Blogging From Zion-Part 2
Last year, the War in Gaza had just ended when we departed
Houston for the Holy Land.
This year, it is a bit quieter. But just a bit, as ISIS is
still in the neighborhood and the Russians are now bombing that neighborhood
while supporting the culprit in Syria who started it all. Of course the real
culprits might have been W and Cheney and their Iraq strategy, but Assad is bad
The turmoil of a close election that shifted the government
of Israel sharply to the right and the deal with Iran and the West has left
Israelis holding their collective breath and America’s supporters of Israel of
all stripes in disarray. The proper stance of an American Jew towards Israel has
never been on less firm footing than it is today. Can you be for the Iran deal and
still be for Israel? AIPAC says no. J Street says yes. In the end, the deal with Iran will go
through, but what that actually means for peace in the region, an accelerated
arms race including nuclear weapons, and the spread of Islamic fundamentalism
and its anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-American message is most unclear.
The BW has an important meeting on the cancer
microenvironment in Tel Aviv on October 11 and so we are starting over a tad
early to try to get the lay of the land with the same guide, Gil Regev, who so
ably educated us last year. This time, no typical Jewish, Christian or Muslim
holy sites. This time it’s all about water, the most important liquid in the
Middle East despite the West thinking it is oil, and land, particularly land
east of the green line. Our trip is to take us to Hebron, Nablus and other
parts of the West Bank. I told Gil that I want to see nothing that we have seen
before, although I am sure we will go to the Western Wall at least once when we
are in Jerusalem. I am trying to understand the true Israel, not the one the
factions in the US want seen by visiting Americans. So just like the sites we
are avoiding, the people we are seeking are Jewish, Christian and Muslim.
On September 30, we will once again wing our way to Tel
Aviv. We will arrive the day before Shabbat, but this Saturday, October 3, we
are scheduled to do what we often do here in Houston on Saturday. Play golf,
but in Israel.
appears to be a modern golf course on its web site and we saw no reason to lull
around the beach in Tel Aviv or hide inside in Jerusalem this first Saturday.
Why the heck not tee it up? I’ve hit balls into the Pacific Ocean and into the
North Sea, why not into the Mediterranean? Believe it or not, this golf course
is only an hour north of Tel Aviv and we will rent a car to get there. This
should be quite an adventure and we are hoping that the entire course does not
resemble the elongated sand trap that is the bottom half of the country and
that the GPS in the car does not only employ Hebrew.
will be blogging yet again from Israel and maybe even from the West Bank. I
guess I should be petrified, but I am not. The Israeli authorities tend to keep
tourists away from the trouble spots if they break out seemingly without
warning, but usually with full knowledge of the Israeli police.
than ever, I cannot see the way forward in Israel, for the Jews or the Arabs.
If it stays one country, the relative birth rates will create an apartheid
state within a generation. If it becomes two countries, what is to be done with
Jerusalem and how will an additional quest for land by the Arabs at the UN be
prevented? Can there be a democratic Jewish state in the borders redrawn after
1967? So far, the answer appears to be not yet.
don’t go to the West Bank seeking answers. I go seeking questions—the ones that
are really on the minds of those who live in all of Israel; not the ones on the
minds of their various American surrogates in AIPAC, J Street or the left
wingers of the BDS (boycott, investment and sanctions) movement against Israel
that has arisen on college campuses throughout the United States along with a
wave of anti-Semitism felt by Jewish students on these campuses. As always, I
am looking for the truth if it is even out there. Stay tuned.