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The terms of gas exploration in the Israeli Mediterranean have changed, with Hezbollah announcing that it will retaliate against Jewish targets because Israel has robbed Lebanon of its gas reserves. Never mind the declaration of war from the major party in the Lebanese government.

Now IDF will have to protect corporate interests and indefensible gas-drilling platforms against Hezbollah attacks. Residents of North Israel will probably have to suffer the rocket attacks provoked by such exploration. Essentially, gas drilling will be a state-run operation.

Under the circumstances, it would be only honest to compensate the company for its exploration efforts and revoke the drilling license.

Five soldiers who fought in the Defensive Shield in 2002 have lost their libel suit against the Arab producer of the Jenin, Jenin movie. The court confirmed that while the film—which is already banned in Israel—is full of lies, it is defamatory only toward the IDF and not any particular soldier.

The court’s decision is sensible, and it pushes the IDF into a politically uncomfortable corner: the legal road is open now for the army to sue the Arab.

Jenin, Jenin

Netanyahu’s housing reform boils down to offering developers deep discounts in return for setting lower prices and rents.

Economically, the approach is wrong: instead, the government should sell the land at the highest possible prices and use the proceeds to subsidize prices and rents, if it wishes to do so. That way subsidies can be really targeted.

Nothing prevents developers from selling apartments built on discounted land to affiliated buyers who would later resell them to real customers. Rents, too, can be changed after some nominal improvements.

July 2011
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