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?
Roger Cohen is either a racist, a fool, or suicidal. His utterly stupid column this week has been parsed by plenty of others, and I have no desire to rehash his drivel.
Cohen doubts that “Hamas is sincere in its calls for Israel’s disappearance.” That must mean that the recent poll conducted in the P.A. shows that a majority within Palestinian society actively seeks peace (Hebrew Ynet). How else can one explain that if elections were held today, genocidal Hamas, led by Haniyeh would win 47% v. Fatah, led by Holocaust denier Abbas.
In light of Labor’s dismal showing at the polls, Amir Peretz thinks he can win back the chairmanship of the Labor Party. This is the former labor leader who shut down the country at whim, turned Defense Minister and cost Israeli lives and a failed war.
I hope he wins. It will truly spell the end of Labor. The public is not that stupid. My prediction is that Labor would be forced to merge with Kadima, forming one Left-wing political party, and bringing Israel back to the right-left bi-polar system.
Ynet reports: “Israel declares unilateral Gaza truce.” Wrong. A truce cannot be unilateral. A truce is agreed upon. This a capitulation, yet another mistake in a long line of errors, collectively known as Olmert’s policies.
Regardless of why this operation was initiated, or why now, Hamas is an enemy that doesn’t only need to be “hit hard.” It needs to go. That is not an easy undertaking, but it is necessary. Nevertheless, the Israeli government is cowering in the face of international opinion, instead of even completing the limited task they set out for the IDF: stopping the rockets. How does Hamas respond? In their words – “The victims of this war will be the basis for the continuation of the fighting and hostility vis-à-vis the Israeli side.” And in actions – only today, several more rockets were launched at Be’er Sheva.
Finally, a military operation was finally started, again (as in 2006), and again the IDF will cease its fire while Gilad Schalit is still held by the enemy. The reason for Cast Lead is the same as the reason for its end: politics. The troika (Olmert, Livni, Barak) do want to lose to the Likud next month, and after Hamas did not cease its murder attempts for the past few years, they thought they could gain popular support by appealing to what the public wants just before the elections. Nevertheless, their campaign failed. Labor did rise slightly in the polls, but Kadima stayed at more or less the same level, still trailing Likud.
If this is the end of Cast Lead then it is a failure. Yes, many battles were won. Yes, Hamas’ capabilities have been severely damaged, and numerous key figures have been eliminated. However, if they still refuse to surrender, if they still disparage Israel by declaring “if this is all the strength they have, they failed in defeating the Palestinian people,” then Israel cannot claim to be victorious.
This “truce” will only serve to hurt Israel in the future. It will cost more Israeli lives. There was no legitimate strategy, were no real aims, from the very beginning. Nor is there a legitimate strategy in endng now. This is all very disheartening.
The IDF has recently begun a ground incursion into Gaza, with both infantry and armored forces. Apart from the MSM, there are plenty of other people liveblogging the campaign, as well as roundups of blog posts on the situation, and so I will not be posting such updates.
I was, however, just watching Fox News with its “Breaking News” updates on the situation and as they went to commercials, they put up an image with some sort of title about Israel in Gaza, and in the background – an Israeli flag alongside a Pakistani flag. This is not about media bias, but the incompetence of those in charge with reporting the news is just mindboggling.
In any case, may this campaign be over swiftly and victoriously, and please keep the soldiers in your prayers.
I understand the appeal of drugs. I also understand the appeal of money. However, when those two are combined with stupidity, it results, more often that not, in bad decisions.
A 22-year old Israeli, like many others his age, traveled throughout India and had a great time. During his trip he encountered the wonder that is Himalayan-grown hash, and probably enjoyed it a great deal. He decided he didn’t want the fun to end and that he could probably also make a quick buck by introducing Israelis who have not been to India to that same wonder.
This guy came up with an idea (sorry, couldn’t find an English version), which I’m sure he thought was brilliant and fool-proof. Why not swallow dozens of grams of hash before the flight home? Surely, he would outsmart the Israeli authorities at the airport. His luck ran out, however, and shortly after landing, he was arrested and had an x-ray taken of his stomach. He was then placed in a bathroom stall while detectives of the Tel Aviv District waited for him to “do his business.” His arraignment is scheduled for tomorrow.
India really is a wonderful place, and in India, like in many other third-world countries, many bend and break the law with few consequences (not that I advocate doing so). When approaching the end of such a long trip in India, many travelers are not very eager to leave, and want to prolong the “India experience” as much as possible. Too often, this gives some people a distorted view of reality, and so they attempt something stupid, and end up being taught a lesson the hard way. Why do so many keep doing this? Can they really not foresee the outcome?
Last basketball season, Yossi Malach threw a firecracker onto the court during a game in Jerusalem, resulting in the Yoav Glizenstein, a security guard’s, loss of two fingers. About a month ago, he was sentenced to three years in prison and 150,000 NIS in compensation, to be paid to Glizenstein.
This complete douchebag is now appealing his sentence (sorry, only in Hebrew), claiming the sum of money the court ordered him to pay the security guard is much higher than truly appropriate. His lawyers assert that this is Malach’s first encounter with the law, and that he has expressed remorse for his actions. Therefore the punishment handed down is too “severe” only in order to serve as a warning (למען יראו וייראו – so that people will see and fear) to future offenders.
First of all, BS. This is likely Malach’s first encounter with the law only because the police in Israel are so incompetent and lazy. If the police actually did their job, he probably would have a fairly full rap sheet.
Second of all, who cares? Even if this was his first offense, and that he was a good boy up until that day, how does that exculpate him, or even minimize the offense in any way? He knowingly brought contraband into the stadium that day, with the intension to use it (why else would he smuggle in a firecracker?), and fully cognizant of the harm it could cause.
Third, with the current state of crime in Israel, meting out punishments as a deterrent is not a half bad idea. In any case, the last people who have any right to complain about it are the offenders themselves. If you don’t like the punishment – don’t commit the crime in the first place.
John McCain’s running mate, first considered a stupid choice, then a brilliant move, is now proving herself to be a rather unintelligent choice. Unless he’s going for the stupid vote. I have to say I am not endorsing Obama at all, I think his views foreign policy are wrong and potentially harmful to anyone who doesn’t want Bin Laden or Ahmadinejad controlling things in the world.
However Sarah Palin, over and over again, has proven herself to be woefully inadequate to serve in any position that has anything to do with international affairs. Her extensive experience in fictitious trade missions to Russia, her newly obtained passport are just two examples as to why the average business traveler is probably better suited for meeting a foreign dignitary then the Governor of Alaska.
Much has been written after Katie Couric interviewed Palin recently, how the idea of Sarah Palin having any real power is a pretty scary idea. Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic, however, brings up a less known part of the interview in which, as he says, she basically endorses Hamas.
On the topic of exporting democracy worldwide, the Republican choice for second in command of the free world had some very odd comments. Couric asked her what “if the goal of democracy doesn’t produce the desired outcome? In Gaza, the U.S. pushed hard for elections and Hamas won.” Palin, showing a new level of stupidity, made Jon Stewart very happy by saying: “Yeah, well especially in that region, though, we have to protect those who do seek democracy.”
What sort of idiot is she? Has she not ever watched any news that had to do with anything outside of Alaska and Putin rearing his head into Alaska’s airspace…? She just unknowingly defended Hamas’ control of the Palestinian Authority. The key word here is unknowingly. If she had meant to show her support for Hamas on national television then fine. Wrong, but fine. But she didn’t – She is stupid. It’s painful to watch.
Someone get this fool out of here. Fast.
…or lack thereof.
Okay, he’s not that stupid, really, but he is so self righteous that when he tries to be proves how smart he is and it turns out that he’s wrong, well, you almost just have to say something.
A couple weeks ago the aforementioned foreign affairs expert interviewed Tony Blair, and Stewart tried to criticize the idea that democracies don’t go to war with each other (this is known as Democratic Peace Theory) as a fabricated theory, made up by the cabal of neocons, basically as an excuse to invade Iraq.
James Kirchick, over at Commentary’s blog has a great analysis of the interview and Jon Stewart, which is especially important considering the poll Kirchick mentions, which finds that “For Americans under 30, these comedy shows [e.g. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, LB]are now mentioned almost as frequently as newspapers and evening network news programs as regular sources for election news.”
After Tony Blair disproves Stewart attempt at disproving an international relations theory, Stewart goes on to say that “Hamas and Hezbollah aren’t like Al Qaeda, and could not share that group’s goals, because the two Palestinian terrorist organizations are “localized,” whereas Al Qaeda has broader ambitions.” I would say that he completely ignores history, but he doesn’t, because he doesn’t really know history. He has a very narrow view of history, which he views in an orthodox “progressive” lens. Hezballah has hijacked a TWA plane, bombed American marines in Beirut, and is responsible many more humanitarian acts.
Trying to differentiate Hamas from Al Qaeda is also pretty stupid, considering one group helps fund the other (see: Karine A).
Not the latest thing online, but go read.