Question 1 – David, I am very much interested in what you have to say about the topic of the settlements but that is so big that maybe you could focus on E1. I have my own opinions about this but I’m keeping them to myself because I really want to hear what you think and how you and your friends are talking about this when you sit down over coffee. If the reason Netanyahu moved forward with his remarks is a retribution for the world’s behavior at the UN, how worried are you about the consequences of these remarks (and if they are acted on) downstream? There is so much in the press over here highlighting the international outcry about E1 undoing any possibility of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. (Again, keeping my opinions to myself for now.) World reaction seems to be deteriorating into Israel has, “whatever punishment she gets, she is getting what she deserves.” We are hearing “talk” by some about sanctions against Israel (and now the activity in the Security Council). Do you think that the world could ultimately isolate Israel using the same means as was used against South Africa? If things start going that badly, what can we do to survive economically? There is so much I could ask you about all of this and more but I will stop here. Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to reading what you say. As long as I have followed this project, I don’t recall a time when I was more desperate to talk with Israelis as I have been in the past two months.
Heavy question, where to begin. Poor timing on Netanyahu’s part. I’m not sure what his reasons were, possibly domestic ones, but I think the immediate announcement to build in a controversial region after the U.N vote didn’t go as he would have liked was a counter strike to the Palestinians after their U.N bid. The U.N bid was a major story in the news, something the whole world was focusing on. He could have waited until things blew over and the dust settled, but he decided to react sooner rather than later, and now governments around the world are once again condemning Israel and threatening economic sanctions. Waiting a month or two could have taken the spice off it.
I don’t think Jerusalem, or half of it, will be capital to a Palestinian country.
Israel’s population is growing, so is Jerusalem’s. They need to build somewhere, and it makes sense to connect Jerusalem to Maale Adumim. That being said, the construction is being used as a political tool and not solely as a part of natural growth. I live in the north of the country, the “Periphery” as it’s known, 3 hours away from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Only 3 hours away from the centres but 30 years behind in every other manner. The government is neglecting regions such as mine and pumping money into the territories/West Bank/Judea and Samaria or however you want to call it, subsidising housing there, places that could one day be out of Israel’s control, instead of the North and South. A misallocation of funds and resources in my opinion
On the other hand however, Israelis should be able to live anywhere they want in their own country. You would never tell an American they shouldn’t or can’t live in Texas, New Mexico, Louisiana or California because it’s Mexican or French land. Just like the US, this is land that was purchased or won, and not to forget continually inhabited by Jews for more than 2000 years.
The world could isolate Israel, but I don’t think it would happen like in the case of South Africa. Let’s not forget that despite claims that Israel is an apartheid state, it is far from it, and anyone who says so is grossly misinformed or a liar.
Some exporters have felt the pinch from some of these boycotts, they are struggling and have lost a lot of income and my heart goes out to them. I’m not sure how Israel would deal with a total boycott. We could see a change in policy.
I hope this answers a few of your questions. As you could probably tell from this response I, myself am quite conflicted about it all. It’s a tricky issue.
Here is a link to a interesting article. I liked the sarcasm. http://sultanknish.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/the-deadly-israeli-house.html
Question 1 – How are you? I hope you have been well and that your studies are coming along. This evening I read an article in the Times of Israel about all reserve soldier training being cut for the remainder of 2013. What do you think of this? It sounds scary…like people won’t have their skills adequately fresh and therefore be more at risk. Do you think there was an alternative solution that the government didn’t impose? Thank you very much.
I’m well, thanks.
They actually cut it for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014, as well as training programs for the regular army. I agree, it is a little bit worrying. One of the main problems and criticism of the army after the Second Lebanon War was the lack of preparedness. It would be devastating for something similar to happen again. In contrast, the army was very well prepared for Operation Cast Lead. I don’t think that the value of combat readiness can be understated, especially with what is going on around us right now.
I don’t think there is an alternate solution. The government needs to reduce a 40 billion Shekel deficit and has made cut backs from many sectors. Maybe a different tax policy to reduce the margin but the figure is too large just for that. The IDF is not immune from economic setbacks. Hopefully we can ride this wave out without any calamity.
Thanks for your question and I hope you are well, too.
Question 1 – Hi David. Ive been following the news without so much as a pause. How do you think Israel should handle the latest announcement regarding the Golan, Judea/Samaria and Eastern Jerusalem?
Question 2 – It seems like there is increasing crime in Israel (rapes, etc). Is this true or are these things being overblown by the media? Thank you very much for your time.
Hi there Rhonda,
Are you referring to the EU decision saying they will no longer purchase Israeli goods that come from post-67 lines?
I don’t really know how this will hasten peace or peace talks. As soon as it was announced the right wingers and their rhetoric got fired up once more.
This will hurt the Israeli economy but I don’t think it will force any major (or minor for that matter) change. Those living and working in post-67 borders are not going to pack up and leave because things are getting harder. Living there is part of an ideology that they very much believe in. They give their lives for this. A boycott will not change their opinion on the matter or that of a government that represents them. I think it just gives them a reason to keep on battling.
How should Israel handle it? They should do nothing. Nothing Israel will do here will bring peace and it will only hurt Israelis that work in the territories and the Palestinians that they employ.
I saw recently a story on one of the news channels about violence on the rise. A lot of what they covered was violent crime, some pretty horrible things really.
Often people talk about the crimes of the refugees in southern Tel Aviv, especially rape and other sexual assaults. People like to focus on this particularly so they have a reason to kick them out of the country. I saw official statistics that reported the rate of crime as a percent amongst the refugee population is on par with that of the local Israel population.
Here is a link from the central bureau of statistics on crime: http://www1.cbs.gov.il/reader/?MIval=cw_usr_view_SHTML&ID=192
Have a great week,