August 22, 2019

The Magic of Sinai

“On Passover, Jews celebrate the Exodus from Egypt, which traditionally took place around 1300 B.C. Today, some 3,300 years after Jews were slaves to the pharaohs, Israelis are returning to Egypt in droves. The Egyptians of today are very gracious hosts, but Israeli security services warn that a trip to Sinai is still a dangerous adventure.

Loudspeakers set up at the Taba border crossing over the last few days blast the travel warning in a monotonous tone. In a statement released by the National Security Council, which was updated April 23, the threat is described as a “serious travel warning (Level 1).” The statement says, “In addition to [the Islamic State’s] activities, al-Qaeda members in the area are encouraging attacks on Israeli targets.” The statement recommends that all Israelis currently in the Sinai Peninsula leave “immediately” and return to Israel. “Anyone wishing to visit the Sinai is asked to refrain from doing so,” adds the statement.

But Israelis aren’t too concerned about these warnings, and continue to pour into Sinai. It is estimated that at least 40,000 Israelis, including families with children, will celebrate Passover in the peninsula, 20% more than Passover last year. Some of the vacationers responded to the warnings with amusement and even ridicule. For example, Lee Yaron, who writes for Haaretz, tweeted a photo of the smoke used to get rid of mosquitos in the huts favored by many vacationers. “Extreme measures are needed to deal with an Islamic State of mosquitos,” she wrote. The rush to Sinai also provided Israelis with an amusing new TV star, Hadassah Benizri of Jerusalem, whose interview on Channel 12 mocking the dangers (“There are more Israelis than Egyptians here”) went viral.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong..."

"I don't know about you, but for me "Having more people run for president and effectively doubling the number of primary contests" is not up there with "Michigan beating Notre Dame in the playoffs" and "A new deluxe edition of Barbara Bush's..."

"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."

"What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.” Publicly laughing at your..."

"The yield curve’s inverted! The yield curve’s inverted! That was the news I awoke to last Wednesday on CNBC as the 10 year Treasury note yield dipped below the 2 year yield for the first time since 2007. That’s the sign everyone has been waiting..."

"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."

"One of the formative texts of the Safed myth, which first portrayed the town as a unique place and which was responsible for spreading word of it all around the Jewish world, is the four letters that Rabbi Solomon Shlumil of Dreznitz sent, in..."

"There are lots of reasons to patent something. The most obvious one is that you’ve come up with a brilliant invention, and you want to protect your idea so that nobody can steal it from you. But that’s just the tip of the patent strategy iceberg..."