# 282 – Mehta Murray Gas & Arab Spring by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com
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# 282 – Mehta Murray Gas & Arab Spring

Helping others to understand Israel - and Israelis to understand others...
  • Joined Sep 2016
  • Published Books 409
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July 7, 2015

Mehta, Murray, Gas and Arab Spring

This is a difficult time for me. When not travelling, there is always a lot of business correspondence to get through, reports to write, next trips to prepare.

And then there are the other subjects.

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Yesterday was Manic Monday at Wimbledon, when all Round 4 matches are played and the 1/2-finals are reached.

I watched 1 channel, recorded the other, but never have time to watch the recordings. At least with fast-fwd, you get to watch a game in 1/3 the time.

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I watched Andy Murray play tactically the perfect game against the 6-11 (2.11m) Karlovic – and Serena forget for a few minutes that Venus is her best friend.

Watched the others get through, except for the Djoke.

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I did record the US v Japan Ladies World Cup final (football/soccer). I was still willing to watch what was reported to be a very entertaining game, but no time. (US won 5-2, incl. 14 min. hat trick from Lloyd, and that included one of those classic shots from the 1/2-way line).

Sorry, you fans out there, but I’m not interested in a drug-filled tour of the wine country on 2 wheels. So that’s a lot of TV eliminated.

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The news here is dominated by 2 subjects: continued Islamic terror/violence everywhere and our gas finds.

The nearly 100 killed in the last 3-4 days in the Sinai desert went almost unnoticed in Western press. That’s the way with news: some big stories are just too far away, physically and psychologically. Who cares about the Egyptians? Well, Israel does, ‘cos they’re our neighbours, and right now we’re fighting the same enemy.

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Look at another neighbor, Lebanon, They’ve taken in around 1.2 million Syrian refugees (into a country with barely 4 million to start with). Most of the refugees are Sunni Muslim, and that’s not good for Hezbollah. It’s a crisis similar to the Palestinian refugee crisis of the 80s, when Arafat threatened to upset the country.

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Tunisia: 1 terrorist attack, and the main industry, tourism, takes a hammering. (I warn Greece: watch out for a terror attack. Because right now, with the local currency is turmoil, whether Euro or Drachma, tourism is the industry that will save the country).

 

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And here in Israel, the rampant corruption of businessmen and politicians makes it almost impossible of the country to agree how to handle the enormous gas finds in the Med. And they ARE enormous. The Leviathan field alone is set to establish Israel as a major exporter of natural gas for the next half century. But the frantic arguments….do we thank the 2 companies that developed the fields at great cost, at a time when others would not invest the time and money?

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Or do we remind each other that the bosses are ‘criminals’ and in the past have managed to screw just about everyone near them? How much should we tax them? How much should be exported, and to whom? How cheap should domestic gas become? And how do we protect the gas from sabotage?

It’s such a mess, that they might just leave the stuff down there.

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And then there’s the 79 year-old Zubin Mehta, who has achieved just about everything one can expect in a great musical career. We saw him last night with the Israeli Philharmonic. First half were 2 concertos featuring 3 soloist from within the orchestra: Vivaldi’s concerto for 2 trumpets and strings is chillingly beautiful (you MUST check it out on Youtube). Such a warm shock to realize how perfectly 2 harmonising trumpets can blend with soft violins, violas, cellos and double basses.

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Then there’s Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto, written just 2 months before he died. I read that the composer discovered and fell in love with the instrument, called then a ‘basset horn’ when he was visiting Mannheim, and from then on included the sound in most of his orchestral pieces.

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The 2nd half was filled with Beethoven’s 1st Piano concerto, wonderfully played by one of the sexist pianists I’ve ever seen: Khatia Buniatishvili. She’s Georgian of course. and only 28 years old, and this is how she was dressed last night:

 

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# 282 – Mehta Murray Gas & Arab Spring by Stephen Pohlmann - Ourboox.com

The dress hugged every part of her. And very impressive playing. (Her encore was stunning – just wish these soloists would tell us what they’re playing and why).

 

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There was a nice touch to the program last night, perhaps because it was being recorded for the Mezzo Live HD channel. Zubin honoured 2 of the members of the orchestra for their 25 years.

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One of them, an ex-American, gave a great speech on the need to encourage our kids to enter the performing arts, and not be over-stuck to the computer/phone/tablet screen. Play, dance, sing, paint. That’s how to keep them balanced…

 

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Yup, we get just about everything here in Israel..

Stephen

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