Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Time and Patience the two best warriors

Israel’s security cabinet decided on Wednesday to make life difficult for the Palestinians living in Gaza by imposing economic and other sanctions while declaring Gaza a ‘hostile entity.’ The left-wing Meretz party called the move dangerous and foolish. Hamas called the move an ‘act of war.’ Some Israeli analysts said it was a move that came too late.

Retired General Uzi Dayan has said that more needs to be done to stop the Kassam rockets from falling on Israel’s Southern towns.

It is possible that the government feels emboldened after its successful raid on a reported Syrian uranium enrichment site near the Turkish border. It is also possible that the government wanted to do something to offset the death of St.-Sgt. Ben-Zion Henman, 22, from the Golan Heights settlement of Nov. Sgt Henman was a paratrooper in the brigade's Reconnaissance Unit. He was shot in the chest during an IDF incursion into Nablus searching for a terrorist group reportedly planning an attack on Israel. Sgt Henman died en route to the hospital. Islamic Jihad and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility for the shooting.
It was bad luck for the Sargent, who had only two weeks left to serve in the army before his enlistment ended. He was wearing full military gear, including a bulletproof vest reinforced with ceramic plates, but the bullet managed to find the soft spot on his side where nothing was in place to stop it.
IDF troops continued their activities in Nablus on Wednesday, reportedly killing two Palestinian militants and one 38-year old handicapped bystander.
Iran has said it has methods to strike at Israel should Israel strike Iran. This came out of the mouth of one of Iran’s air force officers. Some reports say Iran claims it can blanket Israel with up to 600 rockets. Iran said that allies would also join in the attacks. It is assumed the Iranians mean Hamas in Gaza, the Syrians and Hezbollah in Lebanon.
The bomb that ripped through Christian East Beirut took the lives of five Lebanese including a member of parliament Antoine Ghanem, an anti-Syrian member of the right-wing Christian Phalange Party. It is unclear who was responsible for the blast. Syria is still under investigation for the blast that killed former PM Hariri, an anti-Syrian Lebanese billionaire.
The fourth annual Israel film industry’s business conference took place on Tuesday at Cinema City near Herzliya. A number of panels discussed topic relevant to the production of TV shows in Israel, the laws empowering the government to provide funding to television and film and the issue of minorities represented on TV.
One panel was made up of an ultra-orthodox film producer, two Israeli Arab women producers, and Uri Orbach, a religious member of one of the commercial channels in Israel. According to Orbach, the modern orthodox had to fight long and hard to get on TV, including starting their own film schools. He recommended the Arab community do the same, as well as turning to wealthy Arabs from outside of Israel for funding. The women countered that Israel would never let monies from Saudi Arabia come into the country even if it was to support a film school.
Some of the Arab women’s criticisms were foolish, and probably meant only to get attention, and a job on Israel TV. One of the women admitted she wanted to be a on-camera talent. She was a stunning well-spoken women who deserves a place, but was wrong when she said no Arabs were working at Israel TV stations. Rafik Halabi had long been a reporter and editor of the Hebrew evening news at the Israel Broadcasting Authority, as well as other Arab men and women, albeit very few.
An ill-fated all Arab station, broadcasting 12-hours a day, was taken off the air after a short run because of budgetary constraints. As of now the Israel Broadcasting Authority has to find ways to stay in business. One serious consideration is halving the workforce, either by dismissals or forced early retirement. Most Israelis eschew Israel Broadcasting Authorities channel 1 in favor of the commercial channels.
The PM is keeping a low profile these days. But his popularity rating has soared 10 per cent after the recent bombing of the Syrian uranium plant. The Winograd commission is still meeting, and their report is expected to be damning. However, pundits believe that given the volatility of the Middle East, should any number of things happen, from an attack on Israel by Iran or Hezbollah or Syria, and should Israel withstand it successfully, Olmert may be exonerated making the Winograd commission’s findings a mute point.
As Tolstoy wrote in War and Peace, “Time and patience are the two best warriors.”