Monday, March 19, 2007

Life in Israel

Last night police stopped traffic in the center of Netanya and exploded a bomb found in a car with Arab license plates. Not only was this not on the news, but few people in Netanya heard about it. Today I saw a car driven by an Arab woman with a female passenger stopped by police near the center of town. The police car was following them with flashing lights and telling them to stop on the loudspeaker, but she ignored them for quite some time, strange. I have no idea if this lead to anything. These are the trivia of living here.
Meanwhile the fuss over the new Unity Government in the PA continues, with a few countries apparently breaking the international conditions for recognition and economic support for the Government. By making the Minister of Finance a member of Fatah, it makes it easier for countries to deal with him, but its still a Hamas-dominated Government. Norway, chief amongst the EU countries that has had a pro-Palestinian policy for many years, in justifying this policy said that they support the Palestinians since they are the underdogs. Not a very intelligent basis for a policy. Nevertheless, even the Norwegian Government called on the PA to stop rocket attacks on Israel and to release the Israeli hostage Cpl. Shalit. Of course, even if they give money to the PA it will not influence them one bit. Other countries considering improving relations with the "new" PA are France (of course) and Britain.
It may surprise you that the good relations between EU countries and the Arab world is not a matter of chance, but has been fostered by a specific organization for over 30 years. I am reading the book "Eurabia" by Bat Ye'or, an Egyptian Jew living in France. I assumed she had made up the title of the book for the specific purpose of the publication. But, that is not the case. "Eurabia" is the name of the journal of the Parliamentary Association of Euro-Arab Cooperation (PAEAC), founded not in 2005, nor 1995, nor 1985, but in 1975! The basis for this Association is set out quite clearly in the proceedings of annual meetings of the Association, it is for improved economic relations of the European countries with the Arab world in exchange for political support for Arab causes, principally the Palestinian-Israel conflict. One would hardly believe how direct this relationship has been, with specific economic dividends in exchange for specific anti-Israel policies, such as opposing Israeli actions on the Tenple Mount, supporting the "refugee's right of return," etc. If Israel was buying European votes as openly as this there would be such a surge of anti-Semitism.
Some might think that all I do is worry about politics, but actually not. Last night we went to a St. Patrick's day celebration at Murphy's Irish pub in the Herzliya marina. It was put on by the Irish-Israel Friendship League and even the Irish Ambassador came. The Irish music and dancing was authentic. Last week we went to a jazz concert put on by our favorite Stanley Ross (from Glasgow) and "The Stompers." So life in Israel is an endless round of fun, no wonder we love living here.


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