From Arlene Kushner:
December 18, 2013
More than a bit, actually, as Israel is digging out from the snowstorm of the century. It is the story that has taken headlines in the news for days:
Remote communities totally snowed in. Roads blocked by trees that came down (because the snow is very heavy). Black ice. Power outages. Babies delivered in cars that didn't reach the hospital in time. Schools closed in some areas. Meetings cancelled.
We're on the way back to normal. But the progress has been slow because this is such an unusual phenomenon here. People don't own snow shovels (I wouldn't know where to buy one!) and so many sidewalks remain covered in half-melted snow that is still freezing at night. What is more, there is insufficient municipal equipment for the clearing of every side street. This is a function, in part, of the rarity with which the equipment would be used, and, as well, a function of the diverse and more pressing demands made on a limited budget.
But if the equipment for good snow clearing is not the norm in this area, politicizing the situation sure is. Here's a chance to blame Netanyahu for not being more prepared, in light of the forecast. Could the government have been better prepared? I'm not going to go there. Perhaps. But I also know that the damages caused by a natural event cannot all be anticipated or prevented, and it's foolish to pretend otherwise.
And what do you say about those people (few in number) who were foolish enough to have ventured out - towards Jerusalem, which is uphill - in the height of the storm the other day, with children in the car? The IDF had to rescue them. And rescue them, they did.
Even as we dig out, the world does go on - although, I confess, much of what's happening rather makes news of the snow appealing.
But let's start with good news: