For Israel’s Hebrew Book Week, one of its newspapers, Ha-Aretz, handed over the edition of June 10th to the nation’s best poets and novelists, the regular journalists having the day off.
Avri Herling’s stock market report went like this:
Everything’s okay. Everything’s like usual. Yesterday trading ended. Everything’s okay. The economists went to their homes, the laundry is drying on the lines, dinners are waiting in place… Dow Jones traded steadily and closed with 8,761 points, Nasdaq added 0.9% to a level of 1,860 points…. The guy from the shakshuka [an Israeli egg-and-tomato dish] shop raised his prices again….
One of Israel’s most renowned novelists, David Grossman, wrote a front page story about the night he spent at a children’s drug rehabilitation centre in Jerusalem:
I lay in bed and thought wondrously how, amid the alienation and indifference of the harsh Israeli reality, such islands — stubborn little bubbles of care, tenderness and humanity — still exist.
The journalists returned to their jobs the next day, business as usual. But it was a lesson in how the news might be seen through the eyes of the heart and the imagination as well as the daily grind of facts packaged to sell papers.