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In secret elections, the Muslim Brotherhood has appointed Muhammad Badee its new leader. Badee is a hardline associate of Qutb, the Brotherhood’s venerable cleric who permitted killing of Muslims and infidels alike.

Badee’s succession signals the Muslim Brotherhood’s refusal to compromise. The Brotherhood supports Iran and calls for the annihilation of Israel. The US pressure for democratic elections in Egypt made the Muslim Brotherhood into the largest opposition faction in the parliament.

Two tendencies compete here. The Brotherhood’s members are becoming generally more moderate along with Egyptian society at large. At the same time, the Brotherhood’s ascent to power brings radical Islamists to the top, either directly or through their influence on the “independent” MPs. Thus, it remains unpredictable whether Egypt will follow the path of moderation or fall to Islamists.

The Knesset has overwhelmingly passed a bill which clears the criminal records of the Gush Katif protesters.

Sharon made mere disagreement with his disengagement plan a criminal offense, but most criminal records were accrued in real riots.

Arabs and Meretz opposed the bill.

The Jewish Agency recently praised Ukraine’s efforts in combating anti-Semitism. This is a bad joke, as all the major political contenders in that country run on anti-Semitic platforms.

The Jewish Agency’s annual report claims that in 2009 anti-Semitism reached its highest level since the Holocaust. That is nonsense. The number of anti-Semitic incidents last year is attributable to the Gaza war, and these incidents will not recur this year.

The government has adopted a plan to punish employers for hiring illegal workers. The goal is to reduce their number by 30–50,000.

The illegals mostly take jobs that Israelis do not want. Indeed, there is no reason for Jews to accept the lowliest jobs for peanuts.

The plan will mostly target illegals from far-off countries, especially Asians and East Europeans. Arabs can easily retreat to the West Bank for a short while and escape sanctions.

In practice, the plan will clean tens of thousands jobs in Israel for our Palestinian enemies. Worse, they will be working legally, which means that Jewish consumers will reimburse their taxes.

Instead, the government should allow here any number of Asian workers necessary for our economy and push out all Palestinian workers. A liberal policy toward immigrant labor must be combined with unrelenting deportation of them once their work visas expire. Every person who applies for an Israeli work visa must sign a declaration forfeiting any future option for permanent residence in our country.

Israel Beitenu has blocked a bill that would have closed a legal loophope that allows the selling of leavened bread on Pesach on private premises—in effect, in any shop or restaurant.

Abbas’ presidential term expired a year ago, and the Palestinian Legislative Council’s term expired yesterday.

The Washington Post pointed out that at the same cabinet meeting in which the German government agreed to subsidize Israel’s sixth useless Dolphin submarine, it also provided a billion-dollar subsidy for liquified natural gas projects in Iran.

The LNG projects are a snub to Obama, who wants them covered by sanctions.

January 2010
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