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conducts the largest military buildup at the Israeli border since Yom Kippur war. Syria purchased and manufactured huge numbers of SCUD missiles, kept in underground bunkers, and Russian anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles. Israeli army made no counter-move at all. Meridor, Israeli rep in the US, refreshingly reassured Syria that Israel wants peace.

Shortly after Bronfman junior (World Jewish Congress) was urged to step down amid charges of financial fraud, discreditable information on Israel Singer’s (former WJC boss) associate Hoxter has been publicized. Curtis Hoxter received $709,000 from the March of the Living for nothing. Israeli Finance Minister Hirchson received bribes from the same organization, funded by the Claims Conference which pockets the money received from Swiss banks for the Jews who perished in Holocaust. The Claims Conference distributes minor amounts to Holocaust Survivors while spending the most for salaries, benefits, bribes, and irrelevant programs.

Profit share is capped at $12.5%, three times above the profits Saddam had paid to Russian and Chinese oil investors. The law diminishes Iraqi’s central government authority by allowing provincial administrations to grant oil concessions. The Kurds vowed to continue independent oil deals regardless of the law passing the parliament.

The highest Jewish court aims at establishing “universal values” (sharia is more universal than Judaism), tolerance (nationalist Jewish zealots will be sentenced), love of humanity (co-existence with Arab enemies), a “society that fulfills expectations of the founding fathers” (socialists like Ben Gurion, Rabin the murderer of Altalena, and Teddy Kollek the British agent). Beinisch moralized about “a society made up of good people,” opposed Jewish character of the State of Israel and any violence – including the “violence” of Jewish demonstrators. Beinisch called for more brainwashing of Israeli children in schools. Not a single time in her speech did Beinisch mentioned rule of law, being preoccupied with judicial activism.
There is some hope in Beinisch’ statements about “political turmoil” and “storm clouds.” Bad for Beinisch, good for the Jews.

offers Israel peace talks with no realistic agenda, accumulates military forces at the border with Israel.
Israeli officials split about Syria’s intentions. National Security Council’s Mizrahi cautiously suggests Syria wants peace. Military Intelligence’s Biadatz believes the Syrian peace initiative is for real. Mossad’s Meir Dagan dismisses Syria’s overtures as meant to buy it time and break the international isolation.
Syria assembled more troops at the border with Israel than at any time since the Yom Kippur War. The intentions are clear.

Tel Aviv courts sentences an Arab to 7 years in jail for knowingly driving a Palestinian suicide bomber who later killed a Jew and wounded 55 more. That’s one and a half month for every wounded Jew.
Weeks ago, three Jews who unknowingly drove a suspicious Arab to Netanya where he blew himself, received 13-year jail term.
A Jew who drove his friend to shoot at the Arabs in Haifa in retaliation for Arabs’ lynching two Jews in Ramallah, was sentenced to three years.

Maj.-Gen. Dayton, US military rep at the Palestinian Authority, demands that Israel removes roadblocks that caught hundreds of suicide bombers, allows uncontrolled traffic between the Hamas-controlled Gaza and the relatively safe West Bank, and arms the PLO. In return, Hamas is expected to cease arms smuggling and missile attacks. The plan, approved by Rice, shows that US military bureaucrats are divorced from the Middle East reality.

In the dignified testimony before Winograd commission, Olmert correctly blamed the IDF’s commanders for inadequate performance; Sharon purged the IDF of capable commanders before the controversial evacuation of Gush Katif. Halutz confirmed the army was fully ready for war, says Olmert. It was Halutz’s decision not to call up the reserves from the onset of the war. Later, Olmert decided to call the reserves. Olmert apparently harshly criticized Halutz during the war. Olmert defends his decision to fight Hezbollah immediately upon the provocation, says Israel had no other choice.
Peretz showed the complete lack of understanding military issues, testified that he had no idea the army is inadequately trained, unprepared. Israeli Defense Ministers usually exercise very limited control over the army and follow the General Staff recommendations. Peretz said that withstanding missile attacks on northern Israel sent Hezbollah a positive message of Israeli endurance.
Halutz testified he “was not bothered” by lack of ground combat experience (he comes from IAF), blamed miscalculations on staff members. Halutz admitted the army had sufficient resources but he lacked determination, mistakenly imagining the war, which has previously lasted 18 years, would be finished in two weeks. Subordinate commanders concurred with him, were waiting for orders instead of venturing suggestions or taking responsibility. No IDF commander has formal military training, but one-year courses at the most.

Livni cooperated with IDF intelligence research’s Baidatz to end the war regardless of the IDF efforts to root out Hezbollah. Baidatz, alone among Israeli security heads, proclaimed a few days ago that Syria genuinely seeks peace with Israel and will not start war. Livni’s Foreign Ministry promulgates a similar view.

OPEC cut the production quotas at the two recent meetings to keep oil price rising. Qatar, Algeria insist on further oil production cuts to create short supply and drive oil prices up. US oil corporations drastically increased crude oil inventories, pushed the demand, and helped OPEC to raise oil prices.
OPEC is an illegal cartel created to manipulate oil prices to Muslim benefit. US saved Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Saddam, but didn’t make OPEC to lower oil prices. US imposed sanctions on many foreign companies and organizations that engage in illegal trade practices, but refrained from condemning OPEC.

In a watershed event in Israeli politics, Uri Lupolyansky ignored the anti-racist laws and spoke about the Arab demographical problem. Israeli politicians traditionally refrain from discussing the problem of the impending Arab majority because of its “racist” overtones. Israel enacted anti-racist laws to ban Rabbi Meir Kahane from the Knesset.
Mayor Lupolyanski nominally complied with the law by talking of the impending Hamas rather than Arab control over Jerusalem. Hamas is not present in Jerusalem, and the mayor’s reference to Hamas is a thinly veiled mention of Arabs generally.
Mayor Lupoliansky didn’t name the two main reasons for the Jews to stay out of Jerusalem: poor security (suicide bombers easily operate in the city full of Arabs) and ideological failure (Israel prohibits the Jews to pray at the Temple Mount to avoid provoking Arabs. Muslim shrines humiliatingly dominate the Temple Mount).
Arabs have more than doubled their presence in Jerusalem since Israel re-took the city in 1967. Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries and Western charities finance Arab purchases of Jerusalem apartments from Jews. When Arabs move in, Jewish residents move out, abandoning apartment houses to Arabs.
Olmert promised $1.5 billion to foster the Jewish presence in Jerusalem. Israeli Left hunts Olmert because of his recent overtures with the right Jews. Olmert was historically a right-winger and voted against the return of Sinai to Egypt in 1978.
US, Germany, France, other EU members refused to take part in the Knesset ceremony celebrating 40 years of the Jews’ re-taking Jerusalem from Arabs. During its rule over Jerusalem, Jordan razed Jewish Quarter, including synagogues and historical buildings, and banned the Jews from the holy places. Ultra-Orthodox mayor Lupolyanski scolded both the foreign envoys and the Israeli government which tolerates such insults to its national identity. Lupolyanski adopted right rhetoric to counter Arkady Gaydamak, a Russian demagogue billionaire who aims at becoming a mayor of Jerusalem.
Israeli public opinion shifts to the right. 84% of Jews in Israel don’t believe peace with Palestinian Arabs is possible and majority supports holding on to the Gush Etzion settlements (Institute for Israeli Studies).

20% blame Jews for Jesus’ death, 44% believe the Jews have “too much power” internationally, nearly half are irritated by stories of Holocaust. 52% blame Israel for their anti-Semitism. Half of the Europeans surveyed don’t believe that Iranian nuclear program is solely a military program. The figures are consistent with the previous years’ polls. In the US, JDL registered over 1,500 anti-Semitic incidents in 2006.
ADL also condemned Putin’s May 9 comparison of Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Nazi atrocities.

cites violation of unspecified international humanitarian laws. The Red Cross remains unconcerned over the American separation of Mexicans, including prohibition of free movement from Mexico to the United States. The Red Cross similarly did not demand that Greece opens its borders to Russians to join the 400,000 Russians who reside in Greece. The Red Cross lambastes Israel for using the occupation for her own advantage, rather than the advantage of the Palestinians.
The Red Cross grieves over losing monopoly over the Nazi concentration and death camps’ archives which will now be opened to public. In the tradition of political neutrality, the Red Cross kept silent during the Holocaust even though its personnel working in concentration camps was fully aware of the annihilation of Jews. The 1948 Red Cross’ WWII report calls the death camp of Theresienstadt “a relatively privileged ghetto.” (v.3 p.75)

The IDF retaliated against Gaza after Kassam rockets wounded dozens of Jews in a few days, including children, women, and old people. The IDF attacked Hamas camp near Rafah from the air, killing only four Arabs with three expensive missiles. The IDF also attacks the Kassam “launching pads,” though Kassam can be launched from anywhere.
In drastic change to the Israeli historical practice, the government refuses to follow the IDF recommendation on Gaza; the IDF demands invasion. Israeli response is now dictated by foreign opinion and leftist policies rather than military necessities. Loony Defense Minister Peretz claims Hamas showers Israel with missiles “to provide cover for its murderous campaign against Fatah.” Leftists imagine that Hamas stepped up rocket attacks on Israel not as a continuation of its long-term policy, but to draw Israel into Gaza either in Hezbollah-style trap or to unify the Palestinians against common threat.
Israeli government started evacuation of Sderot residents threatened by Kassam attacks. Sderot residents are moved to Jerusalem, a popular destination for Palestinian suicide bombers.
Invading Gaza now would embroil Israel in a Palestinian civil war, unless Israel kills out any suspected militants and imposes martial law.

Israel will win the Palestinian factional strife on Fatah-PLO’s behalf. Olmert finally announces “harsh and severe” measures against Hamas. A happy hour for Abu Mazen. Hamas also welcomes Israeli invasion as a way to unify the Palestinians against the common Zionist enemy.
Hamas, Fatah leaders losing grip over their troops. Cease-fires don’t hold. After the Israeli withdrawal, Gaza is saturated with weapons, earmarked for street violence.
The harsh measures won’t include targeted assassinations of Hamas politicians who are directly responsible for murdering Jewish civilians. Israel will only target the Arabs directly involved in terrorism. A dog bites a stick that hits it.
Israeli government aims at “damaging the terrorist infrastructure.” Olmert didn’t specify what would prevent Hamas from rebuilding the “terrorist infrastructure” weeks after Israel withdraws from Gaza. Olmert understands that the invasion of Gaza is a no-win situation, but he has no choice: Israeli public opinion pressures him into action just like it pushed Itzhak Shamir who has made a policy of no negotiations with Arabs. The problem of terrorism in Gaza is unsolvable in short term except by clearing Gaza from Arabs or intensive police operations. Ariel Sharon pacified Gaza at one time by combing the territory for insurgents and using scores of imformants and provocateurs. Gaza is an Arab pressure cooker: poor, saturated with arms, lacking job opportunities or life prospects, with plenty of unemployed youngsters, and foreign financing of the insurgency. Rationalist people look for fast solutions; there is no fast and politically correct solution to Gazan terrorism.
Tzipi Livni urges the government for diplomatic action. Israel continues to supply Gaza with subsidized electricity and water.

Russian oligarch Arkady Gaydamak evacuated some Sderot residents. Israeli government wants the people to stay in Sderot under Hamas’ fire. Olmert visited Sderot for a few hours at night to convince the Jews to stay and needlessly risk their lives. Other politicians also frequent Sderot in recent days.
Israeli government adheres to the nineteenth-century idea of honor, when the armies marched to death under the enemy’s withering fire. Hamas rocket hit a school in Sderot today.

Trade unionist, peacenik activist, and now Defense Minister Peretz ordered the IDF not to destroy infrastructure in Gaza, lest the Palestinians unite around Hamas. Peretz somehow missed that the Palestinians are already united around Hamas. Indeed, the Palestinians voted for Hamas. Peretz’s peacenik vision of warcraft is opposite to the Israeli strategy that worked in Lebanon: there, Israel bombed infrastructure until the world and the Lebanese government agreed to restrain democratically elected Hezbollah a bit.

Peretz lambasted Barak for failure to develop anti-Kassam missile defense system during his term as prime minister. Peretz, too, didn’t order developing such system during his year as a Defense Minister. Peretz’s idea of countering missiles from Gaza with passive anti-missile system rather than active ground operation strikes a common ground between pacifism and lunacy.

On the Sunday meeting of Israeli government’s Security Cabinet, Ashkenazi showed restrained about ground operation in Gaza. Earlier, Ashkenazi described the ground operation as the only way to damage Palestinian terrorist infrastructure in Gaza.
At the Cabinet’s meaning, Avigdor Lieberman spoke tough and vainly as usual. Lieberman threatened withdrawing from the government if Olmert fails to assassinate Hamas leaders and re-occupy Philadelphi corridor Hamas uses to smuggle arms into Gaza. While Lieberman, like the Labor seeks to dissociate from unpopular Olmert’s government, Lieberman cannot leave the government too soon since that would cut his income derived from corruption. Lieberman clarified that the government shouldn’t treat his call for action as ultimate demand.
Olmert asserted that Hamas is now paying a heavy price. The IDF has killed not even a dozen of Hamas members so far, all of them rank-and-file.
The government will pay compensation to Sderot area residents.
The events confirm that the IDF’s battalion in Gaza protected Israel. Sharon’s government claimed the IDF in Gaza protected settlers at the cost to all Israelis, and proceeded with disengagement, abandoning Gaza to Hamas just like the IDF abandoned Lebanon to Hezbollah.

Mazuz demands that Jewish National Fund, a non-government organization, sells land to Arabs. Mazuz insists on equality regardless of nationality. Mazuz instructed JNF to allow Arabs to bid for land plots in Carmiel. Arabs already constitute majority in many places in Galilee.
The issue is at the Supreme Court. The court ruled against the government Jewish Agency in a similar case, but Jewish National Fund is NGO. Many NGOs choose beneficiaries based on nationality and religion.
Supporting the Israeli reputation for political schizophrenia, the security agency Shin-Bet on the commission of the very same Mazuz informed an Arab rights group Adalah that Shin Bet investigates activities undermining the Jewish character of the State of Israel. Forget Adalah. Shin-Bet should arrest Mazuz for selling Jewish land to Israeli Arabs.

Immigrant Absorption Minister Boim will set up alternative conversion court manned by amenable rabbis who “recognize the immigrants’ needs.” Needs of the Jewish nation? Who cares.
Boim accuses the rabbis of demanding that converts lead religious family life.
The number of conversions is running now at historically high 1,000 a year.

Past coverage: feature
30.03 Israeli medics risk lives to help an Arab woman
30.03 Upgraded Arrow intercepts any ballistic missile in the Middle East
30.03 A wall of the First Temple found in the City of David
15.04 Peres urges Jews to build homeland in sea,
16.04 High Court prohibits Israel Lands Administration to prevent illegal land takeover by Bedouins
17.04 Syria threatens war over Golans
17.04 Egypt admits hiding critical information about its nuclear program
19.04 Netanyahu launches anti-Olmert campaign, “You have failed – go home”
20.04 Hamas changes tactics, takes over Abbas’ security forces as Israel arms them
21.04 Iranian response to sanctions: build us more nuclear facilities
22.04 Number of Israeli Slavs, Arabs, other non-Jews increased to 39% of Jews
23.04 Bank of Israel cuts interest rate to 3.75% to stop shekel from rising
24.04 The third force: Gazans protest Hamas-Fatah strife, block streets, burn tires
25.04 Abbas to Israel: Show restraint
26.04 Egypt eyes the role of regional arbiter, orders Hamas to reduce shelling of Israel
28.04 After 23 years, emigration from Israel takes off
29.04 The Left revels in the poll: ¾ of Israeli Arabs support Jewish state with equal rights to Arabs
30.04 Clearing the way for Livni: left, centrists attempt mass protests after Winograd report,
02.05 The report about nothing: Winograd discussed first five days of war,
02.05 Rice will meet Syria’s foreign minister Moallem, asks to meet Iran’s Mottaki