Saturday May 18, 2013
Remember the Cold War?
And the crises focused on Berlin and missiles in Cuba?
Could we be on the cusp of a comparable crisis focused on Syria?
Among the unanswered questions is the relative weight of Israel in the thinking and threatening being done by the US and Russia.
This, too, is not new. Israel figured in American and Russian thinking about the other great power in 1956 and 1973.
Both Israel and the...
Thursday May 16, 2013
The holiday of Shavuot provided a pleasant respite from the excessive excitement of this country.
Instead of the usual drone of disaster and dispute in the media, there were tasty festivities heavy on cheese filled caseroles topped off with cheese cake.
The relative quiet, for everything but my aging arteries, was only for a day. The media and generators of e-mail more than made up for it by the early morning of the day after...
Monday May 13, 2013
The latest numbers about the two year old Syrian civil war are 80,000 deaths, one million refugees over the borders in Jordan, Turkey, and Lebanon, and a total of four million displaced Syrians either over the borders or away from their homes in Syria.
As always, we must be suspicious about round numbers published by organizations with an interest in portraying the carnage. Nonetheless, by all the indications, the death, dislocation...
Friday May 10, 2013
Israel's current discussion is providing its lessons in the politics of economics and the economics of politics.
Political economy is the name of the game.
It is not really a discussion we are having. It's more like simultanteous complaints, expressed as close to the top of one's voice as appropriate to the short and pithy sentences designed for radio or television.
They come in response to proposed cuts in government...
Wednesday May 08, 2013
On Sunday the vast bulk of Israel's media was about Syria.
By Tuesday, it had shifted to the budget that Finance Minister Yair Lapid would present to the government.
The background was a sizable deficit in the budgets of recent years, and a greater deficit projected for the present year if there would be no cuts in spending and/or increases in income. One of the international bond agencies reduced Israel's credit rating.
Explanations for the...