*UPDATES 7 pm Israel time, Wednesday, January 29 2014:
**Speaking at a security conference yesterday, General Aviv Kochavi–Israel’s head of military intelligence–gave a bleak assessment of the situation surrounding the country. Kochavi revealed that there are now more than 170,000 missiles aimed at Israel–100,000 of which are in the possession of Hezbollah.
Kochavi went on to point out that the problem facing Israel is not merely missile quantity, but also missile quality. Again, Hezbollah in particular, and to a growing extent Hamas, have updated their arsenals with far more accurate weapons: “They are much more precise and a lot more lethal. The most significant thing we would like to point out is the fact that the enemy has the capability to land mass amounts of arms on Israeli cities.”
**In his State of the Union message last night, President Obama went out of his way to promise a veto of any congressional attempt to increase sanctions on Iran. For a man who less than two weeks ago remarked that the sanctions have a “less than 50% chance” of succeeding, Obama’s tune was decidedly more optimistic, absurdly so:
“[American diplomacy] “has halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program – and rolled parts of that program back – for the very first time in a decade. As we gather here tonight, Iran has begun to eliminate its stockpile of higher levels of enriched uranium. It is not installing advanced centrifuges. Unprecedented inspections help the world verify, every day, that Iran is not building a bomb.”
It would be interesting to see what type of love tweet Iranian president Hassan Rouhani sent Obama after the speech. And if you really believe that the Iranians will not obtain a nuclear weapon (they probably already have), your humble servant will sell you some waterfront property in Beersheva.
**It has now become the regular practice of Jerusalem Police–who always act in collusion with the Islamic Wakf–to frisk any “Jewish looking” visitor to the Temple Mount before that visitor ascends the Mughrabi ramp.
Three young Israeli Jewish men were arrested yesterday by the police when their “frisking” turned up three small Israeli flags that they had in their possession.
Can you even believe this? At Judaism’s holiest site, a site under Israeli sovereignty, a site where thousands of Arabs regularly parade around with Hamas, Al-Qaeda, and Palestinian flags, three Israeli Jews were arrested because they had three small Israeli flags.
As reported yesterday on israelstreet, the Netanyahu Coalition finds itself in increasing disarray.
The last 24 hours have seen a flurry of attacks on Naftali Bennett for remarks he has made concerning Netanyahu’s statement that perhaps some Jewish community members in Judea and Samaria would end up having to live in a Palestinian state.
Here’s what Bennett said at a conference:
“Neither our forefathers, nor our descendants will forgive the Israeli leader who gives away our land and divides our capital. A new idea has risen. Jews will live in their lands, but under Palestinian sovereignty. This will not happen, nor can it.
Do you know why?
Why Jews cannot live under Palestinian sovereignty? Why Palestinians cannot rule over Israelis? Because they’ll kill them. How do I know? Because it has already happened. In Hebron, there were Jews living in peace with their Arab neighbors, but then one day in 1929, they got up and killed the Jews. Just like that, those same Arab neighbors killed them.
If an Arab civilian goes to Herzliya, he will come out whole and healthy, and that’s a good thing. If a Jew would go into Jenin by accident, he’ll be murdered. It’s not very complex, it’s simple, and everyone sitting here knows it.”
Dear reader, do you see anything incorrect in what Bennett said? Of course not. Bennett is precisely correct, and he is precisely correct to shoot down this idea before Netanyahu has a chance to run with it.
But now King Bibi is demanding that Bennett apologize–even though the leaders of Bibi’s own party are taking Bennett’s side. Likud Beiteinu’s MK Tzipi Hotovely declared today that a large majority within the Party oppose proposals such as the one Netanyahu postured, and that members of the party intend to oppose the Prime Minister: “We’ll give the prime minister a clear message that these are things that will not be heard in Likud policy.”
So where does this leave us? Is Bennett on the way out? Will Netanyahu abandon his own “party” and set up another party–much as Ariel Sharon did when he abandoned Likud and established Kadima? Or will some incident take place that will make all of this irrelevant?
One never knows in Israel.