UPDATE 8 am Israel time Sunday :
Your humble servant would like to thank his readers for their patience. As of 12:30 am, he is back in Israel and writing this morning from his study overlooking the lovely blue Mediterranean in Ashdod.
Such flights back home to here in Israel are always bittersweet leaving behind many wonderful friends in northern California, but we are always eager to be back on the ground here in the “center of the world.”
Last night’s flight was particularly long because of a nine hour layover in Frankfurt. It was a fascinating stay at the gate there with numerous young Israeli families traveling back to Israel from places as scattered as Spain, Germany, Canada, Sweden, and the U.S.
Some of the parents spoke of being openly discriminated against in those countries (particularly Sweden and Spain), but they continued to live there because of economic reasons. To a person, they were all happy to be returning albeit for just a couple of weeks or maybe a month.
But what was striking and disheartening were the languages being spoken. All of the parents were speaking Hebrew to each other, but English to their children. And all of the children were speaking English to each other and English to their parents. It wasn’t very hard to imagine a day in the not too far distant future when all of those wonderful kids will stop coming back to Israel and settle down abroad.
It is imperative that Israel do a better job of keeping its youngest and brightest citizens. Better job opportunities, higher salaries, and more benefits will keep these young Israelis home.
The Iranian people and much of the Western world is rejoicing this morning at the election in Iran of the so-called “moderate” Hassan Rohani as the next president of the country. Even the Jerusalem Post has a banner headline proclaiming “Moderate Hassan Rohani wins Iranian election in landslide.”
The moderate Hassan Rohani?
A few facts:
1. Rohani was one of the earliest Islamist supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini who wrought his Islamic revolution in Iran.
2. Rohani has consistently lied about Iran’s nuclear program. As recently as three days ago, Rohani proclaimed that Iran’s nuclear program is “exclusively peaceful.”*
3. Rohani, in the same interview, castigated Israel for its “clandestine and dangerous nuclear weapons program” and for “its destabilizing and inhuman policies and practices in Palestine and the Middle East.”
4. Rohani, in the same interview, praised the Syrian butcher Bashir Assad saying that Syria is the “only country in the region to resist Israeli expansionist policies and practices.”
5. Rohani, in the same interview, declared that “Iran will continue to support the Palestinian cause wholeheartedly.”
So what does the “moderate” Rohani mean for Israel? More duplicity about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, more terrorism with continuing Iranian support of Hezbollah and Hamas, and more Iranian terrorism exported abroad to such places as Syria.
A “moderate”? Rohani would have never been on the Iranian ballot in the first place if he were a moderate and if he did not have the full support of Grand Ayatollah Khamenei.
A “moderate”? Rohani will undoubtedly put a “better face” on Iran than Ahmadinejad, but “a moderate”? Only in the eyes of the international media and in the eyes of the desperate West–eager to make an accommodation with the Iranian regime.
*This interview appeared in Asharq Al-Awsat, a daily Arabic newspaper published in 14 Arab countries simultaneously each day.