Sunday, June 17, 2007, 10:49 AM - PersonalI’m going to break the first rule for someone who is writing a professional blog, and talk just a bit about politics. I guess a few of my readers are aware that I’m an Israeli and a few of those few (hopefully few X few > 0) might have even wondered what is my take on the current situation. After all, people I meet often ask me about it, but having no idea whether they do it out of politeness or just because they have nothing better to talk about during lunch, I try to avoid the gory details. Especially since I have a tendency of becoming quite boring when I talk about these issues…
But here I can be as boring as I want too, and believe me that I will. After all, at any point you can go easily back to those fascinating pieces of SystemVerilog code on my front page.
So here it is in a nutshell: I’m an extremely-pessimist extreme-left guy. I used to be a part of the optimist less-extremist left, then a part of the optimist extreme-left. A year or two ago the optimism was gone. In part, this is what drove me out of Israel. I simply believe Israel is going towards a dead end.
Let’s face it, Israel’s democracy (if there ever was such a thing) is quickly heading down the drain. We’ve been ruling 3 million people that are deprived of the most basic human rights for four decades now; The west bank is criss-crossed with wall fragments, roads for jews only, army check points and expending settlements on stolen lands. Government policy is dictated by military and generals, as was demonstrated in the last war in Lebanon, and as demonstrated almost on a daily basis in the occupied territories. Palestinians are continuously harassed by settlers, but no one is ever brought to trial. Free press is now just an empty word describing a troop of army cheer-leaders: Most of our prominent “journalists” were the first ones to support the war in Lebanon last summer, and as soon as the unhappy results became evident, the first to switch sides and shout that heads should fall. The courts have long fallen in military hands: Tali Pahima’s sentence and Azmi Bashara’s cooked up allegations are just some known example out of many. Whenever they weakly object, as in the case of torture of suspects or of soldiers using Palestinians as human shields, their decisions are simply ignored.
But all of these, depressing as they are, are not the real reason for my pessimism. The real reason is that I now finally understand that we can win the war against the Palestinians. Moreover, I’m now pretty sure that we will. The common belief, in the Israeli left, as well as among many others, is that you can’t win a war against people who are fighting to redeem themselves from foreign rule. I now realize this belief is simply ungrounded. It has some strong cases to support it such as Afghanistan, Vietnam, Algiers or Israel under the British rule, but quite a few that go against it as well, like Tibet or the Basque land. The fact that it is a bit harder to find other names only goes to prove that losers are quickly forgotten, but nothing else.
Would I prefer that Isreal loses this war? Yes I would. Before my Israeli readers have a chance to say the word traitor, let me explain. Sometimes when you’re making stupid or criminal decisions, somebody has got to put some sense into your head. States, like the people that lead them, often make cruel and idiotic decisions, and loosing in a war is a good way to convince them they were wrong. Would the Germans be happier under a Nazi regime now? Would the French be so much better of if they still had Algier? The Americans if they were still occupying Vietnam? Sometimes the battlefield can serve as a good lesson to the limits of power. Israel itself has learned one or two lessons this way: before the Yom Kipur war we arrogantly refused the same peace proposal that we accepted several years afterwards. We’ve also learned something in Lebanon last summer that we will not quickly forget…the next government will take more then a couple of hours to think before they put Hizballa to the test. And if you ask me, that’s a good thing.
But now in the Palestenian side, the story is quite different, simply because we are way stronger then them, and they have no external support at all. Everyone who has a say, be it the US, the EU or the Arab League, simply could not care less, and I have a strong feeling that things will remain this way. There is simply no one that really likes the Palestinians these days: the Arab states never really cared about them, the US sees red when it sees the green flags of Islam, and the EU states, I believe, are not big fans of Islam as well, although they would have us believe it because they are more PC. However, a closer look into the obstacles the EU puts in front of Turkey, or into the attitude towards Muslim immigrants almost everywhere, makes it clear that under the hood, they are really not that far from the opinions voiced in the US. If you need a further proof remember that the Palestinian Authority is currently under international boycott which prevents any aids or money transfers and which no one, including the EU, has the courage to break.
In luck of external support and under an almost complete occupation, the Palestinians are simply breaking down. The elite is gradually packing up and moving to countries where they can lead normal lives. No one can really blame them for that. Those that can’t move out, try to move inside the territories to areas where army and settlers pressure is smaller. This is how the old town of Al-Halil/Hevron, which used to be populated by around 30000 people, turned into a ghost town in a matter of a few years. Palestinian society and economy are collapsing – people in Gaza or Jerusalem can’t see relatives from other parts of the west bank for months and years, the leadership is gradually fading away, and the whole ex-PA is gradually turning into a complete anarchy, in a quite similar way to what is happening in Iraq. The ongoing civil war, into which Israel will soon become drawn as well in the false hope of making some easy gains, is just another proof that things are heading the wrong way.
Which for me, means only one simple thing: that Israel will continue going down the slippery slide of becoming an apartheid state. The settlers and the army will continue to push, the Palestinians will become weaker and more divided among themselves, the pressure against internal opposition and Arab members of parliament will continue to grow. And any decent man will find Israel a harder and harder place to live in.
And personally I find that quite sad, because Israel is my real home after all.
Saturday, April 28, 2007, 12:29 AM - PersonalI just got an email from a guy named Raven who runs a website and would like link to me from his page. A quick search on the internet showed that he's been running a website named www.myairshoes.com, dedicated to Nike Air. I learned there for example, that Nike are about to release a superbly ugly Nike Air Oktoberfest version...what this has got to do with verification, only god knows, but I guess [s]he does because after a few more minutes of searching I learned that Raven is a "21 year old Christian blogger", and that he's been sending similar emails to a whole bunch of websites, with diverse interests ranging from lesbian rights and old french armoires. I also found the following quite funny reply to his sort of standard email...I hope these guys will not ask me to provide the same stuff...
As you can see, its Saturday morning and I've got a lot of time on my hands.
Sunday, March 18, 2007, 12:12 PM - PersonalHave you ever asked yourself how you can return me a favor for all the great stuff I've been writing for you? well, here's your chance to break even...if you know someone who would like to rent a cool place in Munich, preferably 2+ rooms + balcony in a relatively central area, available before 15/5/07, next to a top-model who just got seperated, be sure to drop me a line. I would definitely hold it for you when the day comes!
Also, sprechen sie deutsch? suchen sie ein cool conversation partner to discuss verification methodologies? I can talk to you in English, French or Hebrew in return...