Opinion  Nahum Barnea
Israel not a third world country
Nahum Barnea
Published: 16.12.13, 11:38
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1. Act of God
Yaffa ,   Jerusalem, Israel   (12.16.13)
I think that the government has acted wisely during this unprecedented rain and snow storm. This weather is not typical for here. Generally, a few inches of snow fall during January and that's it for the year. The decisions to stop public transportation all-be-it inconvenient for us working people have helped to prevent accidents. Israelis do not know how to drive in this weather as we former mid-westerners know. This storm was comparable to hurricane "Sandy" which although predicted traumatized the mid-Atlantic states with it's ferocity and damage. It took the east coast of the US weeks/months to recover including the removal of downed trees and the restoration of electric, phone, and gas lines. Homes were destroyed, people lost food and possessions and lived in shelters for months. FEMA & house insurance companies fought with each other and denied claims from home owners and renters for coverage for losses. Bottom line, Israel is dealing with an expected storm which we are not generally subjected to. Stop complaining - pitch in and help the next guy. We were all inconvenienced but Baruch HaShem, we survived.
2. Israel has third world provincialism
Dan   (12.16.13)
Israel may not be a third world country but it has many third world attitudes: a spectacular lack of understanding of how the world sees it, a tendency to think it's superior to everywhere, a refusal to join the world community and a wide range of behaviours, especially among men, that have been outdated elsewhere for 40 years. Grow up.
3. Oh, But We Do Scream Failure!
emanon ,   USA   (12.16.13)
Read more US papers after a major snowstorm / blizzard stops a big city in its tracks for a few days. A few years ago, my city got slammed by a series of blizzards and we ran out of salt for the roads. The papers were full of rants about "How could this happen?" and who to blame. Happens all the time and with any disaster: blizzards, flood or drought, it is the American way to look to blame someone for not being properly prepared.
4. Israelis sport putting everything down.
Norbus ,   JERUSALEM   (12.16.13)
Inferiority complex & chips on the shoulders can explain. Israel though is superior in many ways to Europe or America; I lived in Baghdad till my teens and then Europe for 50 years+ I traveled to USA frequently : I found many aspects of life here in the last three years I lived here in Jerusalem superior to Baghdad London or NY Snow is to be enjoyed, knowing it would go away in days. Europe can freeze months at a time. Medical care iis as advanced as anywhere children have a happy life with caring parenting, & so on..yet Israel has to defend the Jewish State and spend a huge chunk of the GDP on Defence. Technology coming of age and natural resources of Sun, Gas and renewable energy in hand , I look forwad
5. Yes it is!
AriehX   (12.16.13)
In the same edition there's a story about 12% of Israeli children having to steal food to survive. Sorry, Israel: you are a third world country which doesn't care about its children.
6. Kol Hakavod
Susie ,   Beer Ganim, Israel   (12.16.13)
After reading all the op-eds condemning everyone starting with Bibi, it is refreshing to read one that is positively wise. Not everything is the government's fault and we should all be grateful to the Electric Company that doesn't wait for the storm to end before it starts repairs (as is common in other First World countries) and of course to the army and all the other emergency workers who worked throughout this horrific storm.
7. adolescendnt entitlement mentality
Kobi ,   Ashkelon   (12.16.13)
Yes, the storm brought many challenges to many people, but has it ever been calculated how much woe we bring on ourselves when we ignore warnings not to drive, not to drive fast, to wear seat-belts, to dress warm, to stay indoors, to carry water, to avoid riverbanks, etc.? It would seem that like the boundary-less, spoiled brats we raise, we have an almost pathological need to defy any suggestion or law, no matter how logical or self-preserving it might be. Israel is not third-world, but there are some who descend into foolish and anarchistic behavior insisting that the State right their wrongs, when it was State's laws and guidelines they flaunted in the first place. Again this is not Third World, but rather Adolescent First World Entitlement Mentality; it's time to grow up.
8. #2 Israel is 2nd world country..
simon ,   haifa israel   (12.16.13)
First world infrastructure and hi-tec businesses etc combined with a third world mentality. Just love it.
9. Finally!
Ellen ,   Israel/NYC   (12.16.13)
After 2 days it is a relief to finally read a word of reason. The storm was as Mr. Banea indicates. The cost involved in being "prepared" for a rare occurrence would call for another "investigation" Sometimes things happen that are bigger than us all. There is no way to prepare. ( but listening to warnings in advance would help) Sometimes you just have to accept that this is what Hashem gave us and move forward.
10. But we are in quite a bit of ways
Avi   (12.16.13)
You won't find many first world nations with an electrical grid above-ground inside cities. Wires stretching out of every hole not only an eye sour and a safety hazard but also come down often in these storms. Then when 40,000 houses are cut off from electricity they claim it's natural and can't be helped while the electrical company tries to look like heroes cleaning a mess they started. Why in Israel 2013, entering 2014, that infrastructure isn't in the ground?
11. Dan #2
R ,   Israel   (12.16.13)
The "third world attitudes" you attribute to Israel easily fit America (and I say that as a person who loves and respects America and Americans). America is certainly no third-world country in any aspect, so you are left with nothing to support your claim.
12. Why...
Raoul ,   Herzliya, Israel   (12.16.13)
did this common sense article not get precedence over the painful article of Sima Kadmon?
13. So... hmm... it does melt, does it not?
Miron ,   USA   (12.16.13)
But not before it was twisted inside out, checked for any traces of deadly substances, tasted, shaken, waved, dilluted, distilled, and extracted, essentialized, documented, and throughly preserved in cryogenic state for posterity. The snow in Ierushalaim...
14. At last. This author praises the emergency services. The onl
Adi ,   Zurich   (12.16.13)
At last. This author praises the emergency services. The only failure are the people that scream at the authorities. Everybody thinks the other has to do the job. Take a broom and a shovel. Do some work and help the old people. To all the complainers. We are sick from you.
15. Katrina man-made disaster
Teresa Pollin ,   Bethesda, USA   (12.16.13)
"Katrina was mainly a man-made disaster. The Corps of Engineers failed to properly reinforce the dams that should have prevented the flooding of New Orleans, and the Bush administration did not rush to help the victims." Mr. Barnea - please check the facts before you write a propaganda piece for the Obama administration. Check who refused to order the evacuation of the city - that would be the governor of the state and the mayor of the city. Honestly - I didn't expect to see another "it's Bush's fault" in an article about snow in Israel. Y-net reader in MD
16. London, Washington And Barnea
Ariel ben Yochanan ,   Kfar Tapuah, Efraim   (12.16.13)
B"H - London, Washington may get temporarily paralyzed because of traffic pile-ups, not because of major systems' failure. When our power and phone grid goes down as a result of a foot of snow, it is reasonable to accuse the establishment of gross carelessness and it is not an accident that Barnea defends them.
17. snow
Wolfgang ,   SWEDEN   (12.16.13)
I live in sweden and I have never in my life experienced a winter without electric blackouts. And I am almost 40.
18. In that case ....
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (12.16.13)
... I suppose that the United States is a third world country, considering the effects of Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy. Canada, too -- remember that ice storm that crippled the province of Quebec for three weeks? Every year, a tornado blows through some hapless town in the Midwestern region of the United States, kills, maims, and destroys billions of dollars of property. Anyone remember what happened to Joplin, Missouri? People are still living in kwonset huts. Yep, the United States is a third world country for sure. Stupid editorial. The weather is the weather. Even when you know something is coming, there isn't much you can do except ride it out.
19. And the price tag for the only sane report?
Miron ,   USA   (12.16.13)
20. "Third World?" What Mishegas!
ASTRONAUT ,   SC, USA   (12.16.13)
What "Third World!??" Vu bist du, mishugah? Snow happens. And yes, even here in south Carolina, a very RARE snowfall of 1/2 INCH will send town-folk into rabid frenzies!! Of course the yeladim love it for schools close and they frolic while Town Elders foment.
21. To: No. 5
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (12.16.13)
We should kick out all the illegal Africans and stop sending free food, electricity and fresh water to Gaza. Then, we will have plenty of resources to help our own. Charity begins at home. It is positively galling that Israel sends petrol and supplies electricity to Gazans while Israeli elderly sit at home wrapped in blankets.
22. To: Ellen at No. 9
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (12.16.13)
Agreed. We knew that Superstorm Sandy was coming, and we knew how bad it was going to be. There were mandatory evacuation orders, which some people simply chose to ignore, this despite there being no shortage of transportation to higher ground. We still haven't figured out how to predict earthquakes, or prevent tornados from devastating everything in their path, or deal with Force Five hurricanes with winds in excess of 250 miles per hour. We're barely able to predict volcanic eruptions, yet there are people who like living in the foothills of all four active volcanoes in Hawaii. Following Superstorm Sandy, much of the eastern seaboard -- particularly the coastal areas in the northeast -- were without power and water for upwards of three weeks. Still, people mourned the loss of their flat screen TVs and their brand-new stainless refrigerators and washers and dryers. They'd have been considerably better off investing in a generator, or bringing whatever belongings they could to higher ground. We had two weeks' advance notice that Superstorm Sandy was going to hit New York City. So, came the storm surges -- as predicted -- and a lot of people were washed out to sea. No matter how powerful and advanced a society may be, nature trumps all. There is no cure for stupid.
23. To: No. 15
Sarah B ,   U.S.A. / Israel   (12.16.13)
About 15 years ago, the Mississippi overflowed its banks because of heavy rainstorms in the Midwest. Davenport, Iowa floated downriver. The rains abated about an inch or two before reaching the high water mark in St. Louis. The Army Corps of Engineers were powerless to stop it. They were powerless to buttress the levees in New Orleans, and Gulfport, Mississippi was pretty much destroyed. Think for a minute -- what do you think powerful rains and winds do to sandbags? I'll tell you. Drench them and rip them to pieces. Then, instead of just cleaning up water, you have to clean up thousands of tons of the contents of sandbags on top of silt deposited by the overflowing river. You have one factual error -- the governor of the State of Louisiana and the mayor of New Orleans ordered mandatory evacuation. People simply refused to leave their property. Hard to understand, isn't it, how in 2005, over 2,000 people can perish because of a hurricane, but that is precisely what happened.
24. To complain or not to complain
Jez ,   Netanya   (12.16.13)
Oh yes they do; snow in for example London brings forth a torrent of accusations of failure. Dont think the stiff upper lip prevails when people cant get to work or home
25. Oh please! Heathrow shuts down after 1 inch of snow!
Gracey ,   Tel Aviv   (12.16.13)
It was all over the news last year! We are not used to such inclement weather here - but we should be more prepared. Stupid calling us a third-world country because of snow!!!
26. We are not 3rd world.
Mario Mandelbaum ,   Raanana, Israel.   (12.16.13)
That's right. We are not 3rd world. We are not 1st world.
27. the snow of yesteryear
aliza ,   haifa, israel   (12.16.13)
this article is the voice of sobriety instead of the howling of wolves we started hearing as soon as the first few cms of snow accumulated on the ground. why are we such self-haters, tearing. cutting, wounding ourselves sometimes for a reason that is clearly beyond human control. sorry, but it is again the pack of media men who felt that they had to score a scoop at any price. maybe they don't consider politically correct to commend the workers of the municipality, the fire fighters, the police and last but not least the soldiers who have not slept for days, trudging in snow trying to help those who were cut off... but then - saying something positive about anything would be boring journalism, right?
28. against nature you can prepare, but never be 100% prepared
tiki ,   belgium   (12.16.13)
The writer is 100% right. When in Europe weather like this occurs, the 'only thing citizens are prepared for is chaos. Trains don't drive, plains don't fly, cars are stuck, people sleep in airports or stand on rooftops to be evacuated, villages get snowed in and houses are flooded with melting water & there are always casualties. Of course every person who is a victim is complaining, but overall Israel, a country usually dealing with heatwaves, did good.
29. #26 Mario: 5th World is more like it!
David ,   Israel   (12.16.13)
Even in a 3rd World Country Electricity Corporation engineers don't go on a 5 day refresher course in a premier hotel, the Dan Eilat, while the citizens of the country, who pay exorbitant prices for electricity, freeze their butts off! And what will happen? NOTHING because their Union will threaten to strike and no one has the balls, not even the PM, to call their bluff! Anyone seen ANY improvement in the train service or the delays in the harbors? Of course not, but Netanyahu said....... oh well, whats the use, the politicians just don't care squat and are too busy looking after themselves!
30. No equipment but lots of talk
Mike ,   Jerusalem   (12.16.13)
Despite the warnings people continued to drive and travel that's not the governments fault BUT the roads should have been closed earlier. In addition I never saw even ONE salter/sand truck on the main roads. Given the temperatures, early and continuous application of highway #1, #6 and 443 would have prevented alot of problems. This equipment is NOT expensive.
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