November 10, 2002
I am crazy to start this right now, and am fairly sure it will not be finished for a week or so. I returned home yesterday from expo in Finland; the Israeli expo begins tomorrow, Tuesday, runs till Thursday evening, and on Friday morning, I have am 05.30 flight to Frankfurt, where that expo begins at 14.00. No rest for the poor.
But I want to at least start to right this now, as several events have been knocking on my head.
A couple and their 2 young boys moved 3 months ago to a kibbutz – in Israel proper. Not far from the West Bank, but what IS far from the West Bank? My home is almost on the beach in Tel Aviv, and I can WALK to the West Bank in 4 hours (if I did not have a hip problem).
He was in Tel Aviv yesterday on business – had to stay overnight. Shortly before midnight, he was speaking to his wife. She suddenly heard gunfire, said she would check what was happening. The line went dead. He raced home. On the radio, reports were coming in on the attack: 5 dead, including a mother and 2 girls. False hope? His sons had long hair….He reached the kibbutz. The soldiers assured him it was 2 girls. He told them to double-check….and of course he heard their startled voices discovering the truth.
Yesterday, I flew home from Helsinki, connecting with some of the 300 French Jews coming to Israel on a ‘Solidarity with Israel’ trip. I had several discussions with the (very glamorous) lady next to me. She, eating kosher; me from Israel, not. She speaking as a not-so-objective-Jew living in France (Marseille – with its own special status), me as (I think) a more open-minded person living here. It made for some interesting discussion.
Nov 13 – Day 1 of the Tel Aviv show was yesterday. Smaller than usual, unquestionably due to the flat economy. Definitely less worry about toothaches here nowadays.
Nov 17 – Tel Aviv expo turned out to be quite successful. The expo here in Frankfurt was less so. It’s a strange time, business-wise.
Back to solving the problems of the World….Are we really aware of the threats to our society? I just read an article reminding us of what he, the writer, feels is the real reason for Bush’s fixation with Saddam Hussein. (Did you know that in Gematria, the Hebrew form of numerology, I am told that Saddam Hussein has the same value as Hitler?). Bush is among many who is scared of the day when radicalism and technology meet, when the individual fundamentalist can carry weapons of mass-destruction is his rucksack – or in his pocket, in a can or in a phial. He no longer need pick his targets; we are all his targets. He will not give warnings; sparing a life, even his own, is not his concern. His belief that he will be seated at God’s right hand takes away any fears he may have.
Bush is among many who believe that Hussein is mad, stupid or fanatical enough to be the friendly supplier of such folk. Don’t forget: he IS sitting on the 2nd largest reserves of oil in the World. Yet he thrives on the suffering of his own people; loves to blame the foreign boycotts for the pain he is causing to Iraqis, a situation he could solve with a flick of his fingers.
I am not a great fan of Bush. I am concerned with his apparent ‘gung-ho’ tactics. A war against Iraq would be disastrous for all. But how else does one deal with a man like Hussein? It is far too dangerous to allow him to continue in the manner he is used to – quite unchecked. This Cuban Crisis-style brinkmanship may yet bring the best results.
Back to home problems…Let me throw a thought into this ‘Settlement issue’. Why are the Palestinians so keen on getting rid of all the Jews from the territories? Why was it so necessary for the Israelis to abandon the small and lovely town of Yamit in northern Sinai when peace was signed with the Egyptians? Why is the ‘Juden-rein (Jew-free) issue being allowed to be reintroduced? Didn’t we learn enough from the Nazi era?
In Israel, there are a million Arabs living, considering the circumstances, in unbelievable equality. Why not some Jews in an Arab country?
And finally, the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian problem. I’ve been re-thinking. I am reminded that Sadat’s reasons for being a hero had nothing to do with love for Israel. He hated Jews; according to his own autobiography, he was a great admirer of Hitler, an anti-Semite. But the Russian military and economic support was gone; his country was suffering. The US dangled a hefty carrot in his face. He grabbed it. And the peace that was signed has survived so many crises, not the least of which was Sadat’s own assassination.
That carrot is still being provided by USA. They have kept their word.
Another carrot has been faithfully handed out to another of Israel’s neigbours, Jordan. (Those 2 carrots add up to an amount close to what is being provided by USA to Israel – a much-forgotten fact). For this, King Hussein’s son, Abdullah, is remaining even more neutral than his father. In my opinion. It is time Jordan did something Sadat-like in the name of peace. Don’t forget that it was Jordan-land that Israel occupied in 1967, not Palestinian. It was thousands of Palestinians whom the Jordanian army massacred (yes, correct word) during Black September in 1970. And a reminder that Jordan already is de facto a Palestinian country; over 60% of its population are Palestinians.
This subject must be brought back to the table. The Americans must use this carrot to entice Abdullah to be more actively involved in the negotiations, and work towards some kind of a Jordanian-Palestinian federation.
It’s gonna take guts; it could mean another assassination – 2, if Arafat were to agree. But then they really WOULD sit at God’s right hand.
But that’s just me….