A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 14, 2010 Ahmedinejad in Lebanon, Jewiish State and Army Conversions
Ahmedinejad made his long anticipated visit to South Lebanon today. There were non-sensical fantasies circulating that Israel was going to use this opportunity to assassinate him. Just to be sure Ahmedinejad did visit Ben Bal, but did not get anywhere close to the border. The Iranians President’s visit to Southern Lebanon took on a completely different tone from his visit with the Lebanese government yesterday. In the first day of his visit, he attempted to make believe he was on a normal official visit. Today, however, he gave up that pretense, and openly visited Hezbollah members. Today he was a commander speaking to his troops. His speeches were designed to further incite the Lebanese Shites against Israel and the Jews. What is clear from this visit, had there ever been a question, is that Hezbollah takes its orders from Iran-- and has clearly been doing so for a long time. The question of what orders Ahmedinejad left behind remains open.
Israel is engaged in what passes for a full court press of its demand that the Palestinians agree to accept Israel as a Jewish state. See today's Op-Ed piece in the NYTimes written by Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren. This is really a no-brainer, since what we are talking about here is accepting the UN partition plan that called for the division of the land into and Arab and a Jewish state- However, this is the plan the Arabs have refused to accept. Their failure to accept the UN plan has created all of the difficulties since. The only issue I have with pushing this issue now is that while this acceptance is key to reaching an agreement (it is the key issue in any agreement), the grand bargain is clear and has to include accepting Israel as a Jewish state. However, Israel cannot expect the Palestinians to agree to acceptance of the Jewish state as a precondition, it is part of the final agreement that needs to be reached.
The absurdness of allowing the Haridim to control the chief Rabbinate became ever more clear this week-- if that is in fact possible. Over the past few years the IDF has aggressively worked, through army Rabbis, to convert Russians and other immigrants. Now it turns out that the Chief Rabbinate refuses to recognize any of the IDF conversions.