Foreign observers can be forgiven for thinking Israel is teetering on the edge of a slope that will drop it to its destruction. (Some hoping gleefully, others fearing the worst). I'm not even going to collect any links, since you've all seen lots of them on your way over here; there are piles of them everywhere.
Though this particular article, by Gadi Taub who is a very reasonable and respectable Israeli observer, is worth reading. His thesis: Netanyahu and Barak are managing things so extremely poorly that the world is now convinced that Hamas is the victim, and Israel the aggressor; in Taub's opinion this is an existential threat for Israel. He's spot on about our leaders, and all wrong about the existential threat. (h/t Norm)
May I cautiously suggest that if the threat was so existential, we'd not be so up in arms about our Haredi cousins, see the previous post?
Yesterday the number crunchers announced that the economy is growing even faster than expected, and the initial forecasts weren't bad compared to the rest of the developed world. If the economy is booming, where is the falling apart supposed to come from? A society tearing itself apart, perhaps?
Last night we were at a wedding, an event which convenes hundreds of people from various camps, most of whom don't know most of the others, and has them collaborate on making a memorable event for two young folks to cherish for the next fifty or seventy years. We got there from the side of the groom, though our original connection is through his stepmother. The groom's family is from Georgia (in the Caucus, not the American South) but they've been here for a century or so. The stepmother's family used to be Old Yishuv, which means Ashkenazi Haredis who have been here for 200 years, or 300, or who knows how long. Most of their descendants are of course mainstream Israelis, not Haredi. The bride's family were mostly Yemenite, who came here either in the late 1880s, or in the 1940s, or both. The rabbi was North African.
The bride is a number cruncher, the groom a lawyer, and his father, if you're into cool stories, is an engineer whose company sells world-class special equipment in outlandish places like Columbia Germany and Pakistan. If you've ever heard stories about how Israeli society is divided along discriminatory ethnic lines, the wedding would have been a bracing experience.
The most interesting part for me was the music. The band offered the whole gamut, from a few hassidic tunes, through the standard modern-orthodox religious music, all the way into Yemenite music, some of it with Greek overtones. Most of it had been adapted to sound like Mizrachi music, irrespective of its origin. At one point, however, the band did a solid 15 minutes of a Yemenite dance, and the Yemenite celebrators, teenagers to grandfathers, responded in an intricate set of steps that I wasn't even able to capture as an observer; with the exception of the groom's family, none of us non-Yemenite tried to join.
I'll bet 98% of the guests have never heard of the Guardian, not would they care one way or the other if an aggrieved columnist there thinks that past English crimes have enable the greater crimes of present day Zionism. She and her ilk do not touch upon their lives in measurable way. (h/t Hawkeye for that laugh).