Eurovision, Israel, and Hamas

And let’s not forget Islamic Jihad…

Eurovision 2019 is done and dusted. For Israel, it appears to have been a huge success. Notwithstanding the sniping from the usual suspects, the event passed off without a major hitch, and injected a real buzz into the Tel Aviv scene for the best part of the week up to and including the final. Supporting events were so popular, the police made public appeals for people not to attend as they were already overcrowded! While much of the crowds were locals, anecdotal evidence suggests that tourists also had a great time. Given the western media’s hunger for anti-Israel stories, it would appear the anecdotal evidence is more persuasive than usual. Continue reading

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Silence is not golden

Or, what you won’t see reported by the BBC, the Guardian, the Independent, the New York Times, and too many others to name.

The Times of Israel reports here on the ‘Nakba demonstrations’ in Gaza, Judea, and Samaria.

Here’s what you wont see in those not so fine examples of the media:

In a speech at the border area, senior Hamas official Fathi Hamad, known for his fiery rhetoric, warned Israel that “The day of your slaughter, extermination and demise is approaching.

“We came to tell the Zionist enemy, its men, army, government and Knesset: ‘Go away from us,’” he said.

“All of you should look for a place in Europe…hell, the sea, the ocean or in the Bermuda Triangle. There is no place for all of you in Palestine. There is no place for you in the land of Jerusalem. There is no place for you in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jaffa, Haifa, Acre or any place.”

What a charmer.

Of course, this is precisely the context that they don’t want to highlight for fear it contradicts their ‘Israel is wrong’ narrative. So they won’t. All part of the invidious campaign they wage to demonize, delegitimize, and denounce Israel. All rock solid proof that when it comes to liberals, they can be as hypocritical and hateful as right wing extremists.

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At the going down of the sun

In a few minutes, the sirens will pierce the evening skies across Israel as Yom HaZikaron begins, the day on which we remember those who have given their lives for Israel, whether as soldiers in combat, or as victims of terrorism.

The hope of us all is that from this day until next year’s Yom HaZikaron, there will be no names added to the list of the deceased; no more bloodshed, and no more dying. That’s our prayer. That’s our wish for the future.

Meantime, at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

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Predictions and Gaza

Background: When the disengagement from Gaza was first mooted, I wasn’t in favor. However, at the time I wasn’t yet an Israeli citizen, and as part of my general principal of not wanting to be an armchair Zionist who criticized Israel from the safety of the Diaspora, I said nothing.

Smart cookie that I am (cough, cough), when the proposal became a plan that was going to be implemented, I thought I could see the vision. I thought there might be an advantage: the disengagement would give the Palestinians a chance for self government. And if they were daft enough to try any silly business, the IDF would flatten them, and nobody can say they didn’t deserve it. That was my prediction. Wrong!

It doesn’t matter what Hamas does; Israel will always be condemned for its military response. (I think that’s a prediction, too. Oh dear.) If that’s correct, what conclusions might reasonably be drawn? Tricky.

Perhaps we should consider the disengagement a mistake, own up, and accept it. Perhaps.

For now, I am going to finish here with a simple hope that the carnage stops sooner rather than later without further bloodshed. My heart goes out to the communities riven by loss and dreadful disruption – they are living in a war zone – who have learned what we all truly knew: Bibi’s deterrent does not exist. The emperor has no clothes.

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Next Prime Minister of Israel?

Yair Lapid, the next Prime Minister of Israel?

Last night, Susan and I went to a Yesh Atid (There is a Future) meeting (Anglo Division) in Tel Aviv to hear the party leader, Yair Lapid. He was introduced as the next Prime Minister of Israel which is – to put it mildly – somewhat optimistic. However, let there be no doubt, he is by far my preferred candidate. Why? Partly because I like the man, but mainly because I like how Yesh Atid handled itself the last time it was in power – sticking largely to its policy promises – and also, no less, because of the party’s policies. Their intentions for the country address all the key areas in the right way, so to speak. I was particularly pleased to hear Yair promise that one early law, were he successful, would be to limit the number of times one person could be the Prime Minister to twice. (Hello Bibi!)

Underpinning a lot of Yesh Atid’s policies is an honest streak that seems to be missing from the other parties. For example, when in power, Yesh Atid refused to take the money that all the other coalition parties took from the State, just for being in power. Shocking. For another example, within minutes of the election being called, the coalition parties robbed the welfare and education budgets to fund their own political expenditure. Also shocking. Another almost unbelievable story was the reminder that Bibi ordered a personal – OK, a Prime Ministerial – plane at a cost of hundreds of millions of shekels, for no good reason. (The theory is that Bibi felt envious at Air Force One…) A funny story was told about the ministerial vote on work programs. Only two ministers voted against it. Guess which two ministers were appointed to be in charge of the work programs? Welcome to Israel…

Before Yair could start, he was interrupted by a protester – demonstrating against weapons sales to Sudan – who had to be removed by the security team. It’s unclear why the protester targeted Yair Lapid, as the offending matters were not of his creation. Anyway, Yair spoke for about 45 minutes – in reasonably good English – and then took questions.

The questions ranged from aliyah to illegal immigrants to non-orthodoxy to gay rights to educations, pensions, and so on. His answers were OK, but the poor guy has clearly been running around with far too much to do. I say this because his English in the answers was not as sharp or polished as it can be. He had not had enough time to prepare fully, I suspect.  In this arena, he is not as good a performer as Bibi. But, he will improve, and it’s one area that – despite declarations to the contrary – matters least in the Israeli elections. In other words, the Anglos will not have a material effect on the result. That having been said, I was impressed and cheered by the very young profile of the audience. Very heartening. Anyway, for election success, it’s more important how he comes across in the Hebrew media. And there he is very much equal to the Bibi challenge.

What are his chances? In the past elections, Yesh Atid has typically done less well in the polls until the closing stages. That appears to be the case this time around, too. But it needs to do much better this time to break the Likud stranglehold, and so far there’s been no hint of such a change. Instead, the opposition keeps getting split by new parties popping up. So, when it does come to the election, Lapid as Prime Minister is unlikely. But, then again, in the world of Israeli politics, almost anything is possible. After all, this is a country where a new politician could be ranked as getting 20% plus of the vote before making a single speech or uttering a single word on policy or beliefs. So, unlikely, but not impossible.

I’m resigned to another Bibi/Likud victory, but let’s see what actually happens.

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Deceit of the Guardian

“In France and Britain, gilets jaunes have mutated into symbols of anger against anything from austerity to Islam”

Click the image to view the complete article

The Guardian are so deceitful. Guess which group targeted by the ‘gilet jaunes’ is not mentioned by the Guardian? Why didn’t the article mention antisemitism? Because it might taint the purity of the French protesters they empathize with and support? Or, because antisemitism means nothing to them? Or because the Guardian has sold out its journalistic roots?

In the scheme of things, it’s like a drop in the ocean. But to mix metaphors, it’s the drip, drip, drip effect of approaches as in this article that minimizes antisemitism and fosters a world view that is, put simply, wrong.

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Code Pink – Completely Potty

Another in the ‘you could not make it up’ department of true stories:

The people who are so upset over Israel’s supposed crime of “pinkwashing” LGBTQs by treating them well is now on a tour of Iran…

Click the image to read the Elder of Ziyon’s incredible story.

The extent of the ability of so called liberal or leftist proponents of human rights to turn a blind eye to almost anyone’s crimes – so long as they are anti Israel – is shocking. Why should anyone believe a word these people say? Why should anyone believe they have any morality left? They are enablers of hate.

As the Elder says:

It is difficult to imagine a more hypocritical organization than CodePink.

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Israel Post Strikes Again!

I have a subscription to Private Eye. Today, I arrived home from work to find that Israel Post had excelled themselves: they had managed to deliver two issues at once. How efficient!

Except, as you will see from the above, their performance was anything but efficient. It’s taken at least four weeks for number 1485 to be delivered. Delivery of number 1486 has only taken three weeks. If only there were a realistic prospect of that improvement continuing…

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Israel’s 2018

Away from the political front, away from the security challenges, away from the stresses and strains that undoubtedly exist in Israeli society, 2018 was a record year for Israel – in a good way.

Actually, ‘good’ may be an understatement. It almost seems like the more noise BDS groups and other assorted haters try to make, the more tourists want to come to visit, the more foreign investment floods in, and the more business Israel does. It’s almost like there’s an invisible presence looking after us…

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Respect – Jordanian Style

Click the image to go to the Times of Israel story.

The Jordanian narrative is typical of many states in the Middle East. Jordan’s economy is a joke. Civil liberties are a joke. Health standards are a joke. The country is a basket case. So, do they focus their energies and attention on improvement? Initiatives for betterment? Campaigns for freedom? Oh no. Instead, their number one focus seems to be to blame the Jews.

Jordan continues to ensure its people will be served lives of poverty, oppression, and bigotry instead of progress, peace, and hope.

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