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It seems that Richard C Schneider, currently head of the Tel Aviv office for the main German national news (ARD), is leaving Israel (Jüdische Allgemeine on 24.12.15: "Ich wäre verdammt gerne geblieben"). I am sorry to see him go. For years now he has provided the German public with a very balanced view on Israel and Palestine (I translated one of his texts on the Gaza war to English for this blog). This is not something to take for granted in a journalist at this place.

His weekly videoblog from the region was always intersting, sometimes fun and sometimes thought-provoking. His light reporting on sofa design in the Westbank, ballet performances in Israel, or archeological discoveries showed normal or quirky life in the region which is not usually the topic of news. But he also managed to interview both Saeb Erekat and settlers from Yitzhar, in an objective, quiet way that gave them time to explain their views, but he also asked the hard questions and insisted on answers. He understood the complexity of the situation and was able to convey some of it to his viewers. He seemed to know everybody and his language skills are amazing (so far I have counted Hebrew, Yidish, French, and Italian, besides his native German and Hungarian and of course English).

Good-bye Richard. I will miss you, your reports and especially the videoblog. I wish you could stay. But as you can’t (or won’t), I wish you all the best for your new assignment.