It has been a quiet week in Israel- its about time. I wish I could say the same for the rest of the world and certainly for the rest of the Middle East. Last nights shooting in Dallas was just another terrible event in a string of horrific events. Most of those events of course occurred in the Middle East and South Asia mostly the doing of ISIS. The terror attacks in Istanbul, Lahore and Baghdad were particularly brutal and the death toll is hard to imagine. They do not get the press that attacks in Paris or Brussels get but for those who are victims the results as ever as devastating.
To me the events of the past few weeks have been particularly depressing, in some ways more so than attacks that take place here. When there is a terror attack here we can always rationalize it and say that if only.,.. If we were not occupying them .… However, when we see Muslim killing other Muslims or just killing westerners who are visiting Muslim country it certainly undermines those thoughts. These past few days the concerns that I have always had as to whether it would ever be possible to reach a peace agreement have strengthened. Will the Palestinians ever be willing to finally accept the division of the land. My fear is even if we were to reach an agreement with some entity representing the Palestinian people, there will always be those who will never accept it, and will be willing to blow themselves and some of us up to stop it. Can people who find it is unacceptable for a non Muslim to have dinner in a restaurant in Lahore ever accept the our presence in the midst of the Muslim world?
Forty years ago while in the army I met a soldier whose Father had fought in Israel’s War of Independence. I vowed than that I would do all I could to make sure that my children would not have to serve. Well two have already served and my youngest this week had his first call up notice- pre induction exams. Like any Israeli parent the moment is alway a combination of pride and dread. Pride since my son like all those who went before him is ready to do his service. Dread because the idea of having another child don a uniform is simply frighting. Its been 40 year and so little has changed. We are a richer, more developed society, but no more secure than we were back then. Our enemies are diminished, but the lethality of new weapons have given unconventional armies capabilities far beyond what they had in the past. It’s depressing.
On a totally other note- Former Minister of Finance and leader of the Yesh Atid party caused a small firestorm in Israel today when he criticized the appointment of Noa Landau as the new English editor of Ha’aretz. He criticized her because her significant other (not sure if its her husband) is very involved in Breaking the Silence. 55Lapid has had an active campaign against breaking the silence these past few weeks, as part of his campaign to show that his heart is in the right. The firestorm that he rightly created was from the sexism shown by saying that a persons suitability to hold a job should be questioned based on what his or her significant other does.
If you want to become a little more depressed just read this statement by the this Iranian military leader IRGC Deputy Commander Salami on the coming destruction of Israel
On a final note- it looks like Prime Minister Netanyahu had a very pleasant trip visiting Africa this past week. He looked like he enjoyed it far more that he has enjoyed his recent trips to the US. He also seems to have improved our relations with the nations in the region significantly. So while I generally criticize him, his actions both in restoring relations with Turkey and improving our relations in Africa have both enhanced Israel’s strategic standing in the world significantly. So for once kudos to the PM.