April 6, 2011 Attack in Sudan, Goldstone Won't Work to Rescind Report- News From Egypt

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

April 6, 2011 Attack in Sudan, Goldstone Won't Work to Rescind Report- News From Egypt

Today, Sudan complained that a plane attacked and destroyed a car on the main road to Khartoum. It would seem that the car was carrying a key Islamic activist who was responsible for supplying arms to Hamas from Iran. Israel has, of course, not taken responsibility for the attack. However, most observers believe Israel is most likely to be responsible for the act, as it continues its global campaign to stop the supply of arms to Hamas from Iran. It is certainly within Israel’s Air force capability to carry out such an attack.

After writing his op-ed piece on Friday in the Washington Post, Judge Goldstone stated today that he has no plans to try to rescind the UN report that bares his name. Goldstone's position seems to stem from the fact he feels that while the part of the report that blamed Israel for "the intentional killing of civilians" may have been wrong, he stands by much of the rest of the report. The other factor behind Judge Goldstone's decision seems to have been Minister of Interior Yishai's freelance diplomacy efforts. Yishai invited Goldstone to Israel and then requested Goldstone work to rescind the report. Yishai then gave an interview claiming Goldstone would do so. Goldstone was not appreciative.

The news from Egypt is decidedly mixed. On one hand, almost all the candidates for President are using Israel as a campaign issue; each one claiming how tough they will be on Israel. None, however, has stated they would repudiate the current agreements. In the developing election campaign, the Muslim Brotherhood seems to be fractured; divided between the younger members who want to enter into a coalition with the moderate young secularists who helped lead the revolution, and the traditionalists who still want to create an Islamic state. Observers believe this split may hurt the Brotherhood in the elections. Parties more extreme than the Brotherhood has also signed up to run in the election. It is unclear what support, if any, these more extreme parties will receive. Meanwhile, the current interim Egyptian government is talking of reestablishing diplomatic relations with Iran.

Finally, a little good news. It rained again in Israel today. Today’s rain has brought the season rainfall average in the Northern part of country above the seasonal average for the first time in years. This winter has not made up for the years of drought, but at least things have gotten a little better, instead of getting somewhat worse.

President Assad of Syria gave a long delayed speech today. Much to the surprise of the outside world, Assad did not make any concessions in the speech. Instead, blamed outside agitators for the demonstrations. It was widely believed that Assad would remove some the emergency ordinances that have been in effect for the last 40 years. After watching the speech, most Israeli observers believed that Assad is detached from reality, and that this is only the beginning of events in Syria.

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