UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Thursday, December 4 2015:
*Following the stabbing attack yesterday at the Rami Levy supermarket, Palestinian “rock” and Molotov cocktail attacks against Israeli civilians and security forces continue all over the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria in places too numerous to list.
This picture emerged yesterday of a Molotov cocktail attack gone awry on Monday:
*Palestinian Hamas terrorists in Gaza “test-fired” two more missiles into the Mediterranean this morning. In the last two days, there have been seven launches.
Amazingly, these launches are going on right in front of hundreds of international observers who are supposedly in Gaza to oversee “reconstruction”. The only reconstruction going on at the moment is reconstruction of Hamas’ tunnel and missile systems.
*The impotence of the West in being able to deal with the threat from IS has been brought into sharp relief in recent days with the revelations that the Iranian Air Force is now helping Western forces to bomb Islamic State positions in Iraq, and that British commandos are working with Hezbollah forces against IS in Syria.
What is going on here? Who is helping who do what?
We now have the West colluding with terrorist Iran and its terrorist proxy Hezbollah to stop attacks against Iranian and Hezbollah terrorist forces. And make no mistake about it–Iranian and Hezbollah forces have not been faring well against IS fighters. Hezbollah has been losing something on the order of 20 fighters a week.
As abominable as IS is, your humble servant wonders what the West is doing inserting itself into a fight between Sunnis and Shi’ites–especially on the side of Iran and Hezbollah. This alliance cannot but have serious negative effects on Israel as the West continues its march to legitimize Iran and Hezbollah.
—>In a fascinating speech this morning, Vladimir Putin of Russia said: “Crimea is of huge importance for the Russian nation, just as the Temple Mount is for people of Jewish faith.”
Leaving aside the absurdity of comparing the Crimea to the Temple Mount, it is remarkable that we have Putin declaring the Temple Mount’s importance to Jews.
Let’s see how long it takes for the PLO and other Arabs to attack the Russian leader–and whether or not Putin will issue a “clarification”.
—>According to the International Monetary Fund statistic released today, China has now passed the United States and become the world’s leading economic power. China’s output this year in terms of goods and services will be 17.6 trillion dollars compared to 17.4 of the U.S. In terms of purchasing power, China is now responsible for 16.5% of global purchasing as opposed to 16.3% for the U.S.
This changing of the guard has been underscored in recent weeks with the announcement that no American aircraft carriers will operate in Asian seas for the next six months.
Of course, Israel has been increasingly turning to China in recent years with agreements in numerous areas including trade and academic exchanges. Under the guidance of Israel Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, Israel-China ties have deepened. Expect this movement to rapidly accelerate in future.
You may remember, dear reader, that your humble servant mentioned yesterday that the “supposed” upcoming Israeli election is scheduled for March 17. As was pointed out, the bill to dissolve the Knesset has only passed one reading and still must pass two more.
It appears this morning that PM Netanyahu is making a concerted attempt to avoid elections by:
1. Getting Avigdor Lieberman to agree to be in a new coalition with the orthodox parties. If one adds the number of legislators in Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Shas, and United Torah Judaism, there are 61–a one vote majority. Such a coalition would not be an anomaly in terms of Israeli history.
2. Padding the 61 person coalition by trying to woo legislators away from Yesh Atid. The thinking appears to be that because polls show that more than half of all Yesh Atid legislators would not be reelected, they might be willing to jump ship.
Yesterday, your humble servant gave the 61 seat coalition idea a 1% chance of happening. Today that percentage chance has increased slightly to about 5%.
Interestingly, the parties on the “Left”–Meretz, Yesh Atid, Hatnua, and Labor–are already busy today rebranding themselves as the “Center-Left”. They are forming a block whose message will be: “It doesn’t matter which one of our parties you vote for, you are voting for anyone except Netanyahu.”
That’s quite a message that illustrates just how low the “Left” has fallen. One would think their primary theme would be “peace with our friends the Palestinians” or “economic justice for Israelis”, or any one of a host of other ideas they supposedly champion.
But it is not. They want to make the election all about Netanyahu. Time will tell just how effective that message will be. In your humble servant’s opinion, the “Left” is opening the door even wider for Moshe Kahlon and his new party–a party that carries a positive message about lowering the cost of living, a subject near and dear to every Israeli.