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Along with the Soviet Union, the German Democratic Republic used to be the only country to routinely shoot those who tried to escape it.

Guards at the Erez Crossing shot a Jew who tried to climb over the gate into Gaza. The Jew was probably mentally ill.

The PM claims that Syria has agreed to negotiate with Israel without preconditions: that is, without demanding that Israel agree to abandon the Golan Heights before negotiations.

Such a stance on the part of Syria is unlikely. Syria’s confidence is astonishing: having started and lost three wars, and having accomplished nothing by decades of terrorist fighting with Israel, the Syrians are sure that Israel will give back the Golan Heights, and even Lake Kineret.

But what difference does it make whether Syria demands the Golan Heights before negotiations or during them?

The Israeli army, on leave from defending Jews, broke into the village of Maaleh Levona and used stun grenades against Jews there. The hard-won objective was to serve construction freeze notices to would-be homeowners.

Iran has overcome all its technical difficulties and is now ready to start building a bomb from their available stock of 1.8 tons of uranium, according to Israeli Military Intelligence.

Meanwhile, Iran’s political problems keep growing: tens of thousands of students and other pro-reform protesters clashed with Iranian police. To count on the reformers would be unwise, because Iranian politics is too entangled and could develop either way: the regime has successfully quelled student movements several times in past decades; the student protesters include both pro-American liberals and fierce Ahmadinejad-type nationalists who reject the ayatollahs but welcome the bomb; and Mousawi and Rafsanjani are staunchly pro-nuclear.

If Iran gets the bomb, the reformists will become dangerous: faced with imminent loss of power, the nuclear mullahs might go berserk, and would be liable to do anything, from passing the bomb to Syria or terrorists to bombing Israel.

December 2009
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