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Monday, December 21, 2009

What I've been doing

I've been too busy to blog, too busy to reply to emails (and even to read them all,) too busy to read many of the comments and, most of the time, too busy to sleep.

But one of the benefits of this trip to Israel is the opportunity to meet some fellow bloggers. In a sense, this has been my "coming out" party as until a few weeks ago I was almost completely anonymous to the vast majority of bloggers. Since then, off the top of my head I have met and spoken with Richard Landes of The Augean Stables, Carl from Israel Matzav, Noah Pollak from Commentary, Aussie Dave from Israellycool, Yisrael and Batya Medad from My Right Word and Shiloh Musings, Emet m'Tsiyon's blogger, Barry Rubin of the Gloria Center, and Yosef Hartuv of the Love of the Land blog.

Yosef Hartuv lives in Hebron and I visited him there today. While there, he introduced me to some of the leaders of Hebron/Chevron including David Wilder and Miriam Levinger, very outspoken wife of one of the founders of the revived Chevron Jewish community. (Her opinions are a bit more extreme than mine, and arguing with her is useless.) Yosef's effusive compliments about me to the people he introduced me to were embarrassing.

My taxi driver Avinoam also happens to know many other well-known Israeli right-wingers, often considered extremists by many. It was almost surreal as, while I was discussing the blog with him, he asked me "Do you want to interview Geulah Cohen? Here, I'll call her up for you!" (She is recovering from spinal surgery and couldn't be interviewed but was very gracious on the phone.) I also managed to have a brief conversation with Nadia Matar, leader of the Women in Green group, from Avinoam's cell phone. Both women are very polite, very strong and much hated by many.

On Wednesday, I will have a rare treat of attending a high-level IDF briefing for bloggers. That should be a blast. (And it is totally coincidental to my being here; I didn't know about it until after I already arrived.)

Add in the usual touristy stuff and other things, and I am simply zonked.