establishing a new Jewish Kingdom stretching across the entire biblical land of Israel. Because there’s nothing like a good book to bring people together.
What’s Fine Literature Doing in the Knesset? [Ynet, in Hebrew]
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.