A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
November 1, 2009 - Jewish Terrorist Arrested- Clinton Netanyahu
Ihe news from Israel was dominated by the announcement that a Jewish terrorist had been arrested. The terrorist, who is an American immigrant, has been involved in terrorist acts since 1997 when he is accused of killing a Palestinian shepherd and Arab taxi driver in East Jerusalem. After the first attacks, Yaakov "Jack" Teitel was interviewed by the Shin Bet, but since they did not have sufficient evidence he was released. He returned to the US before coming back to Israel as an immigrant in 2000 and moving to the West Bank settlement of Shvut Rachel. For a number of years he seems to have been inactive. Teitel returned to action against a diverse group of people he seems to have opposed to. He sent a bomb disguised as a Mishloach Manot (Purim package of goodies) package to a messianic Jewish family (Jews for Jesus), tried to blow up Professor Ze'ev Sternhell, who is an outspoken critic of the settlers, and attacked police officers protecting the gay pride parade in Jerusalem. The announcement, which came close to the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Rabin, serves as a reminder that there are clearly some "true" believers who do not believe anything is out of bounds. Teitel is believed to be a “lone wolf” and is apparently not working with any groups. But, unfortunately, there is no doubt others out there are would be willing to resort to violence to further their beliefs.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Secretary of State of Clinton had a joint conference today in which Clinton was positive of the concessions that Netanyahu has been willing to make on the issue of the settlements and indirectly criticized Abu Mazen for making a complete settlement freeze a precondition for further negotiations. See Transcript. Clearly President Obama's request for freezing settlement activity in return for certain normalizations by Arab states has failed and made it very difficult to resume negotiations. Abu Mazen will have a very hard time climbing down from his tree since demanding a complete settlement freeze as a precondition to negotiations.
There has not been any real news on the Iranian issue and the full text of Iran's response has not been released by the IAE. The Israeli government has made positive remarks on the proposed agreement; that is a clear sign that they do not believe Iran is going to accept it. Yossi Klein Halevi had an interesting article on how the potential threat is affecting Israel in Friday’s Wall Street Journal The Return of Israel's Existential Dread. There was an interesting side piece of information on Iran in this week's Economist Go forth and multiply a lot less.. The birth rate in Iran has dropped to 1.8 children per family with only 1.5 children in Teheran. This is an unbelievable drop from seven children per family in 1984, a few years after the revolution.
Finally, the Economist had an article on economic development Fish out of water that mentioned a new book called Start-up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle . I have ordered the book and look forward to reviewing it, but in the meantime one of our readers has sent me a video segment on MSNBC with an interview with the authors. It's worth watching Israel:Leader in Business Innovation