Key Word: “Business” as usual
Vulnerable PM Olmert is getting moral support from an unlikely place..
(JPOST) With only a day left before the publication of the final Winograd report on the Second Lebanon War, Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef called Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and assured him that Shas would back him. Rabbi Yosef, however, reiterated that Shas would not remain in the government if the unity of Jerusalem became an issue in peace talks with the Palestinians.
“Fear not, and do not be dismayed, for I am with you,” Rabbi Yosef told the prime minister, in an allusion to Deuteronomy that may have also been a wry hint at Shas’s red lines. In the beginning of the verse, Moses tells the Israelites: “Behold, the Lord thy God has set the land before you; go up, take possession.” [...]
Shas, the in theory right wing religious party has apparently opted to go for the full benefits package, Chief Rabbi included. This little game everyone is playing about how Jerusalem is the final core issue that is not being discussed or on the table in negotiations is richer than whipped cream. I certainly hope Shas isn’t planning on spinning this as a ‘we saved Jerusalem’ moment, seeing as their bowing to Olmert in return for the religious ministry’s fresh new revival under Shas’ authority is no victory for a unified Jerusalem by any stretch.
If anything, the inability of Shas to align with the greater right in general at halting the Kadima mandate, at the critical time of the Winograd Report yet.. Is a stunning example of many peoples unfortunate distrust of the religious parties in Israel. It seems cold hard cash or some political power as collateral is often more than enough to buy the priesthood and access to the altar in Jerusalem, just like troubled days of old..
Left wing proponents have reacted with nearly incoherent glee..
Peace Now Director-General Yariv Oppenheimer expressed strong disapproval of voices calling for the dismantlement of the coalition and voiced hope that Olmert would remain in power and further the peace process.
“Israel’s security is of no less importance than personal responsibility, the diplomatic process is no less important than personal responsibility and the rehabilitation of the military is no small thing,” Oppenheimer was quoted by Army Radio as saying. “Must we do away with the entire package and send Israel into an election frenzy?“
Huh? In any case who needs a democracy anyhow. Funny how those on the left are always seemingly willing to sacrifice almost anything when it furthers another goal, why on earth would we concern ourselves with the hassle of hearing the Israeli electorate’s clearly unhappy will when we can just salvage this disaster government and keep my Peace Now bank accounts plump & full and the peace train running at full steam ahead? A real man of the people!
LINK UPDATE: More flattering Peace Now talk at SoccerDad’s
‘Special Status Areas’ you might ask?
Whatever the Kadima coalition throws around, underplaying Jerusalem & Final Status issue talks in order to placate Shas in the Israeli Parliament, it’s hard to disregard the facts. In direct contravention to Olmert’s bold statements when President Bush visited – The Prime Minister has totally frozen all settlement areas under his direct order.
Olmert seems intent on just ramming right through, in an all Annapolis type rage disregarding the upcoming Winograd report, on the heels of tiny matters such as the disastrous Gaza policy. Which in the last 24 hours has blown up directly in Kadima’s face in the worst way, and has left the Labor Coalition head, our Defense Minister Barak looking like a fool.
PM completely freezes new construction in W. Bank settlements (Haaretz)
[...] Olmert has categorically denied approval for all new construction tenders, including in the so-called consensus settlement blocs, which Israel intends to keep in any future peace accord with the Palestinians. The freeze also applies to the construction of public institutions, including schools and kindergartens. Olmert recently sent an official letter to relevant cabinet ministers instructing them to refrain from authorizing any construction in the West Bank without his and Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s prior approval.
Several days ago, the prime minister met with Ma’aleh Adumim Mayor Benny Kashriel, who asked Olmert to approve several construction plans -including in the controversial E1 corridor linking Ma’aleh Adumim to Jerusalem. Olmert refused, saying the issue was sensitive in terms of relations with the United States and the Palestinian Authority.
Mayors and council chairmen in other consensussettlements have also reported a total freeze on construction in recent weeks, including Efrat in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem, as well as Ariel in the northern West Bank. Olmert has in the past defined those settlements as part of the consensus blocs, but is currently refusing to approve the construction of new housing units – including within the settlements’ current urban boundaries. The prime minister has denied authorizations for the construction of schools and kindergartens in these settlements as well.
According to information made public several days ago, Barak had ordered settlement construction frozen beyond the parameters set forward by Olmert. Among other things, the defense minister said his approval is even needed for the private purchase of a home that has already been built. [...]
Instead of battling Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, & the terror groups.. Our PM, FM, & Defense Minister are all gearing up to do battle with Israeli citizens! Olmert’s bold statements didn’t hold two weeks. Barak’s bold moves cutting off fuel to Hamas in Gaza didn’t hold two days, 48hrs!
Seems they are much tougher when slapping around Israel’s populace with these tremendous concessions to all an altogether unpopular peace process, now devolving into total chaos in the recently conceded Gaza Strip.
Speaking of fun times, I have a busy week ahead with a job search here in Israel picking up steam so I’ll be a bit slower on my own blog trigger.. Today would be an excellent day to read a little carnival until I can blog some tonight
Annapolis be damned. Defend the State!
The city of Sderot is being strangled by terrorists, less than 28% of the population remaining is attending school from fear. That’s of what’s left, because mass amounts of the city have simply picked up & moved. This is a travesty, these are not occupied territories for the intl. community to salivate over, there are no excuses – This is an assault on the land of Israel across its borders. How many more red lines will be crossed by the Kadima coalition?
Hamas is upgrading.. Again. (Haaretz)
- Capable of long term storage of missiles
- Ashkelon in rocket sights
- Launching rockets remotely from underground!?
Pull the coalition down now
This is out of control, we cannot have a terrorist state on Israel’s borders acting with impunity like this, it is contrary to every policy, every sacrifice made by the country since its inception 60 years ago. This government is the biggest failure in Israeli history. Defend the State of Israel or resign. That goes for Barack too, that military swagger does not excuse from the task of defending this country, stop vacillating and give the order to assault Gaza or go home.
We don’t need another Peretz Defense Minister, I can’t speak for anyone else but I’m getting tired of these Labor Party Defense Ministers, since their arrival we are indeed always on Defense.. and losing. When Shaul Mofaz was Defense Minister under the Likud the terrorists hid underground, now they build bunkers to fire & hide their rockets underground. That is the Kadima legacy so far, our enemies getting exponentially stronger thriving on our weakness.
Iranians Hail Shipment; Nuclear drive full steam ahead.
While we pretend everything is on track regarding the Iranian nuclear threat, the surreal just keeps on trucking. Russia is openly supplying fuel now to power the Bushehr reactor in Iran, a move actively supported by the USA & the EU. In theory this was the big carrot portion of the whole dialog, ‘negotiate carrot & stick policy’.. The big favorable deal was the world would supply Iran with supervised nuclear fuel, that way they would not have to produce their own which is the remaining major component of the fuel cycle remaining, allowing Iran to have all the pieces needed to weaponize a nuke.
Of course, the world has caved to Iran. Now they got their carrot but they have not stopped enriching uranium by any stretch of the imagination. They are laughing all the way home & congratulating themselves on having not only gotten their carrots, but having broken the big stick too! Israeli FM Livni was in Russia yesterday to gravely protest the delivery of fuel to Iran, she was livid. It is hard to explain the waves of shock going through our government right now as the realization dawns that we are going to have to deal with this threat alone, despite the strong statements of President Bush who sadly shares Israel’s deep concerns but is the Lone Ranger these days.
3rd fuel shipment reaches Bushehr plant (JPost)
Iran received a third shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Friday for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian port of Bushehr, state radio reported. The 11-ton consignment arrived at the Bushehr power plant on Friday morning, and the remainder of the remainder of the fuel will arrive in five separate shipments over the next months, the radio report said. [...]
Teheran heralded the first shipment as a victory, saying it proved its nuclear program was peaceful, not a cover for weapons development as claimed by the US and some of its allies. The US initially opposed Russian participation in building the Bushehr reactor and supplying it with fuel, but reversed its position about a year ago to obtain Moscow’s support for the first set of UN sanctions against Iran.
The United States and Russia have said the supply of nuclear fuel meant Iran had no need to continue its uranium enrichment program – a process that can provide fuel for a reactor or fissile material for a bomb. Iran has agreed with Russia to return the spent fuel to ensure it doesn’t extract plutonium to build a bomb. Iran insisted it would continue enriching uranium because it needed to provide fuel to a 300-megawatt light-water reactor it was building in the southwestern town of Darkhovin.
Iranian officials have said they plan to generate 20,000 megawatts of electricity through nuclear energy in the next two decades. Russia’s decision to begin shipping nuclear fuel to Iran followed a US intelligence report released earlier this month that concluded Tehran had stopped its nuclear weapons program in late 2003 and had not resumed it since. Iran says it never had a weapons program.
For all the big talk about the global world, the UN, the IAEA, inspections, negotiations, sanctions, dialog – Years of talk talk talk, all of it ‘multilateral’ in nature, the big buzzword is total failure. Bushehr is coming online projected in summer 2008 fuelled by Russia with an American nod, while enrichment in Iran will not cease.
Does the current government in Israel have the steel will to defend this country, or do we dump them right now for elections and put an emergency war coalition in place instead? Further, how much longer will we wait to deal with Gaza, will we wait until we have to inconceivably face all three fronts at the same time? Gaza, Hezbollah, & Iran!?
Stop playing footsie – TAKE HAMAS OUT now. The alternative will be tying Israel’s hands when it will need to act versus Iran and that time is coming soon..
Link Update: Merkel trying to rally the team for ‘unity’ (IranFocus)
Israel’s big Punch
I spend a lot of time writing about the Iranians & their huge ballistic missile arsenal, but two can play at that game. Israel conducted a successful ballistic missile launch test yesterday from the Palmachim Airbase, believed to be another stage to the Jericho II rocket. The Jerichos are our ‘unconventional capable’ ballistic missiles capable of delivering multiple atomic wallops. To counter the ever growing range threat of our ‘friends’ in the area, Israel has decided to push the Jericho up in range adding more propulsion for an effectively juicy new Jericho III.
IDF successfully launches test of long-range missile (Haaretz)
The Israel Defense Forces carried out a missile test over Jerusalem on Thursday, the Defense Ministry said, raising speculation the launch was part of a program to develop longer-range weapons or improve an anti-missile defense system. Israel Radio said the missile tested was capable of carrying an “unconventional payload” [...]
“A successful missile launch was carried out within the framework of examining rocket propulsion,” the Defense Ministry said in a brief statement.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday that Israel would consider “all options” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Israel is believed to have atomic arms and foreign analysts have said for many years that its Jericho I and Jericho II missiles can carry nuclear warheads, but Jerusalem has never confirmed these claims. Israel believes Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010. However, the oil-rich country denies seeking nuclear weapons and says it is enriching uranium only for use in generating electricity.
Our Jerichos are capable of reaching Earth orbit, and the Jericho III is believed capable of ranges of over 6500 km & perhaps more.. Effectively tripling the range of our enemies so we can hit them, fly back.. and hit ‘em again in theory on one launch
Numerous Jericho IIs have put up Ofek defense & other satellites directly into space from Israel, on modified extended versions of the missile known as the Shavit. So any time the Iranians feel they want to mess with us we can effectively ‘Shavit’ up their a** real quick.