Show a Jew a silver lining, the old saying goes, and he looks for the cloud.
Or, more immediately, show Israelis scenes of Cairo, where tens of thousands are protesting each day for their freedom and human rights, and rather than exalt, Jerusalem worries that the result will be not be a new age of democracy next door but a takeover by radical Islamists determined to end Egypt’s peace treaty with the Jewish state, and worse.
While the now-extinguished fires in northern Israel were an unimaginable catastrophe for the tiny nation — which, more than almost any other, cherishes its trees — there were heartening aspects of the fatal disaster.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Turkey still expects an apology from Israel for its interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla that led to the deaths of nine Turkish nationals, despite its assistance during Israel's recent massive fire.
Turkey sent firefighting assistance to Israel over the weekend to help control the forest fire in Israel's north that killed 42 people. But Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday that Turkey still demands an apology for the raid on the Mavi Marmara, and that Israel pay damages to the families of those killed and wounded.
There's an interesting subtext to the outpouring of international support for Israel as it fights catastrophic fires in the north.
More and more, we hear that Israel is being “delegitimized” by an indifferent world, that so much of the criticism of its policies is based on “hatred” of the Jewish state, that support for its existence is all but nonexistent.
(JTA) -- The fire raging in northern Israel was still out of control as the sun set on Friday, with 42 people reported dead.
At least 17,000 Israelis were evacuated from the area of the blaze, which spread closer to Haifa on Friday. The University of Haifa, which was evacuated on Thursday, has become a staging ground for emergency personnel. Most of those killed by the fire were prison guard cadets aboard a bus that was trapped Thursday by burning trees felled by the flames. The guards were enroute to a nearby prison to carry out an inmate evacuation.
WASHINGTON (JTA) -- The Obama administration is seeking avenues to assist Israel in combating raging forest fires in its north.
"I want to begin by offering our deepest condolences to the families and loved ones of all of those who've died as a result of the terrible forest fire in northern Israel," President Obama said Thursday evening, launching the annual White House Chanukah party. "As rescuers and firefighters continue in their work, the United States is acting to help our Israeli friends respond to the disaster."
Will Erdogan's victory lead to further strain in relations following flotilla incident, or is it an opportunity?
Tel Aviv - A resounding victory at the polls Sunday for Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's referendum to remake the country's constitution and weaken the secular forces in government has spurred Israeli uneasiness about deteriorating ties with an important regional ally.
Though the referendum was about advancing civil liberties in Turkey and weakening the influence of the secular army, the wider-than-expected margin of victory was also seen as a broad approval of Erdogan's foreign policy shift toward Israel.
JERUSALEM (JTA) -- Turkey's foreign minister has threatened to cut ties with Israel unless it apologizes for its deadly interception of a Gaza-bound flotilla, a Turkish newspaper reported.
“Israelis have three options: They will either apologize or acknowledge an international-impartial inquiry and its conclusion. Otherwise, our diplomatic ties will be cut off,” Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review on Sunday.
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