To Gantz and Netanyahu: “If you don’t shut up, I’m going to pull over the car . . .”


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Another month of exponential growth, and another ISRAELSTREET milestone is reached! With the addition of readers like you from Estonia, Serbia, Surinam, Papua New Guinea, Ghana, Botswana, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Myanmar, and Zambia ISRAELSTREET IS NOW READ IN MORE THAN 100 COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD!

Each month, your humble servant enjoys highlighting the readers from a particular country or countries. This month, there were three countries that stood out: Canada, Malaysia, and Australia. But one place that I have never highlighted is the place where I live six months of every year–my beautiful state of California. This month readers from 75 different cities in the Golden State visited israelstreet:

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I wish I had space to thank all of you individually–but suffice it to say that your humble servant is indeed humbled by all of your support wherever you happen to be. Together we are getting the message out! 

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UPDATE 9 am Israel time:

At 11:21 pm last night, we in south Ashdod were jolted from our beds by the concussive force of two explosions within one second of each other just to the south of us. There are no reports of any rockets this morning (the government often fails to report missile attacks*), but the explosions bore the distinctive sound of an Iron Dome shoot down.  

In an ominous development, rock throwing is morphing into rifle fire in Samaria. At 11:46 pm, two Israelis were wounded when Palestinian terrorists opened fire on their vehicle near the Yizhar Junction.

Continuing the pattern of the last two days, terrorists in Gaza fired three more mortar shells into southern Israel this morning at 5:26 am–striking near Kissufim.

*For the last three days, your humble servant has had a shipputsnik (repairer) in our house who happens to be from Sderot. He told us that everyone in Sderot is forced to his or her bomb shelter at least once everyday, and that he is tired of the fact that the government does not report all of the missiles that are striking in his area.

TODAY’S BLOG:

The rash of public statements made by every leader in Israel continues to defy logic–particularly the statements made in relationship to Iran. At precisely the moment when everyone should be talking less or not at all, no one seems physically capable of keeping his mouth shut.   

Yesterday, the torrent of words reached a new level with IDF Chief of Staff, do-nothing Benny Gantz, and PM Benjamin Netanyahu publicly airing their differences over a possible strike on Iran.

IDF Chief of Staff "do nothing" Benny Gantz at Tel Hashomer doing what he likes to do best--talk.

To begin with, all of Israel knows that Benny Gantz’s first choice in every situation –whether it be rocket fire coming out of Gaza, chemical weapons in Syria, or nuclear weapons in Iran– is to do nothing. Yesterday he was speaking while on a visit to the Tel Hashomer Military Induction Center (why in the world Gantz felt compelled to tell IDF inductees the following is anyone’s guess):

“Iran is continuing with its efforts to achieve nuclear capabilities. This is a severe global and regional problem and we should not ignore it, because (Iran) is the only country in the world that is developing nuclear weapons while calling to annihilate another country.” 

So far so good . . . but almost immediately Gantz began to dissemble:

“We tell the political echelon what we think and we will do what we are told . . . I am not in favor of discussing disagreements if there are such, but I am in favor of telling the government what I think.”

First of all (pardon the sarcasm), your humble servant is glad to hear that Gantz has confirmed that the IDF “will do what we are told” –though it is simply extraordinary that he would even have suggested otherwise. Second, he is not in favor of discussing disagreements? Of course, that is precisely what he was doing yesterday–using code to indicate that he disagrees with any strike on Iran.

All of Gantz’s machinations were not lost on Netanyahu who immediately took to the airwaves to put Gantz in his place. In an interview with Israel Channel 10 TV news last night, Netanyahu said: “I’ve yet to reach a decision. The political echelon makes the decisions, while the military echelon carries them out.”

That is all fine and good–political leaders have always had disputes with their military commanders (not that I would classify Gantz as a “commander”), but why in the world would Netanyahu even say “I’ve yet to reach a decision.” Wouldn’t it be better for Iran to be in the dark about Israel’s intentions? In short, shouldn’t Netanyahu be less about “I” and more about “Israel”.  

I remember many years ago, when our children were much younger, that they used to have loud, drawn-out arguments in the back seat of our car as we were driving around Israel or California–and I used to tell them “if you don’t stop arguing, I’m going to stop the car, and you will not like the result.” Finally, one Sunday afternoon as we were leaving San Francisco that moment came.

Today, the children–all adults now–laugh about the day that I stopped the car–but do you know what? The arguing stopped (if only briefly!) and they began to be ever so slightly more judicious in their statements. They began to act a little more like adults.

This is what I would like to say to Gantz and Netanyahu this morning: “Shut up, stop arguing (at least in public), and put Israel in front of your inflated egos. If you don’t, I’m going to stop the car and . . . “

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