Glad That’s Over

We have a new government, finally. Yes, they are strange bedfellows. Yes, they do not have the strongest backing. Yes, the odds are stacked against them. But they do have much in common. And if they can focus on the key issues that are for the benefit of the whole country and make progress bit by bit, who knows how far they might get.

It will be good to have a government that tries to pass a budget and tries to govern instead of trying to hang on to power so as to free Bibi from the troublesome nuisance of three criminal trials.

I confess to being entertained by the haredi parties screaming about the end of Judaism in Israel. Losing power (and money) was never going to come easy to them. Bibi’s criticism about Bennett’s (alleged) inability is unsurprising. But Bibi forgets he too had to start somewhere and he too was grossly underestimated.

I confess to being particularly happy for Yair Lapid. He has gone from strength to strength displaying qualities of perseverance, endeavor, honesty, self-sacrifice, and leadership. If he does become Prime Minister, he will deserve it more than anyone else in the current Knesset.

As for Bennett, I wish him luck. I want him to succeed, to make a difference and show what we can achieve if we work together, to be inclusive for the benefit of all instead of exclusive for the good of the few.

The rockets with no owners

This, from who else but the Guardian, is another example of their drip, drip, drip bias and demonization of Israel.

The rocket fire screwed up the hopes of a ceasefire all on its own! Nobody fired them. They were autonomous rockets…

Oh, come on Guardian. There was room for “by Hamas” in that title. But you deliberately chose not to blame your terrorist friends. Shame on you.

(An informed reader might know it was Hamas. But I wonder how many uninformed or lazy readers will read that headline and subconsciously at least blame Israel.)

The Guardian Doing What It Does Best

This article is classic Guardian propaganda. It’s a puff peace for terrorists that demonizes Israel.

Click the image to view the article

For example, only once is there mention of Hamas rockets. It’s hidden well down the content (23rd paragraph out of 26!) and – surprise, surprise – is couched in terms that suggest Israel is the aggressor:

“Among those who have raised urgent concerns has been the International Committee of the Red Cross, which has called on both sides to respect the urgent medical requirements of the people of Gaza. “In the past seven days in Gaza, we’ve seen extensive air strikes and also rockets going out from Gaza to Israel,” a spokesperson inside the coastal enclave told the Guardian.”

It’s almost an afterthought: “…and also rockets going out from Gaza to Israel.”

Not once does it say why Israel is attacking Gaza. Indeed, the ONLY actual mention of Hamas uses language that is so understated and lacking any import of violence, it is almost laughable.

“While Israel has accused Hamas in the past of using medical facilities as a cover for its activities…”

Activities? The Guardian makes it sound like an after-school club! Obscene.

How about this from a ‘spokesman for the Palestinian ministry of health in Gaza’:

“There has been a depletion of resources over the course of the year of the corona pandemic, and now this aggression has drained our limited health capacities significantly. We will be in a dangerous situation as a health system within days if this continues.”

It’s fair comment that Gaza’s medical resources are not in a good state. However, the Guardian doesn’t take the time to point out that it’s strange that the health resources have diminished while Hamas still has plenty of resources for war. You could do pretty well buying medical kit with the money that, for example, 2,000 plus rockets consumed.

Try this for size:

“Also among the facilities damaged on Sunday was a clinic run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF), which also said that a clinic that provided trauma and burn treatment had been hit by an Israeli missile in Gaza City.

 

Even before that strike, the MSF medical coordinator, Dr Natalie Thurtle, had warned of the danger facing Gaza’s already depleted health system. “The 14-year Israeli blockade on Gaza means that the health system here lacks many of the things it needs to treat people even during normal times,” said Thurtle last week.”

I have no idea about the strike. I am certain that Israel won’t have deliberately targeted the place, just as I am certain that MSF cannot be trusted. They have form in hating Israel. But put that tragic inevitability of war aside and concentrate on the blockade part. As any fool knows, including Thurtle, there is no ban on medical equipment. It’s an out and out lie. If there is a shortage of medical equipment, it’s because Hamas prioritizes military equipment. But does the article mention that? Not a bit.

Then try out this intellectual exercise. Assume for the purposes of discussion that there were a blockade against medical equipment even though there isn’t. We know that Hamas have managed to smuggle in Kornet anti-tank weapons. If they can smuggle in anti-tank weapons, for sure they can smuggle in medical equipment. They choose not to, in the same way they choose to spend money on instruments of war rather than medical instruments. The Guardian knows this, but they don’t – and won’t say it. Because to do so would remove some of the buffy shine that Hamas has accumulated thanks to years of propaganda and incitement against Israel by the Guardian and their ilk.

To be clear, I don’t want innocent civilians to die or suffer. But that’s what happens in war. If you don’t want dead people, don’t fire rockets at Israel. Simple really.

Make no mistake. The Guardian is at least partly responsible for every rocket fired at Israel. Reporting – and that’s a joke term – like this pours oil on troubled waters. The Guardian’s moral compass is not so much broken as shattered beyond repair.

 

 

 

A bissel of bias

The Guardian doesn’t have space to mention Hamas rockets.


The BBC makes it sound as if Israel is the aggressor. Of course.

Just a bissel of bias that these poisonous parties pretend is journalism. Instead, it’s campaigning for a cause and that cause is nothing to do with the wellbeing, security, or safety of Israel.

Responsibility

As you may have heard, Israel’s Mediterranean beaches have been devastated by a crude oil spill. The environmental damage is severe, the beaches closed, and there’s a ban imposed on seafood from the Med. In short, it’s a disaster.

Who is responsible? Well, as I type this there are several tankers under suspicion and presumably at some point we’ll be told the culprit who leaked the oil. But it turns out there is another culprit closer to home.

The Times of Israel reports (here):

“Way back in 2008, the government decided to formulate a National Plan for Preparedness and Response to Marine Oil Pollution Incidents. A cabinet decision, made in June 2008 when Ehud Olmert was prime minister, ordered that within three to five years from January 1, 2009, the ministry would fill staff positions and acquire all the equipment and sailing vessels it needed to prevent oil contaminations at sea.”

You can guess what’s coming, can’t you?

“The ministry was instructed to discuss with the Treasury any funding needs it could not meet on its own, in the run-up to the 2009 budget. And the environmental protection minister at the time (Gideon Ezra of the now-defunct Kadima party) was ordered to ensure that the plan was enshrined in law, along with the requirements of the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation, to which Israel is a signatory.

That sounded positive, didn’t it?

Unfortunately:

But the plan never made it into the law books. And the Finance Ministry effectively blocked the transfer of additional funds.

So, there was a plan, but it was never put into action. I’m sure we’ll get some waffle, but the simple truth is that our government failed us. Whether they were lazy, incompetent, or didn’t care about the issue is unknown. But the result is. A quick trip down to the beach – but be careful you don’t breathe in too many of the fumes – is all that’s needed.

According to Wikipedia, these are the responsible ministers:

I anticipate each will have a reason for public consumption as to why the plan couldn’t be executed. Perhaps the reason will include (other than for Gila Gamliel) the excuse that they were just about to take action when their term in power ended. Right…

But in the time we’ve had six or seven Ministers of Environmental Protection, we’ve had one Prime Minister.

One man, in power all this time, who surely could have enacted the plan, who could have put it into force. But Bibi didn’t. It’s almost as if the most important thing on Bibi’s mind was staying in power rather than doing the best for the country and its people.

If Bibi were a responsible adult, he would resign. This incident alone should shame him into falling on his sword. It won’t. He has to go.

More Maskless Masses

This is a follow up to Thursday’s post.

On Friday, I went in to Tel Aviv. While a lot of people were wearing masks, in some areas many were not. For example, Kikar Dizengoff and HaBimah were crowded with many groups of people most of whom were maskless. It’s almost as if they weren’t taking the situation seriously. I hope there isn’t a surge in infections in Tel Aviv.

 

Trump and Biden

I’ll keep this simple.

The electorate have chosen Biden.

I hope, for the sake of the people of the USA, that Biden does good things for them as a whole.

I also hope, for the sake of the people of  Israel – indeed the whole Middle East – that Biden doesn’t make the same mistakes Obama made. Propping up the kleptocracy that is the Palestinian Authority without true accountability will not lead to peace. Giving in to the Iranian theocratic dictators will not lead to peace.

Good luck America.

Oh I do like to be in Tiberias

The above Times of Israel report suggests that Ms Gamliel has not been leading by example.

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel, who announced over the weekend that she had been infected with the coronavirus, was facing calls to resign after confessing that last week she broke a lockdown limit by traveling from her Tel Aviv home to the northern city of Tiberias.

She also reportedly tried to hide the trip from a Health Ministry epidemiological investigation into her infection.

Apparently, there are some extenuating circumstances.

Gamliel spent the Yom Kippur fast, which fell on Monday, at a synagogue in Tiberias, where her father-in-law is the rabbi, Kan reported Monday.

Associates of the minister have said the congregants all wore masks and that Gamliel slept in a local family apartment in the city, parts of which have been declared virus hotspots. They also asserted on Monday that her husband owned the apartment where they stayed in Tiberias and that they were thus allowed to be there under the lockdown regulations.

However:

Health Ministry officials are trying to determine how many other people were in the synagogue at the time and if the number was more than the permitted ten people allowed at indoor prayer services on Yom Kippur under the lockdown.

The Walla new site quoted participants in the Yom Kippur service as saying there had been 35 people in the building, about half its maximum capacity.

Oops!

Haaretz also covers the story here (behind a paywall). I thought this part was interesting:

Gamliel’s office said Sunday that the report was “another attempt to harm Likud members through lies and pathetic fabrications. The minister is fully cooperating with the epidemiological investigation and assisting the Health Ministry in whatever is required.”

This seems to be a regular feature in Likud’s response to any media criticism. In my opinion, that type of approach sounds awfully like bluster: long on sound, short on substance.

If the media report was “lies and…fabrication” I would expect, from a minister of the government very much in the public eye, some detail. For example, what exactly is a lie? Did she or didn’t she exceed the 1km limit? Did she or didn’t she socialize with her in-laws? Did she or didn’t she claim to be infected by her driver? Did she or didn’t she go to a synagogue over Yom Kippur. (If so, what was the compliance level?) Did she or didn’t she avoid the Health Ministry officials?

In the absence of a full response, the objective observer is going to come to one conclusion. And that is not one favorably disposed towards Gamliel.

They must have stopped teaching it

A few weeks back, the coronavirus czar proposed a scheme of traffic light coding (green, amber, red) and localized lockdowns for those areas that went red. Most (all?) of the areas that either were or became red fell into two categories: Arab majority areas or Haredi majority areas. Unsurprisingly, there was a substantial pushback from both communities. To all intents and purposes, that scheme died a death, to coin a phrase. And, since that scheme wasn’t implemented, everyone – well, everyone who respects the rule of law – ended up in this general lockdown, the country’s second.

Over Yom Kippur, several – not all – Haredi communities continued to pack themselves into shul for Yom Kippur. Over the forthcoming Sukkot festival, several – not all – Haredi communities intend to pack themselves into their own large communal succah to celebrate the festival.

Now, the coronavirus situation is even worse. It’s probably going to get worse before it gets better.

Those disobedient Haredi communities are well aware of the virus. They are well aware of the risks. They see their tradition as being more important than any reason advanced as to why they should refrain from behaving as they always have.

So, their tradition is more important than taking steps to decrease the risk of serious ill health, injury, or death to their fellow man.

So, their tradition is more important than doing the morally right thing.

So, have they stopped teaching chillul hashem?