Today is not only a day of sadness for fallen Israeli soldiers, it's also one of public declarations that all those bloody conflicts were righteous and necessary - just like the current ones and those that lie ahead. Maybe in another country, a country that goes to war once in a generation or longer, Memorial Day can be a day strictly of sadness for the soldiers who were killed, and can even be a day to look back and ask: Was that war, or the one before it, really necessary? Did some of these soldiers we're mourning, did this family's…Read More... | 7 Comments
yom kippur war
There is a proven road to security for the people of the Negev: a total end to Israeli rule over the people who are shooting at them. Here is my suggestion for how Israel can bring peace and quiet to the people living within rocket range of Gaza: lift the blockade of the Strip entirely (they get all the weaponry and fighters they want through the tunnels anyway); announce that in one year Israel will have no military or governmental presence whatsoever beyond the security barrier ("the wall") in the West Bank (the settlers will then leave of their…Read More... | 33 Comments
The Headlines: The Dollar declines, Israeli politics sink even lower > The dollar has sharply declined throughout the world. In Israel, the national bank has been trying to stop this development (which would hurt exports and economic growth) by buying huge amounts of foreign currency. Predictably, it is failing to exclude Israel from the global trend. This is an interesting and important story, but let us put it in perspective: the exchange rate is right now about 5-6% below what it was most of the year, and other currencies (and export markets) are unaffected by this trend. > Defense Minister…Read More...
Headlines: Disloyalty to Judaism and Democracy Netanyahu has decided to support a proposed bill, which would require new citizens to proclaim their allegiance not just to Israel, as they are required to do right now, but specifically to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state”. The law would apply only to non-Jews, and all outlets agree that it was specifically tailored to deny citizenship to Palestinians who marry Israeli Arabs, and wish to become citizens. The coverage is largely neutral, though, focusing on coalition intrigue and the impact on the peace talks. Nobody referred to the irony of this proposal:…Read More...
Headlines: Yesterday’s new today > This is a news roundup, but do the newspapers necessarily publish news? This is yet another day when the Yom Kippur War protocols capture the headlines, without revealing anything significant about that war that we didn’t already know. Israel was caught by surprise despite sufficient intelligence? Jordan was a secret ally? Israeli leadership considered extreme measures? These are just about the best known facts about that war. > Is the city of Lod in the grip of a crime wave? There have been 8 murders this year in a city with a population of 74,000,…Read More...
Headlines: It’s déjà-vu all over again >Top of the news: Israel under attack! All-out war! Egyptians cross the channel! No, wait a second… what? That was the 1973 Yom Kippur war, which is now back in the headlines. A declassified protocol reveals that the Israeli leadership was overwhelmed, and that the security minister at the time, Moshe Dayan, was panicking. Those who have learned the history will not be surprised, but three of Israel’s four dailies find it shocking, even 37 years later. And as to the loss of trust in leadership [Heb]: it has left Israelis ever more passive,…Read More...
Following an 1992 IDF military training debacle known as the Zeelim B scandal, an Israeli general named Uri Sagi, then serving as chief of AMAN (military intelligence), was interviewed for the domestic media. During the interview, the journalist noted that the IDF Spokesman gave a version of events that directly contradicted Sagi’s. The general, always noted for his bluntness, fired back immediately: “The IDF Spokesman lies, as usual." We had another demonstration of the Spokesman's economical use of the truth on Tuesday. Our brave gunmen took over the Irene, a ship carrying nine peace activists to Gaza, in yet another…Read More... | 3 Comments
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