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  • Carmel fire: the price of the treasury's policy

    The firefighters' lack of readiness not accidental, but a result of long-term economical policy. Last morning, making my Friday shopping at the local grocery, I heard a woman hissing that we should catch those Arabs who lit the fire on Thursday and burn them alive, like the 40 prison guards cadets. I butted in. “And what if these were yeshiva boys?”. “What?” “I said, what if the fire was caused by yeshiva boys, like last time (Hebrew). Would you like to burn them, too?”. She muttered something, paid, and was gone. And that, more or less, is what protecting PM…

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  • Between the Lines (Oct 13): US cautious about Israel’s Jewishness

    The Headlines: Celebrity Politics > All the newspapers open with the rescue of miners in Chile. > The Israeli media has a love-hate relationship with Iranian President Ahmedinijad. They hate the person, but love to cover him. The reporting on his visit to Lebanon, starting today, is reminiscent of the excitement produced by the visit of a celebrity. The fact that a person we are fascinated with on the television screen is suddenly so physically close (just across the border) is titillating. To the point of hysteria: Yisrael Hayom speculates [Heb] the visit might lead to Hizbulla taking over the…

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  • Oct 12: Netanyahu: freeze in exchange for a Jewish state?

    The Headlines: The "Jewish state" demand strikes back > Netanyahu offered the Palestinians an extension of the settlement freeze in return for recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people. Didn’t he offer them citizenship in return for the same thing, just the other day? It seems like yesterday’s bargain was better. The newspapers cover this as a cheap stunt, but give more weight to Netanyahu’s comments emphasizing that the settlements are important, but also that "there are other interests to consider". > Opposition party Kadima, in a counter-stunt, wants [Heb] to enshrine the Declaration of Independence in…

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  • Between the Lines (8 Oct): On the loyalty oath and racism

    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…

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