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The Red Cross’s chief announced that Gaza’s infrastructure is fully rebuilt to its December, pre-war state. Just 2,800 houses remain destroyed, but presumably their inhabitants found shelter in UNRWA installations. The reconstruction is financed partly by Israeli tax transfers to Fatah.
What goes unmentioned is that the rocket fire from Gaza is also back to its December level.

The ICRC has long departed from its original function to serve the battlefield wounded and POWs and became another ultra-left outfit that promotes a political agenda. This time the Red Cross calls for Israeli-Palestinian peace—meaning Israeli surrender of core Jewish lands to defeated and unrepentant enemies.

Police barred young Arab males from praying on the Temple Mount this Friday because they are expected to riot. During the previous ban recently, women rioted instead.

Jews, on other hand, are completely banned from praying at the Temple Mount, and Israeli police arrest those caught with their lips moving suspiciously in silent prayer.

Shas, Likud, and Lieberman have agreed on a hypocritical version of civil marriages: they would only be allowed to non-Jews. UTJ’s Rabbi Eliyashiv rejected that approach on the practical grounds that the Supreme Court is likely to overturn the “racial” restriction in the law and allow civil marriages to Jews as well—which would allow them to marry non-Jews, who are plentiful in Israel.

Theoretically, the Supreme Court should not intervene because Israel maintains two different marriage systems, one for Jews, another for Muslims. Logically, a third system might be offered to other denominations. But Rabbi Eliyashiv realized correctly that the Supreme Court treats Muslims preferentially to Jews and won’t allow the later a separate binding marriage jurisdiction.

Netanyahu cannot form a right-wing coalition without UTJ, and Lieberman is unlikely to compromise on assimilationist marriages. The fuss is odd; this is a Jewish state, and if non-Jews cannot marry conveniently, that is the least of our problems.
Netanyahu can try splitting a few members from Kadima into the coalition in order to compensate for UTJ.

Meanwhile, Olmert remains in office, and probably laughs at them all.

As the Fatah-Hamas unity-government talks progress in Cairo, a question remains: what would be the role of the massive US-trained Fatah force? They were meant originally to combat Hamas terrorists. The well-trained militants would be left without action, susceptible to infiltration by Hamas.

Hamas would also protest Fatah’s monopoly on brute power and demand legitimization of its own forces.

Like Hezbollah, Hamas would eventually take over the government, or at least receive veto power in it, and would appear to be in control of two military forces—its own and the US-trained Fatah’s.

Obama would welcome a Fatah-Hamas unity government, as it would allow him to continue the peace process and wire funds to Gaza.

Israel can really look to Egypt to learn many things.

The Egyptians have closed Gaza’s border without apology. They shoot Gazans without much reason and with no remorse. Despite all that, Hamas would not even think of staging a terrorist attack inside Egypt, or kidnapping Egyptian soldiers.
When Iranians staged a single demonstration against Mubarak, Egypt almost broke relations with the mullahs.

Today, the Egyptian FM sharply rebuked the United States for the State Department’s negative review of its human rights record. Egypt receives just a bit less American aid than Israel, and that aid is much more important for impoverished Egypt than for Israel. But unlike Jews, Egyptians are sensible and realize than America needs them more than vice versa—and they can look at Americans as partners rather than masters.

Maddeningly, the US Administration continues its efforts at democratizing stable countries. In Iraq, democracy turned into violent anarchy. In Pakistan, it brought Islamists to power. In Lebanon and Palestine, the elections handed victory to Hezbollah and Hamas, respectively. In Egypt, democratic elections would mean the victory of Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas’ parent organization.

A Madrid court decided to continue the hearings against Binyamin Ben Eliezer and other IDF figures for crimes against humanity. The humanity in question was Salah Shehadeh and his relatives, duly killed by IAF’s mega-bomb in Gaza.

Since crimes against humanity have no statute of limitations and can be prosecuted retroactively, why doesn’t Israel indict the Spaniards for evicting Jews five centuries ago?

Short of assassinating the Spanish judge, Israel can easily terminate the proceedings by staging a “fair trial” of her own.

The EU has given $556 million to Gaza, despite the severe economic crisis in Europe. That’s in addition to $900 million from America and $2.5 billion from other Arab countries. The IDF operation in Gaza proved to be a bonanza for Hamas.

Sixty years ago, when the Germans demanded $200 million worth of equipment (in today’s dollars) to spare a million Jews, the world refused.

Gaza damage skyrocketed after the war, and is now estimated at $1.9 billion. Less than 3,000 houses were destroyed, and another couple of thousand shacks sustained varied damage. Since the Gazan infrastructure is already rebuilt, the alleged damage amounts to $400,000 per Palestinian house. Now, these two propositions are mutually exclusive: either the Arabs live in $400,000 homes, or they live badly under Israeli occupation.

Hamas had earlier paid Gazans 4,000 euro per destroyed house, which it correctly deemed enough to rebuild their shacks. The lion’s share of $1.9 billion aid would go straight into the PLO’s and Hamas’ coffers.

A rocket from Gaza hit an Israeli school in Ashkelon. Thanks to Shabbat, the school was empty.
The advanced-type 170mm Kassam-4 rocket penetrated school fortification. While the government debates fortifying schools and kindergartens (“…to dwell safely in our own land”), Arab terrorists improved their rockets to make the fortification obsolete.

The UN, the EU, the US State Department, and the Arab League condemned the attack on an Israeli civilian center in the strongest terms. Just kidding.

When IDF attacked Hamas guerrillas near a UNRWA school in Gaza, the world went berserk.

IDF retaliated by launching three rockets into the tunnels at Rafah. The strikes were carefully targeted to avoid Hamas casualties, so as not to disrupt the ceasefire talks. If those tunnels are so important, why doesn’t the IDF enter the Rafah area to destroy them all?

Olmert again promised “harsh retaliation” for rocket attacks. He lied, as usual.

Hillary Clinton says Hamas must recognize Israel as a precondition for US recognition of Palestinian unity government.

Indeed, a four-thousand-year-old Jewish nation needs recognition for its divinely sanctioned state from an Arab terrorist group.

But suppose Hamas were to abandon its characteristic honestly and, like Fatah, lie that from now on it welcomes the Jews. Would those words change the reality on the ground?

Clinton fails to ask herself about the basis for Hamas-Fatah reconciliation. Hamas absolutely rejects anything less than the 1949 borders for the Palestinian state, and upholds the armed struggle against the Zionists. Fatah can only join Hamas and compete with it in elections by accepting those terms. The unification radicalizes Fatah rather than moderating Hamas. Indeed, a Hamas-only government would be less radical than a joint one, as Hamas won’t need to prove its credentials by differentiating itself from Fatah’s Israeli collaborators.

Arabs too, decided to make this Saturday into a day of rest, and announced a strike in East Jerusalem and elsewhere in Judea and Samaria. They protested a few court-ordered demolitions of Arab houses built illegally in Jerusalem’s archaeologically sensitive area.

Those Arabs are odd fellows. Why would we care about them closing their shops to other Arabs?

The government apparently permitted Abu Marzook, Hamas’ second-in-command in Damascus, to enter Gaza for a few hours to visit his relatives after a thirty-year absence from the Strip. Abu Marzook came through Rafah from Egypt, where he held fruitful reconciliation talks with Fatah terrorists.

Israel’s goodwill gesture toward Hamas came as Gazans continued shelling Israeli population centers.