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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