Monday, 19 November 2018

Stop the (Brexit) Bomb

In yesterday’s Guardian, Margaret Thatcher’s Deputy Prime Minister, Michael Heseltine, writes about three times in his life in which he has lived through “momentous history”.  Heseltine refers to the 1939 announcement by Neville Chamberlain that Britain is at war with Germany, the 1945 street party in London, when “delirious crowds celebrate the end of the second world war” and finally in Berlin in 1961, when the Russians closed the wall.

In his article, Heseltine – who calls for another vote on Brexit – speaks of the third week of November 2018 as another “encounter with history of our time”. 
Before it is too late: Those in Britain who oppose Brexit should cause the necessary discomfort – strikes and any other legal means – to enforce a second referendum.  

Mind your language

A friend posted the following on his Facebook wall:
Four years ago today, two Palestinian Arab murderers entered a synagogue during morning prayers in Har Nof, and brutally slaughtered the praying congregants with axes, knives, and a gun.
They killed praying Jews and one heroic police officer, a Druze, who died taking down the terrorists.

Some tend to describe nationalistic killings of Israelis that are carried out by Palestinians as anti-Jewish acts. This serves to instil the feeling that we have a phenomenon akin to Antisemitic pogroms of the Christian kind. This is both wrong and misleading.

Murder is terrible, whether brutal or not. It is even terrible when those who have drones at their disposal carry it out from the luxury of their comfortable faraway operation centres.

There are Palestinians who use murder in their fight against Israel and against the occupation their land. This is unpardonable, but we should not confuse the issues: This is not about killing Jews in their Synagogues but about fighting occupation.  Deplorable but not Antisemitic.  

Green Card Lottery

Last week I was in Chicago for a few days. It was wonderful to visit an old friend of my parents, I also met one of her sons, as well as the son of another of my parents’ friends, went to a delightful jam session in a jazz club and ate an amazing steak. When distances were too long to walk, I used Uber in order to get from place to place in that beautiful city.

Conversations with drivers are a well-known means of informing one-self about a country/city/political situation etc. And thus, I had some interesting conversations with my drivers. Invariably they were immigrants and when it came to the question how they had managed to come to the US, the response was often that they had applied for a visa in the Green Card Lottery and won. I recall having had the same experience on previous visits to the USA.

The Green Card Lottery, the real name of which is “Diversity Immigrant Visa Program”, makes available 50,000 visas annually. Do they all become Uber drivers? Or is that a now established “get off my back and don’t ask me whether I am legal” response?