November 25, 2009 Netanyahu Announces Settlement Freeze, Shalit Deal On Hold

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

December 2, 2009 Settler's Fight Building Freeze, Nasrallah Defines New Enemies

As American attention has been turned toward Afghanistan, Israeli news has been dominated by attempts of the settlers to stop any attempt of enforcing the building plan passed by the Israeli government. There were a number of violent incidents when settlers blocked the way of government officials trying to serve papers that freeze the settlement building.

The settlers seemed genuinely stunned that Netanyahu has turned on them. One of the leaders of the settler movement stated, "I do not understand, he ran on a platform of supporting settlement and now he wants to stop it?"That same settler leader made the often presented argument that if Jews do not have the right to build in Judea and Samaria they do not have the right to build in Tel Aviv. Of course what they are saying is that the Jewish right to build in the land of Israel derives from God giving the land to the Jews. This idea ignores Zionist history during which the Zionist movement agreed to the partition of the land in return for statehood that was approved by the United Nations in 1947.

Aluf Benn wrote an interesting article in today's Ha'aretz called What Netanyahu really thinks about settlements.

Nasrallah gave a major speech yesterday on the eve of Hezbollah's joining the Lebanese government. His speech made the normal attacks on Israel. He added a number of new enemies of the Muslim world. First and foremost on his list is the US who he claimed has designs on conquering the Muslim world. He seems to really believe that. Nasrallah e also added certain Arab countries, such as Egypt, are also enemies of Islam.

The voters of Switzerland have made a surprising decision over the weekend to outlaw the building of any more minarets in Switzerland. In some ways it should not be surprising. Switzerland has always been a very insular country, and as Jews have learned, never very welcoming to the other. Therefore, it is not surprising that the voters who feared the growth of Islam in Switzerland took the action that other European countries fear to take. It is a very complicated problem, but as Christopher Caldwell wrote in a book that I strongly recommend, Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Immigration, Islam, and the West , it is a problem that is not going away. Hopefully governments and people of Europe will find better ways to deal with the problem than outlawing the building of Mosque.

Finally on a positive note, Israeli TV ran a story tonight on a high school in Netanya that was having trouble attracting students to take physics. Last year there were only 2 and they were planning to close the department. This year they came up with the idea of teaching physics through teaching how to fly aircraft. The plan worked and 32 students signed up and the course is a big success. This once again proves that thinking out of the box is the best way to innovate in education.

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