Israeli hospital award masks weaknesses

Israel’s Sheba Medical Center (aka Tel Hashomer) has been rated the world’s 9th-best hospital by Newsweek. That’s a great honor. But there’s another side.
I need to do a medical test–not a particularly unusual one–but in Israel, it’s done only at Sheba. I made an appointment yesterday–and the first available date is JULY 21!
That’s more evidence, if we needed any, that while Israel’s medical system is one of the best in the world, it is lagging badly behind population growth. Every family has stories about someone who spent hours and hours in an emergency room, waiting for initial treatment. In our family, we have a case of someone who was waiting for 15 hours in an emergency room, and that’s where he had his heart attack.
HOW IS THIS NOT THE TOP ISSUE IN TODAY’S ISRAELI ELECTION? Are we threatened more by Iran or Hamas than by government neglect of our own social infrastructure? Isn’t it time to reorder Israel’s priorities to deal with real issues, instead of exaggerated “security” threats that, anyway, the army would deal with no matter who the prime minister is?

Soleimani assassination: Right, but wise?

A wise teacher once said, “Everything depends on where you start your history.”
So here’s my take on the Suleimani assassination, followed by a series of tweets from the rightfully respected former ambassador to israel, Dan Shapiro.
Certainly he deserved to die. But there is a saying on Hebrew: “Better wise than right.”
Read his whole series of tweets, and then ask if the policy of confronting Iran militarily, instead of implementing the nuclear accord and attempting to bring Iran back into the family of nations with economic incentives, is really such an enlightened concept. https://brokens
Here’s Shapiro’s view:
“Qassim Soleimani had the blood of many thousands on his hands: Americans, Iraqis, Lebanese, Syrians, Israelis & many, many others. Truly one of the most evil men on the planet. Seeing his smiling mug in selfies with terrorists across the region was hard to take. Good riddance.
“That he deserved this fate, a fate he authored for so many others, is not in question. The ability to carry it out is also impressive, as an intelligence and operational achievement.
“To take a decision like this has major strategic consequences. Iran has capabilities far
beyond al-Qaeda or ISIS when their leaders were eliminated. And they will have many opportunities to respond. The question is, will the US and our allies be ready?
“To state the obvious, careful, strategic, fact-based planning is not a hallmark of our current President. So there is plenty of risk in this moment.
“Immediate challenges will include keeping our embassies, troops, and personnel safe in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf. Dealing with political blowback in Iraq, possibly to include demands that US forces leave, will be a major challenge.
“Allies will want to know if the US will stand with them against blowback that may land on them. Previous decisions after attacks in the Gulf and on pulling troops out of Syria have raised many questions in their minds. They will be looking for reassurance now.
“It’s a major decision. Soleimani richly deserved his fate. The strategic consequences can last months, or years. Time to breathe deeply, prepare seriously, and give our personnel and allies all the support they need.
“But one can’t help but be concerned about the current administration’s ability to think strategically several steps ahead. We are going to find out.”
Yes, we will find out. It won’t be pretty. And the tragedy is–we didn’t have to go this way at all, but we never gave the other way a chance.

How to prevent a massacre

Here’s news of a Texas church under attack, and the hero who stopped it before more people were killed.

At a time when attacks against religious institutions, especially Jewish ones, are becoming a near-daily occurrence, we need to think seriously about how to react. Then we need to think about how to stop it. The first is an immediate necessity. The second, while potentially more important, is a long-term goal.

This isn’t an endorsement of random worshippers packing heat and opening fire inside a crowded church or synagogue. Just the opposite. This person is the “deacon of security” at his church, highly trained, and doing his job. THAT’S what we need to emulate. Unfortunately, that’s 21st century reality, and it doesn’t matter who’s to “blame.”

מכתב משי פירון

 שי פירון כהן כשר החינוך לתקופה קצרה מדי. הוא מהווה קול שקול נדיר

  .בקרב מנהיגי הצינות הדתית


1. מר נתניהו,
אפשר לאהוב ולהעריך, להעריץ אותך. אפשר לבוז, לחלוק ולראות בך ראש ממשלה רע. על
כך יחליטו הבוחרים.
אבל אם לא תרד מהבמה בזמן, ישכחו את כל הדברים הטובים שעשית – ועשית. כל משקלך
ההיסטורי יסתכם במשפט, בנאומיך המסוכנים, באמירות חסרות אחריות. יש לך מורשת,
יש לך הישגים. אל תהרוס אותם.
2. שרי הליכוד.
אני מתחיל לחשוב שכפי הנראה כמעט אף אחד מכם לא מתאים להנהגת המדינה. אף אחד
מכם לא אומר מילה, לטוב או לרע; בעד או נגד?! אתם מנהיגים?
3. מוסר.
אין שאלה על העובדות המוסריות. אבל זה הפסיק להטריד אותנו כחברה. וזה כואב.
עזבו. לא מתאים לכתב אישום?! בסדר. אבל מוסרית? ערכית? התנהלותית? זה מה שהיינו
בעיני, מוסרית, תיק 1000 הוא החמור בתיקים מפני שהוא מצביע על התנהלות אישית
מוסרית קלוקלת. ואנחנו – ממשיכים לדון בעוצמה המשפטית של התיק. האמת פחות
מעניין אותי. מטרידה אותי העוצמה המוסרית של התיק.
4. עם ישראל חי.
זה לא יעזור.
לא למר נתניהו ולא לחבורה שמסביבו.
אנחנו חזקים.
לא נתפרק. נמשיך לחלוק, להתווכח. יהיה לנו שמאל וימין, דתיים וחילוניים ויהודים
נתווכח על דמותה של ישראל אבל לא ניתן לאיש, כולל ראש הממשלה, לפרק אותנו. לא
תהיה כאן הפיכה, לא יהיה מרד ברחובות.
זה הרגע שבו כולנו צריכים להוכיח, אחד לשני, שיש משהו שאנו אוהבים יותר מכל –
את מדינת ישראל.
5. ולסיום – אכזבה.
זה לא סוד. אני שייך – במהותי – לציונות הדתית. גדלתי בה ובמוסדותיה. מאמין
העובדה שכל מנהיגיה – כאיש אחד – מגנים על ראש הממשלה בשעה שיש ספק משפטי
ווודאיות מוסרית – היא חרפה דתית. אני משוכנע שהיא מזיקה לתהליך החינוכי ולאמון
קראתי פעם אחר פעם בתנ”ך. אני יודע ש”על כל פשעים תכסה אהבה”.
לא שמעתי ש”על כל פשעים תכסה ימניות”.
שבוע טוב

 IDI-הסקר מ


“Embattled” Bibi’s failed demo

Now the foreign media have begun to call him “embattled.” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pulled out all the stops to drag people to his rally tonight in Tel Aviv: Free bus rides from all over the country, pressure on politicians, pressure on parties, pressure on Cabinet ministers. All he got was loudmouth Miri Regev and, depending on which estimate you see, between 8,000 and 20,000 demonstrators.

Even the highest estimate amounts to a failure. After such efforts, reminiscent of the Likud emptying out settlements with shuttle buses for pro-government rallies in past decades, anything less than 100,000 would have been a failure. Does that mean that Bibi is finished? Not at all. Many have made the mistake of underestimating his political skills. He could still survive this. I don’t see how…but believe me, he does.

First read the US statement. Then we’ll talk.

It’s worthwhile, as always, to read what you’re commenting about before you comment.
Here’s a link to the US statement about Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Please come back after you read it.
So it’s not a green light for unlimited Israeli construction in the West Bank, nor is it a thumb in the eye of those who favor evacuating some or all of the settlements for the sake of peace.
settlements mapIn other words, both the apoplectic left and the ecstatic right have it wrong.
Now that you’ve read it, you see that it is a recognition of the facts on the ground–the settlements exist, and no legal status will change that. The only thing that could change that is a negotiated agreement. (I differ there, because there is no hope for a negotiated agreement, but that’s another issue.)
So if you thought all along that building settlements was a mistake, the US has not totally undermined your position. And if you believed all along that Israel has the divine right to build all over Eretz Yisrael, the US has not endorsed that.
All the US has done is recognize reality as it exists. There are settlements, and they are not going to disappear. Similarly, Israel has held the Golan Heights for five decades, and there is no Syria to “return” it to, even if that were warranted. And Jerusalem is, indeed, the capital of Israel. We decide that, no one else does. The US has recognized those realities,
Does this trend of recognizing reality torpedo the chances of peace? Conversely, does it reinforce peace efforts? No and no.
Recognizing facts is a good basis for progress–but progress on what? Israel has twice offered the Palestinians a state, according to their own demands. but the Palestinians turned down the offers. So measuring every step as if it’s a part of a “peace process” is outdated thinking. One day there will be a regional forum that redraws borders, including finally setting a border between Israel and the Palestinians. When that day comes, the parties will have to deal with the reality on the ground. Like it or not, intentionally or not, the US is, by stages, recognizing that fact.
No less, but also no more.