A few thoughts on the Israeli situation

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By Arie Egozi

17018940_sThe US foreign policy has never looked so ineffective. In fact it doesn’t even look like a policy at all, just some random decisions. At first Washington abandoned Mubarak, then supported Morsi, and now… it’s not really clear. They delayed the transfer of four F-16 fighter jets to the Egyptian Air Force, and even canceled a joint exercise with the Egyptian Army. To sum it all up – it’s one odd decision after another. It’s strange, how a superpower, with what is supposed to be the best intelligence and analysis tools in the world, just can’t seem to understand what’s happening in the middle east. Oh, and they can’t seem to understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict either, but we’re already used to that.


The statement by the police spokesman was familiar, we heard others like it again and again. There have been a few cases lately of policemen using taser guns against people who were about to be arrested. Photographs clearly showed how the policemen didn’t have to use the taser, but did it anyway, just because it was there. In a few cases the subjects were even already handcuffed, but the policemen still thought causing them more pain was important, somehow. Instead of dealing with this unnecessary and illegal use of stun guns the police spokesman gives laughable statements, lacking any credibility – and that’s putting it mildly. News anchors already have a special expression they use after reading these ridiculous police responses: They’re clearly saying “we’re not really that stupid, you know.” That having been said, police chief Yochanan Danino did order a review of taser use by the Israeli police this morning.


It looks like the Israeli authorities are confused again. The decision to close the Sde Dov Airport in Tel Aviv was based on real estate considerations, as the land is worth billions. No one, however, considered how important another airport in central Israel might be in emergencies. Israel is not Italy or Switzerland, no matter how much we want it to be. Here the center of the country is threatened by thousands of missiles and rockets, and we have only one international airport. Yes, Sde Dov can accommodate only small and medium planes, but it’s still another option for aeronautic activities. In Israel, though, new residential areas and shopping centers in the center of the country are the top priority.

The Herzliya Airport is about to be closed, too, also because of real estate considerations. The government’s plan is to move light aviation activities to Ein Shemer, but that’s not going to happen. An Arrow missile battery is stationed there, not to mention other military activities in the area. The government seems to think we’re stupid. Long live real estate.


Back to the homeland defense issue, and who is responsible for it. The situation is only getting worse: Wars between the egos of cabinet ministers are taking place, and between senior officials who have no idea what responsibilities duties are. All of this means that if missiles hit central Israel tomorrow, there will be chaos and the emergency services will barely function. The prime minister doesn’t have enough time to simply give instructions and resolve the issue. He leaves it to the ministers, with their big egos and inability to act, while the Israeli population suffers. We’ll keep following this issue.


If you want to know what kind of enemies we are dealing with, you just have to watch the internet videos they upload. In videos from Syria and Egypt we can clearly see snipers killing people for no reason, simply because they were available targets, and reminding us of horrors from the past. There’s something about radical Islam that keeps demonstrating again and again the difficulties, or even the impossibility, in fact, of reaching a peace agreement with our neighbors. Life isn’t that precious in some of these countries, and when faced with these atrocities world leaders “call for restraint” or “express their concern.” It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad. The European leaders, the UN Secretary General in particular, do they really think anyone cares about these people’s concerns? If they do, then they live in a science fiction movie, where the leaders of advanced countries have real influence in countries ruled by gangs and warlords.


One more thing. Over the last few years there have been a few initiatives aimed at improving aviation security in Israel. First what’s known as a “positive code” was developed, to make sure a plane entering Israel isn’t actually controlled by hijackers. It wasn’t comfortable, pilots complained, and the government backed down. Later, they decided to establish a central aviation security authority, whereas today El Al is in charge of security in Arkia and Israir, too. That initiative was also canceled. It looks like some of our cabinet ministers are good at talking, but not so good at actually doing anything.