August 8th, 2010 Israel the Summer of 2010

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

August 8th, 2010 Israel the Summer of 2010

The news in Israel is dominated by a strange affair. The affair surrounds the appointment of the next Chief of Staff of the IDF to replace General Gabi Ashkenazi, whose term is over in sixth months. On Thursday a memo surfaced from a public relations agency supposedly working for one of the candidates, General Galant outlines a plan for making Galant the Chief of Staff. The strategy lays out the methodology for undermining the alternative candidates. The PR agency claims the memo was a fake. Today, the Israeli equivalent to the attorney General has ordered that the process for picking the new Attorney General be halted while this issue is being investigated.

I thought it would be appropriate to make a general statement on the overall feeling I found in Israel this summer.. in short things are for the moment, good. There is a sense there are threats out there-- the Iranian threat resonates, for sure, and to a lesser extent the widespread attempt to delegitimize Israel. But what’s new? There have always been threats over the horizon and the UN has always hated Israel. In the meantime, there are no bombings, almost no rocket fire, and reserve duty has become routine and boring. The economy is good. There has been no drop in real estate prices and only a small increase in unemployment. In short, things are good. The rational thinker would say now is the time for Israel to take the initiative and negotiate a solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, or at least try. Of course politics are not always rational, and any action has risks involved is difficult to convince a society who is, at least temporarily, content.

Everybody should read today's article in the New York Times by Thomas Friedman, called:"Steal This Movie". It's one of his best.

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