Random Musings on the Past Week in Tel Aviv

Happily it’s been a very quiet week here, well I guess you can say that if you ignore all the stoning attacks, knifing and other events, almost all of which took place in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Here in Tel Aviv we do are best to ignore events in the West Bank or even in Jerusalem.  They say Tel Aviv is a bubble- and while it is a big bubble it certainly is one.  I was speaking to my son-in laws- father today, and he complained that I had promised to make it North this summer( he lives on the Lebanese border).  I realized as I was making excuses to him that other than one trip to Jerusalem, and dinner in Ramat Gan  the only place I have been this summer outside of Tel Aviv  has been to pick up and drop off people at Ben Gurion Airport.  I really need to get out a little more- I know Tel Aviv and Tel Avivan’s very well the rest of the country these days a little less so.

The only real news this week has been the decision by Minister of Interior Security Gilad Erdon to appoint Gal Hirsch as the new police commissioner.  The appointment has been controversial.  The police object to having an outsider brought in as police commissioner. Most of the country is not sympathetic to that complaint, since its widely accepted the police department needs a thorough house cleaning that only an outsider can bring.  The reason the appointment is particularly controversial is that Hirsch was commander of the Northern Battalion responsible for the Lebanese border right before and during the Second Lebanese War and many people including parents of the soldiers killed blame him for the mistakes of that war.  I don’t know him personally. However, yesterday I spoke  to a friend who served under him.  His most salient point was that everyone, his soldiers as well as he  himself, was sure he was on the way to becoming Chief of Staff- that outsized self confidence sounds like his Achilles heal.

The other news of course has been coming out of Washington and that has been the constant drip of Democrats coming out in support of the Iran agreement. The chances of stopping the agreement in Congress never good are now close to zero. I hate to be right, but I certainly wrote on the first day it was suicidal for the Israeli government and the  American Jewish community to fight the Obama administration at this point.  Its not clear to me why that was not obvious to everyone.  Peter Beinart had an article in today’s Ha’aretz, on the failure of the American Jewish leadership on this matter. While many of  points he made in the article I do not fully agree with, when the vote takes place and its clear how great the failure has been, in normal societies all the players would resign, the head of AIPAC, the head of the Presidents Conference and probably Netanyahu as well.  Of course none of that will happen and the cause of our defeat will be “the whole world’s against us”.

One final interesting point this week has been the mini furor caused by an interview given by Natalie Portman, in the Independent, where she complains about the uni dimension of her holocaust education, a subject that I care about deeply.  It has given me an idea for  a Newsweek article discussing the Iran deal, Jewish identity and the holocaust.  Hopefully it will be done by Monday.

Shabbat Shalom

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2 thoughts on “Random Musings on the Past Week in Tel Aviv

  1. Just excellent synthesis. I look forward to the next article. My kids who are now grown said in high school that they felt Talmud Torah Day School focused too much on the Holocaust. I will be curious to read what you have to say. It is a delicate matter to be sure and complicated psychologically to address.

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