1. As the dearth of female bylines in 2013 continues to be dissected, this is a screenshot of Haaretz’s op-ed contributors… 

    As the dearth of female bylines in 2013 continues to be dissected, this is a screenshot of Haaretz’s op-ed contributors… 

  2. Ladies, if we want to rule the world — or even just gain an equitable share of leadership positions — we need to stop leaning in. It’s killing us.

    We need to fight for our right to lean back and put our feet up.

    Here’s the thing: We’ve created a world in which ubiquity is valued above all. If you’re not at your desk every night until nine, your commitment to the job is questioned. If you’re not checking email 24/7, you’re not a reliable colleague.

    But in a world in which leaning in at work has come to mean doing more work, more often, for longer hours, women will disproportionately drop out or be eased out.

    — Interesting take by Rosa Brooks.

  3. Meet Isaac Herzog, the Israeli Politician Who Speaks English With a Democratic Accent →

     I profiled Israel’s new leader of the opposition, and you can read it by clicking on this thing.

  4. The truth behind Israel’s brain drain

    image

    On a visit to Eastern Europe last week, Yair Lapid, Israel’s telegenic finance minister, wrote a defiant yet innocent-seeming Facebook post: “A word to all of those who are ‘fed up’ and ‘leaving for Europe,’,” he began,

    I happen to be in Budapest at the moment. I came to give a speech in parliament against anti-Semitism and to remind them how my father was almost murdered here because the Jews had no state of their own; how my grandfather was killed in a concentration camp; how my uncles were starved; how my grandmother was saved from a death march at the last moment. So forgive me if I’m a little impatient with those who are willing to throw away the only country the Jews have because it’s easier to live in Berlin.

    Lapid’s harsh words appeared to be directed at the subjects of a highly rated new documentary show, which examines the lives of Israelis living abroad. The show is called “The New Yordim,” the last word being a semi-derogatory term in Hebrew used to describe expatriates. Yordim means “those who descend,” as opposed to olim, people who immigrated to Israel, or, literally, “those who ascend.” The charged terminology provides a clue into how divisive the phenomenon of uprootedness is—and has always been—in Israeli society. (Yitzhak Rabin once called Israeli expatriates “a debris of weaklings.”)

    At first glance, the numbers seem to justify the alarm: more than half a million Israelis, or about seven per cent of the population, live abroad, according to the Central Bureau of Statistics. The majority resides in the U.S. or in Canada, but recent years have also seen a booming Israeli community take root in Europe, especially in Berlin. The expatriates tend to be young and educated, in search of graduate degrees or better-paying jobs—part of the famous “brain drain” that is changing the entire developed world and against which many politicians have railed.

    The truth behind these numbers paints a different picture, however: the statistics define as an expatriate anyone living overseas for at least a year. (I am one of them, and so, by the way, is Lapid, who spent several years in the U.S.) Yet, ask these people where they see themselves in five or ten years, and many of them would not flinch before answering: in Israel. Their reasons for leaving are largely financial or educational. Yes, some settle down in their adopted countries, but a surprising number of them come back. In 2010, for example, fifteen thousand Israelis left the country, but ten thousand returned. These extended trips abroad, therefore, represent a stepping stone for many Israelis, a prolonged layover on a journey whose final destination is Israel. (Some fields of work, admittedly, make it easier to return than others. In academia, the situation in Israel is dire. Two of this year’s Nobel Laureates in chemistry, which was announced yesterday, are Israeli citizens who had left the country; one of them complained that he couldn’t find tenure.)

    Yet Lapid chose to ignore the financial squeeze that was driving Israelis away. If, in writing his diatribe, he was hoping to ride a wave of shared indignation, he could not have predicted that the tide would swiftly shift and come crashing over him. [… Read more]

  5. Suleimani is the single most powerful operative in the Middle East today—and no one’s ever heard of him.

    —  Dexter Fillkins profiles the mysterious commander of Iran’s Quds Force in this week’s New Yorker. An outstanding piece I was lucky enough to work on. 

  6. Me, being interviewed on Al Jazeera about this piece I wrote. Note to self: wool jacket is a no-no for those warm bright lights.

    Me, being interviewed on Al Jazeera about this piece I wrote. Note to self: wool jacket is a no-no for those warm bright lights.

  7. The night before, I strolled back to my hotel from a restaurant well past midnight — a stupid idea in just about any other African capital. But Rwanda is one of the safest places I’ve been, this side of Zurich, which is hard to reconcile with the fact that less than 20 years ago more civilians were murdered here in a three-month spree of madness than during just about any other three-month period in human history, including the Holocaust. During Rwanda’s genocide, the majority Hutus turned on the minority Tutsis, slaughtering an estimated one million men, women and children, most dispatched by machetes or crude clubs. Rwandans say it is difficult for any outsider to appreciate how horrifying it was. Nowadays, it’s hard to find even a jaywalker.

    — A profile of Paul Kagame which, as with the very best of pieces, becomes a profile of a country in transition.

  8. Ha.

    Ha.

  9. Death from overwork—if this indeed turns out to have been the cause of Erhardt’s death—may be relatively rare, but it’s nothing new. Only a few months ago, a twenty-four-year-old ad man in Beijing suffered a cardiac arrest after working overtime for a month. In Japan there’s even a word for the phenomenon, and the Japanese health ministry has made a concerted effort to cut down on the number of such deaths. Erhardt’s death points to a curious phenomenon—one that highlights the changing nature of work and of leisure, and people’s reasonable expectations from both.

    — I wrote about Keynes and the death of a Bank of America intern. Next time: pandas!

  10. Timing could not have been more fortuitous for i24 News. Two weeks ago, as the Israel-based news channel was preparing to launch its first broadcast, reports started trickling in that a chain of people had resigned from Al Jazeera in protest of its perceived pro-Muslim Brotherhood bias in its coverage of Egypt. The Israeli venture was pleased with the fraying of its more established competitor and, on Wednesday at 8 P.M., i24 News launched, marking the start of an ambitious twenty-four-hour news station that will air in English, Arabic, and French simultaneously. The channel will dedicate roughly seventy per cent of its coverage to news from around the world and thirty per cent to news from Israel, i24 News’s founders say. Its broadcasts are currently streamed live on the Web and will soon be available via satellite in more than three hundred million homes worldwide, including Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. It plans to expand to the United States in early 2014.

    — I wrote about the launch of i24 News, a new television channel based out of Israel, for The New Yorker online.