Shevat 19, 5777
February 15, 2017
The talk of the Israeli street today . . .
1. A very interesting press conference has just taken place at the White House with President Trump and PM Netanyahu, key points:
*On the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, Trump said to Netanyahu “I’d like to see you hold back settlements for a little bit.” Note that despite everything else you will read–and what the Israeli television networks are now reporting–Trump did not demand that “settlement construction be halted.” In fact, Netanyahu later said that he and Trump would discuss “settlements” so that the U.S. and America will stop “bumping into each other all the time.”
*On a two-state solution, Trump said he favored whatever Israelis and Palestinians favor whether it be two states, one state, or some other kind of state. Interestingly, he did not express the usual blind allegiance to the “two-state solution.”
*On the movement of the American Embassy to Jerusalem, Trump said that the matter was under intense discussion. He did not say that the Embassy would not be moved.
*On peace talks, Trump said that both sides must make “compromises.” Netanyahu reiterated that he stands for peace and only asks two things: the Palestinians recognize Israel as Jewish state, and Israel have a security control in all areas west of the Jordan River.
*On Iran, both Netanyahu and Trump described the Iranian threat, and that the Obama Nuclear Appeasement Agreement must be rolled back. It was in this context, that both Netanyahu and Trump discussed the changed landscape of the Middle East with some Arab countries now supposedly aligned with Israel.
2. Idiotic quote of the day:
The U.N. Secretary General: “Everything must be done to preserve the two state solution.”
3. Excellent quote of the day:
Israel Interior Minister Gilad Erdan: “The Temple Mount is holy to the Jewish people, and only to the Jewish people.”
4. Two children were wounded this afternoon by terrorist “rock” attack on an Israeli bus in Samaria. Numerous other terrorist assaults took place on Israeli civilians at Makel, Silwan, Efrat, Road 443, Auja, and in the vicinity of Hevron. At the same time, Palestinian terrorists attacked Israeli security personnel at Qalqilya, Al Khader, Abu Dis, Baisuwiya, and Beit El. In some of these attacks (such as at Beit El and Baisuwiya), soldiers were hit with IED explosives.
5. The curse of Suleimani strikes again and again: for the second time in a week, an Iranian commander recently photographed with Iranian General Qasem Suleimani was killed in Syria. This time the unlucky person was Mustafa al-Ghazal Nejad, a senior commander in the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.
6. The possibility of a Palestinian state composed of Gaza and a contiguous area in the Sinai has been raised again by some in the Egyptian government. This morning, the PLO went out of its way to say that such a “Palestine” is unacceptable.
7. An Israeli TV program documenting the attempt to undermine the Likud party has caused a stir. Apparently, a group of young people who formerly belonged to the Labor party have re-registered with Likud–in order to “Laborize” (translated: “move to the left”) Likud. The group says that its goal is negate the power of Judean and Samarian Likud members.
8. The Director of the Israeli Health Ministry, Moshe Bar Siman Tov, held a press conference today and discussed how the increasing age of the Israeli population has caused an explosion in age-related diseases including diabetes and heart problems. He stated that health-related expenses are also rising and will need to be covered by increases in health payments made by Israelis.