‘Chasamba! Chasamba! Chasamba!” This battle cry of the fictional patriotic youth group Chasamba (an acronym for “absolutely secret group”) — familiar to every Israeli child during the first decades of the state — is once again heard across the land. Resurrected from a series of novels to feature in the television show “Chasamba Generation 3,” which premiered this past fall, the program’s heroes arrive at a country radically different from the one in which they previously fought the good fight.
Under a full moon in Bethlehem’s Manger Square, two lovers recite poetry — the late Palestinian national bard Mahmoud Darwish’s words of affection and longing. Shadows cast on the stones of Christ’s birthplace merge. The scene shifts to an acrimonious meeting at a sports club. Debate flares over which game to watch and over politics. One club member declares, “We should live the way we believe.”
Pollution in a Promised Land: An Environmental History of Israel By Alon Tal University of California, 546 pages, $34.95. * * *|‘The swiftly flowing waters of the Yarkon River enticed us to leap into them and swim, though occasionally we had to make way for a water buffalo or a camel.” Thus enthused my father, Israel Tzvi Raab, as he