Well, friends. Trying to get back in to the swing of things Stateside. Xanga is not cooperating. I hate to report that I will probably move my blog soon… and the plans to cross post on Xanga maybe foiled by Xanga’s technical issues. More on that later.
For now, here are a few stories to inform your prayers as you lift up the peace talks.
Now observing 2½ years without a single suicide bombing on their territory, with the economy robust and with souls a trifle weary of having to handle big elemental thoughts, the Israeli public prefers to explore such satisfactions as might be available from the private sphere, in a land first imagined as a utopia. “Listen to me,” says Eli Bengozi, born in Soviet Georgia and for 40 years an Israeli. “Peace? Forget about it. They’ll never have peace. Remember Clinton gave 99% to Arafat, and instead of them fighting for 1%, what? Intifadeh.”
But wait. Deep down (you can almost hear the outside world ask), don’t Israelis know that finding peace with the Palestinians is the only way to guarantee their happiness and prosperity? Well, not exactly. Asked in a March poll to name the “most urgent problem” facing Israel, just 8% of Israeli Jews cited the conflict with Palestinians, putting it fifth behind education, crime, national security and poverty. Israeli Arabs placed peace first, but among Jews here, the issue that President Obama calls “critical for the world” just doesn’t seem — critical.
“The people,” Heli Itach says, “don’t believe.” Business partner Eli Bengozi searches for a word. “People in Israel are indifferent,” he decides. “They don’t care if there’s going to be war. They don’t care if there’s going to be peace. They don’t care. They live in the day.” – TIME.com
The most recent poll of Palestinian Arabs revealed that even if US President Barack Obama gets Israel and the Palestinians to sign a peace deal, the violent efforts to destroy the Jewish state will not end. The Arab World for Research & Development (AWRAD) based in the de facto Palestinian capital of Ramallah asked a random sampling of Palestinian Arabs in its August 8-14 survey to rank various aspects of the peace process from “essential” to “unacceptable.” Nearly 73 percent of respondents said it is either essential, desirable or acceptable to use violence against Israeli Jews in order to obtain an independent Palestinian state. That view is a direct violation of the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. Furthermore, an overwhelming 78.2 percent of respondents said that eventually establishing “Palestine” from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea (which includes all of Israel) is “essential.” Another 12.5 percent said that goal is “desirable.” Only 17.7 percent said a two-state solution is “essential.” Regarding Jerusalem (presumably before the full takeover of Israel), 84.1 percent said it is essential and 10.3 percent said it is desirable for the entire city (including the Jewish-dominated western half) to be surrendered to the Palestinians. –ISRAEL TODAY
Israeli authorities lifted a gag order on last week’s murder of an American Jewish man in downtown Jerusalem by a group of drunk Arab teenagers. The youth convinced one passerby to buy them a bottle of vodka. After finishing their drinks, the teenagers approached 60-year-old Lance Wolf, an American Jew living in Jerusalem for the past two years, and demanded cigarettes. The teenagers later told police that Wolf refused them in a very rude manner, so they decided to get some revenge by beating him repeatedly over the head with wood planks they found at a nearby construction site. — ISRAEL TODAY