Imshin is a 39-year-old Israeli working mother. Born in Liverpool, she moved to Haifa with her parents and her brother and sister when she was nine. Today she lives in Tel Aviv with her husband Bish, their two daughters, aged nine and twelve and a half, and the newest addition to the family, a tiny black attack-kitten called Shoosha. Imshin's undemanding clerical job in the public service leaves her plenty of time to worry about 'the situation'. She has been writing her blog Not a Fish since June 2002.
Why do you blog? > Because I have been cast as The Villain and the part is all wrong for me. I keep hoping that if I can just have my side heard, then maybe the casting director will understand at last and recast me as The Damsel in Distress. In other words, blogging is my little temper tantrum ('I'm not a villain! I'm not a villain! I'm not a villain! Waaaaaa!').
What has been your best blogging experience? > The many warm words of condolence and support I received from fellow bloggers and readers when my mother died.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > At one time, I kept finding myself in the middle of horrible arguments and this upset me very much.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Nothing is so important that you should publish a post that is hurtful and vindictive. When you feel that you are being swept away with anger, and that the words you are writing are full of hatred, stop. Read what you have written later, preferably the next day, with a fresh mind, before publishing it. That is, unless you want to be hurtful and vindictive. (And you are welcome to send me a line, every now and again, reminding me to do this too.)
What are you reading at the moment? > In Hebrew: Baghdad, Yesterday by Sasson Somekh (recollections of the author's childhood in Iraq; a bit dry, but very interesting stories), and The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown (action-packed, gripping, made for Hollywood, full of annoying factual mistakes - I can't stand it, but I can't put it down either). In English: Everyday Blessings: the inner work of mindful parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zin (wonderful - I'm reading it for the second time), and Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (a lovely book about writing). So you see, the question is not what I'm reading, but which, if any, I will finish.
What is your favourite poem? > Rudyard Kipling's 'If'. A timeless guide to life. I've yet to find a Hebrew translation that does it justice.
What is your favourite movie? > The Ladykillers (1955). Yes, I know the Coen brothers have made a new version with Tom Hanks. I haven't seen it yet.
What is your favourite song? > 'Bab El-Wad', as sung by Shlomo Gronich (definitely not the Yaffa Yarkoni version, which is horrible). A sad song about the young people killed in 1948 in the convoys trying to break through to the besieged city of Jerusalem.
Can you name a major moral, political or intellectual issue on which you've ever changed your mind? > There are two: (1) I was a hawk till my early twenties. A series of personal experiences, most notable among them a bout of reserve duty in Han Younes in the Gaza Strip, convinced me that Israel must leave the disputed territories, and that the establishment of a Palestinian state was not only just but necessary; and that it was the only solution that would bring about peace. (2) In 2000, seven years after signing the Oslo Accords, which I supported, Arafat turned down Ehud Barak's offer to close an historic deal and chose violence instead. While I still believe in a two-state solution, I no longer believe that the Palestinians do. I fear they will not rest till they have eliminated Israel and got rid of all the Jews.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Huh? Or as they say in Liverpool 'Ye'woh?'
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Combat - now that's a word I can relate to... It would be anti-Zionism, if that can be called a philosophical thesis. This is existential for me. Combat anti-Zionism or cease to be.
Who are your political heroes? > Isn't that an oxymoron? Erm, probably David Ben Gurion, for accomplishing the impossible.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Another oxymoron?
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Giving precedence to the elimination of inequalities suffered by Israel's million Arab citizens, with the goal of alleviating their feelings of alienation. This is being done already, and they do have full and equal rights by law, but there is still a long way to go.
What would you do with the UN? > Continue to ignore it?
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Human nature.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Live each day as if it were your last.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > No. It would not be a true partnership.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Blaming others for one's own shortcomings and failures (which is actually a type of dishonesty).
What is your favourite proverb? > There are so many, how can I choose a favourite? I've cut it down to two: 'Who is rich? He who is satisfied with his lot'; and 'At the fall of your enemy, do not rejoice'.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > TV sitcoms; barbecues (I'm a vegetarian; we're having one at work on Thursday and I'm not looking forward to it); taking a bath (a waste of time and water - a quick shower is so much better).
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Are you kidding? I'm a Jewish mother. I worry about everything!
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > In the Negev Desert, in the south of Israel.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A week in a 'hoosha' - a little straw hut - at the water's edge, on the Red Sea coast of Sinai.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Blogging, of course. Ask a silly question...
What is your most treasured possession? > I have a tiny tin box that used to belong to my mother when she was a child. Inside it is an even tinier plastic figure of a Chinese girl. I don't think having treasured possessions is very wise. If I lost the tiny tin box, I wouldn't be very bothered, but I'm fond of it nevertheless.
What animal would you most like to be? > An ibex.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of previous profiles, and the links to them, can be found here.]