Friday, November 01, 2002

Good article by Zeev Schiff on the ways in which Labor provided "checks and balances" in the unity coalition.

Apparently if there had been a narrow gov't previously, Arafat would have been expelled earlier this year.
Blog entries about Khirbat Yanun are here, here, and here.

Thursday, October 31, 2002

Blogging should pick up again by Sunday.

On Army Radio they were joking about potential (though unlikely) "nightmare cabinets" that could arise now that the far-right is taking the place of Labor in the governing coalition: Avigdor Lieberman as Defence Minister, Effi Eitam as Information Minister, Benny Elon as Tourism Minister. Instead of a "separation fence", there could be a promenade from Hebron to Rosh Pina.

Uri Orbach said that it would be worth inviting these people into the cabinet just to show Labor supporters how foolish their party is for leaving the coalition.

Note that the above paragraphs consist of jokes. If people think the above is serious I will delete it.

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Sunday's Islamikaze attack in Ariel was carried out by Hamas, not by Fatah as was originally thought.

After Fatah mistakenly announced that Muhammed Shakir had carried out Sunday bombing, the IDF found would-be-bomber Shakir and arrested him (Hebrew report).
The IDF effortlessly cleared out the 20 settlers from the Havot Gilad outpost in the middle of the night. The IDF blocked cellphone communications so that the settlers couldn't call their friends. On the radio this AM they interviewed someone ("Itai Zar"?) who had returned to Havot Gilad after dawn. He said that the settlers were only doing farming there now, but he essentially agreed that they were playing cat and mouse with the IDF.

The whole outpost-clearing thing will become a moot point if Labor leaves the gov't - as currently appears likely. Labor apparently thinks that being the weak second fiddle in the gov't is less desirable than their new direction: asserting their independence, letting the far-right take Labor's place in the gov't, and getting devastated in the next election.

I'm less focused on blogging right now because I'm looking to switch employers. There's a one or two recruiters that have been good to deal with, and some others that have not been.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

Apparently following today's suicide bombing in Ariel, "between 5 and 7" settlers from Itamar went to a nearby olive grove and struck 5 Arabs and leftists with stones and rifle butts - giving them "deep cuts and bruises" according to the mayor of Yanoun, though Adam Shapiro's International Solidarity Movement claims that the settlers inflicted "possible" broken limbs on 2 American senior citizens - but I think they're full of it. (Haaretz, Jpost).

Not to defend the attackers from Itamar, when a group of Arabs gives an Israeli "deep cuts and bruises" it's not considered news. Ynet reports another incident where a settler says he was attacked by a group of Arabs - the IDF arrived and separated the two groups.

Also, the IDF exchanged fire with some terrorist types in Nablus, killing Ahmad Jawad Allah (Jihad), and Allah Muflah and Ayad al-Kutub (Tanzim) and wounding 2 soldiers (report). Palestinians say a 15-yr. old was killed by the IDF in Jenin, no other details.

There was a lot of additional "minor" violence today, just like most days: Israeli woman injured by a Molotov cocktail, 30 Kg bomb defused....
Another suicide bombing This time at a gas station in Ariel - half an hour ago (Haaretz, Jpost)

Update: Current info is 3 killed, 30 injured, 15 seriously. The attack was claimed by Fatah's Al-Aqsa Brigade, which some people have claimed was observing a halt to suicide operations.
A friend of mine just returned from the reserves. He and his aging co-reservists are in a tank unit, but this time around they did guard duty at Megiddo prison.

Megiddo is run by the IDF, but will eventually be transferred to the Prisons Authority - in the meantime it is lacking in infrastructure. The prisoners (all are there for terroriism and security offenses) stay in large tents with about 25 prisoners in each one. They make their own meals with food that's provided to them; they also build their own beds from bedframes and mattresses that they are given. The beds that they build resemble couches and have a Middle-Eastern look to them. The prisoners have satellite TV and watch al-Jazeera frequently.

Says my friend: seeing a little girl all dressed up to visit her father, and then having to pull the family away from him could almost make you into a leftist. But my friend puts sense before emotion and is definitely not a leftist.
This article describes how workers for foreign NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian areas relieve their pent-up stress by drinking and sleeping around. Workers for Oxfam UK and the like don't socialize with Israelis because they regard it as politically incorrect. An Australian woman says that leftist Israelis are no longer welcomed because they "taken on a more Israeli government-oriented rhetoric" - that is to say that they've changed their opinions.

Occasionally I see these types (or more often their vehicles) around. I'm inclined to talk to them but never really have. Once at Ben-Gurion airport someone was getting into a car labelled "UN TIPH" (which stands for Temporary International Presence in Hebron). As I walked by I said "Temporary?!?!". He said "Yeah, it's been 6[?] years already".