Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wishes for the New Year

As we celebrate the Jewish New Year this week, here are my wishes for the coming year:

1. I wish Israeli politicians and generals would stop making aggressive statements about the perceived intentions of Israel's enemies. This is only likely to provoke a war. The way to achieve peace is for everyone to focus on making peace, with all the compromises this involves. Any talk about war brings it closer.

2. I hope to see progress in various conservation efforts. We live in such a beautiful country, and it is such a shame to see it destroyed by more and more concrete and roads. In particular, I hope the plan to build a large, ugly Navy building in the Haifa port, opposite Haifa's main tourist attractions, is overturned (see photos of the area as it is now, and simulations of what it would look like after construction, based on the plans).

3. I would like to see greater efforts to show the world the positive sides of Israel. There is a real need for a positive public relations effort. There is so much ignorance overseas about what life in Israel is really like, the complexity of Israeli society and the reality of living under constant threat of attack. Let's get some real information out there and hope it helps. I'd like to think that blogs about Israel can make some contribution to this. I am trying to show reality as I see it, though of course I am as subjective as anyone else...

4. It is time for the Israeli public to take a stronger stand against the political corruption that is so common here. I would really like to see politicians accused of corruption actually resign from office rather than saying: "I'm innocent until proven guilty, and all these false accusations are a political plot to destroy me", and remaining in office until the trial (if the case ever reaches trial...).

And on a more personal level, after so many good things have happened to me this year, I only wish for this trend to continue.

Happy New Year!

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