October 25: Robert Rosenberg of Ha’aretz

Ha’aretz columnist Robert Rosenberg, who wrote every day about “Today’s Situation” at a peace-oriented website, Ariga, which he founded as early as 1995, died at 54 on this date in 2006. Rosenberg was a poet, crime novelist, journalist, technophile, and senior editor who held a master’s in education from Harvard but made social-justice activism and concern for the democratic soul of Israel the central concerns of his professional life. “His output was truly phenomenal,” wrote David Landau, editor of Ha’aretz‘s English edition, “his capacity vast; his knowledge encyclopedic. Uncomplaining, with breathtaking speed, with unfailing good grace, he would wade through troughs of dense prose, written to fill whole pages of Hebrew newsprint, and emerge with a succinct, coherent story often capped with a cute or sardonic headline for good measure.” Rosenberg also worked for the Jerusalem Post, Time, U.S. News & World Report, and as a freelancer for many leading journals.

“For more than 30 years I would hear him criticizing the whole world. But I never heard him say a bad word to anyone.” —David Landau

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Comments (1)

  1. Thank you so much for this. He was my first friend in Israel and I am so grateful to have had the chance to know him. Such a wonderful and gifted person in so many ways. I think of him every time I stroll along the waterfront in Tel Aviv as I remember his enthralling commentary-slash-history-slash-travelogue, all delivered while walking and talking at a brisk pace. As one online tribute says “In addition to his illustrious career as a journalist, Robert blazed the way for Israeli peace activism on the web with Ariga for peace,( He was generous enough to host Web pages of other people and organizations, including that of the PEACE group which preceded MidEastWeb (see PeaceWatch). Robert was a founding member of MidEastWeb for Coexistence, and Ariga was the major inspiration for MidEastWeb.”

    May his memory be a blessing.

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