Archive for January, 2009

Change I Believe In

This probably won’t come as a surprise to Israelis, but I feel it is worth noting because it has received little coverage in the United States: While much of the world predictably condemns Israel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has voiced her strong support for Israel’s military action, as described here by the Jerusalem Post:

Merkel placed the blame for Israel’s military operation squarely on Hamas’s rocket attacks and stressed that Israel has the right to defend its territory and citizens. “The terror of Hamas cannot be accepted,” said Merkel in her New Year’s address. According to her spokesman Thomas Steg on Monday, she said in a conversation with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that the responsibility for the conflict lies “clearly and exclusively” with Hamas. Merkel demanded that Hamas “immediately and permanently” stop its rocket attacks on Israel.

The article goes on to explain that Merkel has been fiercely attacked by the German left for supporting Israel.


Israeli Soldiers’ Hats

Every time I see photos (like this one) of Israeli soldiers going into battle…

israeli soldier helmets

…I can’t help but asking a very trivial question- what is that helmet-cover, the thing which looks like a chef’s hat (or oversized shower cap)?

Well, according to this article in Slate, it’s called a mitznefet, and is used to camouflage the helmet, making its appearance less distinctive and noticeable. Now you know.

As for more substantive thoughts about the current situation, Charles Krauthammer nails it as usual.


Palestinian Split?

Well this is interesting. The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, whose blogging on Israel I always enjoy, notes this development:

I’ve been talking to friends of mine, former Palestinian Authority intelligence officials (ejected from power by the Hamas coup), and they tell me that not only are they rooting for the Israelis to decimate Hamas, but that Fatah has actually been assisting the Israelis with targeting information.

For a brief lesson on the recent history of Gaza, and why the current violence is solely attributable to Hamas, I refer you to this column from Ephraim Sneh, chairman of the Israeli political party Yisrael Hazakah (Strong Israel).


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