UPDATES 9 am Israel time, Wednesday, October 23 2013:
**Incumbents have swept to victory in Israeli municipal elections from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to Ashdod. What does it mean? People like things the way they are (and incumbents, as everywhere, are difficult to defeat).
Your humble servant enjoyed voting here in Ashdod yesterday. Unlike in the United States where political parties cannot campaign beside polling places, here in Israel a voter must run a gauntlet through the booths of political parties in order to get inside the polling place. But it is a stimulating process as one gets to argue with representatives of parties one disagrees with.
Yesterday’s fun was arguing with articulate and nice representatives of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party who wanted me to vote for their candidate for Ashdod City Council. When I told them I would never vote for a Yesh Atid candidate because of the party’s swing to the “left”, a lengthy, pleasant “discussion” ensued:
**Five Israelis were wounded yesterday by “rocks” thrown by a group of about 50 Palestinians on the road between Har Homa and Gush Etzion. Cars crashed off the road as their windshields were smashed–it took security forces 15 minutes to arrive on the scene and rescue those being attacked. MADA evacuated the wounded to Jerusalem-area hospitals.
Notice anything missing in the above picture from the FINA Swimming World Cup in Doha, Qatar on Monday night? Look at the lane in which Israel’s top female swimmer, Amit Ivry, was swimming. The Israeli flag was simply eliminated by the Qataris. Later in evening, Israel’s number one male swimmer, Gal Nevo, participated in the 200 meter individual medley.
In an interview after the competition, Nevo commented: “Several days ago we arrived here for the second time, this time for the World Cup, and at the beginning of the competition it [was] a rerun – once again “ISR” instead of “Israel”, and once again the television is excluding us from any possible frame.”
**It was announced yesterday that Israel is now actively and unbelievably thinking about sending a non-Israeli to represent Israel in next year’s Eurovision singing contest.
This year’s contest, which was held in the Muslim stronghold of Malmo in southern Sweden, featured ongoing protests outside the venue about the appearance of an Israeli in the contest. More than this, the Israeli performer Moran Mazor and her entourage were physically threatened on the streets of Malmo. The European mood was summed up by the chairman of the Malmo municipality’s Culture Committee, Daniel Sestrajcic, who said that Israel should be boycotted from the Eurovision: “Israel can return when Palestine is free.”
Can you believe that Israel would succumb to such rants and threats? Believe it . . .
**In an excellent opinion piece about PM Netanyahu that appeared in yesterday’s Yediot Achronot newspaper, Nahum Barnea penned these words concerning Netanyahu’s latest flip-flop about Karnit Flug who was just appointed the new governor of the Bank of Israel:
“Netanyahu’s problem is the gap between his self image of a determined man who values his principles more than his position – and his actual conduct. . . Netanyahu’s determination dissipates as soon as he realizes that if he continues to insist he’ll pay a personal price. This is his breaking point.
He opposed the Oslo agreement, but signed the Wye and Hebron agreements; he was against the disengagement from Gaza but voted in favor of it; he opposed the Shalit deal and then embraced it warmly; he was against the release of prisoners who are Israeli citizens and prisoners with blood on their hands, but agreed to release them as a gesture to Kerry and Abbas; he was opposed to the appointment of Karnit Flug as Bank of Israel governor, and after four months of embarrassing foot-dragging he welcomed the appointment. . . .
Unfortunately, the process Netanyahu goes through again and again is no state secret. The Iranian enemy knows; this is why it disregards the threats issued by Israel. The American ally knows . . . The ultra-right faction within Likud also knows, and it is preparing for battle. Zeev Elkin, Yariv Levin and their friends are not counting on Netanyahu’s hawkish statements and his resiliency. On the contrary: they are counting on his weakness . . .”
Your humble servant is no fan of Barnea, but his analysis of Benjamin Netanyahu is brilliantly perceptive.
At first glance, there was nothing particularly unusual about the report yesterday morning of a Palestinian terrorist being killed near Bil’in. It appeared that the Israel Police’s Yamam Counter-Terrorism Unit had been conducting a specific search for terrorists, come under fire, pursued a terrorist to a nearby cave, engaged in a firefight with the terrorist, and killed him.
But then it turned out that this was no ordinary event. The dead terrorist was Mohammed A’atzi, one of the Islamic Jihad terrorists who had arranged the Tel Aviv bus bombing at the end of the war with Hamas last November (almost one year ago to the day).
More than this, Mohammed A’atzi was a terrorist who had been imprisoned several times prior to last November because of his terrorist activities, and each time had been released.
Four days from today, on October 27, Israel is set to release yet another wave of 32 Palestinian terrorist prisoners. These 32 follow the previously released 26 and are part of the 104 prisoners that Netanyahu conceded to John Kerry in order to get the PLO back to the Israel concessions table.
Most of the already released prisoners are members of Hamas’ military wing and have banded together in Gaza and Turkey (Turkey also supplies their funding) to form a “special unit” to coordinate terrorist attacks against Israelis in Judea and Samaria.
Hence the vast increase in violent attacks over the last month resulting in the murder and wounding of numerous Israelis–every one of them directly attributable to the Netanyahu government and its kowtowing to John Kerry and the Obama Administration.
Murders and woundings: this is the price that Israelis–not the Israeli government–always have to pay for “peace”–a peace that never comes.