Archive for December, 2010

This week there seems to be some trouble with our coelition government, before voting on the 2011-2012 state budget. Many make different conditions for voting which actually have little to do with finances. But one main reason seems to be that the religious parties are against letting army Rabbis convert soldiers to Judaism (there are some serving who are sons of mixed marriages who want to become truelly Jewish) but the religious parties say that conversion should only take place under the guidance of the chief Rabbinate. Others object to that and also say they won’t vote for the budget if this passes. We’ll have to wait a few more days to see what will happen.
 
Christmas is over and evidently there were more tourists this year than since 2000. Many visited the biblical West Bank  town Bethlehem, which once had a Christian majority population (no longet now),because many of them left the town due to fear of Muslim behaviour. Many tourists visited Nazareth and of course Jerusalem.
In Haifa, where there is a mixed religious population, the municipality arranged a month of festivals, with open air shows, free entrance to museums and different entertainment and such, because all three religions, Christianity, Islam and Judaism have different festival in December. I’d like to add that people of these three religions in Haifa live in peace.
Share
When I turned the radio on this morning there were two completely different headlines, neither as usual was very good. The first one was about more Kassam rockets being fired from Gaza, and this time hitting the town of Ashkelon, falling near two kindergartens and injuring a 14 year old girl on her way to school. And many people went into shock.
The second headline strangely enough, was about a famous Israeli soccer player by the name of Avi Cohen who had even played in England’s Liverpool team in the past, who had been seriously injured in a road accident whilst riding on a motorcycle and is still listed to be in serious condition in hospital.
Share

Last week I wrote about the raging fire on Mount Carmel, and now a week later my subject is the opposite to that. We have had three days of wild storms, rain, 100 kilometer an hour winds and even much snow in the north of the country. These storms have also caused much damage, and even loss of life when trees fell down on people and such. There were many places without electricity for hours on end, and the Electric Corporation worked 24 hours around the clock. No one remembers a storm like that before.

And as a result of these terrible storms in our area, there was also trouble at sea. A Turkish cargo ship was towed into our Ashdod port after they had asked for help, were afraid of sinking, and a Moldavian ship sank a few kilometers from Ashdod because of the surging sea, but the surviving crew were picked up by Israeli vessels and taken safely ashore. Good to know we can help others too.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share

Since last Thursday, all the news programs, radio, TV, newspapers, have been only about one subject – and that was the terrible fire on Mount Carmel which burnt for four days, and was a real tragedy for our country. The fire  spread to many areas throughout these days, the blaze encouraged by strong winds, and  despite the efforts of dozens of foreign aircraft. 43 people lost their lives, many  were wounded, nearly a whole Kibutz and many homes destroyed, over 4 million trees  and huge areas of vegetation were burnt down. 17.000 northern residents were evacuated from their homes. This was the largest wildfire in Israeli history.

Israel is a very small country, about the size of New Jersey, and this fire was a national tragedy. We received much help from abroad, European countries and the USA, I won’t write a list of countries, because I’ll probably forget to mention some and that wouldn’t be fair, but I will add that our Arab neighbours Jordan sent firefighters, and Egypt sent antifire material. Even Turkey with whom we are unfortunately not on the best of terms lately, sent fire fighting planes, and also firefighters were sent from the Palestinian areas. We are so very gratefull to all these for their help.

Read the rest of this entry »

Share