Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Yet further strangulating factors for your review:

Ok here we go:

The facade of Israeli prosperity and its economic doom projected by the Economist:

There is no shortage of plans and ideas. The trouble is carrying them out. “Implementation is a science in itself, and in the current Israeli reality it's not possible to carry out long-term, top-down reforms,” says Shimshon Shoshani, a former director-general of the education ministry. Political instability, frequent staff changes, over-centralisation, lack of long-term planning by bureaucrats, aggressive unions and the occasional war all get in the way. And in Israel, where wealth gaps coincide with ethnic and social ones, economic policy is about a lot more than malnourished children and bad housing. It also affects the country's political and social stability."

Annihilation predicted by none other than Benny Morris:

Israel terribly missed a golden opportunity in 1948" to transfer the Palestinian Arabs out of the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. "Because the Arabs attacked us, we had a chance to do this. We should have gone the whole hog as a result of the aggression [against us]. Now, [transfer] is neither moral nor practical. It may become so down the road, if we enter apocalyptic circumstances.

And later…

This is my feeling," he acknowledged. "I'm not optimistic. But then the whole Zionist experience has been almost miraculous. So maybe logic will be defied. Historical logic points to the eventual dissolution of the Jewish state. The powers around us are so great. There is such a strong will to annihilate us that the odds look very poor.

The Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center details the growing power of Hamas forces:

Hamas is advancing its military buildup based on two main systems: the internal security system, at the center of which is the Executive Force, its main security arm for controlling the Gaza Strip; and its military-terrorist system, at the center of which are the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which deal with planning and carrying out attacks against Israel and defending the Gaza Strip from within…its forces, which today are estimated at 20,000 armed operatives…

More on that from the Jpost:

Since 2005's disengagement from the Gaza Strip, Hamas has forged a formidable military of 20,000 men, many of whom have been trained in Iran and Lebanon…

Terrorists tried to poison a restaurant but, hell,lets make easier for them to do so, and make the thankless jobs of the many brave men whose job it is to stop them that much harder.

Former Supreme Court president Aharon Barak and Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann duke it out:

Asked what damage Friedmann would cause, Barak replied, "Membership in the judicial authority will be more political, and its authority in the areas of human rights and the fight against corruption will be much more restricted. The judicial authority will be diluted and weakened, prone to strong political influence, its judges chosen not according to talent but [according to] political connections. It will be largely shorn of its ability to protect the rights of the individual, minorities and the ethics of government. It will be a castrated court, a midget court."

The haredi code of Omerta over Child Molestation:

"The famous conspiracy of silence among the haredi population, which the welfare services and police are dealing with, is a mark of disgrace to the entire sector. Wanting to maintain an image of morality at any cost, they fall into the hole dug by negative elements in the name of Torah, in the name of righteousness. An intensive brainwash has turned psychologists into 'religion's enemies,' social workers into those 'causing people to leave religion' and the police into the messenger of the foreign regime. In this glass house, monsters grow and thrive among us."

The mythical and dwindling establishmentarian dream of the obedience of the Arab Israeli sector:

DR. ELIE REKHESS, director of Tel Aviv University's Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation in Israel, says it's absurd to expect Israeli Arabs to celebrate their devastating loss in the War of Independence. "Today, 60 years after Yom Ha'atzmaut, there are very few Israeli Arabs who celebrate the holiday - and how could they? Independence Day for whom, a war of liberation from what? On the contrary, for them it's the nakba, and what is absolutely clear is that in the last 10 years, their conception of Yom Ha'atzmaut as Yom Hanakba has strengthened significantly."

Friday, April 04, 2008


Barak calls off German trip next week as Damascus raises war alarm

Palestinian sniper fire injures Israeli minister’s bureau chief outside Gaza

MEPs urge Europe, Israel co-operation on missile defence coverage

Good thing we're only dealing with Islam, the nation of peace, otherwise you might think there's something to be worried about!

Strangulating factors of Israeli life: An Update

Here are 3 good articles I'd like to share:

Israel's accountability problem by Caroline Glick highlights failings in the Israeli justice/court system, how they infringe upon civil liberties, and how justice is often only attainable through international efforts at circumnavigating that system.

High noon with marshal Zelekha by David Horovitz discusses the experiences of Israel’s first accountant general with the widespread financial corruption, which permeates every level of Israeli governance.

Minimum wage for soldiers by Asher Meir discusses a bill that is in the works that will provide minimum wage for all IDF soldiers. (Perhaps this will lead to an end of conscript exploitation and army bureaucracy?)

Each offers criticism of the system and its apparatchik tools who I so loathe.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The end of Aliyah? (or, the well deserved death of the Jewish Agency)

In homage to that famous New York Sun editorial, I would like to start out by saying:

Yes, Yishai, there will be Aliyah!

But moving on:

The Jewish Agency talking about the end of Aliyah kind of of reminds me of Israeli's after the Lebanon war talking about the end of tanks in warfare: the conversation is ridiculously stupidly naive. Like so may Arab armies, the gentiles of the world will never cease in providing reasons for individual and mass Aliyah.

We aren’t facing the end of Aliyah.

We are facing the end of the Jewish Agency.

And as that inefficient and completely ineffective organization dwindles it now spins the “end of Aliyah” as a smokescreen to cover its own utter uselessness.

The Jewish Agency has been underperforming for years—just ask any Oleh who made Aliyah in the pre-Nefesh B'nefesh years. Its main function has been to allow its politically opportunistic administrators and employees the ability to say they work there and use it as a podium for career advancement. Those chickens are now coming home to roost.

Its downfall is inherent within its status as the only Israeli public sector institution in which Diaspora Jews can actually have an impact.

The JA has spurned its crucial donor base within the US over the last couple of decades through is ridiculously bureaucratic buffoonery, forcing communities in the US to develop their own Israel initiatives free from the Agency’s lack of financial transparency (since it traditionally takes a lot of money and provides nothing to show for it) and impotence in execution.

As a result the Jewish Agency has suffered from significant under budgeting across the board for the past several years, leaving its jobbers to meander hopelessly about looking for reasons to justify their organizations existence, and doing nothing all the while save for using the agency as a footstool towards other useless politically titled jobs.

But perhaps most of all, in the wake of these developments organizations like Nefesh B’nefesh and a host of other private initiatives have made a mockery of the Jewish Agency while exposing it for the impotent fraud it is through their professionalism, effectiveness, and transparency. NBN provides an example (if not inspiration) as to what the Jewish agency could have been had the right kind of ethics and strategy ever been employed.

To answer issues relating to its uselessness the Agency has proceeded to streamline over the last several years in an attempt at projecting the image of trimming the sources of financial strain—like so many ponds of sweaty useless fat—that have been holding it back from doing its job. As its very raison d'ĂȘtre, Aliyah has become Agency enemy number one.

If the agency is able to spin the death of Aliyah well enough then it will be able to prolong its own slow death by advancing with fundraising for newer and better projects (sic). Then the agency and its apparatchiks will then be able to virtually undo the very purpose of their organization—leaving them with even less actual work—while keeping their paychecks and soap boxes.

Even so, there is nothing to fear from the death of the Jewish agency. In fact things are better off this way. I have no fear that the private sector will pick up where the public sector has failed in regards to Aliyah across the spectrum, and that all of the worlds potential Olim will get their chance, eventually. 

I say down with the Jewish Agency, down with it. Let it burn my friends, let it burn.

And, let us celebrate in its ruin, for in an almost prophetic way, the Diaspora has killed the Jewish Agency because it wasn’t good enough at exposing them to Israel. The Diasporas desire for Israel has led to the crumble of an eye sore of an Israeli institution and that is something that should inspire us all with hope for the rest of the systems eventual change.

Enjoy the Frankness!