In a speech last week, Minister of Defence Ehud Barak spoke about the extremely large number of long-range rockets which the Hizbulla terrorist organisation in Lebanon now posseses, and which they threaten to use against Israel. Barak warned that he holds the Lebanese government responsible for any kind of attack against our country, and that in the case of an attack we will respond accordingly. (And then, I’m sure, as always the world will blame only us).
But talking of rockets, I must add that nearly every week a number of them are fired into Israeli territory from Gaza. Luckily they haven’t caused any damage or loss of life lately, but we can never know what will be the next time. Our usual reaction to these attacks nowadays is to bomb one of the many “smuggling tunnels” leading from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. If someone gets hurt, there is of course a great outcry from there – and even if no one is involved they pretend otherwise.

I read something of interest to me in a local newspaper a couple of days ago, and it might interest some of my readers too. One of Israel’s universities, the Bar-Ilan university, amongst other subjects will now give a degree in studying sign language for the deaf. The students will get a B.A. and there is evidently a demand for persons possessing sign language skills. So far 23 students have been chosen out of 80 candidates for this course after being interviewed for their suitability. None of them are deaf themselves. They will be able to find employment as “translaters” in medical  and educational institutions, on television and many other places. I wonder if similar university courses are given in other countries.

This last Sabbath was quieter from the Ultra-religious demonstration point of view, many less rioters appeared, but for a change huge crowds of non-religious, secular people demonstrated in an orderly fashion, holding banners saying “Jerusalem is for all of its residents”, “The Haredim don’t own the city” and similar phrases. One of the Haredi (religious) leaders said  the reason for the few protesters  was that they were pushing to move the demonstrations to a weekday. And that will be more work for the Jerusalem police force, who already have their hands full with normal work all the week round – but they don’t seem to care.

That’s all for today. Shalom from Irene




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