I’ve tried to enjoy schlepping water, thinking that it serves to keep us to some human roots.
Annoyances and upsets with the iPhone 4S have been more than offset by its screen, the silkiness of its surfaces, the camera, and the third-party market for both software and hardware.
After they finished watching the Bond movies, I figured the next series John Gruber and Dan Benjamin would discuss on The Talk Show would be Stanley Kubrick’s oeuvre. But Gruber refused — too personal for podcasting, he said. Disappointed, I rewatched 2001.
Instead of acknowledging the wisdom of leading from behind, the Right jumped on the Obama administration’s handling of Libya as yet another example of at best incompetence. They lost me there.
Steve Jobs we lost at the age of 56; when Frank Lloyd Wright reached that age it was still only 1923, the time of merely his second comeback with Tokyo’s Imperial Hotel.
It’s amazing, given the adulation he enjoyed elsewhere, that the Israeli public knew from the start not to trust this US President.
Nobody from usesthis.com has asked me what my setup us, nor is likely to anytime soon. So I’m just going to mouth off here about it. But first, some background.
On the Leon Wieseltier/Andrew Sullivan spat, Walter Russell Mead seems to want to have his strudel and eat it too.
Defeat in the Olympics bid may focus the mind in the Oval Office where it should be: Afghanistan.
There’s nothing else around here except empty desolate pretty hills. The Israel Trail passes by a bit to the west. It’s a hot July Wednesday morning. Things are reasonably busy. The shops are mostly franchises, almost all homegrown — Super-Pharm, Aroma, Tzomet Sfarim, Cup O’ Joe’s, LaMetayel, Mega, Fox, Castro, H&O.
esterday I wrote that Hamas’ breaching of Gaza’s border with Egypt is a great success for Israel. Caroline Glick, the strident Jerusalem Post columnist, seems however to see it instead as yet another in a string of strategic disasters by incompetent Israeli leaders. But I’m not convinced of her arguments. That is to say, I probably would be if she made any.
Her piece’s title, ‘Is Livni the Answer’, has nothing to do with events at the Gaza-Egypt border, even though its entire first half is focused solely on them. Ms. Glick appears more sure-footed in condemning the possibility of Tzipi Livni replacing Ehud Olmert as prime minister than in condemning the events of this historic day. Yet the Gaza border breach is a much bigger story than the Herzlia Livni speech; why entitle the piece about her? The staff at the ‘Post can’t be blamed for slapping on the title after the fact because Ms Glick uses it on her own web site.
The piece then launches into, well, little more than innuendo:
Tuesday Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had his first reported telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. … Their conversation brought immediate results. Wednesday Mubarak allowed Hamas to take control of the international border between Egypt and Gaza.
The implication here is that Egypt and Iran colluded to have Hamas breach the border — and if both Egypt and Iran wanted this to happen, then it can’t be good for Israel. But we have no way of knowing what transpired during that phonecall. Perhaps Iran was just sounding out Egypt for weakness, heard it, and suggested to Hamas that now’s a good time to breach Egypt’s sovereignty. We just don’t know. Nor does Ms. Glick provide a conceivable Egyptian interest in opening its border to Gaza and enabling Hamas and their Muslim Brotherhood co-believers to intermingle at will, a none-too-delightful prospect for Mubarak’s regime.
Ms. Glick also neglects to mention that Israel shut off Gaza’s electricity temporarily this week for the first time, making it a far more likely — though again, unprovable — scenario that the border events took place because Hamas, a paramilitary Islamist revolutionary movement saddled with the responsibility of actually having to govern, is more comfortable as a nicely-armed gang than a city council, and has been waiting for a pretext to lift the lid off the pressure cooker that is Gaza, and found that pretext in Israel’s brief sanctions.
But never mind whether Israel’s enemies consider the breached border good for them; never mind if they planned it, synchronized it or even choreographed it with Disney characters to a Gershwin tune. Is the breached border actually good for Israel? Ms Glick does address this question, but briefly and incompletely:
Many claim that Hamas’s aim of attaching Gaza to the rest of the Arab world by opening its border with Egypt is good for Israel because it allows Israel to disengage completely from Gaza. And there is some truth to this claim. With an open border with Egypt, Gazans will be far less dependent on Israel. To a degree this may help Israel to ease international pressure on it to continue to support Gaza…
This is disingenuous. The mass events at the border help Israel not merely in public relations or by easing some financial burdens, if any, but at the highest strategic level. The Palestinian national movement is hobbling itself. The Gazan Palestinians are demonstrating not only to others but to themselves that their destiny lies unavoidably with Egypt. Ms Glick does not come anywhere close to even hinting about such ramifications.
Then we have a few paragraphs that descend into pointlessness. Ms Glick explains that Hamas wants to conquer the West Bank as well, and Fatah is powerless to stop them, and as Fatah loses ground to Hamas it tries to stave off the inevitable by sounding increasingly like Hamas. All this may be quite true but it has nothing to do with the border breach. “Hamas’s border takeover was synchronized to take place at the same time as Hamas leaders were meeting with their Palestinian and Lebanese jihadist counterparts at an anti-peace conference in Damascus,” she writes, but so what? Who cares if it was synchronized? Maybe it was synchronized so that the leaders need not witness the ignominious sight of their flock clamoring to get out. Or maybe it wasn’t synchronized at all.
And that’s it. From there we turn to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni’s speech at the Herzliya Conference and her abysmal performance as foreign minister. A momentous event has just occurred but rather than giving it full attention and explaining its meaning and significance, Caroline Glick has instead sidelined it to provide yet another rather pointless attack on a senior Kadima politician. Could this be because something good has come of the disengagement policy that Ms Glick vehemently opposed, something she’d therefore rather not look at directly?
Israel’s Greatest Victory Since Osirak