Thursday, December 31, 2009

My predictions for 2010

January - After the failure of Iran to negotiate with the International Community, weak sanctions are applied against it by the UN aiming to prevent it continuing nuclear weapons.

Meanwhile Hamas replies to the Israeli position in regard to its continued holding of Gilad Shalit in captivity, sadly saying he will not be released unless Israel released 1500 prisoners to the West Bank and Gaza. Israel's Government (despit the huge public wish for him to be released) correctly reject this offer, saying they can not allow terrorists to have a change to continue to threaten the people of Israel.

February - I will become a father.

After the failed Christmas bid to blow up an airplane, the US bomb Yemen.
Gordon Brown says he is tackling the terrorism threat in the UK, but meanwhile 1000s of terrorists are preparing in Britain for an attack somewhere in Europe.

March - In their Budget Alistair Darling and Gordon Brown declare that they have saved the UK economy, as the UK achieves growth of 0.3%, meanwhile inflation in the UK starts to rocket.

April - Anti-Government protests in Iran continue to increase, while the Iranian Government announces it is only a year away from having a nuclear bomb. However, the UN fail to agree stonger sanctions agains Iran.

May - The General Election is held in the UK, and the Conservative Party wins a majority of between 30 to 60 seats.

The Palestinian leadership continue to refuse to negotiate with Israel, while the European Union calls on the world to accept a Palestinian State.

Gordon Brown says he wants to carry on with being Labour leader.

June - World Cup fever hits the world and England get knocked out in the quarter finals, with Germany become world champions again.

July - Alex Ferguson says he wants to be the new England manager.

August - Israel bombs Iran.

September - A revolution in Iran overthrows the Government and Ayatollah and the new leadership announce the end of its nuclear programme.

October - Jose Murino becomes the new England manager.

November - Oil prices surge as the world goes back into recession.

December - Huge snow storms around the world, as the EU continues to claim important measures are needed to tackle climate change.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My review of 2009

As is traditional at this time of year I thought I would comment on what has been a big year for me personally but which has also seen major changes in Israel and England.

Of course the biggest moment for me in 2009, was making aliyah in March. After nine months I am to say that I think that my wife and I made the right decision. Whilst life is not always easy when you move to a new country and need to find a place to live, learn a language, find a new job and settle into a new community, these challenges can be overcome and lead to a better life, which I believe we are achieving here in Israel.

Moving to a new country also gave me a new perspective on the country I left behind and the one which I have now moved to.

The year kicked off with the dramatic events of the Gaza war, when the Israeli Government finally set about stopping the daily barrarge of missiles shot by Hamas into Israel. This war was a military success for Israel so that instead of the tens of thousands of the Sderot region had to suffer every year for eight years, this year since the end of the war they have only suffered about 200 missiles, so that the residents can now almost now live normal lives.

However, while the Gaza war was a military success, it has led to the worst anti-semitism around the world and in England since World War Two (sadly something which has been said every year for the past few years).

Israel also had an election earlier this year in February, when the right-wing parties received a majority and at the beginning of April Benjamin Netenyahu was able to form a government. Over the past eight months Netenyahu has proved to be a success and has been able to lead a strong Government (something unsual in Israel) in his work to ensure Israel has a strong economy, make sure he can achieve peace in Israel - something our neighbours - don't seem to be as supportive of, and ensured Israel has a good civil society while trying to play an importnat part in this world.

In comparison , in my last few years living in England I thought it was deteriorating but now when I view it from abroad I see it in an even worse situation. The economy is of course in a terrible mess and is a country verging on bankruptcy, according to foreign press, while being mocked as one of the few countries still to be in recession.

However, more worrying in my view is the rising levels of anti-semitism which I have written about before and yet I have been criticised for exagerating the problems but just look at the evidence.

- 609 reginstered anti-semitic attacks in the UK in the first half of the year.
- Jews attacked on the streets of Golders Green

This is also seen at official level when the Government seems not to care about Israel and to see it as more of a threat than an ally where just this month, Israel's former foreign secretary was not able to enter Britain - just like many Israeli Ministers - because the courts have agreed to their arrest warrants, something for dictators, not leaders of democratic allies.

I hope 2010 is a good year and I will be posting my predictions tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Who should be the next leader in Barnet?

Tomorrow night my former colleagues in Barnet will be deciding who will be the next leader of the Council.

I do not know if my views today have any influence, especially as I am now living here happily in Israel, but I thought I would give my views anyway. I can also confirm that I have not been asked by either candidate or their supporters to support them.

Just over three years ago I was pleased to support Mike Freer as leader of the Conservative Council, and I am glad that I did, because I believe he was an excellent leader that made Barnet a better place for its residents to live. He also came up with very important policies such as 'Future Shape' that I believe will be vital in improving public services. Barnet's loss will hopefully be Britain's gain.

The two leadership candidates will also both make very good leaders, and as we know it will be a woman, something Conservative's should be proud of, hopefully she will be as successful as Margaret Thatcher.

Though in an election you always have to choose, and my choice would be Fiona Bulmer. I believe she has been an excellent Cabinet Member in helping to ensure Barnet has some of the best schools in Britain. I also believe she led her portfolio and was able to understand and explain the issues, while also being transparent and able to lead officers.

I also believe she would be a leader that would help to ensure Conservative policies and ensure Conservatives get elected, by helping the local Consevative Parliamentary candidates, and being an excellent Conservative Council leader under a Conservative Cameron led Government.

I therefore urge my former colleagues to support Fiona Bulmer tomorrow.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Netenyahu takes steps for Peace and the EU.....

Last week after months of negotiations with America, Netenyahu the Israeli Prime Minister made the historic step of announcing that Israel would stop all new building of private properties in the West Bank area of Israel.

These American - Israeli negotiations when they began earlier this year, were a promise by Obama's team that through this decision by Israel, the Palestinian and Arab neighbours of Israel would also make some compromise as a prelude to full these negotiations. However, sadly the American's have been unable to persuade the Arab world to start accepting that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish State.

Even so, Benjamin Netenyahu has said he is a man that wants to achieve peace and so last week made the corrageous decision to halt all new developments in the West Bank. I say corrageous because in doing this he is Israel's first Prime Minister to stop Jews from being allowed to build in their homeland. In doing so he has gone against the ideology of most in his Likud Party, as well as those of other right-wing parties and so could put his Government at risk.

However, this decision was made because as Israel has always shown it is willing to compromise to make peace. Israel agreed to compromise in 1947 when it agreed to a tiny state. It then agreed in 1999, 2000 and 2008 to give back all of the West Bank to a Palestinian State.

This week just like each on many previous occassions the Palestinian's have said they do not want to accept to negotiate for peace with Israel, and have said they will not negotiate unless Israel agrees to give up all it's land and Jerusalem. I just hope that the rumors that instead of peace the Palestinians are talking about a new Intifadah war are wrong.

Meanwhile, while the American's have welcomed Netenyahu's decision as a historic step, the Eurpean Union have shown they have no wish to support Israel. Next week, the Eurpean Foreign Minister's will discuss a policy, which according to a Jerusalem Post article the British Government is supporting, to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State.

How are European's able to accept Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian State, before it has even become a state or even been negotiated in a peace treaty with Israel. This is even more concerning in light of the fact that despite Jerusalem being the capital of Israel since the Declaration of Israel in 1948 (even before the 6 Day War); Jerusalem has never been recognised as Israel's capital by European States.

When will European Union like its Palestinian friends start to recognise that Israel does have a right to exist as a Jewish homeland, with Jerusalem as it's capial and push the Arab world to negotiate a peace with Israel?