Hamas War

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Fascists Take To The Streets Reject Laws

I'm glad I don't live in a large city right now. Fascist mobs are demanding government changes trying to use their power to overrule the elected government.

Now, don't get me wrong. It's not like I support all government policies, and I certainly don't support any blindly. But the way to change the government is through elections, not massive demonstrations in the streets.

Thank Gd, Israel is a democracy.

  • We've had better governments, and we've had worse governments. 
  • We've experienced better policies, and we've experienced worse policies. 
In all honesty I think that Prime Minister Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu's decision to make a broad disparate coalition with Benny Gantz's Blue and White ended up backfiring on him. One crucial aspect was successful in that Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi have lost a major part of their voter support.

But Bibi's attempt to hold the extremely heterogeneous coalition together was an unmitigated disaster. Blue and White got an unprecedented percentage of powerful positions, which angered pretty much everyone on all sides of the political spectrum with exception of the recipients themselves.  

Not only can't Bibi control the Blue and White MKs' voting power, he has lost control of his own Likud Party. Apparently he gambled that giving less veteran MKs cabinet posts would make them more loyal, and he took for granted that his more veteran MK ministers would play ball with him. The result wasn't as he planned.

We're now suffering another round of what I call Korach demonstrations meaning that those demonstrating/rioting don't have the same aims other than to destabilize the government

If the rioters get their wish and force Netanyahu out, then they'll just fight among themselves, since they have no real leader other than the secret money source coming from abroad. 

The financial backers have unsuccessfully promoted Ehud Barak and more recently replaced him with Benny Gantz. Who will be their next figurehead?

The only real advantage of the present instability here in Israel and in the states is that the horrid "Trump Deal" has been put on the back-burner.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Maximum Attendance Should be PERCENTAGES, Not Numbers, Life in Corona COVID-19 Lock-down

When the Israeli Government announced "corona gifts" of money to help citizens out without proving poverty or restricting the money to the lower income bracket, I davka agreed. It would cost more to do the bureaucratic bookkeeping to enforce the restrictions than they would save. But when it comes to announcing maximum attendance in synagogues, restaurants, social halls the situation is completely different. These places are supposed to have a maximum capacity listed in their permits. And if they don't for whatever reason, a simple calculation can be made according to the size. For argument's sake, I suggest thirty percent 30% of maximum capacity, and if there hadn't been one set, then 20% of recommended capacity. Any restaurant which is then limited to under ten people will be take-out only. And any synagogue too small for even ten to fit by these standards must be closed.

More about the synagogues, for example here in Shiloh, there are large synagogues that were built to normally seat well over a hundred worshipers comfortably, and there are others that utilize small prefabricated shelters. In the large synagogues it's certainly easy to arrange safe seating for dozens of worshipers keeping their required distance. On the other hand the smaller building may not even be large enough for even a minyan quorum of ten, if they carefully follow social distancing regulations.

The government's "one size fits all" ruling is idiotic and counter-productive. There is no other way to put it.

A synagogue as large as the main synagogue in Shiloh,  Mishkan Tabernacle Synagogue, certainly has room for over 50 worshipers to sit safely, according to social distancing and another 20 or more upstairs in the Ezrat Nashim, Women's Section.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Shiloh is Growing- See The New Streets

This week one of my walking buddies and I  decided to explore the new streets in Shiloh. We've both been living in Shiloh since almost the very beginning. In those days and even the entire first decade or more, it wasn't hard for us to know absolutely everyone who lived here including their children and "back stories." But now, over forty years since the return of Jewish Life to Shiloh, we've long passed the tipping point. Shiloh is a town of neighborhoods. I'm thankful to Gd that I, at 70+, can still walk from the "bottom" to the top where I live, but I have neighbors, even younger, who can't.

Most of the new housing is being built by Amana, but it's still possible to buy land and build your own home in addition to the option of purchasing an older home.

Like every place else in the world, each street/neighborhood has its own personality and quirks. When  my friend and I moved to Shiloh with our young families, we didn't even have phones in the beginning. At that time, such a situation wasn't a rarity in Israel. But today with all the smartphones and computers there's great communication and much easier contact between people. Most neighborhoods have their own whatsapp groups to share information, instead of knocking on doors or meeting outside or at the grocery store or in the bus or the schools. And concerning education in Shiloh, today a child can start as a baby in the local daycare center and continue in Shiloh until high school graduation.

Today there are two large supermarkets in Shiloh and two clinics. Also most people have cars. My husband and I are in the tiny minority of those totally dependent on public transportation and the goodness of others. This new neighborhood has been built with driveways for each house.

Since most people travel by car, whether their own or tremps/rides in others, getting to Petach Tikva takes no longer than to Jerusalem, and to the Jordan Valley can be a much shorter ride. Actually, Shiloh is in the true Center of Israel.

I've lost track of how many people live here in Shiloh. Many of the families are what's called "dor hemshech," continuing generation, having grown up in Shiloh and wanting to raise their children as part of a larger family. Others grew up in different yishuvim and want the community life you can't get any place else. We have new and more veteran immigrants from all over and of course those who grew up in different parts of Israel.

Of course, I shouldn't leave out the fact that Shiloh is the biblical Shiloh where the Mishkan, Tabernacle was located for close to four hundred 400 years. There's a lovely archeological park called Shiloh Hakeduma.

For anglos who may be curious, there are certainly enough English speakers to make one feel comfortable, but here in Shiloh you'll learn Hebrew. It's not an anglo "bubble/ghetto." You can always contact me if you have any questions.

Here are some pictures. Enjoy.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Bibi-Gantz Coalition, Political Trick?

When will Israel have new elections?

Odd couple for sure. There's no humor in the present Israeli coalition of Bibi-Gantz, Likud and Blue and White plus the chareidim and a few others. Gantz's political career was founded on and focused on declaring Bibi Binyamin Netanyahu unfit for office and replacing him. But then, after three failed attempts to legally unseat him as Prime Minister, Gantz folded and accepted a deal with Bibi. Bibi trapped him with a newly invented title "Alternate" Prime Minister with all the expensive trappings of the office without any authority or responsibilities. When Gantz and his cronies offer opinions aka "alternative" policies they're accused of "interfering."

In the meantime, polls are showing Gantz and his remaining Blue and White Party dropping, while his former political partner, Yair Lapid, is now holding second place, aka head of opposition.

Politics is a complicated profession. Each country has its very own system, requiring wannabes to learn a complicated lexicon of skills to really succeed. There's no competition between the skills and experience of the Likud MKs with Gantz and his cronies.

Could the downward spiral of Blue and White have been the aim of Binyamin Bibi Netanyahu's offer to Benny Gantz all along?

What do you think?