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Israel and Gaza


I was lucky enough to spend a week in Israel over the holidays. Good times, good friends, relatives and parties, shopping and nightlife. All the good stuff. I absolutely adore visiting Israel, and was thrilled to have the excuse of a friend’s wedding for a fabulous trip.

Oh yeah, and a war broke out in Gaza on the morning I arrived.

Being in Israel during the start of the Gaza war was interesting in a lot of ways. For one thing – and this should come as no surprise – the Israeli press and the international media have nothing much in common.

For another thing, the black-and-white, either-you’re-with-us-or-with-the-terrorists dichotomy that’s so common among the Jewish communities in the diaspora isn’t really the picture on the ground in Israel, where three Israelis in a room will have seventeen opinions.

Certainly, the opinions of the people I know and spent time with during that week ran the gamut, from left-wing to right-wing to in-between to “just shut the news off”. Times like those, I feel it’s usually better to listen than to speak. After all, I’m not the one who lives with the situation, fights in the wars to defend the country, or otherwise has to deal with the consequences of any action or inaction. It’s not that I don’t feel like I have a right to my opinion; it’s more that the situation is more complicated than our black-and-white outsider viewpoint, and much more human. So I did a lot of listening.

The blogosphere has certainly been active, of course. On the left, Lisa Goldman has some of the most important, sensible commentary that nobody wants to hear right now. Which is exactly why you should read it, agree or disagree. I know I’ll get flak for this, but I’m posting it anyway. Actually, that’s probably why I feel the need to post it.

For what is probably a more mainstream perspective, Imshin has been a must-read lately.

Meryl Yourish has had daily round-ups on her blog, for those looking for more frequent updates.

The latest PR tactic on Facebook? QassamCount, a “donate your status” app that updates automatically with the count and location of rockets launched into Israel.

Mostly, my thoughts are for the safety and security of the IDF soldiers on the ground, of the people living in Sderot and Ashkelon and Ashdod and all the other places within range of rocket fire, of civilians on all sides of the conflict, and of everyone who lives with the threats and instability.


Halutz resigns


It was inevitable, I guess, though the timing surprised some: IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz has submitted his resignation.

Olmert expressed his disappointment, but he has other things on his mind.


Cease-fire round-up


Meryl gives it a D. Allison believes Ehud Olmert’s days as PM are numbered. In an op-ed in Ha’aretz, Moshe Arens claims that Israel’s war was too much for its leaders to handle. The Jerusalem Post reports that Hezbollah has been strengthened immeasurably. Yoram Kaniuk in Ynet writes that the IDF lost this war and […]

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Around the Israeli blogosphere


The Israeli blogosphere is already reacting to the Qana strike. Here is some of what is being said: Allison smells a rat, sensing that not all is as it may seem: I am waiting patiently for a logical explanation of how a building gets bombed between 12 midnight and 1 AM, remains full of people […]

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Time out


Israel has agreed to temporarily suspend aerial bombardment of Lebanon for 48 hours, to permit “investigation” of today’s strike that killed dozens of civilians, including an estimated 37 children: “Israel deeply regrets, is greatly saddened, by this attack on innocent civilians in Lebanon. Israel takes full responsibility and is going to start an open investigation […]

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Supposedly impartial journalists?


Think again: A group of Israeli journalists on Thursday renounced their membership in the International Federation of Journalists, after the organization’s General Secretary refused to retract his condemnation of the Israel Defense Forces’ bombing of the Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station in Beirut. [ . . . ] The IDF attacked the Hezbollah’s TV station shortly […]

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Canadian deaths in Lebanon


Seven Canadians were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Lebanon today. Oy. No matter what the facts of the matter are, the average headline-level informed Canadian is going to automatically side against Israel now.

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Only in Israel


An article in the Jerusalem Post talks about B’Tselem’s regular talks to IDF soldiers. I don’t know of any other army in the world where a human rights watchdog whose main priority is critcizing the army gets asked by the army to address its soldiers. There’s constant tension between the groups, but the tension is […]

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In support of Plan B


From Allison, more evidence that the IDF anti-terror operations and the security fence are doing their jobs: Five suicide bombings have been thwarted since the beginning of the month, and 60 since the beginning of the year, security officials said Thursday. They were unable to divulge details, as the suspects are still being questioned by […]

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New regulations for roadblocks


Those horrible Zionist oppressors are at it again… this time they’re trying to ease conditions for Palestinians: Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz approved a set of proposals calling for a new code of conduct for Israeli soldiers manning roadblocks who come into daily conduct with the Palestinian population, Israel Radio reported today. The proposals, prepared by […]

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