Sunday, July 14, 2002

Storefronts on Emek Refaim are displaying letters and drawings of support for Israel from Jewish kids in the USA.

In Katamon I saw a homemade banner inspired by an advertising slogan: "When the IDF is in the field / Terrorists are under pressure / When the IDF is out / Terrorists go 'boom' ".

That succinctly expresses what I think is a general sentiment currently ... We're hearing about the IDF apprehending Islamikazes and intercepting car bombs (I'm not even bothering to blog these) - and in spite of high alerts there have been no successful major attacks since the IDF went back into area A.

At the same time we do hear all about the curfews in the West Bank cities - on the radio each of the past few days they've been say things like "The curfew in Kalkilya will be lifted from noon till dusk; while in Jenin it continues". Today on Army Radio there was a (surprisingly dull) interview with fellow named Ashraf who is stuck inside his house in Jenin and has nothing to do but watch al-Jazeera. The latest news is that the IDF is expected to leave some West Bank cities by the end of this week (report).

An acquaintance of mine is running for a position on the Likud Central Committee, which is holding elections in a couple of weeks. He tried hard to get me to join the Likud (and then vote for him of course), but I decided I'm not interested in joining currently.

The reason is the following: Israeli politics is traditionally very ideological. Around the '88 elections, I went to a symposium where each of 3 right-wing candidates tried to convince the audience that he was the one who most authentically subscribed to the ideology of the right - and that his opponents had hidden tendencies in other directions. I get the sense that some Likudniks are still like that, even though I think Sharon is doing a good job and the Likud is currently the party most capable of running the country.

A friend who works in sales tells me that in Spain and Italy they avoid talking politics with him, but when the topic does comes up, he often hears Sharon described as a "dictator". I frankly find that puzzling.

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