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Avigdor LiebermanAfter the Kadima-Avodah government successfully bolstered their election results with their Gaza operation, they faced unintended consequences. Their refusal to finish the operation by destroying Hamas boosted the popularity of Lieberman’s Israeli Beitenu Party, which demanded that IDF stay in Gaza to finish off Hamas.

The leftist establishment resorted to its usual tactic for dealing with political opponents: police persecution. For years, police dragged out various corruption allegations against Lieberman without indicting him on any of them. Lieberman went to court and got an order for the police to either charge him or stop the harassment. Days before the elections, police arrested his daughter Michal Lieberman and several other people connected with Israel Beitenu on corruption, money laundering, and fraud charges.

The investigation against Michal Lieberman began a year ago; the next day Avigdor left Olmert’s government.

Lieberman’s cohorts are no less corrupt than Avodah and Kadima—but no more so than them, either. Naturally, politicians take money for election campaigns and do something in return. Some allegations against Lieberman are ridiculous, such as a charge that ten years ago he used his connections with the Russian mafia to stabilize the falling ruble in return for a kickback from an Austrian bank. Other charges relate to equally old events.

The arrests will only improve Lieberman’s election results as the voters see that the establishment is afraid of him.

Ichilov HospitalThe conviction of Dr. Jacky Sarov is unusual even by warped Israeli standards of justice. Dr. Sarov, head of Ichilov Hospital’s emergency room, repeatedly accepted mafia boss Assi Abutbul for treatment without appointment. To show his gratitude, Abutbul gave Dr. Sarov $200-300 each time.

The court expected the mafia boss to wait in line for his turn at the hospital and the doctor to bravely reject his gifts.

Efraim SnehEfraim Sneh, a leftist politician and son of a prominent Israeli communist, attempted to enter the Knesset in a newly-formed Israel Hazaka (Strong Israel) Party. As the polls predicted him a failure, Sneh’s car was conveniently set on fire tonight.

Sneh attributes the arson to criminals angry at him for calling for a police war on organized crime as part of his election campaign. More likely Sneh’s associates burned his car to show the seriousness of his anti-crime efforts and salvage Israel Hazaka.

ErdoganTurkey, a former Israeli and US ally, increasingly aligns itself with Muslim states. Iran is drawing Turkey into its orbit by promising cheap natural gas. Turkey also finds itself close to Syria which has no other state willing to talk to it; Obama, too, has promised to engage Syria.

Turkey’s secular character is eroding as fervently Muslim masses stream from villages into towns and become politically active. Ataturk’s secularization did not touch Turkish villages.

Turkey’s Islamist PM Erdogan called Hamas rocket attacks on Israel “a mistake,” but also noted correctly than Israel violated the six-month ceasefire understanding by refusing to open the border crossings.

Not long ago, Shimon Peres praised Erdogan’s Turkey as Israel’s major ally against Hamas.

17,500 employees were fired in December, a slight increase over the already high November figure. The Bank of Israel has warned of a recession.

The Attorney General continues his investigation of Avodah Ivrit rabbis, who have declared it impermissible to hire Arab enemies while Jews remain jobless.

Iranian artillery shells The Navy has recently intercepted an Iranian-chartered ship with weapons on board. In a curious development, the arms cargo appears not to have been intended for Gaza, as it included a large number of artillery shells, which are not popular with Hamas.

Either the Palestinians have upgraded their arsenals with artillery, or the shipment was intended for Hezbollah.

JeninMuch to the pleasure of the Israeli media, Fatah police arrested dozens of Hamas and PIJ activists in the West Bank. Fatah officials rushed to dispel Hamas’ accusations of collaboration with Israel.

Fatah’s police chief in Jenin clarified that his forces did not arrest Hamas and PIJ resistance fighters, but that the fighters had sought protection from IDF reprisals in Fatah jails, which is a common practice among Palestinian terrorists.

…which is nice indeed, and sets a good example for the Israeli government on how to deal with the ultra-left scum.

The funny part is that Hamas executed Haidar Ghanem on a Fatah court’s order for collaboration with Israel.

Tzipi LivniThe Finance Ministry’s figure is four times the previous estimate.

For the first time in years, Israel plans to borrow from foreign lenders with US guarantees. Economically, the move is absurd: in response to a dwindling budget, the country must decrease its expenses rather than continue borrowing. Israel’s international credit rating is high, and US guarantees won’t significantly decrease the loan interest.

Olmert’s government scares the population with a massive deficit in order to lock the next Cabinet into submission to the Obama Administration, which would ask for suicidal political concessions in return for unnecessary loan guarantees.

water wasteGone are the days when the Israeli government defied “human rights” activists, and limited water supplies to Palestinian farmers on par with Jewish producers.

Israel stopped pumping from Lake Kineret as its level dropped dangerously low. The government barred Jewish farmers from watering new trees and severely restricted municipalities in watering city parks. None of the restrictions affect Israeli Arabs, who simply steal the water.

But the government also continues unabated water supplies to Gaza, Jordan, and the West Bank.

Abbas, HaniyeAs “moderate” Arab states try to bring Fatah and Hamas terrorist groups back into a unity government, Hamas has made an impossible demand of Fatah: to cease peace talks with Israel as a pre-condition of reconciliation. Fatah, for its part, also demands the impossible: that Hamas relinquish its control over Gaza.

Fatah does not want reconciliation with Hamas because Abbas is happy to abandon the criminal nest of Gaza. Hamas, propped up by Iranian promises of aid, waits for Fatah to discredit itself with Palestinians so that Hamas can take over the West Bank in the elections.

Olmert, TalanskyAs the corruption case against Olmert falls apart, Israeli prosecutors have secured the US Justice Department’s agreement to grant Talansky partial immunity in order to force him to testify against Olmert.

Despite its earlier reluctance, the Justice Department offered Talansky immunity just days after Hillary Clinton installed herself in the White House. Barak, a great friend of the Clintons, profits from the Olmert investigation as many of Kadima’s votes flow to Avodah.

MalmoSwedish Jews finally managed a pro-Israeli rally in the ultra-left university town of Malmo in Sweden. Local Muslims pelted them with eggs and bottles, at which point the police dispersed both sides.