A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
September 5, 2010 Most Analysis Cautiously Optimistic After Washington Meeting- End of Summer Time in Israel
A Cautiously Optimistic Analysis Guarded optimism has sprouted among commentators in Israel and among the Palestinians on the chances of reaching an accord. In the weeks leading to the opening of the peace talks, the overwhelming majority of commentators wrote off the talks as "only PR" exercise. That view has now changed. Palestinian commentators are talking about a total change in the positions of Netanyahu, and are as a result stating there is real chance for an agreement. Similar positions have been put forth by Israeli commentators. In an interview in Libya, Palestinian President Abbas stated today the talks will concentrate on Borders and Security, the two items that are the most achievable. As a new year approaches there is reason to continue to be cautiously optimistic.
The yearly changing of the clock that has been taking place in Israel before Yom Kippur has once become again a major political issue (thanks to the early timing of the holidays this year and Israel's warmer than usual end of summer). A major campaign has been taking place to delay the onset of the winter time. It does not look like it will make a difference this year, but the Minister of Interior from Shas, who is in charge of setting the time, had agreed to consider changing it for next year. His willingness to make the change came about as a number of Charedi spokesman came out in favor of the change. In addition, it became impossible to find any Haredi spokesman who could explain why they needed the clocks changed early.
An interesting, and ironic, fight has broken out between Rabbi Ovadia Yosf and Sephardi Haredim against the Ashkenazi Haredim. Rabbi Shach, the leading Ashkenai Haredi leader has attacked unnamed (Rav Yoseph) religious figures for making statements that infuriate the world. Rav Schach's argument being– that our people still livel in galut and we should not infuriate the world around us. He was specifically attacking Rabbi Ovadia's statement last week on the Palestinians and reacting to the world-wide condemnation of those statements. The irony is that Rabbi Ovadia used to be considered the moderate, the one who would lead the Shas party to support a peace agreement.