March 12, 2007

What's hot in the news?

Following a friend's wise advice, I read the Week's End supplement of the Haaretz newspaper in English this weekend. Also, I gathered a few hints at hot topics from my cousin.

So what are the hot topics?

In domestic politics, the upcoming reports on the Prime Minister's corruption and the government's failures in the second Lebanon war. The Defense minister, Amir Peretz is bound to resign after the publication of the report on the war and Ehud Olmert's future is at best uncertain because of both reports. The notion of "home front" is as important as the war itself, with a lot about how the government abandoned its citizens who were under fire in the North. Benjamin Netanyahu lies in ambush, were the Prime Minister's position be vacant soon, even making a temptative move towards the center to improve his odds.


Iran, its nuclear program and its role in the region are present in the background at all
times. The news concentrate on America and how America's policy meets Israel's interests, how American Jews support or do not support action against Iran.

America's situation:

Without Iran, things will be harder in Iraq; without Syria, Lebanon
will not be stabilized; without progress in the peace process, the Sunni
Arab states will find it difficult to be of assistance in the face of the
Shi'ite front. (Shmuel Rosner, describing "the connection between the resolution of each of the crises" in the Middle East. It's not clear if it's the author's view or if he words the American position.)

The American Jews:

Given the choice between an internal threat [losing soldiers in military action against Iran] and a threat aimed at Israel, many of America's Jews prefer to sit on the fence. It is much simpler and easier to sturggle for the victims of genocide in Darfur [as they do]. (Amiram Barkat, "Mixed feelings about Iran")


Unfortuately, I can find them on Haaretz's web site, but there were an article and an opinion on Ran Adelist's documentary film "The Shaked Spirit" which has two controversial minutes on how the Special Operations unit of the Israeli army "Sayeret Shaked", in 1967, chased and killed 250 Egyptian soldiers who were fleeing from Gaza. It sparked a diplomatic incident with Egypt.

I have to go now, but remind me of returning on this subject and writing about the blood libel controversy, in the perspective of Israelis' position on public relations and anti-semitism, self-censure, etc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

sounds like you have changed your mind on the cycling issue;)

it's nice to read your blog, i remember all the places, in 2000 i did almost all of israel in only two weeks (including the outbreak of the intifada, which had not been on my agenda)

i read the article on the blood libel controversy, would be exactly the same issue in germany. though i don't think people serve their own interest in being so afraid, the best way of combatting racism should be exploring exactly how it emerges, not making people look like better humans. in germany, people who don't want to be racist still feel that they have to demonstrate how good jews have been, all the intellectuals and artists and dynamic entrepreneurs and successful researchers (as if stupid and asshole jews had deserved the gas chamber), and i was quite surprised when israelis told me that the jewish museum in berlin had been quite criticised in israel for exactly being so overpositive on jewish life in the past, as they turn it to the interpretation that jews are accepted now, but only if they are really cool and pay a great tribute to german culture (i think that interpretation is a little cynic, too, but it hits the mark). though i can also understand that people are so afraid.

books: sipur al ahawa wechochech by amos oz, amazing document on the social and psychological history of israel.

movies: the last king of scotland, very good acting, and actually very good representation of the different kinds of western characters coming to third world countries

weather: like summer, not too hot, blue sky, everybody happy sitting outside,)

-- Annette