Here in Israel on Erev Rosh Hashana, your humble servant wants to wish all of you who celebrate the holiday (and even those of you who don’t) a very happy New Year! May this year bring you health, happiness, and prosperity–and may we all continue to support Israel to the best of our ability.
When we sit down to the table tonight, two of the things we will be eating are apples and honey. To start today’s blog, your humble servant wants to give you a “taste of honey”–some sweet information about israelstreet. Our blog family has grown exponentially over the years. To give you some small sense of the reach of israelstreet, here are some of the places that readers like you have come to this blog from in the last 5 days alone.
First, from around the world:
Ottawa, Canada; Tel Aviv, Israel; Colon, Panama; Shenzhen, China; Bregend, Great Britain; Brisbane, Australia; Lille, France; Tokyo, Japan; Kiselev, Ukraine; Lecce, Italy; Kiev, Ukraine; Henan, China; Yad Binyamin, Israel; Bucharest, Romania; Algiers, Algeria; Ringo, Cameroon; Novazzano, Switzerland; Sale, Great Britain; Hardegson, Germany; Boussy-saint-antoine, France; Anapolis, Brazil; Esslingen, Germany; Ramat Gan, Israel; Doncaster, Great Britain; La Courneuve, France; Cairo, Egypt; Ashton-under-lyne, Great Britain; Beijing, China; Msida, Malta; Fuzhou, China; Nidderau, Germany; Putian, China; Hanoi, Vietnam; Polska, Poland; Brantford, Canada; Mersin, Turkey; Zhangzhou, China; Montreal, Canada; Biessenhofen, Germany; Hefei, China; Ljubljana, Slovenia; Wuhan, China; Holon, Israel; Kfar Saba, Israel; Yangon, Myanmar; Rilland, Netherlands; Singapore, Singapore; Braine-l’alleud, Belgium; Bafoussam, Cameroon; Santiago, Chile; Yavne, Israel; New Delhi, India; Petah Tiqva, Israel; Opatija, Croatia; Neutral Bay, Australia; Meylan, France; Montpellier, France; Rishon Le Zion, Israel; Bielefeld, Germany; Orbassano, Italy; Dortmund, Germany; Bradford, Great Britain; Central District, Hong Kong; Frameries, Belgium; Sodertalje, Sweden; Tehran, Iran; Bezons, France; Rehovot, Israel; Paris, France; Bergen, Norway; Putian, China; Tromse, Norway; Monchengladbach, Germany; Holon, Israel; Cagliari, Italy; Cape Town, South Africa; Berlin, Germany; Lubbeek, Belgium; Brie-comte-robert, France; Vlissengen, Netherlands; Johannesburg, South Africa; Shanghai, China; Berlin, Germany; London, Great Britain; Messigny, France; Budapest, Hungary; Brighton, Great Britain; Melle, Belgium; Arnfels, Austria; Haifa, Israel; Toronto, Canada; Zwolle, Netherlands; Ludhiana, India; Jakarta, Indonesia; Monforte D’Alba, Italy; Bydogoszcz, Poland; Auckland, New Zealand; Midrand, South Africa; Vienna, Austria; Nelson, Canada; Osaka, Japan; Canberra, Australia; Seoul, Korea; Moscow, Russia; Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; Amman, Jordan; Warsaw, Poland; Hamburg, Germany; Edinburgh, Scotland; Innsbruck, Austria; Langenau, Germany; Karkur, Israel; Vitry-sur-seine, France; Patras, Greece; Kingston, Jamaica; Hagen, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Bath, Great Britain; Sydney, Australia; Cochin, India; Lund Sweden; Groningen, Netherlands; Oberbeisheim, Germany; Stovring, Denmark; Durban, South Africa; Beograd, Russia; Strasbourg, France; Manila, Philippines; Bangalore, India; Yehud, Israel; Malvern, Australia; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Barquisimeto, Venezuela; Mitsui, Japan; Aachen, Germany; Seville, Spain; Tirana, Albania; Khon Kaen, Thailand; Mexico City, Mexico; Tlemcen, Algeria; Kfar Saba, Israel; Vallendar, Germany; Jerusalem, Israel; Bursa, Turkey; Villa Progreso, Argentina; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Full, Switzerland; Karachi, Pakistan; Linz, Austria; Nazareth, Israel; Edmonton, Canada; Goch, Germany; Nicosia, Cyprus; Kempten, Germany; Aurora, Canada; Courcouronnes, France; Bridgend, Great Britain; Chambourcy, France; Hazerswoude-dorp, Netherlands; San Jose, Costa Rica; Duisburg, Germany; Brussels, Belgium; Reyjkavik, Iceland; Ufa, Russia; Wolfville, Canada; Taiyuan, China; Copenhagen, Denmark; Vadua, Liechtenstein; Sonipat, India; Dublin Ireland; Nokia, Finland; Gizeh, Egypt; Madrid, Spain; Athens, Greece; Skelleftea, Sweden; New Delhi, India; Ibadan, Nigeria; Islamabad, Pakistan; Davao, Philippines; Castres, France; Kefar Neter, Israel; Rabat, Morocco; Montallegro, Italy; Nassau, Bahamas; Lome, Togo; Leeds, Great Britain; Mumbai, India; Jinhua, China; Chelmsford, Great Britain; Asnieres, France; Kiez, Germany
And from the United States:
New Caney, Texas; Ada, Michigan; Reno, Nevada; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Brooklyn, New York; Seattle, Washington; Sacramento, California; Newark, New Jersey; Columbia, Maryland; Bowling Green, Kentucky; Sunnyvale, California; Simi Valley, California; Los Angeles, California; Grass Valley, California; Yucca Valley, California; Cedar Bluff, Virginia; Titusville, Florida; Dallas, Texas; Elverta, California; Gainesville, Virginia; Davis, California; Woodbridge, New Jersey; Elk Grove, California; Houston, Texas; Middle River, Maryland; Kansas City, Missouri; Riverview, Florida; Portales, New Mexico; Santa Rosa, California; Fort Worth, Texas; El Macero, California; Elmwood Park, New Jersey; Miami, Florida; Chicago, Illinois; Des Plaines, Illinois; Waterville, Maine; Rancho Cordova, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Marlton, New Jersey; West Sacramento, California; East Meadow, New York; Hollywood, Florida; Naperville, Illinois; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Boise, Idaho; Williamsburg, Virginia; Kingsport, Tennessee; Montague, Michigan; Essex, Maryland; Henderson, Nevada; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; Clearfield, Utah; Lilitz, Pennsylvania; Daphne, Alabama; Mountain View, California; Warner Robins, Georgia; Aurora, Colorado; Frederick, Maryland; Corpus Christi, Texas; Secaucus, New Jersey; Maitland, Florida; Ansonia, Connecticut; Bradenton, Florida; Lilburn, Georgia; Lexington, Kentucky; Memphis, Tennessee; Yonkers, New York; Brea, California; Norfolk, Virginia; Orange, California; Santa Clara, California; Seattle, Washington; Santa Monica, California; Tuckerton, New Jersey; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Rochester, Minnesota; Taylor, Michigan; Brandon, Florida; New York, New York; Hicksville, New York; Columbus, Ohio; Washington, DC; Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Stateline, Nevada; King of Prussia, Pennsylvania; Houston, Texas; Fresno, California; Athens, Georgia; Corona, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Astoria, New York; Woburn, Massachusetts; Kirkland, Washington; Cheyenne, Wyoming; New Clarus, Wisconsin; West Bloomfield, Michigan; Austin, Texas; Pasadena, California; White Lake, Michigan; Eugene, Oregon; Clarksville, Tennessee; Birmingham, Alabama; Amesbury, Massachusetts; Richmond Hill, California; Oakland, California; Lawndale, California; Carlsbad, California; Overland Park, Kansas; Skokie, Illinois; Burlington, Kansas; Tampa, Florida; Versailles, Kentucky; Agoura Hills, California; Lewiston, Montana; Penfield, New York; Alexandria, Virginia; Towson, Maryland; Teaneck, New Jersey; Hayward, California; Huntsville, Alabama; Lehigh Acres, Florida; Lacey, Washington; Seward, Nebraska
These places only scratch the surface; for example, israelstreet has numerous readers in numerous places as New York, Washington DC, Tel Aviv, Paris, Berlin, and even Riyadh--but on the above list, each place was only listed once. All told, we were read in more than 120 countries around the world last month, and in 46 out of 50 of the United States. Thank you to each and every one of you, and thank you for helping get the word out about Israel!
UPDATES 10 am Israel time, Wednesday, September 4 2013:
**As the tight-lipped “negotiations” between the Palestinians and Israelis become progressively more loose-lipped with Mahmoud Abbas revealing juicy tidbits to reporters at every turn, Israeli politicians are beginning to do some talking of their own.
Two comments caught your humble servant’s eye yesterday:
Avi Ro’eh, the head of the Council of Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria expressed his fear yesterday that the current talks are aimed at “an interim agreement under American pressure whose central points will be Israeli recognition of a Palestinian state with temporary borders, and a decision to hand over sections of Area C to the Palestinians.”
Arye Eldad, a former Knesset member with the National Union party, said yesterday that his understanding is that at some point after the high holy days, PM Netanyahu will declare that a permanent agreement with the Palestinians is impossible whereupon he will then announce a unilateral Israeli withdrawal to something in the proximity of the 1949 Armistice Lines (with minor territorial adjustments for the major “settlement blocs”).
Despite the comments coming out of Ramallah that the Palestinians will not accept any interim agreement, your humble servant suspects that is exactly the disastrous direction in which “negotiations” are headed. Why “disastrous” you may ask? Simply because Israel will once again end up making more concessions in return for absolutely nothing–and such an agreement will do nothing to improve Israel’s standing among those (such as Europe and the United States) whose affection Netanyahu, Peres, and Livni so desperately crave.
**Your humble servant had to laugh yesterday at reports that just before President Obama made his speech of postponement of military action against Syria in the White House Rose Garden, he called Netanyahu to tell him that the decision did not affect his resolve on the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Seriously, can you, dear reader, think of a more ridiculous joke?
**There are rumors in Gaza this morning–completely unverified–that the Egyptians are preparing for a military offensive, or strike, against Gaza. Yesterday’s intense fighting at the Gaza/Egyptian/Israeli border apparently involved a somewhat coordinated Egyptian-Israeli effort with Egyptian helicopter gunships firing rockets at terrorist strongholds while Israeli planes circled over Gaza to discourage any retaliation.
This follows the beginning of an Egyptian attempt to create a buffer zone along its Gaza border by razing homes that might offer refuge or smuggling opportunities for Hamas terrorists.
As many have pointed out, when Israel created a similar buffer zone, the world cried out in horror, but nobody is saying a word when the Egyptians do it. But then again, your humble servant says facetiously, those were Palestinian homes and these are Egyptian ones.
**The KfW, formerly KfW Bankengruppe, a German development bank in Frankfurt, has announced that it wants to fund–at a cost of 15 million Euros–a new trash facility in Judea. The landfill, which would be located in the vicinity of various Jewish communities, the Israeli city of Modi’in Illit, the Palestinian settlements of Rimonim and Kfar Ramum, and the Palestininian town of El Bireh, is taking the place of one that served the same basic area but had been deemed environmentally hazardous.
So what’s the catch? KfW announced after a meeting with the Israel Civil Administration two days ago that “no Jewish garbage” would be permitted at the landfill. As of now, the situation remains unresolved. A spokesman for the Civil Administration told reporters yesterday: “The Civil Administration explained that it is examining the request of the German government to move ahead a landfill project for the good of all residents of the region – Israelis and Palestinians.”
In your humble servant’s opinion, KfW can take its 15 million Euros to the Frankfurt garbage dump and let them rot there.
A final short blog this morning.
As your humble servant looks out his window at the Mediterranean coast here in Ashdod, all looks peaceful and serene. A bit of wind is kicking up some small whitecaps in the sea and a few surfers and wind-surfers are out riding the waves. Despite the somewhat cooler and cloudy Fall-like weather, families (there is no school today because of Rosh Hashana) are setting up their chairs and blankets on the beach for a few hours in hopes the sun will shine.
And what is just over the horizon, just out of eyesight?
The situation is becoming so crowded that even the slightest miscalculation could cause an international incident or worse.
When Israel fired two test missiles from one of its Air Force bases in central Israel yesterday out over the Mediterranean yesterday morning, the Russians became semi-hysterical and reported to the world that they had detected “a launch of two ballistic missiles” in their direction.
By afternoon, Israel made it clear that the launch had been announced months in advance and had been done in cooperation with U.S. military forces.
Out on the lovely, blue, peaceful Mediterranean, all is not what it seems.