A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 18, 2010 Rocket Kills Farm Worker In Southern Israel- Obama vs Yishai- Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
A rocket killed a foreign worker close to the Gaza border today. This was the first person killed in Israel since the war last year. Since January 1st, a total of 52 missiles and mortars have landed in Israel from Gaza. The general sense in Israel is that Hamas has given a yellow light to the more extreme groups to fire a few rockets, but is not looking for a real confrontation. That, of course, does not make those living along the Southern border feel any safer. What could make them feel more safe is the Iron Dome defense system, which has now been turned over to the IDF for operational use. Unfortunately, in my opinion, only two anti-missile batteries have been turned over to the IDF so far. These two lone anti-missile batteries have been turned over to the Airforce, who has always been responsible in Israel for what is call "anti-aircraft". The Israeli view is that only Air Force personnel can be responsible for making sure that operators do not fire on friendly targets. Unfortunately, in my experience, there is an institutional bias against the anti-aircraft division within the Air Force, so that division is always underfunded and does not receive the best possible troops. According to reports the system itself has exceeded all its design expectations, buying only two anti-missile batteries and storing them on air base in the South seems to be a strategic error.
The fight between Israel and the US has now degenerated into one between Obama and Shas. In an interview today, President Obama specifically criticized the actions of Eli Yishai, the Housing Minister, and leader of Shas. Shas, for its matter, stated in an editorial in its official newspaper that Obama was "a Muslim who did not understand Arabs." It also compared Obama to a young Palestinian kid who throws stones.
Israel's channel 10 has spent a few weeks investigating Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan. The full show will be aired on Saturday night, but a preview was shown tonight. The investigation shows Erdogan to be closely tied to extreme fundamentalist, and anti-western clerics. It also shows a number of addresses by Erdogan, where he speaks extremely negatively of the West, the United States and most of all the Jews. The channel 10 report claims he is beginning to lose popularity, as he has been cracking down on opponents. To many, it has been clear he came to power with the mask of a moderate pragmatist, but he is indeed much more of an Islamist than most people believed.