Shevat 23, 5777
February 19, 2017
The talk of the Israeli street today
1. On Tuesday, the trial of Elor Azariya, the Hevron soldier, will finally come to an end with the egregiously biased judges handing down their egregiously biased sentence. The IDF prosecutor is asking for 3-5 years in prison for Azariya; there is no reason to believe that the judges will decide on anything less.
2. The abominable organization Breaking the Silence is holding yet another presentation tonight in Pardes Hanna. The following is a call for people to go to the venue and protest.
3. Despite the destruction of more than 1200 of its tunnels leading from Gaza into the Sinai, Hamas continues building sophisticated tunnels to bring weapons into Gaza and supply weapons to IS in Sinai.
This is a tunnel uncovered by Egyptian soldiers yesterday:
Note the sophisticated electrical panel:
4. Speaking of Hamas, three more suspected collaborators with Israel were summarily taken out and shot today. We can expect the number of extrajudicial executions to increase over their already high numbers now that Yahya Sanwar is the leader of Gaza. Rooting out “collaborators” is Sanwar’s specialty.
5. There were more than 50 Palestinian terror attacks on Friday and Saturday.
Israeli motorists and pedestrians were assaulted with “rocks” and Molotovs at the Maccabim checkpoint, Aotzrin, Hevron Hills, Beit Hagai, Beit Ummar, Husan, Neveh Yair, Kiryat Arba, Fawwar, Yitav, and Turmus’ayya among other places.
Israeli soldiers and police were attacked at such locations as Jalazun, Hizma, Biddu, Galant, Qalqilya, Qalandiya, Malik, Abu Dis, Hevron, Beit Einun, Batir, and Kedumim.
An unknown number of Israelis were wounded and traumatized in the above attacks.
Who Is Deluding Whom?
All the blather coming in all directions at the moment about a regional alliance of Arab countries and Israel is just that, blather. Whether it is PM Netanyahu, President Trump, or Defense Minister Lieberman, or any one of a number of other “internationalists” mouthing the idea, they are all just plain delusional.
The thought seems to be that Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and possibly other Gulf countries are so united in their fear of Iran that Israel is now suddenly the good guy. In your humble servant’s opinion, this is just wishful thinking.
Sure, there might be extremely covert contacts between the Arab countries and Israel that might manifest themselves in enhanced Egyptian-Israeli cooperation in the Sinai or Saudi-Israel cooperation in Syria, but the idea that there has been, or will be, some sea change in Arab public opinion about Israel is nonsense.
Delusional, wishful thinking, nonsense: what leads me to this conclusion?
Let’s take a brief stroll along the Arab street.
Five days ago, the Israeli Ambassador to Egypt was urgently recalled to Israel because of security concerns. According to Shin Bet: “Due to security concerns the return of the Foreign Ministry embassy staff to Cairo has been restricted.” Egypt is racked by terrorism both in the Sinai and in Egypt proper–and Israelis in the country have often come under attack (remember how six Israeli diplomats were trapped 5 years ago?).
Just wait and see what happens in the coming year as President Sisi becomes even more unpopular because of the failing Egyptian economy. Who will be the scapegoat, as always? You don’t need your humble servant to answer the question.
As recently as three months ago, there were massive demonstrations that lasted for weeks in Jordan protesting normalization of relations with Israel in general and the gas deal between Jordan and Israel in particular.
The only thing stopping the Jordanian Parliament from tossing out the “peace” agreement with Israel is the Abdullah government–which otherwise does everything else it can to delegitimize and attack Israel on every front from the Temple Mount to the United Nations.
And what about Saudi Arabia–a country that will not permit a Jew to enter it much less an Israeli? There is no reason whatsoever to believe that the Saudi public or the Saudi government is ready to warm relations with Israel. As long as Iran threatens Saudi Arabia or thwarts its strategy in Syria, some members of the royal family may make noises about an alliance, but that’s about it.
It is worthwhile remembering that Saudi Arabia cannot even get along with Egypt, and that the Saudi Initiative to bring a regional peace is predicated on the resettling of 5,000,000+ so-called Palestinian “refugees” in Israel.
So, in short, leaders can bloviate as much as they want to, but a regional cooperation pact is not happening anytime soon.