It’s Jingo week here in Israel, with the spite and merriment of Independence Day pretty blatantly rushing to relieve the pain and gloom of Memorial Day. Outside my flat, families line the seashore with kites to fly and stuff to eat. They are – a MASSIVE gunboat with enough firepower on its own do destroy all of Israel and most of Jordan just sailed by my window.Sorry. They are awaiting the Air Force parade – and here they come; a chunky Boeing and three sleek, menacing, wolf-grey F-16, Stars-of-David emblazoned on the underside of their wings. Them flying over my balcony is as close as me and my friends, living as we do on the “nice side of the fence“, will hopefully ever encounter these planes in action. Got nothing against the families having a nice day out in the sun and watching big machines zoom through the April air, but the whole set-up is giving me the creeps – merely by staying their course for another 2 minutes, the boys that just flew over my head could be vaporizing unarmed police cadets from miles on high before I finish typing up this post. Which I should, by the way, as time is pressing on. Without further ado, then, here are the highlights of the week:
- The best news of the week is that we at Causeway have finally got the go-ahead to bring TIDES over to Israel. TIDES are a fantastic Northern Irish mediation training organization that we hope will do a lot of work here in the future. You can read more on the Causeway blog.
- The most disconcerting development of the week is the ongoing arrests of New Profile activists. New Profile are a brilliant organization that had probably saved more lives every week than your average jingo IDF recruitment hack does in his entire career. Their method is simple – they are counseling people who wish to stay out of the army (which loses more soldiers to suicide than to conflict, mind). There’s an op-ed of mine hopefully coming up today so I’ll stop here, but you can read this news-piece about the protest being organized in the meantime
- The most infuriating development is that the policemen who murdered a 17-years-old Palestinian in Hebron in 2002 by throwing him off a speeding Jeep (he was clutching to the doors and begging them not to; they threw him anyway and recorded it on camera), are getting a preposterous sentence of 4.5 to 8.5 years for manslaughter. Yep. 4.5 to 8.5 years.
- And on a lighter note, the award for the damned silliest slogan of the New Israeli Left goes to the Tel Aviv May Day Parade Coalition.