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As the terrorist attacks mount in Iraq, Obama’s administration announced the first withdrawals: 12,000 in the next six months. The American withdrawal sends an unmistakable signal to Iraqi terrorists: have no fear. They can start digging in and regrouping to overthrow the fledgling government once its American puppeteers leave.

Since the US troops have to withdraw in less than two years, they will begin scaling down their activities in the next few months. In order to claim overwhelming victory, terrorists will intensify their attacks so that the American withdrawal will look like a retreat under fire.

Unable to stop Iraq’s descent into terrorist anarchy, Obama has little incentive to renege on his promise to withdraw by 2010. His actions, however, are unpredictable: he might want a victory in Iraq to cover for his domestic economic failures, or the military-industrial complex may push to continue the Iraqi war as an anti-recession measure.

The best thing to do about Iraq would be to dismember it into Israeli-controlled Kurdistan, the Sunni triangle, and the Shiite part, which would be returned to Iran, in exchange for ending its nuclear program.

Despite Netanyahu’s initial indignation at the reports, it is almost certain that Lieberman is to be given the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The arrangement spells the end of him as a right-wing politician. Talking constantly to Western leaders, Lieberman would have to moderate his right-wing demagoguery and adopt basic tenets of Jewish defeatism.

Israelis are really bad at appointing pawns. First, Peres brought the half-forgotten Arafat back from exile in Tunisia in order to sign a peace deal with him. After Arafat became increasingly tolerant of Fatah’s terrorist wing, he was removed from the scene and died suspiciously.

Peres replaced him with Abbas, Israel’s other puppet. Abbas, too, had to adopt militant rhetoric in order to maintain popularity: polls indicate close to 60 percent of Palestinians support terrorism against Israel.

For some time, Israel was left with the Barghouti option. The jailed arch-terrorist is immensely popular among Palestinians because, having been in jail, he is not implicated in corruption. Barghouti is a pariah even among Arab regimes; Mubarak famously described him as the evil force behind Arafat.

Fayad increasingly looks for Israel like a viable alternative to Abbas. He created a decent—by Arab standards—and transparent government, independent of both Hamas and Fatah. Fayad’s resignation is timely: he leaves the Palestinians enough time to suffer under the new government and regret his leaving, but not enough time to forget him before the presidential elections.

Israel’s only problem with Fayad is that, like Arafat and Abbas, he is increasingly nationalist and anti-Israel.

No kidding, Barack Hussein Obama saidd just that in a NY Times interview, adding that America has lost its war in Afghanistan. In fact, the war was won, but the subsequent political process predictably lost.

Obama’s oxymoron highlights his leftist thinking: likewise, he seeks a constructive dialogue with Iranian ayatollahs who hold to Khomeini’s image of America as the Great Tempter. He also seeks rapprochement with Assad’s terrorist regime, signs of moderation from Hamas, and dialogue through Britain with Hezbollah’s imaginary political wing. Obama’s thinking reflects the academic convention that every problem has a solution. In the real world, most problems are solved by killing them out. Israel, too, shrinks from that uncomfortable realization.

As Netanyahu forms the narrowest possible 61:59 coalition, Kadima moves into opposition. Besides Livni’s personal issues, the disagreement comes amid Netanyahu’s refusal to endorse Kadima’s major platform—Israel’s unilateral disengagement from Judea and Samaria. That demand was prominent in the 2006 elections on the heels of Gaza disengagement, but many Israelis expected it to be shelved after even Peres and Beilin admitted that disengagement was an error.

Peace rhetoric is Livni’s only way to differentiate herself from Netanyahu. Indeed, it is her only electoral platform, as she has nothing else to sell.

Unless Netanyahu fails utterly, life in opposition would disintegrate Kadima, as its more enterprising MKs would seek government posts.

In such a narrow coalition, the National Union—the Knesset’s only seriously right-wing party—gains serious influence; essentially veto power.

Palestinian rocket attacks necessitated the Israeli war on Gaza, which necessitated aid to Gaza, which necessitated a Fatah-Hamas unity government, which rejects Israel—which puts the peace process on hold. More importantly, even moderate leftists in Israel are disillusioned with the prospects for peace, and no Knesset coalition can realistically garner public support for major territorial concessions to Arabs.

Just as two decades ago, the American administration prods us to capitulate to the defeated Syrian aggressor. To that end, American diplomatic representatives humiliatingly visited Syria (rather than vice versa) and pledged Israeli compliance.

Assad would love to gain international legitimacy by being courted by America, but there is little that America can do for him. Israeli support for holding the Golan Heights is universal: three generations have gotten used to thinking of the mountains as Jewish, as indeed the biblical Bashan is. Hatred of Syrians, our 4,000-year enemies, seems built into Jews. A severe drought makes Syrian access to Lake Kineret still more problematic. No Israeli government can cede the Golan Heights in the near future—though as the Sinai and Gush Katif examples show, things change here for the worse very quickly.

America cannot deliver Lebanon to Syria, and no way would Assad refuse the Greater Syria notion. Indeed, America will be clashing with Syria on Lebanon, if only diplomatically.

Syrians also wants weapons, maybe for no reason. That desire pushes them toward the Russians for supply and toward the Iranians for financing. America can neither provide Syria with weapons, nor with military aid.

Syria cannot abandon its support for Hamas, as it brings Assad serious stature vis-a-vis Mubarak, who is troubled by Gaza.

America cannot offer Syria any significant economic aid before it signs a peace treaty with Israel, which will not happen soon, and Assad cannot suspend his Russian and Iranian relations for remote promises from America.

Supported and financed by ultra-leftists who seek Israel’s defeat in the war on terror, the Shalits staged a major demonstration in front of the Prime Minister’s residence. Where any ordinary citizens would be refused, Shalits received permission for a tent city where thousands of Jewish defeatists gathered to demand the infamous 1,400:1 exchange.

Major ultra-left figures, such as Education Minister Tamir, praised the demonstration even though it clearly plays into Hamas’ hands by upping the stakes. Instead of being indicted for abetting the enemy, the Shalits are mythologized in Israeli media.

The indecency of the egoistic Shalits trumps even the dirt-low ultra-left standards: instead of proudly accepting their son as a casualty of war, one among many, they push the government to abandon justice for the jailed terrorists’ victims and security for all Israelis.

IAF bombed Hamas’ “weapons storage” in Gaza City—an empty shack. Hamas retaliated by launching four Kassam rockets into Israel’s open areas. Though Kassams cannot be targeted precisely, such wide misses indicate that Hamas, too, wants only a show, rather than an escalation.

After Jerusalem’s mayor sniffed at Clinton that she talks a lot, but thinks little, the American embassy furiously demanded apologies. The government responded that it is “sorry that anyone could see criticism in Nir Barkat’s words.” Why not?

Departing from decades-old practice, Obama’s Pentagon issued a report placing Israel among the nuclear powers—something which Israel denies to avoid IAEA investigations.

Surprisingly, the report puts Israel’s nuclear arsenal behind those of Britain and France. We used to think that Israel’s 200+ nuclear weapons exceeded the British arsenal of 185.

For the first time, the report conforms with our estimates that North Korea possesses nuclear weapons.

The tiny state of Lithuania, an American darling whose population enthusiastically cooperated with the Germans in the extermination of Jews, graciously agreed to pay $40 million for 136 Jewish properties seized by their murderers.

The number represents a tiny proportion of the confiscated Jewish houses. $40 mil is about a third of the minimal valuation, and even that would be paid in installments over the next twelve years.

A mad Tel Aviv court sentenced Dr. Jacky Sarov to fifteen months in jail for accepting several $200-300 bribes from mafia boss Abutbul to serve him ahead of the line—as if he had a choice.

Abutbul is not charged with giving bribes, and no policeman is charged with negligence, as known mafia members terrorize common citizens.

An Iranian court handed an eye for an eye punishment to a male who splashed acid on a woman named Ameneh Bahrami for some personal reason. Islamic law added a twist to the punishment: since a female is worth half a male, only one of his eyes will be etched out for both her eyes. The offender’s face won’t be similarly mutilated because disfiguration is not considered bodily harm.

When someone tells you that literal lex talionis is not the Torah’s punishment, ask him to read Leviticus 24:19.

Israel’s Military Intelligence chief made a widely expected announcement at today’s Cabinet meeting: Iran has solved all its technological problems and can build nuclear weapons at any moment.

It was nice living in a Jewish state.

At a Cabinet meeting, the prime minister refused any responsibility for the Israel-Hamas talks this February. Olmert accused Barak of running the negotiations which wiped out Cast Lead’s effects.

According to Olmert, Barak is also responsible for the summer truce with Hamas, whose fuzzy terms allowed the group to bring weapons into Gaza amid Israel’s inaction. It seems that the prime minister could not override Barak on military matters while the powerful defense minister defended Hamas.

Shabak security service revealed that Hamas has restocked its arsenal to pre-war levels and added anti-aircraft missiles. Egypt does not act to prevent arms smuggling.

The Attorney General indicted former president Moshe Katsav for rape and sexual assault. Unless the Israeli courts go completely crazy, the charges stand no chance because of a lack of credibility, a lack of hard evidence, and the statute of limitations. Mazuz earlier remarked that the case is hopeless.

The rape indictment on March 8 (Womens’ Day) is cheap politicking.

By indicting Katsav, Mazuz has positioned himself as an honest prosecutor friendly to female causes, and left it to his Netanyahu-appointed successor to shoulder the blame for ruining the case.

Fatah’s Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades bombed the Al Jazeera office in Gaza. Israel continuously suffers from Al Jazeera’s anti-Semitic coverage, but allows them a free hand in Gaza, the West Bank, and even accredited them for the prime minister’s briefings.

All the males of a good Arab family from Tyrah, from the brothers to their eighty-two-year-old grandfather, systematically raped their sister from the time she was ten years old. At the age of twenty-four, the victim finally turned to the police.

Arab residents of Rahat settlement in the Negev have demanded that police investigates Bedouin children who thus amuse themselves. The residents recorded burnings and mutilations on video. Police did not react to previous complaints because, naturally, they cannot civilize the Arabs.