Route #443 is a major road from the northern area of Jerusalem down to the coast. It also traverses the Palestinian area of the West Bank, and Israel's Supreme Court ordered it to be open to Palestinians. The IDF complied, to an extent, but not so much that we ever see a Palestinian license plate on the road.
Whenever the Palestinians become aroused, Route #443 becomes a place for stone throwing, and some shooting. It's heavily patrolled, but the jeeps can't be everywhere all the time.
We use it when things appear calm, but not at 2 AM, when there was an incident of stones, fire bombs, and shooting, and injuries to Israeli and overseas travellers.
An IDF patrol happened on the incident when it was still occurring, and began a response.
Those injured and captured were among the guilty, but a 15year old Palestinian was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Or at least that's what his family claimed. Yet families virtually always claim that a member could not have been involved.
His death may go down as one of the things that are not fair, and has been touted as more than that by Palestinian and other activists. Their slogan has become non-judicial executions by Israeli soldiers, and a policy pursued by the Israeli government.
Skeptics can wonder about a young teenager wandering around at 2 AM, who somehow found himself alongside other young Palestinians who were throwing stones, fire bombs, and shooting at passing cars.
Shit happens in warfare, and Israel has been involved in at least low-level warfare since it's inception, with numerous spurts of much greater intensity. Currently it seems to be ratcheting down from a modest spurt, but predictions are always dicey.
Riling the news and politics is the case of the soldier who was on the sidelines of an incident, then shot dead a Palestinian who had been seriously wounded, was inert and waiting his turn in an ambulance. Israelis divide between thinking the soldier was justified, those thinking he deserves some years in prison, and those waiting for the issue to go away.
Also maiming the political environment is the presumptive &President& of Palestine, who blames Israel for everything, and pledges his own worthiness in the presence of western politicians, who nod their own heads and provide some non-committal words in response.
Now the British have voted to shock themselves and the rest of us with what looks like an administrative and financial nightmare. The gap was too wide for what may not have been possible in Britain, ie, a Chicago correction of the tally, of the kind that Richard Daley used to give John Kennedy the presidency.
European rightists are in their own heaven, hoping for a spillover close to their own homes, and seeing the vote as a response to past and current waves of migrants. Britain for the British, and Europe for the Europeans may be the appropriate headlines, with at least some well-off Jews and others remembering parents or grandparents migrating as refugees.
This may go down as one of the momentous decisions of all time, or simply find some kind of finale which keeps most things the way they were. Britain never was fully European, in staying out of the Euro zone. Among the early guesses is an accommodation similar to Norway's. That country's people voted themselves out of the European Union, but the government negotiated something close to membership. Currently commentators from Britain and the Continent are speaking in many tongues, with dire predictions about politics and finance, and lots of ideas about minimizing the shocks. It'll take awhile till we know how much it will cost us and others.
Twenty-one Israel children have died from heat when forgotten in cars sine 2008. Israeli law provides for up to several years in jail for parents who mistreat or neglect their children, but killing through inattention seems to carry no penalty. It is conventional to say that the loss of a child, or children, as in one recent case of two toddlers dying when Dad was doing something else, is punishment enough.
One occurrence involved a young ultra-Orthodox couple, who were invited to a Knesset committee and treated with respect and sympathy. One of the TV channels tried a campaign of holding parents responsible, at least for the crime of manslaughter, but it was countered by a learned rabbi, shown pondering a text, and claiming that sages held that a incident occurring without intention to harm was not punishable as a crime.
A Bedouin father left two little kids in the car, and emergency medical personnel could not revive them. It is more common for Arabs to kill their little kids by backing over them when leaving the family resident, with lots of toddlers playing here and there. However, both Jews and Arabs kill by inattention, and receive more pity than punishment.
In Israel's distant past, authorities in some hospitals thought that the babies of recent Yemenite immigrants would be better off with other families. Every few years the issue has come to the headlines, sometimes with Yemeni looking adults raised by Ashkenazi families overseas looking for their real parents, and Israelis of Yemenite origins saying that a nurse told them--or their parents--that a baby had died, but that no one in the family ever saw a body.
Years ago the government commissioned an investigation into the matter, but it has never made an official report. Now one is promised before the end of the year, but skeptics are doubtful. Reports are that at least a thousand Yemenite babies went missing.
There are also stories of misplaced paternalism with respect to a more recent wave of Ethiopian immigrants, ie, medical personnel injecting unsuspecting women with drugs to prevent pregnancy.
After six years, Israel and Turkey have agreed to normalize relations. The agreement is complex, and there is a lot to oppose. Is there reason to pay compensation to the families of the blockade runners killed while opposing with violence the IDF personnel who boarded their ship? And should Israel have failed to insist on the return of one civilian who wandered into Gaza, and the bodies of two soldiers killed in the 2014 Gaza operation? Yet Turkey also ratcheted down from its demands. The blockade on Gaza will remain, and Israel will benefit again from normal relations with one of the Middle East's most important countries.
We've known forever that government and its personnel are imperfect.
Israeli officials include the good, bad, and ugly, perhaps no worse a mix than in other democracies. The establishment also provides--as in other places--a lively media, socially alert academics, and assorted activists capable of organizing at a moment's notice. It ain't perfect, but it's impossible to be ugly for long without someone noticing.
It could be worse. Donald Trump is not running for office here.