There's a lot about to happen weather wise to our small country. Of course, it's not just the weather here, but the weather over there in Europe that will also make a difference. Highlights of the weather in store for us include:
A winter storm arriving Thursday night lasting into Monday;
Gale force winds late Friday into motzei Shabbat;
Temperatures approaching freezing in the Jerusalem area Friday night and continue their downward trend into Monday morning (possibly below freezing);
Periods of precipitation, with the greatest likelihood of snow in the higher elevations around Jerusalem late Friday night into Shabbat Morning;
And a possible — but not likely — redevelopment of the storm as the coldest air at lower levels moves in Monday.
A large ridge of high pressure will amplify from northern Africa north through Spain, France, and Great Britain. In response, a mass of cold air will slide southward into western Turkey. Were we to freeze the picture there, we might expect it to move directly into the eastern Mediterranean, bringing us a major winter storm.
However, a storm moving north of Britain will flatten the ridge, cutting off the supply of cold air into the developing trough, before it can move into the eastern Mediterranean. After a brief weakening, though, there appears to be a redevelopment as colder air moves back into the trough. Yet, the upper level trough appears to again pass to our north and east Friday night into Shabbat. Still, there is uncertainty in just how close the upper trough will come Friday night into Shabbat, and if there will indeed be a redevelopment early next week.
What does seem "certain" is the cold, wintry, very windy weather (gale force winds) on Friday and Shabbat, with the coldest weather to occur Monday morning.
Currently, the best chance for snow in the central mountains will be Friday night into Shabbat morning, but at the moment it appears to be a wet snow with a light accumulation in Gush Etzion, rather than in Jerusalem. We can not be more specific about precipitation types and amounts until we see our extremely high resolution forecasts on Thursday and/or Friday morning. As for Monday, we'll be able to see more clearly if there will be a redevelopment of the upper trough towards the end of the week.
Just as there seems to be a lot of uncertainty in the weather forecast, there seems to be a lot of uncertainty about the "Deal of the Century." Yet, I'd like to comment on just a few aspects of the response to the deal, rather than the deal itself — which provides us with an interesting and disturbing idea of how the world relates to the Jewish people, and how, we in part, have been responsible for our own problems (but just so).
First, the Boycott, Divest and Sanction groups (BDS) accuse Israel of being an Apartheid state. Yet, when the plan proposed to break off some of the Arab towns in the "Wadi Triangle" and incorporate them into a yet-to-be-formed Palestinian State, the residents of these states protested strongly against this aspect of the plan. These strong protests put the lie to the BDS and left-wing portrayal of Israel in such ill terms.
Second, the plan allows for there to be 15 Israeli enclaves with the "State of Palestine." The leaders of these communities say that this idea will be unworkable, and hence a Palestinian State can never come into being. Considering that many of these communities were founded to prevent a third Palestinian state — aside from Jordan and Gaza — from coming into being, their argument against the plan is disingenious at best.
The European Union (EU) strongly warned Israel not to go forward with any annexation plans. In the same statement, the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell insisted that the Armistice Line from 1948 — which is not actually a border — is sacrosanct, the post 1967 war "borders" are null and void, and any changes to the 1948 line would preclude Israel from ending with a net land gain during the "negotiations." However, in the next breath, he states: “To build a just and lasting peace, the unresolved final status issues must be decided through direct negotiations between both parties.” So, which is it? Does the EU decide our borders or do direct negotiations decide them?
And with whom? We would need to negotiate with the man of “a thousand times no" (watch him here), Mahmoud Abbas, who has rejected not only the plan but also the European idea that Palestinians would be on one side of the Armistice Line and Israelis on the other. He insists that the children of the Arab refugees from 1948 and their children be allowed to settle on the Israeli side.
So, there you have it: hypocrisy on all sides.
But, with all that, one still has to wonder why the EU insists that the Old City of Jerusalem and areas east of the Armistice Line should revert to the local Arab populations now known as the Palestinians. Why aren't Israelis allowed to live over this line or govern the Old City? Why aren't Israelis allowed to retain land won during defensive wars — land originally allocated to them in the Balfour Declaration, later by the League of Nations, and even after the 1967 war under the auspices of UN resolution 242?
My strong feeling is that it irks many Europeans that Israel has survived and prospered. You see, many have a general dislike for the Jewish people and feel that they have satisfied their guilt over the Holocaust by allowing us to live in the indefensible borders referred to by Abba Eban as the "Auschwitz borders" as delineated by the Armistice Line. After all, how better to encourage our demise than insist that we go back to these borders?
Sorry, Mr. Borrell: you can insist that Jews should again go to the gas chamber, but you are 75 years too late. The Jewish state was founded just for these purposes, to protect the Jewish people from people like you, and to provide a place where the Jewish people could reclaim its history, flourish, and live without fear of your prejudice. You may not go away, but we are still here — and we're not your shtetl Jew anymore.
Dr. Lynn is a lecturer at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Earth Sciences Department. He is also CEO of Weather It Is, LTD, a company that specializes in reducing weather risk. Click here to read more of this writer’s work in The Jerusalem Herald.