Adar 26, 5777
March 24, 2017
THE NEWS ON THE STREET IN ISRAEL
Palestinian terrorists strike again and again on Thursday, as usual . . .
Everyday sounds like a broken record. How many times have we heard what happened yesterday before?
An IED was thrown by terrorists at IDF soldiers at Rachel’s Tomb.
“Rocks” an Molotov firebombs were thrown by terrorists at Israeli men, women, and children at Migdal Junction (a train was hit), El Khader, at Shuafat (Jerusalem Light Rail train cars were hit), Efrat Junction, Deir Jarir, Beit Anun, Adam Square, Givat Gal, Ofra, Zhamma, Zif Junction, Luban Sharqiya, and Route 443.
Attacks were launched by terrorists at IDF soldiers and police at Gilazon, Beit El (one terrorist was shot and killed), Yatta, Psagot, Deir Qadis, Tekoa (a soldier was wounded), and Ras al-Amud.
Be careful what you say . . .
As you may or may not know, tens of thousands of Russian tourists visit Israel every year. The Russian Foreign Ministry has now published a flyer for prospective tourists which warns that “Israelis are very sensitive” and therefore some words should not be used in order to “avoid confrontations.”
Some of those words and phrases are: shmuck, putz, sharmuta, and a curse word referring to a part of your mother’s anatomy which we will avoid giving here.
In addition, the flyer notes that “Speech in Israel is free, and you can often hear uncensored and distorted words from the Russian language, which were brought by Russian immigrants who came to Israel on the big waves of immigration in the 1980s and 90s.”
Well what does your humble servant have to say about all of this?
Speech is certainly “free” and funny, though I think I would more likely use the terms “earthy” and “vulgar.” When I started learning Hebrew many years ago, the first words I learned were the ones above plus some even more “earthy” terms.
About Israelis being “sensitive” . . . on the one hand, there is the old saying that Israelis are tough on the outside yet sweet on the inside. I think this is only half true; as the Russians say, Israelis are easily offended and often look for reasons to be “broges” with someone (broges means “offended).
In sum, the Russian flyer states the case well; don’t use the words above unless you use them in a joking and humorous way.
FRIEDMAN FINALLY APPROVED: J STREET GOES DOWN TO DEFEAT
The new U.S. Ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is finally on the job this morning following a 52-46 vote in the U.S. Senate yesterday.
J Street, the vehemently anti-Israel U.S. organization whose mission is to drive a stake in the heart of American Judaism, had staged an all out fight to deny Friedman the confirmation.
Yet this morning, J Street was just like its best friends the Arabs in trying to claim victory from defeat. It issued this statement:
“J Street is heartened by the unprecedented level of opposition David Friedman faced in being narrowly confirmed as US Ambassador to Israel . . . Almost half of the Senate voted to oppose this deeply unqualified and inappropriate nominee . . .
Senators responded to the concerns of the former ambassadors to Israel, Holocaust survivors and scholars, hundreds of rabbis and tens of thousands of American Jews who rallied to oppose this nomination. They raised objections about Friedman’s opposition to the two-state solution, his close ties to the settlement movement and his history of offensive and intemperate attacks on those with whom he disagrees.”
What a joke.
The senators did not respond to anything except the acrimonious partisan divide that has engulfed the United States. It is telling that not one single Republican voted against Friedman (two: Paul of Kentucky and Isakson of Georgia did not vote). On the other hand, every Democratic senator except two (Menendez of New Jersey and Manchin of West Virginia) voted against Friedman.
So in essence, the same vote total that has been tallied insofar as virtually every other Trump nominee before the Senate was tallied here. J Street did not succeed in convincing anyone in the Senate of anything.
As we all know by now, what J Street really wants is to turn “Israel” into a partisan issue–something that groups like AIPAC have long tried to resist. AIPAC has resisted because it knows that what is in the best interest for Israel is bi-partisan support. J Street fought against Friedman because it only acts in the best interest of J Street and the Palestinians.
One final note: israelstreet earnestly hopes that all of the backtracking that Friedman did during his confirmation hearing was for show only–and that his actions as Ambassador to Israel will speak more loudly than his apologetic words before the committee.