A few months back I wrote a list of predictions for the Jewish New Year.
The following has not been edited since then and is equally applicable for the Gregorian calendar.
2004 will bring with it little in the way of new developments. Sure, the State Department will come out with some new initiative to reboot the peace process, but it will be based on the Camp David, Saudi and Road Map proposals. That means the tried and so far unsuccessful formula of land for peace.
The Palestinians will continue to win the media war and the battle for people’s minds, while Israelis and Arabs will continue to die.
The Palestinian economy will shrink even further, while the talked of return to economic growth in Israel will still be talked of.
Come the new school year, Israeli teachers will threaten industrial action. Palestinian schoolchildren will be taught incitement in the mornings and then ‘play’ with terrorists in the afternoon.
Israeli soccer teams will fail miserably in European competitions. Palestinians will say “if only we could afford wages for soccer players.”
Secular and religious Jews will argue with one another. Hamas and Palestinian Authority members will kill one another.
Corrupt Israelis from the country’s leadership will be brought to trial and acquitted. Palestinian leaders will continue to siphon money out of their people’s coffers.
Ariel Sharon and Yassir Arafat will get a year older, their policies a year staler.
Israel’s per capita birthrate will continue shrinking, that of the Palestinians will boom.
Booms will be heard in the forms of suicide bombings and the responsive gunfire.
Israel will continue its isolation of Yassir Arafat. Arafat will continue to be an international celebrity.
Ariel Sharon will zig and zag, while Yassir Arafat will maintain a steady course.
The Americans will understand Israel’s right to defend itself, but only on America’s terms.
The U.N. will not pass a single motion backing Israel.
My wife will ask me to pick up the kids, change their diapers, do the shopping, clean the house, pay the bills, be nice to the in-laws.
If my predictions are wrong I will not eat my hat.
Happy New Year.