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If there hadn't been a war here I would have gone to hear Neil Young on July 17 in Tel Aviv. The show was cancelled. Instead on July 17, in the evening I finished this painted which I have titled Crazy Horse--in honour of Neil Young. Crazy Horse is an American rock band best known for their association with Neil Young. Beginning in 1969 and continuing to the present day, they have been co-credited on a number of Young's albums, with 11 studio albums and numerous live albums being billed as by "Neil Young and Crazy Horse". They have also released five studio albums of their own, all issued between 1971 and 1989..
artwork by Rhonda Spivak

Editor's report: News and notes from israel on Day 20 of the War

by Rhonda Spivak, July 27, 2014

A few thoughts on Day 20 of the war here:
1. Best News of the day:


IDF broadcasts anti-Hamas rhetoric on Gaza TV, radio:


Israeli Channel 2 reports that the IDF takes over the TV stations and radio stations in the Gaza Strip to broadcast anti-Hamas messages, Channel 2 reports. The army edits footage from Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal and the Hamas spokesman to transmit rhetoric that rails against the terror organization.

That's smart. Especially since the Washington Institute reported on July 15 that notwithstanding Hamas rejected an Egyptian proposed ceasefire and continued to fire rockets indiscriminately "the people of Gaza are solidly against these Hamas policies. Indeed, by a very large majority, they oppose Hamas rule altogether."



2. Reminder of the Day: As John Kerry leaves the region, leaving both Israel and the PA's Abbas criticizing his Hamas friendly approach to a ceasefire, it's worth remembering that the United States does not always know what is best for the region. 


Case in point: Remember it was the United States that insisted that Hamas be allowed to run in 2006 elections in Gaza against Fatah in the first place (rather than disallowing them from running since they were a terror group not committed to democracy) on the naive and stupid assumption that Hamas wouldn't win.  And then Hamas won and there hasn't been an election in Gaza since.


As for Kerry, I think it's a relief that he left the region. More not less will be accomplished re a potential ceasefire when he's not here (but I don't expect Israel to enter a ceasefire until they've destroyed the rest of the tunnels which will take a few more days at least). And it's interesting isn't it that now that Kerry has failed, Obama seems to have issued his clearest call yet for the demilitarization of Gaza. And it's also interesting to see how the U.S. is now trying to distance themselves from Kerry's handiwork: As Times of Israel reports, "A senior U.S. official says U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s ceasefire proposal was just a confidential draft to be used for deliberations."


3.  Reasons not to go to the Jerusalem Central Bus Station.


About 9-10 days ago, I went to Jerusalem Central bus station, and after eating at a restaurant there I realized I had forgotten one of my bags on the arm of the chair. I was about to rush up the escalator to get it, when I was stopped by a security guard saying the upper level of the Central Bus Station was closed off since there was a “Hafetz Hashood", a suspicious package (i.e. a possible bomb.) I felt terrible and told the guard that I had left my bag by mistake, described it to him, and he let me rush upstairs to see if it was my bag that was being assessed as the suspicious package. I got to the restaurant and was momentarily very relieved to have found my bag. But my relief was very short lived, since I realized that since my bag wasn't the suspicious one, there must have been another unattended bag around, which meant that there was a bomb scare and I should get the hell out of there. Since they had closed off the upper floor escalators I couldn't run down them and instead had to dash around between hundreds of people until I found the stairs at the other end to get off the third floor. 


After the bomb scare was over, I had to go to the washroom---me and everyone else around! It costs one shekel to use the toilets at the Central Bus station and there is a turnstyle entry. The problem is that if someone ahead of you in line can't find one shekel in their bag  and inevitably that happens as it did while I was in line ) the line doesn't move forward ! Imagine a line of people fishing through their bags to find an extra shekel to give to the needy person so that they line can keep moving. 


Memo to myself: Avoid central bus stations during war time.  But if you must get there, don't stop for food or drink and take plenty of extra one shekalim coins.

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Rhonda Spivak, Editor

Publisher: Spivak's Jewish Review Ltd.

Opinions expressed in letters to the editor or articles by contributing writers are not necessarily endorsed by Winnipeg Jewish Review.