Road safety contributions

This morning’s contribution to road safety on the roads of Israel? A coffee drinking driver cruising in the outside lane of Road Four. (The coffee looked hot.)

To balance this, I also saw a cyclist with helmet, front and back working lights, and bright clothing.

So, not all bad.

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The Strangler’s Honeymoon – Hakan Nesser

This is another in the generally excellent Van Veeteren series, and another that takes place after the great man’s retiral. Former Chief Inspector Van Veeteren is approached by a priest. But Van Veeteren cannot give him the time needed and when next available, the poor priest is already dead, having apparently committed suicide. We dear readers know that this is connected to the tragic tale of a mother and daughter caught in a monster’s spider web of deceit, lies, corruption, and murder.

DI Ewa Moreno is the leading police – as in serving police – character. But Van Veeteren, from the safety of his antiquarian bookshop, makes a significant contribution. The hunt is on for a clever serial killer.

Characterization? My take is that there’s a greater emphasis on the killer than in other of Nesser’s books. It’s not overbalanced, but it sometimes gets close. Moreno and her challenges are interesting, but the Chief Inspector’s shadow is always there.

Plot? Not too many layers to peel away, and not too many surprises. But believable, taut, and tense.

Overall, this is no easy read because there is some graphic content that pops up in between the author’s finely crafted prose. But it’s worth it. Nesser creates a gentle ambience, edged with shades of grey, highlighting the horror, and then returns you to the show. You read on, drawn in to his all too real world.

Of all the Van Veeteren books I have read thus far, this is the one least likely to appeal to a reader not into crime fiction. But it has a lot to say, and is sufficiently meaty that I may well read it again.

Hakan Nesser? That guy can write!

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Even more JK stay away!

Times of Israel has some more quotes from Haaertz about John Kerry:

toi270714

Note:

  • This is from the left of the political spectrum
  • Kerry’s has been an embarrassing performance
  • There has been “apparent” dishonesty
  • He offered Hamas everything they could have hoped for
  • His proposal puts a death warrant on Abbas (I wonder if Abbas realizes this)
  • His proposal thwarts the possibility of reaching a cease fire
  • Ya’alon was possibly right about Kerry

The only part I disagree with is the description of Kerry as a friend of Israel. No friend behaves like he has. No wonder American foreign policy is rubbish.

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Soon you can safely saddle up

Good news on the ebike front, as set out by the Jerusalem Post:

Regulations for electric bicycles to take effect September 1

Electric bikes will be permitted a maximum power level of 250 watts and travel speed not exceeding 25 kph, the transportation ministry says.

Riding electric bicycles – which have become a familiar sight on streets and train carriages – is scheduled to finally become legal on September 1, when regulations approved in the Knesset on Monday take effect.

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee and Transportation Minister Israel Katz approved a series of rules that aim to standardize and secure what has become an increasingly popular transportation mode. Under the regulations, electric bikes will be permitted a maximum power level of 250 watts and travel speed not exceeding 25 kph, the Transportation Ministry said.

In accordance with European standards, electric motors must stop operating when the bikes’ speed surpass the 25 kph limit, the ministry added.

For background reading, see here.

This bit in the latest report made me laugh:

The regulations will also require the installation of a horn or bell, lights and reflectors, and riders will have to be over the age of 14.

Helmets are required for riders of all ages. The bikes must carry the officially notated and visible words “bicycle with motor assistance,” the ministry said.

Yeah, right…

Unsurprisingly, there’s no mention of mandatory insurance for ebike riders. So the situation is improved, but still needs attention.

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More JK stay away!

As a follow up to this post about John Kerry:

  • Steven tips me the wink about this prophetic cartoon by the wonderful Dry Bones.
  • And see this from Abu Yehuda, quoting a Haaretz perspective – confirming the general unity of opinion (in Israel) about JK

Is it any wonder the peace talks he ran, got nowhere?

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Don’t bother coming back, Mr Kerry

From the Times of Israel:

kerry

The article includes this:

The unnamed sources, quoted by Israel’s Channel 2 TV, said Kerry “dug a tunnel under the Egyptian ceasefire proposal” — which Israel accepted and Hamas rejected last week — and presented the Israeli government with a text that accepted “most of the demands” raised by Hamas, the Islamist terror group that rules the Strip.

To the “horror” of the Israeli ministers, the Kerry proposal accepted Hamas’s demands for the opening of border crossings into Gaza — where Israel and Egypt fear the import of weaponry; the construction of a seaport; and the creation of a post-conflict funding channel for Hamas from Qatar and other countries, according to the sources. The proposal, meanwhile, did not even provide for Israel to continue demolishing the Hamas network of “terror tunnels” dug under the Israeli border.

I suspect this explains why Hamas didn’t bother to extend the humanitarian truce. They think Kerry will deliver them what they want. Can anyone objective seriously believe or argue that his proposals do not reward terror?

Please don’t come back, Mr Kerry. We will sort this out without you, thank you very much.

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Does this mean Yoda supports Israel?

The Jerusalem Post, Friday 25 July 2014:

jpadvert

Third world English, or Yoda on a bad day. Take your pick. We simply wonder (or should that be “wonders”)  why they couldn’t be bothered to get it right…

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Essential reference

The Elder of Ziyon has collected his essential Gaza posts (thus far) in one place, here. Even if you do not want to read them all – and they are all very worth reading – I recommend you bookmark this for reference.

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Five for Friday

A tough week all round. Whatever prospects there are for a ceasefire in Gaza, I fear dark and difficult days ahead. We all hope for an early, peaceful, and long lasting resolution.

Here are a selection of links. You may notice a certain bias. It’s the least I can do to counter the demonization, defamation, and rabble rousing that is going on in certain quarters. (And then there’s surprise about rising antisemitism..)

A bonus:

[First seen at Israellycool.]

Shabbat Shalom!

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Thanks

All through my life, on the important occasions, I have been lucky. Somebody upstairs has been looking after me.

Thankfully, this streak is still ongoing.

For example, I work in Yehud. One day this last week, I decided to work at home. That was the day a missile hit Yehud…

My work colleagues, after rushing in to the strong room a couple of times, wanted to know who had given me advance notice. Was I a secret Hamas supporter? Sympathiser?  Not bloody likely. Just lucky. Thank G-d. And I mean that literally.

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