Esor Ben-Sorek

The Night the BLOGS Disappeared

I was sitting at my keyboard composing my 487th article for the TIMES OF ISRAEL and as I clicked on for the BLOGS icon, all I got was a blank white page. After 7 more attempts, my frustrations got the better of me and I sent off an e-mail to Miriam, the chief editor. I asked if the problem was from my computer or TOI’s offices in Jerusalem. It was the night the BLOGS disappeared from view.

In her welcome response to me, Miriam assured me that the problem was in their offices as they were attempting to create a new login system. I was very much relieved because a computer ignoramus such as I becomes unnerved at situations which I cannot correct and anticipate high cost of repairs or a new computer.

Problem happily solved. There are not many days when I get inspiration to write or when the muse moves me. And writing for TIMES OF ISRAEL has been my catharsis and salvation since the death of my wife. The writing enables me to focus on other things and benefits my physical, mental and spiritual strength.

I read an interesting set of percentages of readers from different countries on a Metadata report.

It analyzed readership by five countries. The United States of America came in first at 36.7% followed by Israeli readership at a surprisingly low 10.4 %. Perhaps, in truth, it should not come as a surprise. Anglo-Saxon readers are more comfortable reading and replying in comments in the English language, whereas Israeli readers tend to favor the Hebrew press.

Readership in the United Kingdom registered at 7.2 % followed by France at 6.0 % and China (of all countries) at 4.3 %.

The low percentage of Israeli readers was disappointing. One would think it to be mind-refreshing to read an English language newspaper in lieu of Haaretz, Yediot. Maariv or the politically independent Yisrael Hayom.  Many Hebrew-speaking Israelis often buy the weekend edition of the English language Jerusalem Post.

While I enjoy reading my daily free copy of Yisrael Hayom, a day cannot pass without my reading the opinions, op-eds and blogs in TIMESOF ISRAEL.

So you can imagination my frustration on the night the BLOGS had disappeared. The editorial staff in Jerusalem takes immense pride in putting out an up-to-date edition each day.

And readers from around the world log on to read the truth about political situations and current events in our ever- changing country. I frequently receive comments from readers in Hungary, Germany and Brazil. Most of the comments are fair. Some are shamefully anti-Semitic, ergo anti-Israel.

Several Christian readers question about some item which I had written, deemed by them to be critical of the major branches of Christendom.

But sadly for me personally, too few  Israeli readers, native-born and recent olim, take time to comment either positively or negatively on something which I have written. Freedom of the press is applicable to the writer as well as to the reader.

One Christian gentleman in an American New England state has written long letters to me frequently. He is critical, of Israel, of our alleged “discrimination” solely for political reasons against the 20 % of the Arab population who are citizens of our democratic Jewish state. We are, in his mind, an “apartheid” State. Praise be to God, nothing can be further from the truth.

When one has strong opinions it is not easy to open them up to our truths.

But that is the purpose and goal of TIMES OF ISRAEL to open, to expose, to criticize where needed and to praise where possible. Fair and honest op-eds and commentaries appear in each daily edition.

I am now much relieved that my contacts with the BLOGS of the TIMES OF ISRAEL will not disappear again.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.