The need to grow up

Given the abuse Israel and its leaders take from the Turkish establishment – especially in recent years – the following comes as a surprise:

From Globes:


The article says:

“As countries, there will always be a love-hate relationship between us and Israel. What’s important, however, is that business connects people, and we don’t let the bad people around interfere with our mission: to be always the preferred option for Israeli passengers. We’re very proud of our route, and we want to continue giving good service and a successful product that will make Israelis choose us,” said Turkish Airlines VP Ziya Taskent in response to a “Globes” question about his personal opinion on the prolonged diplomatic crisis between Israel and Turkey.

Bad people? Whoever could he mean?

Meantime, this type of commercial activity reflects the disconnect between the shrieks of BDS from the madding crowd, compared with the continual investment that foreign businesses make in Israel. People want to do business with Israel. They want our custom. They want our technology. They want our entrepreneurial skills. They want to create something positive, and investing in Israel offers that, and more.

What Israel has achieved in the short time since its modern reestablishment is a miracle. The surrounding Arab world should hang its respective heads in shame. Whatever the issues, the handicaps, or the challenges, with the right application they could all have been overcome. (No, not overnight,. And there is this wee requirement for hard work.) Instead their apparent focus is on maintaining dictatorial regimes by channeling hate and intolerance, rather than spreading life, liberty, and freedom, dooms them to be the failed states they are.

The religious extremists of ISIS (or whatever the current label is) behave as if they are acting out a nightmare best described as murderous lunatics having taken over the asylum.

[Aside: are ISIS nothing to do with Islam? They sure seem to say otherwise.]

If there is ever going to be peace in this part of the world, our neighbors will first collectively have to took a good, long, hard look at themselves and realize where they are, and how far they are from progress unless they change their whole approach.

To put it more simply, they need to grow up.

Game of the week

OK, here’s your starter for 10 points:

At which recent Israeli event, did the halftime show feature “a Scottish bagpipes [sic] band from Ukraine that had people dancing in the stands”?

You are never going to guess – unless you google it and cheat.

Give in?

Historical Medieval Battles.

Never heard of it? Neither had I till I read a report at the Times of Israel.

It starts like this:

For some people, there’s nothing more entertaining than watching a good fight. There are boxing fans, and also plenty of folks who tune in to pro wrestling on TV. And then there’s the crowd that likes to watch competitors dressed in medieval armor wielding medieval weapons go at one another other without mercy.

That sort of fighting is called Historical Medieval Battles (HMB), and a few hundred Israeli fans of the sport — some dressed as though they stepped right out of Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest — gathered Thursday evening at the Maccabi House Sports Hall in Rishon Lezion to watch the World Medieval Fighting Championship: Israeli Challenge.

Although HMB involves several different categories and styles of combat, this particular event focused on “professional fights.” The one-on-one bouts entail three rounds of three minutes, during which the opponents attack each other with unsharpened steel weapons, such as swords and poleaxes. Everything is allowed except for blows to the neck, back of the knee, groin, eyes, feet, and back of the head. Fighters score points with hits, and the competitor with the most points at the end of the three rounds wins.

Intriguing. Definitely a clash [sic!] of cultures.

You can read the whole report here.

Solo – William Boyd

This is a James Bond novel, set in 1969, with Bond celebrating his 45th birthday in style and living a life of fast cars, wine, women, and danger.

On the one hand, I am suspicious of the book as an attempt to exploit the late Ian Fleming’s invention. On the other, if there’s reading pleasure to be had, I’m all for it.

On the plus side, therefore, the Bond character is given just the right kind of treatment. He is no superstar, albeit he is rather good at his job. There’s a fine drawing of the man with a sympathetic slant given to his weaknesses. The other characters are pure cardboard – probably as it should be.

The plot doesn’t make a great deal of sense to me. To cast my doubts here would spoil it. Let’s say, that there is intrigue, and the investigation and unraveling is interesting.

It’s a page turner, tautly written in the main, with some excellent period touches and only the occasional out of time phraseology.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a must read, but fans of Bond won’t be disappointed, and it is not a bad way to spend some quiet reading time.

Video of the week

Context. I first saw this at The Jawa Report:

From the NY Daily News:

Pro-Palestinian activists disrupted a City Council meeting Thursday to protest Council members’ planned trip to Israel next month.
Protesters in the balcony of the Council chamber unfurled a Palestinian flag and began yelling “Palestinian lives matter,” “Don’t support genocide,” and “Melissa, you’re a hypocrite,” a slam on Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, who will lead the Israel delegation.

Council members reacted furiously to the demonstration – especially because the disruption began as they were concluding a vote on a resolution commemorating the anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp.

A few dozen protesters were booted from the chamber, with some physically removed, and were ordered off the City Hall property all together.

Now watch one (memorable) response:

Five for Friday

"What do you mean, pavement?"

“What do you mean, pavement?”

After yesterday’s traffic trauma, it put me in the mood to share with you Sarah-Lee’s snap of someone who felt that her precious passengers shouldn’t have to walk all the way to the car parking place when there was plenty of space available on the pavement. Never mind pedestrians… The selfishness of it all is obscene.

OK. That’s out the way and I can get back to the routine of the weekend. I’m not in the mood to say very much. So, the links follow:

Shabbat Shalom!

A gathering

There’s only one way to explain what I experienced on my journey home from work tonight. There must have been, a surprise gathering (or conference) of bad and dangerous drivers called for tonight in Yehud. I can see the email invitation content quite clearly:

“Are you a bad driver? Are you a dangerous driver? Are you both? Well, come along to Yehud tonight, drive around and cause trouble.

Yes, we want you to reverse at speed into the main road.

Of course we want you to stop suddenly, start suddenly, stop suddenly, and then turn left while indicating right.

And you absolutely must charge across the stop line without stopping. You will get extra points if you don’t look to either side as you do this.

But if you cannot come, send a friend. Someone who drives on the other side of the road from time to time – just for variety.”

All this, and more.

The dominion, the prince, and the star


This week’s session began with a quick and intensive three player game of Dominion. John, Yehuda, and I fought over a high value set of Action Cards. However, it was the rather lowly Militia that did the damage, winning the game for John.

Sheer and Tal joined us for a game of Princes of Florence. Yehuda did his usual excellent job of explaining the rules to John and Sheer. Both of them did an excellent job of picking up the key points, and were well in contention save for some understandable errors. Tal seemed to lose her way a bit, possibly because she was still thinking about the work she was doing for a friend, when she should have been maximizing her score! It’s a tricky game to master, but Yehuda has done that, and his ‘come from behind’ approach showed us all how to win. Well done, Yehuda!


Tal dropped out to check out some music and allow the four guys to get a first shot at Among the Stars. We played the non-aggressive mode, fairly fast, made some mistakes but had some fun. As John and Sheer pointed out, once you build up familiarity with the cards, you will have a better chance of maximizing the score and doing well. Yehuda won, with Sheer and John not that far behind. I was well in last place. It was great to get the first run done and get used to the mechanics. The additions – goals and alien races – should make for an interesting combination. We are sure to play it again.

Thanks to all who came.