Here are some links to interesting things which I'm not going to comment on in depth.
Chas Newky-Burden, a non-Jewish Englishman, explains why he writes a blog in support of Israel (called Oyvagoy). Even he recognizes this is a strange thing to do. We're so used to faraway folks spending inordinate chunks of their time fussing about us that it's startling when some of them go the opposite way. (Of course, there are a few such readers on this blog who regularly comment). (h/t Nomblog via Twitter).
Tablet magazine has an article about a book about the Birthright program. The theme: what is it more: sex, booze, indoctrination or what? Tablet is an American magazine, and the author of the book likewise, as are most (but not all) participants of the Birthright programs. Still, it is interesting to note that no-one involved seems at all curious as to the impact of Birthright on Israel, Israelis, or the relationship between them and their American cousins. It's almost as if Israel is a prop for the use of America's Jews.
In which context it's interesting to learn that some Israeli hospitals are setting their sights on America as a source of medical tourism. The sums are still modest, but growing dramatically, mostly as East Europeans begin to identify Israel as a nearby place with highest-quality medicine. The Americans already have the high-quality medicine (at least the ones who might consider coming to Israel to be treated), but apparently Israel can compete on quality and price, both. Imagine someone from the Mondoweiss Conspiracy having to come to Israel for medical treatment: how mortifying.
Amira Hass explains, from Gaza (where she once lived), that Israel lifting its blockade isn't enough. For Gaza to bloom, the Gazans must be allowed to live in normality alongside Israel, which will purchase their cheaper goods. Uh-huh. Can anyone think of any reason Israel might have for not wanting this? Is the absence of normality Israel's doing? Do you think?