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.

Under Fire – Again

During the last major Gaza conflagration, I was working in Yehud (near Ben Gurion Airport). On the single day that the missiles hit Yehud, I was working at home. Everyone wanted to know who my Hamas contact was.

Fast forward to the latest mini-war, and as the rockets rained down on Ra’anana and associated central belt cities, I was on a short break up north. It was quiet and there were neither missiles nor trouble. I have just returned from the north and I see the peace loving neighbors of Hizbullah have started firing rockets there. Quite a coincidence.

As you will have gathered, it’s important to maintain a sense of humor.

I did think about composing a long serious blog post putting right all the utter garbage most of the western media is putting out, but there seems little point. People will believe what they want to believe, sadly. Few will actually question the drivel on offer.

The fact the media lie, lie, and lie again – and I can point you to examples should you wish – is only part of the issue. They also mislead. And by doing so, alongside the arsonists disguised as human rights organizations, they fan the flames of war, of hatred, and of a bloodthirsty need to see more dead Jews. It’s almost as if they don’t like to be reminded of the long European tradition of Jew hatred. It’s almost as if it never went away. It’s almost as if the mask has slipped for good.

Happy Seventy-Third Birthday Israel!

And so we move from sadness to celebration.

I just finished watching the official ceremony. The main part was the beacons being lit by representatives from all parts of Israeli society. Each story was an inspiration. Each dedication delivered from the heart.

I still don’t feel comfortable about the switch from despair to joy that these two days bring. Maybe I never will. But that feeling doesn’t last long as it is replaced by the sheer unbridled pride and joy that comes with being able to celebrate Yom Haatzmaut in Israel. I’m so glad to be here.

Happy seventy-third birthday Israel. Many happy returns.

Taken

Yom HaZikaron starts tonight.

Starting with a haunting, lingering, trembling siren, we remember the 23,928 taken too young – regardless of their age – in defense of their country and their people.

I hope and pray that peace will come one day soon, and the number of the dead will be fixed forever as a permanent reminder of their sacrifice and a past left behind.

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.

Once upon a time, twice upon a time…

This is the large poster outside a new building development in Ra’anana.

The Hebrew text on the right side translates to:

“Launch of the second boutique building in the heart of Raanana”

My inquisitive nature wants to know where the first is. I guess it’s already built and fully sold.

Meantime, did you notice the glorious strapline (or motto) in (sort of) English:

I suppose I should wonder what happened to “Time one live.” Is it a band? Is it a motto? No, it’s some silly bugger who thinks he knows English.

Really? In a city overflowing with native English speakers, a commercial undertaking doesn’t have the ability to get a simple three word motto right? It’s awful. But it’s far from unusual. By way of protesting, I’m refusing to even look at the show flat. (Ha!)

Elections!

Rejoice, for the broken state of Palestinian politics is about to be fixed.

The Guardian reports (as told by Reuters) today:

Rejoice, we are told, for Hamas and Fatah have resolved their differences.

Strangely, there’s no mention of the previous announcements about such agreements. The previous twelve instances (at least) when Hamas and Fatah had sorted everything out. See here. The previous instances that came to nothing. Why will this one be any different? In short, it probably won’t. Instead it’s more likely the Palestinian leadership will continue its kleptocratic rule. But at last they won’t have to worry about the Guardian criticizing them.

Cowardice and the Final Lockdown

Times of Israel reports:

Government ministers voted Tuesday night in favor of tightening the current nationwide lockdown by shuttering schools and nonessential businesses for two full weeks, with the aim of cutting rising daily infections that have passed 8,000 a day.

The increased measures will come into force at midnight between Thursday and Friday and last for at least 14 days, according to the Prime Minister’s Office and the Health Ministry.

This lockdown underlines the government’s failure to deal with disease and, in particular, their cowardice. Their appointment as coronavirus czar, Ronnie Gamzu, put forward a traffic light scheme that was to be backed up with closure of the red areas – those with high levels of infection and positive checks. Then it became clear that most – not all – of the red areas were Haredi or Arab. Both communities pushed back against these closures. The Haredi threatened Bibi’s rule. That was it. The government caved.

In the weeks leading up to the supposed final lockdown just announced, there were reports that 25% of the positive tests were in the Haredi community. Arab communities were also not doing so well. And what measures were implemented there? None. It’s widely known that in the Haredi communities, observance of the social distancing, mask wearing, and hygiene regulations was not universal. Far from it. Schools operated when they should have been closed. Members of the community were even told, allegedly, not to report as being ill to keep the numbers lower. Not all Haredim were so stupid and selfish, but too many were. In the Arab communities, some continued to have large gatherings for weddings which might as well have been called ‘Get your coronavirus here’ parties! Not all Arab communities were so stupid and selfish. But too many were. Now, the whole country is paying the price. To be clear, plenty outside these communities were equally stupid and selfish, but at least with proper track and trace and enforcement and closure, these would have been identified and dealt with too.

We cannot be certain, but if the focus of the government had ben about fighting the coronavirus and not fighting to keep Bibi in power, Gamzu’s scheme would have been fully implemented and there probably wouldn’t have been any need for the current or the final lockdown. Personally, I’ll get through it. But I wonder how many will suffer unnecessarily? How many more workers will lose their jobs? How many businesses will never recover? How many people’s mental health will be damaged, perhaps irreparably?

Bibi, this is on your head. I hope the voters remember your cowardice when it comes round to election time. As for your fellow Likudniks, they are no less guilty.