NUMBER OF DAYS UNTIL THE ISRAELI ELECTION: 4
ISRAELSTREET endorses NAFTALI BENNETT for Prime Minister
Head of “HaBayit HaYehudi” (The Jewish Home) political party
“We can’t have peace with the Palestinians. Enough. How long can we talk about this? We can only reach coexistence . . .”
UPDATES 6 pm Israel time Thursday:
The Israeli election is just over 4 days away, and the polls are as widely divergent as ever.
The Channel 10 poll released yesterday has the “rightist bloc”, which includes Likud Beiteinu (Netanyahu), Habayit Hayehudi (Bennett), the ultra-orthodox parties, and Powerful Israel, dwindling to 64 seats.
In marked contrast, a Maariv poll released this morning shows “the rightist bloc” steadily increasing to 75 seats with Likud Beiteinu taking 37 seats. In this poll, the only question seems to be if Habayit Hayehudi will pass Labor (Yachimovich) for second place.
The Channel 10 poll is being used today to broadcast the message that President Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu is paying off (this poll has Tzipi Livni’s party increasing by two to 11 seats). On the other hand, the Maariv poll is being used today to broadcast the message that President Obama’s criticism of Netanyahu has had the opposite effect (this poll has Tzipi Livini’s party decreasing to only 5 seats).
The real problem with both of these polls as well as others is that a substantial portion of the Israeli electorate is undecided; every poll shows that nearly 20% of the people have yet to make up their minds.
All of which makes for a very unusual and exciting election day.
On November 19th of last year, Margalit Bendheimer, an Israeli resident of Ma’aleh Levonah, was driving home in her car on Route 60 near the Arab settlement of Sanjal near Ramallah. Also in the car was Daniel Mahon, an adult passenger.
Suddenly, two Molotov cocktails exploded on the road in front of the car, but a third one hit the car blowing out the back window and spraying the car with shattered glass and flames and catching Mahon’s hat on fire. Margalit miraculously managed to keep driving, but both she and Mahon jumped out a short distance later as the car continued to burn.
Almost as soon as she and Mahon got out of the car, it rolled down into a canyon, detonated in a fireball and was completely destroyed (see picture above).
This morning, Israeli security forces announced that they had arrested the men responsible for the assault. The indictment filed today describes how this terrorist attack evolved:
1. On the day of the attack, Haseen Sabana (29) suggested to Yusuf Gafri (20) that they go out and throw “rocks” at “the cars of Jews”.
2. Gafri suggested that Molotov cocktails were “more destructive than rocks” and Sabana agreed to the change of plans.
3. Sabana and Gafri then sought the help of two of their friends, Hasan Aspor and Vasim Abu. Together, the four of them gathered the necessary materials and went out to Route 60 to carry out the attack.
4. Next, Aspor climbed to an observation point to identify “a car of Jews”. His purpose was to warn Sabana, Gafri and Abu when a car was about to drive by.
5. In the meantime, Sabana, Gafri, and Abu filled bottles with gasoline and cloth and readied themselves.
6. Fifteen minutes later, Aspor called the threesome on his cellphone and described a “Jew car” coming their way.
7. Sabana, Gafri, and Abu lit their bottles and threw them as Bendheimer and Mahon passed.
8. As soon as they threw the Molotov cocktails, they fled the area back to Sanjal.
To presumably plan other assaults. According to the indictment filed this morning, the four are charged with attacks going back to 2008, including other Molotov cocktail attacks, throwing “iron balls”, and throwing “rocks.”
Three aspects of this Molotov cocktail episode strike your humble servant:
*the casual way that these terrorists seemed to wake up everyday and decide what to throw (“rocks”, cocktails, or balls)
*the ease by which they accomplished their terrorism in the absence of any Israeli security personnel on a particularly violent stretch of road
*the desire of the terrorists to attack “Jews”
Of course, the latter point is not surprising at all. Palestinians never refer to Israelis as Israelis–they are Jews. And what is the desire of every Palestinian terrorist? To kill Jews.
*(Your humble servant gratefully acknowledges JPost online for most of the details in today’s blog).