Adar 28, 5777
March 26, 2017
Your humble servant will be traveling during the next week in an area with unstable internet. Israelstreet will be published intermittently during this time–to return full time on April 4th. Thank you for your understanding.
THE NEWS ON THE STREET IN ISRAEL
What’s going on in Syria?
It seemed but a month ago that Assad with the Russians, Iranians, and Hezbollah had changed the course of the fighting and were on the verge of a decisive victory. However, the last 30 days have seen the “rebels” mount a serious offensive in the Damascus area.
This morning comes news that the Tartus-Russian naval base has been closed to all comings and goings amidst the transport of dead Russian soldiers to the base. 32 coffins arrived carrying soldiers believed to have been killed in the countryside around Hama. At the same time, Hezbollah has suffered heavy losses–and is rushing reinforcements from Lebanon to fill the empty places in their lines.
To the outside observer, it is rather remarkable how the “rebels” are still able to mount an offensive, much less able to put the forces arrayed against them on the run. Right in center of Damascus. The only response that the Syrians seem to have is to obliterate their own capital city.
Yesterday, the Syrian Army fired 6 heavy surface to surface missiles at the Tishrin neighborhood; today, the Qabun neighborhood has been hit with 4 more missiles. How long will it be until the Russians carpet bomb Damascus?
Not very long. Due to the severe shortage of soldiers, Assad’s army is now resorting to weapons training for young girls. They will soon be on the front lines.
What’s going on with PM Netanyahu and Finance Minister Kahlon?
The two finally met today amid Netanyahu’s threats to call a new election if Kahlon will not agree to his demands concerning the Israel Broadcasting Authority.
In your humble servant’s opinion, all of the talk about new election is hooey. For one thing, Netanyahu’s ultra-orthodox coalition members announced today they will not agree to new elections. Second, it is doubtful that any other of the coalition members want elections either. Nobody suddenly wants to find themselves on the outside looking in.
What’s going on with the ever-worsening traffic situation in Israel?
Anyone who has driven in Israel recently knows that the situation on the roads is reaching the breaking point. Endless traffic jams, endless traffic accidents, endless maniacal driving have all brought the message home that something must be done.
To our credit, Israel is laying more train tracks both for conventional trains and for light rail and is continually expanding its already amazing network of roads. However, 338,000 new cars were imported into Israel in 2016–and sales this year indicate another surge.
Even parking has become a massive problem. And once the cars are parked they have become a problem. The situation has become so bad that many residential city streets in cities such as Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are almost impassable with parked cars jammed in along curbs on both sides of the streets.
What can be done?
No one has a good answer.
What in the world is going on in Gaza?
As you are probably aware, dear reader, Mazen Faqua–a murderous Hamas terrorist who was released in the Gilad Shalit exchange in 2010–was shot to death outside his home in Gaza on Friday.
At first Hamas blamed internal fighting within the organization, but this quickly has changed into a blaming of Mossad–with speculation that Israelis came in from the sea.
This morning, Hamas issued threats that it would retaliate against Israel in the coming days, and then took the extraordinary step of shutting down the Palestinian side of the Erez Crossing–and even prohibiting Gaza fishermen from going out to sea.