Live, from above the Atlantic Ocean

I thought I’d take advantage of the free wireless internet on El Al and marvel at modern technology.

I’m on my way to Israel with an astonishing group of people… representatives from KESHER, AIPAC, Hillel, the ZOA, CAMERA, Shalom Achshav, Koach, and at least a dozen other Jewish and Zionist organizations. We’re going to be doing physical repair work in northern communities that we’re attacked during this past summer’s war with Lebanon. We’ll also be meeting closely with members of various communities and seeing a side of Israel that I haven’t had a chance to yet. I’m quite excited and anxious.

There are a number of recent encounters that I’ve been meaning to write about – things I’ve found quite intriguing. Perhaps I’ll find time on this flight to write. Either way, here’s a teaser…

  • My discussion with my Irish Catholic uncle about what it means to be loyal to both Canada and Israel at the same time. We talked about aliyah, Jewish sovereignty, social justice, and a host of other issues. My uncle is a fascinating and incredible man. I look forward to writing about this.
  • My ongoing relationship with the Zionist and Jewish professional world in Toronto. It’s an intriguing relationship… one that simultaneously thrills me, frustrates me, encourages me, angers me, and stimulates me. I’m not sure what to make of it. I can’t divorce my personal emotions from my profesional work, but they are often in conflict. More on this to come.

I’ll write more later on… perhaps after I’ve had a nap.
I’m drinking wine, watching The Illusionist, and chatting online. All at 30,000 feet above the Atlantic.



  1. John says:

    Please clean up some of the cluster bombs that your beloved Israel dropped on Lebanon while you are over there.

  2. jepaikin says:

    To John, if you’re still reading this page…

    You’ll find that most people don’t respond well to such an antagonistic overture. I, in fact, was not going to respond at all.

    But I have changed my mind.

    Do you know who I am? Do you know what my support of Israel entails? Do you know if I support Israel’s military tactics? Do you know if I am critical of some of them? Do you know anything more than the ignorance that you let on in your statement?

    I suggest that if you would like to initiate a conversation about Israel’s military actions, you do it in a more constructive manner. In the meantime… yes, Israel is my beloved. And it is for that exact reason that I am in Israel right now, working to make it a better place. And it is for that exact reason that I am critical of many of Israel’s military actions.

    To quote a friend of mine, “I loath the IDF. I disagree with any military institution. Armies, ALL ARMIES, exist to do terrible things. An army exists by virtue of weapons. A soldier without a weapon, as one Israeli recently told me, is like a cat without claws… War happens. People die. Life isn’t fair. If you want peace, then you create it from scratch. You don’t make peace from war.”

    it is for these reasons that I am in Israel right now, advoacting on behalf of my progressice Zionist ideals.

    John, why don’t you represent yourself a little better and respond in kind.

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