A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 21, 2010- Corruption in Israel Iran Update, General Jones on Israel-US
Israel's Independence Day is over and Israel has returned now to the real world of challenges it faces. While foremost on the minds of most Israelis are the security threats that endanger the country, today's news was dominated by the continued story of corruption. The affair known as "The Holyland Affair" was greatly expanded today when Dan Dankner, the former head of Bank Hapoalim and Ya'acov Errata, the cormer head of the Israel Land Authority were arrested on charges of giving and receiving bribes. This relates to a building project in Atlit, South of Haifa, where Dankner's family is said to have owned lands that were converted from industrial use to residential use, netting Dankner a small fortune. At the same time, the trial of the former head of the Income Tax Authority resumed today. Recordings were played at the trial showing the incestuous relationship between the top officials of the Tax Authority and business men. All this still seems to be the tip of the iceberg, with additional revelations expected. It explains the often quoted statement on "How to make a Million dollars in Israel... Bring 10 million". This took place while some people in Israel were seemingly making a great deal of money. Americans just did not know how to play the game! Israel prides itself on being a western democracy, but in terms of corruption, it seems to be a Third World African Dictatorship.
On the Iranian front, there seems to have been a minor shift in policy, bringing up the military option once again. That direction was underscored by a report to Congress this week which stated, that Iran would have missiles that could reach the US within 5 Years. The Administration is also planning a two-pronged sanction plan against Iran, built around UN Resolutions and unilateral actions. See today's article in the Washington Post by David Ignatius Setting a Trap for Iran.
Finally, the US Administration is still awaiting an answer from the Israeli government on its plans for building in Jerusalem. In the meantime the US adminisration is trying to reassure Israel and its US supporters. Tonight in a speech to the Washington Institute for Near East Policy US National Securith Advisor it going to say: “This week marked the 62nd anniversary of Israeli independence—a nation and a people who have survived in the face of overwhelming odds. But even now, six decades since its founding, Israel continues to reside in a hostile neighborhood with adversaries who cling to the false hope that denying Israel’s legitimacy will ultimately make it disappear. But those adversaries are wrong. As the President said in Cairo, for the entire world to hear, the State of Israel “will not go away. ”
“So America’s commitment to Israel will endure. And everyone must know that there is no space—no space—between the United States and Israel when it comes to Israel’s security. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakable. It is as strong as ever. This President and this Administration understands very well the environment—regionally and internationally—in which Israel and the United States must operate. We understand very well that for peace and stability in the Middle East, Israel must be secure. The United States will never waiver in defense of Israeli’s security. ”