UPDATES 8 am Israel time, Wednesday, October 2 2013:
*According to the Jerusalem Police, 150 Arab “rock” throwers were arrested during the month of September–a number, they say, that shows their seriousness in combating what has become a huge daily problem. In reality, it does not.
There are tens of such incidents each day now in Jerusalem on the Temple Mount, around the Old City, and in the eastern sections of the municipality. Here is a picture of a municipal bus whose windows were shattered yesterday outside Herod’s Gate:
Nevertheless, it must be said that the problem is not only that of the Police. Virtually none of the rock throwers are ever taken to court. Because of heavy case backloads, most of the terrorists are released within 24 hours and go right back on the street to attack more Israelis. In a word, the judicial system in Jerusalem is “broken”.
*In a strikingly unusual display of support for Jewish rights, the police actually escorted a group of ultra-orthodox around the Temple Mount yesterday:
*Regular readers of this blog will remember the story from several days ago of the Lebanese family traveling through the Baalbek Valley who opened fire at a Hezbollah checkpoint killing five Hezbollah “militia members”. Here is a picture from the funeral of two of those members yesterday:
In addition, 15 more Hezbollah bodies were returned to Beirut from Syria yesterday. Reports are that Hezbollah and the Syrian Army are massing their forces for a major push against the Syrian rebels. By the way, some of the rebel groups in eastern Syria announced yesterday that they are instituting Shariah law in the areas under their control–with amputations for thieves and stonings for adulterers.
*One more example of how Israel is working with Hamas was revealed yesterday. You will recall that as the Egyptian Army destroys more and more smuggling tunnels, Israel has bizarrely decided to make up the difference to Hamas by allowing more and more trucks carrying all kinds of products through the Kerem Shalom Crossing.
More and more trucks that Hamas can levy taxes on as they enter Gaza. The absurd situation is that now that the Egyptians have virtually turned off the spigot that supplied Hamas with tax money from the tunnels, Israel has provided a new source of revenue to the terrorists.
Anyone reading this blog today has probably already read or heard the soundbites from PM Netanyahu’s speech at the United Nations yesterday. Two of his lines seem to have struck a chord with journalists covering the event:
“Ahmadinejad was a wolf in wolf’s clothing, Rohani is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. A wolf who thinks he can pull the wool over the eyes of the international community . . .”
“Underground nuclear facilities, heavy water reactors, advanced centrifuges, ICMBs. See, it’s not that it’s hard to find evidence that Iran has a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program; it’s hard to find evidence that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapons program.”
As your humble servant had predicted would happen for the last few days, Netanyahu’s speech largely fell on deaf ears.
To Netanyahu’s call in the speech for increased sanctions against Iran, a source with the U.S. Senate Banking Committee said this morning that no new sanctions would be coming “any time soon.” The same source said that U.S. legislators wanted to see what happens with renewed U.S.-Iran contacts.
Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, declared that the call for new sanctions is counterproductive and that she wants “the best possible atmosphere” for new talks in Geneva in two weeks: “And that means, in all sorts of ways, we need to show willingness and good faith to sit down and talk and expect the same in return.”
In short, Benjamin Netanyahu has been hung out to dry.
Rouhani, with a tweet, letter, and phone call has sucked all the air out of Netanyahu’s aggressive stance versus Iran. No one really cares about what Israel is hollowly threatening to do because everyone knows that Israel cannot do anything without the help of the United States–and everyone knows that Obama will never attack Iran.
Everybody has jumped on the Rouhani “peace train.”