A Hurricane named Israel?


Hurricane Irene

Fresh off an earthquake earlier this week, the East Coast is bracing for Hurricane Irene this weekend.

Ten summers ago, the designated name of a hurricane was at the "I" of an international public relations storm:

News Brief 

June 7, 2001 – The World Meteorological Organization altered its list of names for this summer’s typhoons and hurricanes, changing the name of Hurricane Israel to Hurricane Ivo. The move came after the Jerusalem Post reported last month that the Geneva-based U.N. agency was planning to use the name "Israel."

Said the Jerusalem Post:

The committee was responding to the outrage expressed by Jewish leaders over the insensitivity of using a country’s name, and the consequence of a devastating storm named Israel causing massive destruction and death accompanied by parallel headlines blaming Israel.

Hindsight is 20/20, but if "Israel" ever had to take a turn in the name rotation, that may have been the time. Hurricane Ivo was downgraded to Tropical Storm Ivo, with no reports of casualties or damage.

Even after the real Hurricane Ivo took shape in September 2007, the official report from the National Hurricane Center read, "Ivo was a category 1 hurricane (on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale) that dissipated as it approached southern Baja California."

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