Showing posts from September, 2011

The Palestinian bid for statehood and the end of summer

How the Jewish New Year, the first rain and the Palestinian bid for statehood are connected
The long hot Israeli summer is finally coming to an end. Rain is now mostly a memory. The last heavy rain was six months ago, and the last light rain about four months ago. The temperature has dropped slightly at night, so we now need to cover ourselves with a sheet, though we still sleep with the window wide open.
After months without water, the Lantana bushes that surround my apartment block in Tel Aviv, look dusty and barely alive, yet they always revive once the rains come. The Bougainvillea continues to flower and looks fine and the trees seem to be flourishing.
Predictably, there are far more words to describe rain in English then there are in Hebrew, but Hebrew has two terms that are absent from English: Malkosh, meaning the last rain of the year (in Spring) and Yoreh, meaning the first rain of the year, usually due around October. Both are very ancient words, literally thousands of years o…

Time Lag and the Palestine-Israel conflict

I believe that time lags play a significant role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This works in several ways, firstly  each side has a delayed response to the other's intransigence or peace offers. So when Israel withdrew from Gaza, providing an opportunity for progress in peace, the Palestinians responded by electing the Hamas. When Israel withdrew from South-Lebanon, the result was a growth in Hezbullah poiwer and intransigence. The Israelis responded to the Palestinian election and Hezbullah successes by moving to the right, by which time the West-Bank Palestinians - though not Hamas - were in Peace and co-operation mode.  So each side is constantly out of sequence with the other. One hopes that at some point we will all be in peace mode at the same time, though the latest opinion poll in Ha'Aretz suggests we're stuck with a right wing government in Israel for at least another election and in the long run we're more likely to both be in war mode.

Another aspect…