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Cabel (Labor) quits the unpopular government. Kadima is set to vote for Olmert to resign, clears the way for Livni.

leaves the strategic failures of the subsequent four weeks untouched. The report, intended to blow out steam, chastises the government moderately and avoids analysis of the systemic errors from the year 2000 withdrawal under the left’s pressure to the disengagement-period’s staffing the army with incompetent commanders to the establishment’s fear of politically incorrect large-scale military offenses. Winograd report mostly accuses the government of following the army’s recommendations and retaliating against Lebanon rather than pursuing unspecified political venues in response to Hezbollah’s attacks. At the same time, the report’s findings confirm that the policy of containment didn’t work.
Hezbollah lauds the report, studies it in the preparation for summer offensive. In Northern Israel, people demand reconstruction of shelters.

Israel cannot preempt against Hezbollah because of the UNIFIL troops in Lebanon are likely to take hits. Syria and Iran supply Hezbollah and reportedly plan guerilla offensive in the Golans.

Cowed down by corruption allegations and Winograd report, Olmert signals the left he’s ready to follow their agenda. On Tuesday, Olmert asked Peretz for a plan to destroy the “illegal” Jewish settlements, outposts. The leftist appointee Olmert-baiter Mazuz triumphantly announced the change in government policy about the settlements. Ariel Sharon was provided a “safety net” against corruption allegations in exchange for withdrawing from Gaza.

to show respect for the democratic choice of Palestinians. EU nominally considers Hamas a terrorist organization.

Bush vetoes the bill that sets the timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.

Industrial output of the 250 largest companies rose 10.5% in 2006 to 2005, far outpacing economy in general. Employment increased 3% and average salary – only 5%. Oligarchy and socialist over-regulation impedes the development of small businesses. The expansion of large export companies amid the stagnation of consumer purchasing power and imports caused shekel to rise sharply.

Microsft’s investment commitment in India is $1.7 bn

MK Hermesh urges Matthew, a son of the World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman, to leave WJC over financial scams he ran in Israeli Discount Bank. Bronfman economic empire started with bootlegging.
WJC in turn reports corruption in WJC’s Israel branch, headed by Shai Hermesh (Kadima).

claims doesn’t know how to transfer the money to Abu Mazen’s account. EU and US are the largest donors of the terrorist Palestinian entity.

As if Olmert has acted alone rather than on Kadima’s mandate. Kadima faction chairman Avigdor Yitzhaki, before quitting: “Everyone realizes that [Olmert] staying in power is not good for Kadima or the country”. Kadima first, the country distant second.

Students protesting tuition rise throw smoke grenades, flares at police, burn tires, block Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.

US Administration vociferously rejected Baker report which calls for such meetings, but now adopted its recommendations. Baker called for trading the Golans for Syrian promise of help in Iraq.

Objects to the “need for full compliance” with the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The centrifuges keep running.

Even before last summer’s disastrous war ended, the Israeli Government had put together a generous aid package to compensate local Israelis for damaged homes and business losses. In a relatively short period of time, the topic was no longer on the news, and life has returned to “normal,” even though it’s no secret that the Arabs are rearming, which isn’t the topic at hand…

In contrast, the Disengagement Refugees, those exiled from their homes, when Arik Sharon, Ehud Olmert and gang decided to unilaterally—meaning without getting anything, even a promise, in return—destroyed their homes, communities, businesses and educational institutions, haven’t been given enough to resume their lives. The additional sum announced last week is still far from enough and not for immediate payment.

Pre-Disengagement, Gush Katif and Northern Shomron were not wealthy areas. On the whole they weren’t inhabited by strong ambitious “go-getters.” Each YESHA community has its own personality, and the residents of Gush Katif were mostly silent like the sand they lived on. Many had found their communities to be their refuge, where they had built productive, though modest, lives.

Most trusted their rabbis and community leaders, who promised them a chance to reproduce their heaven on earth, and now they’re unemployed and idle in various refugee camps for which they pay high rents. Their promised new neighborhoods haven’t been built. The insufficient compensation is being eaten daily for the lucky ones who fit the stringent criteria. The others are being buried by their overdrafts.

The refugees who had tried looking for new places to live in other parts of the country discovered that their “package” would buy a tiny slum apartment in old public housing. There was no way they could own anything like their previous homes. So they’re waiting for the building lots to be available. Maybe they can move into a tent there? At least they’ll own the land.

Then the government announced an increase, but it’s a pittance and to be paid over ten years. Many of the refugees aren’t considered “qualified,” since they were “only renters.”

The government turned these good people into refugees. They deserve sufficient compensation to rebuild their lives and homes in suitable cities, towns and yishuvim.

May 2007
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