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IDF Chief of Staff Ashkenazi has ordered the integration of the army’s legal advisers into military operations. Until now, the legal advisers have “only” had their say in planning the battles, and often canceled promising engagements for fear of legal complications afterwards.

Now legal advisers will micromanage battles in the heat of operations.

On a visit to Lebanon, the Turkish PM accused Israel of using too much force against the Palestinians. His rhetoric can only raise Israel’s standing in Lebanon, whose population has killed many times more Palestinians than Israel.

Pinchas Wallerstein, director general of the government-funded Council of Settlements, resigned over the Council’s refusal to condemn the brave soldiers who refuse to demolish Jewish houses.

Israeli Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar called on the population to fast this Thursday to implore God to alleviate the water crisis. Hey, you don’t need to bother God for that. The Israeli water crisis stems from two sources only. We allow Palestinians (including their Jordanian variety) to draw five times more water than allocated to them under the agreements, and Israeli kibbutzim, economically inefficient as agricultural enterprises anywhere in the world, use gigantic amounts of water at heavily subsidized prices.

Speaking to Joe Lieberman and John McCain, the PM confirmed that the US-trained Fatah security forces are somewhat active in torturing Hamas and Palestinian liberal dissidents, but do not crack down on Fatah’s own terrorists from Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Tanzim.

To please the Americans, the government normally praises Fatah police’s activities.

A KEEVOON Research poll indicates that 72% of the national-religious camp would oppose a Swiss-type minaret ban in Israel. Nationalist Jews, of course, hate Palestinians and their symbols, but understand that they are the next in line: if the government is emboldened to crack down on Palestinians, national-religious Jews are the next likely target for repression.

For that reason, only 53% of ultra-Orthodox Jews would oppose the ban. They are insulated and safe from any government actions.

The poll is strictly hypothetical because the ultra-left Israeli High Court would strike down any such ban, though its adoption in Switzerland shows that the ban is fully compatible with liberal democratic principles.

The municipality is preparing a re-zoning order for Silwan neighborhood, which would allow a maximum height of four rather than two stories for houses. That would legalize almost all the construction the Arabs have illegally undertaken over the decades.

At a time when Jews are fighting international legal battles to build a few houses in disputed areas of Jerusalem, Arabs will get tens of thousands of building permits automatically. The High Court, which falls upon every Jewish house in the area, does not even want to hear cases about illegal Arab construction.

Silwan is an extremely important Jewish archeological site which, if the municipal plan goes into force, would definitely fall to the Arabs under any future peace treaty.

The government approved a separation wall in Sinai to stave off not “smugglers and terrorists,” as it claimed, but actually illegal African migrants. Some 40,000 of them have entered Israel already. At their current breeding rate, in ten years they will become 3% of the Israeli population.

The wall is estimated to cost about $300 million, which is nonsense. If the current cost of the separation barrier is any indicator, the actual cost will be close to $9 billion—at a time when the government can’t scramble $100 million to reinforce Sderot schools against new types of rockets. Palestinians have already learned to scale the wall, and the Africans will do likewise.

Egyptian border policemen fight illegals on the cheap by shooting them.

At a joint conference, Israel’s MDA and the Palestinian Red Crescent Society praised recent developments which have made it easier to bring critically ill Palestinian patients for treatment in Israeli hospitals.

The Palestinians, of course, do not have Israeli insurance.

Speaking at a press conference with the Qatari chieftain, Hillary Clinton emphasized that the new round of sanctions envisaged by her boss will apply to the Revolutionary Guards but will not increase the suffering of ordinary Iranians. Translated, that means no sanctions on gasoline. China, too, has blocked such sanctions.

Qatar, an ally of both Iran and the US, mediates between the two.

January 2010
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