Standing Against A Tide of Hatred

[…] I watch the pro-Palestinian rallies that have been staged in capitals across the globe, and I try to tell myself that these people are not against me, or even Israel; that they just are dismayed with all the violence. I tell myself, as Jean Renoir pointed out with such pellucid irony in The Rules of the Game, that everybody has their reasons. But here is what I finally know: with all the troubles in the world, with the terrible things that the Chinese do in Tibet, and do to their own citizens; with the horrors of genocide committed in Darfur by Sudanese Muslims; with all the bad things that Arab governments in the Middle East visit upon their own people – no need for Israel to have a perfectly horrible time – still, the focus is on what the Jews may or may not be doing wrong in Gaza. And it makes people angry and vehement as nothing else does. The vitriol it inspires is downright weird. But that makes sense, because antisemitism itself – creepy, dark, ancient and insidious – is, more than anything else, just plain weird.
   – – “Standing Against A Tide of Hatred” – Elizabeth Wurtzel, January 16, 2009

Read this article in its entirety here.

Gotta Have Hustle And Bustle When You Sell Hatsil And Batsal

Kishore Biyani, Managing Director of Pantaloon Retail (India)A very interesting article by the Wall Street Journal discusses the Indian retailer Pantaloon, led by Kishore Biyani, in its effort to blends the look, touch and feel of Indian bazaars with aspects of modern retail like choice and convenience. Apparently when the aisles in their hypermarkets were wide and clean, the Indian shoppers did not purchase much, as the venues did not convey the city markets' look and feel. This was proved to be the case after Biyani renovated the stores, narrowing the aisles and leaving the onions dirty (hatsil in Hebrew is eggplant and batsal is onion, hence the title).

Having traveled to India myself, and after being smitten by some of the cultural differences (commonly referred to by Westerners as sheer chaos), I am naturally lured to reading these kinds of articles.

Here's the first paragraph of the original article:

On a tour of one of his supermarkets, Kishore Biyani notes that shopping carts are getting stuck in the narrow aisles, wheat and lentils have spilled onto the floor, black spots cover the onions and it is difficult to hear above the constant in-store announcements. He grins and congratulates the store manager.
Mr. Biyani, 45 years old, has built a large business and a family fortune on the simple premise that, in India, chaos sells.

If you want to read the full article, you can find it here. If you want to read the book written by Kishore, you can find it here.