Thursday, May 21, 2015

Letter From Israel

Oh dear...

This has been a moderately horrible year for me; one of accidents and incidents (thanks, Paul) and not much fun. Not quite as bad as the annus horribilis suffered by Queen Elizabeth and Buckingham Palace—not to mention Princess Diana—but close. 

Last August, almost on my way home from Australia, I fell.  I never was far from being a total klutzit but this time it was serious:  Two ruptured discs, a dislocated shoulder and a partridge in a pear tree.  Couldn’t write, couldn’t sleep, couldn’t even imagine a pain-free existence.  And arriving home just before the High Holydays was a hoot.  Every medical request was answered with the same phrase:  After the holidays.  It was almost a month before someone would say Let’s see…can you come in on November 28th?

Socialised medicine is great.  Costs a farthing; without the profit motive people are happy to help but holy cow it took a long time to find the guy who does the best acupuncture (it worked); receive an appointment with the physiotherapist (she helped) and try to get back to normal.  And here I am.

Politically, we’re on the edge of a precipice and everyone knows it.  Bibi made his Likudniks sign a paper saying they wouldn’t vote against him.  Is this democracy?  I don’t think so. 

Avigdor Lieberman is turning out to be the wild man of the bunch, waiting until the end to be assigned his role in the new government and then saying No thanks.  I just love that—he could have continued as Foreign Minister, become the Finance Minister or just about anything he fancied but he has other plans.  Don’t know what they are but I’m sure I’m not alone in wondering about the man who pulled off the biggest kick-in-the-butt that Bibi has ever experienced—and the sound of sniggering was heard throughout the land.   

A recent article in Haaretz proclaimed that Arieh Deri is the only dove in the new government.  That’s nice.  But will he keep his hands out of the till?  There are countries which prohibit people who have 'done time' from taking government posts.  I wonder why Israel doesn’t have that law…

I also wonder why people pick on the New Israel Fund.  I worked with them years ago and found them upright, forthright and so on.  Perhaps it was just early days in Israel when I couldn’t identify right from left if I tried; maybe they’ve changed their operating philosophy ere since.  Happens.  Actually, it wouldn’t have mattered if they were flaming Communists (peace, Americans)—my job was to write grant proposals and obtain funding for a brand-new school for gifted students.  It worked.

Updates to follow. 


  1. Avigdor Lieberman, I has his own plans. He is playing a calculated game that I believe will work. Israel (smartly) keeps voting for the right due to security issues, as the left would sell out Israeli security for a handful of magic beans.

    Bibi will keep pissing off people, so when this last coalition eventually breaks up, Avigdor Lieberman and Yisrael Beiteinu will be in position to possibly be the new leader of the right-wing parties.

    I have always thought that Yisrael Beiteinu was the best party to represent Israel and to keep her safe. I hope Avigdor Lieberman is correct in his current political triangulation.

  2. Elinor, your perspective is exceedingly interesting.

    Do you honestly think that Lieberman is going to survive?

    I cannot even begin to imagine a PM Lieberman, nor a PM Bennett.

    I am right to think that the Israeli left is still kicking, yes?