Robert Rosenberg, 1951-2006

Back in 1996, I began writing a weekly blog (before there were such things as blogs) called BibiWATCH. That was how I met Robert Rosenberg.

Photo: Robert Rosenberg in Tel-Aviv.
Robert had created one of the first websites devoted to peace in the Middle East — Ariga — a year earlier, in 1995. He was a big fan of what I was doing to Netanyahu week after week, and the admiration was mutual.
In the third issue of BibiWATCH, I published this exchange:
Tres cool site — your link will be added to Ariga — and hope you can quote Ariga occasionally. — Robert Rosenberg, Israel
Readers of BibiWATCH are encouraged to check out Robert’s “Ariga” site; it’s excellent.

Later, Robert would host BibiWATCH on the Ariga site — for free.
We got together, sipped espresso in an outdoor cafe in his beloved Tel-Aviv, spent a weekend shmoozing at my kibbutz Ein Dor, and stayed in touch pretty regularly until I moved to London in 1998.
Robert pioneered the use of the new communications technology to further the most important cause of all — peace. His untimely death from cancer at the age of 54 means that he will never see the realization of his dream of Jewish-Arab reconciliation.
Robert was a character. A former crime writer, he went on to write a number of crime novels based in Israel. By coincidence, I picked up one in New York in August — one I hadn’t yet read.
May his memory be blessed.