Thursday, 3 May 2007

Cleaning Israel’s Smog

Over the past couple of days Israel has experienced, a weather phenomenon, known here as ovech. Ovech occurs when a hot, dry wind blows a whole load of dirt and sand from the desert across the country, creating a thick smog. It leaves a layer of dirt over all the cars and windows that stays until you clean them (only to return two weeks later with the next ovech!) The best way for Mother Nature to relieve us of ovech, is by sending a huge storm, allowing the heavy rain to clean the air and let us start over.

We all expected the Winograd Report’s Interim Findings to criticise the Government and its leaders for Israel’s performance in the Lebanon War last summer. But no one expected it to be quite so stinging. Olmert, Peretz, Halutz, the Cabinet, senior officers and advisors were all blamed. Not only were the decisions wrong, but it revealed a cancer in the workings of government that requires a massive repair job. There were immediate calls for Olmert and Peretz to resign. And when Tzippi Livni, the candidate most likely to replace Olmert, stepped forward, it seemed that the revolution was really under way. That was until she called for his resignation, but forgot to offer her own if he didn’t. The half-heartedness of her leadership, the readiness to sit on the fence even at a moment of truth, took the sting out the wave of revolt. It now seems like Olmert will survive for the time being, blocking the possibility for new faces to come in and start the cleaning process.

As I arrived at work this morning, there was a crash of thunder and the clouds burst. Finally, some relief from the ovech. But the storm never came, and after a few minutes, the rain had passed and the ovech had survived. Strange how the weather reflects our political climate…

6 comments:

Punctillious Penguin said...

I think you're right about the weather and the politics. I might add that when the thick dusty air mixes with the rain it sends a slurry of murky water down. It's hardly a refreshing shower from the springs of evian. Sticking with your theme, maybe that's symptomatic that we don't even have the means to clean ourselves here. Personally I think our Knesset members have the government they deserve. They shouldn't be allowed to scapegoat anyone for the years of narrow minded, self interested, power hungry opportunism that has typified politics in Israel for years. I think we're in a fix, and need to realise that rainwater works on a cycle. If the water's clean down here, it'll be clean when it rains down. So with some serious repair work to be done and a dire lack of liquid matter...I say bring out the wet ones.

Gaby said...

Hey Jonny. I love the analogy you found between politics and weather. I think you being British helped a bit. I don't want to discuss politics so I'll comment on the structure. I love how you started with a seemingly banal subject moved to politics and then tied them together. My only comment is that you should lose the last line. It’s like explaining a joke after the punch line...

Prof said...

Interesting but failed to c the connection between para1 1&3 and 2. Have I missed something. If u r trying 2 refer to a political storm, it didn't come thru to me on first reading (which is wot most people r prepared 2 do i.e. not have 2 read x2 or >.

Jonny Steel said...

Thanks for the comments.

Gaby, you're spot on about the last line. I was trying too hard to get the play on words on "climate". Will be more subtle next time.

Don't worry about it Prof. Let's have a beer when you're next over and I'll explain. Thanks for taking the time to read them all. I promise that there's more to come!

old colonial said...

am intrigued by the mixture of metaphors . How does one remove the sting from a wave of revolt while sitting on the fence.This is an extraordinary illustration of multi-tasking.

ifyouwillit... said...

Nice analogy... your mind seems to fins interesting connections everywhere you look.

Livi's fence sitting is to be expected. Most Kadima MK's lost my respect as soon as they deflected to form a party of opportunists and fence-sitters who are eager to get a piece of the limelight.

On Shabbat I heard an interesting argument in support of Olmert, and unfortunately, I have the feeling he will see this one out, or at least till the publication of the full report.