Do we have a government? Could be. Kadima and Avoda (Labor) cobble together an agreement, but that still leaves Livni short of the votes needed to claim a coalition government, and the clock is ticking. If she can’t pull a coalition together by the end of October, the whole thing collapses and we go for elections in 90 days, and then the coalition scheming begins anew. What a waste. I’m actually rooting for Livni and I hope that she can put something together that won’t be so diverse that it prevents her from getting anything done.
Akko riots continue: On Yom Kippur, Tawfiq Jamal drove through a Jewish neighborhood. To understand the enormity of this, you have to understand that Yom Kippur is our holiest day, and even totally secular Israeli Jews refrain from driving. The roads become safe playgrounds for millions of kids on bikes, roller blades, skateboards, etc. Many Jews who don’t attend services in beit knesset (synagogue) all year still make a point of showing up for Kol Nidre services on erev Yom Kippur. Many fast.
Anyhow, Jamal may have innocently been trying to get home, as he claims, but his actions triggered riots that have been going on now for four nights. Akko, a city that is mixed Jewish and Arab, has a long history of violence. It is like a peat fire—smoldering under the surface and ready to reignite at the slightest provocation. There has been some Jewish backlash against Arabs, but it is interesting to note that all of the 14 people hospitalized have been Jewish, including a young man who may lose an eye. The idea that Jews walking to beit knesset get attacked both verbally and physically in Israel! What the hell is going on?
Arab leaders denounce the Arab rioters, but Akko’s mayor blames the police for not making more arrests. I tend to agree. When you have a handful of hotheads on both sides, you have to stop the problem before it escalates. This is an ongoing problem in a city where most of the 50,000 residents coexist fairly well on a daily basis. But the violence often flares up during holidays, such as the beit knesset that was firebombed last year and during Simchat Torah, and the attacks and riots the year before.
We used to have our offices in Akko, and I still go there almost every week to take the train. It makes me sad to think that a handful of hotheads can do so much damage. Here are some comments from residents. Now Palestinians are rioting “in support” of Arabs in Akko and calling Jamal a hero, while he himself has apologized and claims that he had no political motives in his actions. What a mess.
Naughty Dog update: She just ate part of my favorite hat. Anyone want a dog, slightly used?