Jewish Journal


June 20, 2013

On the Austrian Troops Affair



Israeli soldiers receive a briefing at an observation point in
the Golan Heights on May 5. Photo by REUTERS/Baz Ratner

Some house cleaning-

Last week I wrote an article about Austria pulling its forces from the Golan Heights. Read it in full here, or the following two short paragraphs:

The immediate lesson, for Israel, is that it can trust none but its own forces to protect its borders. The long-term implication is that it should not commit to any peace agreement that is supposed to be enforced and monitored by international forces; at best, such soldiers might be counted on to lend some ceremonial flair to a well-established security arrangement. So much, then, for any deal for the establishment of a Palestinian state that would put, say, the Jordan Valley in the hands of some international monitoring body.

The next time Europeans complain about Israel’s policies, it would be reasonable for Israel to redirect their protests to Vienna. By withdrawing its troops at the first sign of trouble, Austria, too, has undermined the prospects for peace in the Middle East.

Yesterday I published a domestic article, about some recent complaints made by Israeli students. The students found this year's matriculation exams in math and history extremely difficult, so I attempted to answer the following question:

Is the Education Ministry out of touch with what students can reasonably be expected to know? Are the students becoming too soft for their own good? Or, as one commentator put it less charitably, are they spoiled?

Read it here.

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