We here in Israel don’t really ever expect things to go smoothly, but there are situations that are simply not smooth and others that are maddeningly perverse or breathtakingly ugly. But before I get to these, I begin with some good news that can provide a perspective.
As those of you who have traveled to and from Israel and used Israel’s Ben Gurion Airport know, there is a long corridor – complete with a traveling walkway – at one point on the way to the gates, which feature large posters along the wall on one side.
Those posters are replaced every so often. Now, and for the next year, there will be a very special set of posters on display:
“Israeli Discoveries and Developments that Influenced the World” sponsored by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Space.
Each of over 50 posters represents an Israeli scientific innovation, discovery, or, in a couple of instances, historical connection. Below here I provide a link for seeing all of the posters. Put your pointer over a selected poster, and an identifying caption will appear. Click twice and you will be navigated to an explanation of that discovery or innovation or connection. You’ll see everything from repair of heart tissue utilizing algae; to development of new citrus strains for desert climates; to a new method of recruiting immune cells to fight cancer; to development of the disk-on-key; to discovery in the Gulf of Eilat of a new invertebrate marine organism (an ascidian species).
The posters themselves (which are copyrighted) are gorgeous. And as you explore you will learn a great deal about what is going on here. Enjoy:
Other positive news:
At the site of an archaeological excavation in the City of David (the original Jerusalem of King David):
a 2,500 year old seal, from First Temple times, has been discovered:
This again reinforces the fact of the Jewish presence in the Land over the millennia.
What makes this particular seal even more special is that the name written on it in ancient Hebrew is a woman’s name: Elihana Bat Gael. Such seals were used for signing documents and this one belonging to a woman seems to indicate that she had the legal status to conduct business independently and to own property – a rarity in those times.
The Kuwaiti daily Al-Jarida, citing a high level source, reported on Saturday that Putin has decided to freeze Russia’s shipment of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran.
According to the source, this was because Putin had evidence provided by Israel that Iran had transferred the adhttp://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4774679,00.htmlvanced Russian-made SA-22 surface-to-air missile system to Hezbollah on repeated occasions. This was in spite of a pledge by Iran not to transfer sophisticated weaponry to Hezbollah. The intelligence from Israel was corroborated by Russian pilots flying missions over Syria and Lebanon who have reported that their radar systems detected advanced surface-to-air missile systems in Hezbollah-controlled areas.
A week ago, the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council – Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar – named Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
It is pretty clear that the antipathy of these states to Iran, and Iran’s support of Hezbollah, are factors in this decision. But none-the-less this is a good thing for Israel; already Saudi Arabia has blacklisted some companies that have associations with Hezbollah. Our prime minister has said that the Council decision was “very important and even amazing.”
What was indeed exceedingly perverse, however, was the fact that two Arab parties in the Knesset – Balad and Hadash – criticized the Council move. Reasons given were because it inflames the Sunni-Shia conflict, and (I am not making this up) because it is good for Israel.
How long will such enemies of Israel be permitted to sit in the Knesset?
Netanyahu, speaking at a Knesset plenum, retorted that as amazing as the decision of the Council was the response of two parties in the Knesset.
“Will you continue criticizing them when Hezbollah shoots rockets at your villages? Do they differentiate between blood and blood? [Hezbollah] wants to destroy the country, and you’re in the country. Have you gone crazy? Excuse my expression.” (Emphasis added)
If it is reproduced and emphasis is added, the fact that it has been added must be noted.
“We Have Legal Grounds” –