Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Some Burning Issues

My comments regarding the big Carmel forest fire in Israel, in no particular order:

1. Israel received significant foreign help in battling the blaze, including firefighting planes from Egypt and Turkey. Relations between Israel and Turkey had, just a few week ago, been at an all time low, but, on the occasion of the fire, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by telephone and cooperated in the effort. This tells me that something is afoot. I am not a foreign relations expert, but I would suspect that included amongst the dynamics that brought Erdogan and Netanyahu together are the following:

A. Turkey had started going anti-Western (not that it ever really, really has been pro-western) about the time Barack Hussein Obama won the United States Presidency. Erdogan probably viewed Obama as a weak leader, and placed his bet on Iran and the Saudis. But with the results of the midterm election last month, Obama's days are numbered, and Turkey will eventually have to deal with a Republican administration, which will not match Obama's tolerance for anti-American posturings. Turkey is not quite ready to totally wean itself from American aid, military and otherwise.

B. The Wikileaks fiasco revealed that many nations, including Turkey and Saudi Arabia, who are postured against Israel, nevertheless share Israel's opposition to Iranian armaments buildup, nuclear or otherwise. These nations are now quite ill-postured to criticize any anti-Iran statements or actions that Israel has taken, or may take in the future, thus increasing dramatically the odds for some sort of physical measures on the part of the Israelis. Also increased are the odds of significant Iran-backed terrorist activity on Saudi or Turkish or Egyptian soil. [It is still not clear how the fire started, but there is some very strong speculation that it was an act of terrorism.]. Maybe Ergodan now needs to cooperate with Israel more than he needs to knock Israel.

2. An estimated 10,000 people were evacuated from the fire. And 42 civilian uniformed services personnel, including a busload of corrections officers, have thus far died while actively fighting the fire -- approximately one-tenth the number of the firefighters, police officers, court officers and other civilian uniformed service personnel who died while responding to the Muslim attack on the World Trade Center. Israel's population is a little less than 8 million, while the U.S. population is approximately 310 million. Accordingly, multiply the Israeli numbers by approximately 38 to get an idea of the degree of the human toll taken upon Israel. [Imagine the evacuation of 380,000 people in the United States, and multiply the number of fallen World Trade Center firefighters by a little more than 3.]. Yet, the MSM in America are giving this fire very low-profile coverage.

3. Most of the aforementioned uniformed service personnel were corrections officers en route to evacuate a prison threatened by the fire. Due to the nature of the situation, the evacuation of a prison is not a straightforward operation like the evacuation of a school. It is, of course, very tempting to think that the prison should be allowed to burn with the inmates inside. But some of the inmates do actually get rehabilitated, and someone who is sentenced to, for example, 4 or 5 years should not receive the death penalty. It would have been highly irresponsible to not try to evacuate the prison. The corrections officers who died in the attempt died no less honorably than the New York City firefighters who died trying to rescue people from the World Trade Center.

4. As of this writing, the latest casualty was Haifa Police Chief Ahuva Tomer, the highest ranking policewoman in Israel. All of the feminazis are now in quite a predicament because Ahuva was an accomplished woman with a family who rose to the top of a decidedly male organization. And her attitude was, "I don’t feel like I’m special. I do function in a predominantly male society, but I am an equal among equals and I try to be the best I can. But women need to understand that this is not just a question of equality of opportunity, but also equality of responsibility."

So Ahuva has said a word that is anathema to the feminazis: "Responsibility."

5. Also feeling at least some very small degree of discomfort are the insular religious rabbinical figures and their followers. Ahuva is now being glorified for going off the baby-making Hausfrau track, and she died a heroine trying to rescue other Jews. It is people like that who maintain the safety of these rabbis and their students as they study in their yeshivas. Don't get me wrong -- I do believe that yeshiva learning is vital to the survival of the Jewish people (and, for about a year, I did put my hard-earned money where my mouth is when my own son learned in a yeshiva in Israel on my dime.). But such yeshiva learning is possible because there are men -- and women -- who place themselves in harm's way. Freedom is not free!

And, I am wondering how newspapers such as Hamodia or Yated Ne'eman, whose orientation is by and large with the rabbinical establishment, will spin the Ahuva story. I expect to learn in the next week or two when the Hamodia and Yated Ne'eman I read make their way through the usual pipeline to me.

6. I have long viewed Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu with a certain degree of chariness. Though he is not totally ineffectual, he has long been too soft upon the enemies of the Jewish people, and too quick to knuckle under to pressure. It must be remembered that his political career stands upon the dead body of his brother, Yonatan Netanyahu, the fallen hero of the Entebbe Rescue on 4 July 1976. The aforementioned Wikileaks scandal has shown Netanyahu to be even more of a wimpy capitulationist than most had pegged him for. If there is one thing that has come out of this forest fire fiasco, it is a demonstration to the world that Yoni Netanyahu was not the last Israeli who had any beitzim, and that there are more brave and valiant Israelis where the fallen heroes came from. If I were Benjamin Netanyahu, I would be quite concerned over this last matter even as I would welcome it.

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