cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Tag: israel


Recipe by Eyal Shani and Miri Hanoch, from Haaretz.

1 whole medium-size, fresh, white cauliflower, florets tightly packed and covered in bright green leaves
3 tbsp. olive oil
mineral water
sea salt

Preheat the oven to 430 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Place the cauliflower in a metal pot and fill until 3/4 full with mineral water. Add about 10 grams of salt per liter of water. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, lower to a moderate boil and cook for 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the cauliflower. Drain.

Brush the cauliflower with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Place in a baking dish, place the dish in the center of the oven, and bake until the top turns golden brown.

Serve to the table in the baking dish. The outside of the cauliflower should be crisp and the inside as soft as butter. Separate the florets with a spoon and serve.


Victoria Hanna

This week I’m obsessing about this song. I can’t get enough of it. I would like to know how to find more stuff like it, but for now I’ll just have this on repeat.

The Palestinian People: A History

The Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish saw a powerful symbiosis linking Palestinian and Israeli, Arab and Jew. There will be a time, he wrote, when

the Jew will not be ashamed to find the Arab part inside of himself, and the Arab will not be ashamed to declare that he is constituted also by Jewish elements. Especially when talking about Eretz Yisrael in Hebrew and Falestin in Arabic. I am a product of all the cultures that have passed through this land—Greek, Roman, Persian, Jewish, and Ottoman. A presence that exists even in my language. Each culture fortified itself, passed on, and left something. I am a son to all those fathers, but I belong to one mother. Does that mean my mother is a whore? My mother is this land that absorbed us all, was a witness and was a victim. I am also born of the Jewish culture that was in Palestine…

Baruch Kimmerling, Joel S. Migdal
The Palestinian People: A History

Notes from The Palestinian People: A History

The new Palestine Authority that came out of the Oslo process led some Arabs in Israel to shy away from too strong an identification with the new Palestinian regime. In fact, the degree of their identification with the Israeli state actually appeared to grow as it become apparent that basic human rights suffered under the rule of the Palestinian Authority. When rumors surfaced toward the end of the Oslo process in 2000 about a possible land swap between Israel and a new Palestinian state, Israel’s Arabs expressed overwhelming opposition to their own towns being included in the trade.

Baruch Kimmerling, Joel S. Migdal
The Palestinian People: A History
Odd Man Out: Arabs in Israel

I had heard this but not really believed it. This is huge! Also, prior to reading this book I didn’t realize Arab Israelis were so different from Palestinians living in the occupied territories, but now I realize there are huge differences. For instance, they didn’t participate in the Intifadas.

From the same chapter:

The Arab citizens of Israel have sat in a vortex of cross-pressures, and, not surprisingly, they have responded to their dilemma with seemingly contradictory views and actions. They have continued to recognize the legitimacy of Israel in overwhelming numbers (in a 2001 survey, over 50 percent answered “yes” and another 33.7 percent answered “yes with reservations” to a question asking about their support for Israel’s existence). Those numbers were only a slight decline from the 93.3 percent total in 1995. They have seen their futures as being in Israel, not in a Palestinian state. Over three-quarters in the 2001 survey said they wanted to continue to be citizens of Israel. As one Israeli Palestinian researcher concluded, “They see their place, future, and organizational situation, as well as the bodies that represent them, as distinct from those of the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza Strip, and diaspora. This means that the Palestinians in Israel see themselves as Israeli citizens who will continue to live in the country and are not willing to move to another country, not even to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.”

The unique Arab culture that formed in Israel has been different from the general Palestinian culture, but it also has been part of it. Palestinian national culture has struggled since the late 1980s with the question of Jewish rights, especially exclusive rights, over land in Palestine. To that struggle, the Palestinian citizens of Israel have brought a deep understanding of the complexity of relations between the two peoples. They have recognized the heterogeneity and variety of cultures in Israel and have shied away from the practice in many Arab countries and other Palestinian communities of demonizing the state or the Jews. As the odd man out, the Palestinian citizens of Israel hold the promise of a new bridge to the future.

And a factoid: there were 1.3 million Palestinians in Palestine before the ’48 war, more than 50% of which wound up in the West Bank after the war.

I’m almost done with the book and I’m really impressed by how unflinchingly it depicted the atrocities committed on both sides of the conflict, as well as the depth that it gives to the highly heterogeneous group that are the Palestinians. It was super informative and I’m glad I read it.


Just discovered A-WA, and they’re fantastic.

Dror Etkes on the occupied territories

Dror Etkes of Peace Now:

[The] settlements in the occupied territories threaten our existence as a Jewish, democratic state, weaken the security of Israel, drain our economic resources, undermine our society’s moral fiber, and serve to perpetuate Israeli rule over another people in a way that prevents Israel from reaching peace with the Palestinians. The settlements today pose an existential threat to the future of Israel. Let me be very clear: it is in Israel’s own best interests to separate itself from settlements and the occupied territories that the settlers would have us bind to the state.

David W. Lesch
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History
pp. 377-8

The great dilemma: the option to unilaterally disengage produces the nightmare that is Gaza post 2005, but to continue to occupy continues an unjust, untenable, undemocratic, and severely depleting situation. So while the above statement resonates more readily with me, unfortunately I think it’s only a partial truth, and therefore not the clear and obvious solution I would like it to be.

Munich 1972

The incident [Munich massacre] … launched an escalation in Israeli-Palestinian violence all over the world that over time only complicated the search for peace. Yet it is also a world in which former Zionist terrorists such as Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir can become prime ministers, the former signing the first peace treaty between Israel and an Arab state, and one of the three Black September terrorists who survived Munich, Abu Da’ud, was allowed to enter Israel in 1996 in order to attend a PLO meeting in the Gaza Strip that convened to rescind an article in the PLO charter calling for Israel’s elimination.

David W. Lesch
The Arab-Israeli Conflict: A History
Chapter 8: The Road to 1979

מזון ותל-אביב

Grilled and sandwiched
Ibn Gvirol St 23

Frishman & Dizengoff (on Frishman, south-west side)

HaBarzel St 2

Pickle pickle pickle

Pickles are scrappy, humble, and delicious. Tonight I made two pickles: turnips with beets and chamutsim. Both of these I found all over the place in Israel, but especially the chamutsim in every place they served sandwiches, and I’ve been thinking about them ever since my last sandwich lunch (turkey-roast beef on whole wheat bread with pesto-mayonnaise-sweet chili sauce) on the beach in Tel Aviv. Try it: have a sandwich, any sandwich, with a side of pickles. You’ll see.

Pickled turnip and beet

5 tbsp coarse pickling salt
between 1 – 2 big eating tbsp of vinegar
1 tsp sugar
1 beet (per each litre of water) I used 2, that’s 1 per jar
Turnips ** I used 4

Cut the Turnips and beets in whichever way you desire.

Prepare the brine for pickling:
– Mix sugar and vinegar and water
– Add salt little by little, so 1 tbsp at a time (mixing to dissolve)

To know the proper amount of salt in the water bring a raw clean egg (in it’s shell) and gently lower it into the water.
The egg will start off at the bottom, making it’s way up in the water with the more salt you add into the brine.

It should neither float nor silk, so it should be suspended in the middle of the jar, any higher and it would be too salty.

– Add your root vegetables (Turnip and Beet) into the jar and seal the jar (close) and let sit on the counter for 2 weeks (then transfer into the fridge) and enjoy!!

** For a twist, add garlic cloves, or even hot chili peppers in the jar.


What you need:

1 head of cauliflower; leaves removed and florets separated and cut small
5 leaves of cabbage; coarsely chopped into 1″ x 1″ squares or 2″ x 2″ (I used half a head and chopped it into cubes)
2 small red bell peppers or 1 large red bell pepper; cut into 1″ squares and small strips for variety
1 carrot; cut on a bias
10-12 bay leaves
3 tsp amba spice mix – At an Indian or Middle Eastern spice store, it may be called “Amchur/Amchoor.” Alternately, pull together some ground mustard seeds, chili powder, hot paprika, and a little cumin. But FYI, I’ve made this without the spice mix and it’s still good.
1 tsp turmeric
a pinch of ground pepper
1 tsp peppercorns–the big ones (about 25-30) (I used allspice, too)
3 tblsp salt
8 c water
2 c white vinegar

How to do it:

Cut the vegetables into slices and disassemble the cauliflower into little florets. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a large pot. Add the water and vinegar and cook until water boils. Once it boils, turn off the heat, move the pot to another burner, add the spices and cover. Allow to sit for at least two hours on the counter. Transfer to a jar and secure tightly. Enjoy!

Food in Israel

sabich + pickles
shakshuka + tahini, bread
sandwiches: meats with mayo, pesto, sweet chili sauce + pickles (carrots, cukes, cabbage in turmeric)
fresh chimichurri eaten with bread
masabacha + hummus + ful
tuna with corn for breakfast (I wish I had taken a picture of the breakfast spread in the Netanya/Tel Aviv hotel.)

everything served with pickles, radishes, sauces, or even just raw onion.

so many vegetables everywhere! food based primarily on delicious veggies.