Barry Lynn
Intersection of Science and Policy

Peaceful, but sad hills

The peaceful, but sad hills of Gush Etzion. (Barry Lynn)

It is with great sadness that I write this blog.  The beauty and peacefulness of our Gush Etzion hills are now marred with great sadness.  It’s a poignant reminder of the dark times that occurred during “Arafat’s War,” misnamed, in my opinion, as the “Second Intifada.”   Two members of the Dee family are now dead (and the third critically wounded), and I am left in my own sadness, shared by many others.

Since this is first a weather blog, I should mention that our unusual late winter-like weather will return soon.  A typical spring time low will move northeast of us on Monday, and as it does it will bring some scattered thundershowers on Monday.  Hence, hiking in the wadis and riverbeds is strongly not advised.  A weak cold front will follow, and a stronger front will move through on Tuesday.  This front is associated with a strong winter storm moving past Cyprus on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Heavy rain and possibly “moderate gale” winds will occur on Wednesday into Thursday.  Heavy snow is expected on the Hermon.

Very cold temperatures at 500 mb will pass over us during this time, meaning strong thunderstorms with hail are likely.  Temperatures should moderate on Thursday as the rain comes to an end.  Mild temperatures next week could still bring some showers.

Like the weather, where life will lead us is never certain.  Sometimes, we’re saved by miracles (like the time our kids’ stroller rolled away), and other times we’re not.  Sometimes, a miracle needs a little help from us — a little care and concern can go a long way towards ensuring our safety when a potential disaster strikes.

The previous government encountered a deteriorating security situation.  Their efforts, despite bringing the fight (briefly) to the terrorists was not enough.  With the advent of the new government (about 100 days ago), the security situation has now gone from bad to terrible.

To prevent the security deterioration, one would have hoped that the government would have been highly focused on developing a plan to end the terror wave.  However, it was not to be.

Instead, the government proposed laws to enable a Knesset Member previously convicted of financial crimes to serve as the Minister of Finance.  It proposed a law to enable Knesset Members to receive money gifts.  It proposed to politicize the National Library. Our Prime Minister fired his Chauffeurs because they drove the previous Prime Minister.  Our new Minister of Public Security proposed that Palestinians prisoners would no longer be given the “privilege” of baking their own pitas.   Then there was the proposed bill to make it a crime (prison and a fine) to dress immodestly at the Kotel (Western Wall).

If that were not enough (Dayenu!),  our government’s Prime Minister and his ministers attention has been taken by the proposed bills to eviscerate the court and prevent any judicial reviews of Knesset laws.

With all that one could and should conclude that the attention of the Prime Minister and his government has been elsewhere!

In fact, our Prime Minister, known colloquially as “Mr. Security” has recently fired his Defense Minister for publicly stating that the government’s policies were and are harming our security.

As 20+ years ago and now, pinpoint strikes against terrorists will not stop our enemies.  For, as it says in the Haggadah, in every generation there arises someone (or  more) who mean us all harm.  It’s been twenty years since the last war, and those fighting now believe that they will be the ones to finally send the Jews of Israel into the Mediterranean Sea.

In my opinion, we can only dissuade them by launching another “Defensive Shield,” but I have grave doubts that our Prime Minister and his government are capable of exercising such an operation.  They would first need to ask what they can do for their country, rather than for themselves.

About the Author
Dr. Barry Lynn has a PhD in Environmental and Atmospheric Sciences. He has an undergraduate degree in Biology. He is a researcher/lecturer at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is the CTO of Weather It Is, LTD, a weather forecasting and consulting company.
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