January 2, 2014
A month – and no Letter from Israel. What’s happening?
Well, like any ‘just another country’, the latest news is not spectacular, horrible, traumatic. News-wise, the collapsed ceiling of the Apollo Theatre in London is far more interesting. (I saw that play – ‘Curious Incident’ – a few months ago, and last week, Aviva and I were in a neighbouring theatre, seeing ‘A Man and Two Guv’nors’. This will temporarily hurt London’s Theatre industry – that’s the power of the media and it’s effect on you and me – which comes back to the main reason I write this letter).
So the latest news from here?
We’ve had the coldest and wettest week since at least 40 years. Millions’ worth of damage – an early opining to skiing season in the Golan Heights – fantastic images of Winter in spots not normally covered in snow.
Israel released the 3rd of 4 groups of Palestinian prisoners (all convicted killers) as a gesture of goodwill, as part of the ongoing peace talks.
This will lead to nothing….
While Obama says no to the release of Jonathan Pollard, an Israeli spy (remember those? – pre-Wikileaks..) who’s been in US prison for 28 years, he says yes to the unlimited release of killers.
New Year’s Eve. We went out for a late dinner with friends to welcome in the New Year. Actually stayed awake till after 1.30. Who says we’re getting old?
Most of the country functioned quite normally over the festive days. No big display of fireworks, no special speech from the President.
In fact, on Christmas Day, I was having a meeting with the hygienist department at the Dental School.
The night before, the Palestinian leadership attended Midnight Mass in Bethlehem. The Christmas message was partly drowned out by political speeches, some of which were annoyingly ridiculous, as they mentioned the ongoing problems with Israel, and yet the withering Christian population is in danger from its Muslim neighbours, not from Israel.
And Abbas claims now that Jesus is/was a Palestinian. Gosh, the Palestinians re-create history every day, and most out there don’t care, listen and believe.
But we’re used to all that.
It’s going to be a great year – for someone…I mean, we can all look optimistically at Iran, Iraq, Syria, Southern Sudan, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, Qatar and Somalia
Israel’s to blame.
And, just in case you think ‘He’s Stephen – he would say that, wouldn’t he?’ – Let me tell you that the corruption here is rampant, wearing a kippa (yarmulka) is sometimes becoming an embarrassment, I actually quite enjoyed reading ‘Ha-Aretz’ yesterday – a very left-wing newspaper – and the news that the condition of Arik Sharon, who went into a coma 8 years ago, has worsened is, I am very sorry to say, a headline catcher and no more.
Happy New Year,