UPDATES 3 pm Israel time, Wednesday, October 8 2014:
**This afternoon, the shekel has dropped to its lowest value relative to the U.S. dollar in two years, standing at 3.737 shekels = $1.00.
This drop is part of a policy being pursued by the Bank of Israel to weaken the shekel to stimulate trade and economic growth given the fact that the country’s economy is export-driven.
The best guess at the moment is that the shekel will continue to weaken to a point at which it will be approximately 4.1 shekels to the dollar.
**The IDF General Command continues to shift its focus to the northern borders with Syria and Lebanon as Hezbollah seems determined to provoke a confrontation with Israel.
For reasons unknown to your public servant, it was publicly announced an hour ago that another Iron Dome battery has been placed in the northern Galilee region.
**Our so-called Defense Minister Boogie Ya’alon was interviewed on Army Radio today and had these bizarre comments:
“Hamas will not renew shooting at southern Israel anytime soon. The ceasefire is stable and we do not see signs of or a desire to escalate. I guess the recent experience was an ordeal for Hamas.”
“Hezbollah is not interested in an escalation in the north. We do not think that anyone wants to have escalation after escalation.”
These idiotically provocative comments come after a week in which the IDF southern command announced that Hamas has gone back into full production of missiles and is regularly test-firing them toward the sea “every few days” (not to mention at southern Israel every few days), a day after Hezbollah detonated an IED on the Lebanese border wounding two Israeli soldiers, and on the same day that Ya’alon ordered another Iron Dome battery out of the south and into the north as noted above.
This is the same Ya’alon who has been completely out to lunch concerning every prediction he has ever made.
Now that the Jewish holiday of Sukkot is upon us, beginning at sundown tonight, the Jerusalem police have again closed the Har Habeit (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem to all Jews under the guise of “not being able to guarantee Jewish security” on the Mount.
Earlier today, in a pattern that has become the model for Muslim behavior on the Mount on every Jewish holiday, Hamas sent its terrorists to attack Israeli security forces. The terrorists set up barricades on the Mount, doused them with gasoline, and began throwing “rocks” and Molotov cocktails. Eventually, the police forced the bulk of the rioters (only 4 were arrested) into the Al-Aksa Mosque and then locked the front door.
The terrorists remain there at this moment.
But immediately, the Mount was closed down to Jews again.
The irony of this pathetic situation is that in an interview with an Israeli news reporter several days ago, PM Netanyahu said that Jews cannot pray on the Mount because it would disturb “the status quo” of the last 47 years (since 1967).
But there is no status quo on the Mount. The situation has grown progressively worse as the same Benjamin Netanyahu has allowed more than a million Muslims onto the Mount in the last year–including Hamas members from Gaza in the last week.
And at the same time that these Muslims have begun flooding the Mount, Hamas has assumed complete control over what happens there. Whereas, Jews could at least have “visited” our holiest place at one time, now we are continually stopped by Netanyahu’s minions from ascending there “because they can no longer protect us.”
This afternoon, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat had this to say:
“You can not talk about the riots in Jerusalem without addressing the issue of the Temple Mount, the only place in Israel where a Jew is forbidden to pray because of government policy. The Islamic Wakf organizes regular attacks on Jews, and the Jews are evacuated from under the pretext of concern for the safety . . . This “status quo” is not even recognized by the Israel Supreme Court which has ruled that Jews have every right to be on the Mount.”
As Barkat rightly points out, the deterioration in the security situation in Jerusalem is directly connected to the deterioration in the security situation on the Temple Mount. Until the Netanyahu government recognizes this and does something about it, we can only expect the situation to continue to spiral out of control.