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‍‍ אייר / סיון תשסט - May, 2009:

Reading, Misc. VI

A bit overdue, I know.

  1. August 2005 – evacuation / compensation?
  2. And can a company patent my right arm?
  3. Can we please end voicemail
  4. From Metula to Eilat, in just under 2 hours, on a train.
  5. Iranian hegemony.
  6. Hebrew etymology of the Pope.
  7. I like bourbon.
  8. A regulated free market.
  9. Combating the Israeli brain drain.
  10. The need for another day off.

End the War on Israel’s Roads

Driving in Israel is a dangerous contact sport. This is no secret. In 2008, 444 people were killed in traffic accidents in Israel. Twenty-seven were killed in terrorist acts. Over 400 more families were destroyed on the road than were affected by those who wish to destroy Israel. Yet, on some level deaths at the hands of terrorists, a soldier’s death in time of war, hit closer to home.

The other night, there was a horrific accident (which the English-language news has thus far decided is not newsworthy) outside of Tel Aviv. Five soldiers who were driving home in a jeep, slammed into the concrete barrier on the shoulder. The jeep then flipped over and burst into flames. Two 21 year-olds were killed. I knew one of them personally.

Mickey Galin, blessed be his memory. מיקי גלין, יהי זכרו ברוך

When will this war end?

White House and Israel on Iran – Not Together

Over the past few weeks there has been increased talk of tying the Iranian and Palestinian issues. These two matters are only similar insofar as both are threats to Israel, and little else. Nevertheless, the White House has decided that it will not move on the Iranian nuclear threat until Israel follows American instructions on “the peace process.”

Since doing so would be tantamount to suicide, both Ahmadinajad and Hamas must be ecstatic. Not only has the American danger to Iran nearly disappeared, the US has effectively taken a step towards Hamas. This inane notion that “a breakthrough in the peace process between Israel and the Arab states would restrain Tehran’s influence” is very worrying, considering the amount of influence the US has over Israel.

As expected, Rahm Emanuel is promoting the connection of these two unrelated issues. Speaking to AIPAC donors Sunday, “[h]e reiterated that the ability to confront Iran depended on the ability to make progress on the Palestinian front.”

Iran is a country whose leader has called for Israel to be wiped off the map, and is a primary funder of Hamas. Even if the resolution of the “Palestinian issue” were imminent, Iran would only be emboldened. Such a resolution would amount to a loss of Iranian influence on the ground, forcing them to be “creative” in threatening Israel, not facilitate “handling of the main threat posed by Iran.’

The new American administration has all but committed not to attack Iran, which begs the question: how will the US approach Iran and its nuclear program? And if the US does believe this is such an important issue, why does the White House appear to be blackmailing Israel? This has only forced the new Israeli administration to present a reciprocal demand: no movement on “Palestinian issue” unless until there is real “progress in U.S. efforts to stop Iran.”

Obama’s, along with his chief of staff, performance is in poor taste. Sending the son of an Irgun member to twist Israel’s arm seems like little more than cheap political ploy to gain more influence in the Middle East.