Monday, 6 October 2014

Is Binyamin Netanyahu a Movie-Goer?



Image of a Different Kind of "Wailing Wall" from the Film World War Z

Apparently, while US President Obama goes to play golf, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu enjoys the movies.  At least if action is any indication.  It's also possible he enjoys reading pop lit.

I wrote a few days ago on the folly the American government is following with respect to the outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa.  In that set piece, I compared the decision not only to refuse to quarantine the affected regions (the only way, really, to guarantee that the virus behind the infection is kept out) - but worse still, to deploy 3000 soldiers to the afflicted areas - to the 1987 vampire flick "The Lost Boys."

In the climactic scene of the film, the head vampire, Max, declares to the children he is about to attack, "Don't ever invite a vampire into your house, silly boy."

Turns out, maybe the better movie metaphor here is the 2014 blockbuster "World War Z."

In that film, the one, the sole nation on earth that takes a sane response to the zombie outbreak - by self-quarantine - is Israel.  In the novel on which the film is based, Israel establishes itself as one of two countries to avoid being over-run.  The other is North Korea, which achieves its goals by removing the teeth pre-emptively from all of its citizens. (Get it?  You can't bite, you can't infect?)
In the "art is a reflection of reality" news story of the day, Israel has declined to supply human matériel to any already infected regions.

From the Times of Israel 
Israel, citing health considerations, turned down a request from the United States to assist in medical relief in Ebola-stricken West African countries.  Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon says assisting in medical relief in Liberia and Sierra Leone would risk infecting Israeli personnel.
After the Defense Ministry rejected a US request to establish field hospitals in the Ebola-stricken western African countries on Friday, the Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that it will dispatch three teams — in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) — to bordering African nations at risk of infection. [emphasis added]
Put briefly, the Israelis will send money, and they will deploy personnel to areas not infected, but they are not going to put their soldiers or their populace at risk for infection.

THAT is what a government who are concerned with the well-being of their citizens does.

I do not begrudge the US president from indulging his golf habit, but I might suggest he read some Max Brooks fiction.  It's light reading, and quite entertaining.

And in this case, it just might have the side effect of improving US policy.

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