A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
April 7, 2009--Successful Missile Test, Lebanese Elections and Obama in Turkey
Israel successfully performed a test launch of its "Arrow" anti-missile system. The test was of a newly enhanced missile, with new radar and guidance systems. The simulated Iranian missile was launched from the Mediteranean by an Israeli aircraft. The test simulated an Iranian missile that had both decoy warheads and the abilty to take evasive actions. Both are capabilities the Iranians do not currently have, but will eventually no doubt get. The success of the test is really a major achievement for Israel and the program, and with the earlier success of the test of the short range Iron Dome rocket represents a real achievement by Israel’s Defense Industries. Considering the fact Iran now has 100 Shiab missiles capable of reaching Israel and is thought to be producing 100 a year, it’s a vital capability.
The Arrow program is funded 2/3 by American money. There is a concern in the IDF that with the major changes announced yesterday by US Secretary of Defense Gates on cuts in major defense systems that there will be an attempt to cut back funding for future versions of the Arrow.
Foreign Minister Lieberman was interrogated once again by the police today. This is the third interrogation since he became foreign minister. By all indications he will be indicted when the police finally complete their investigations.
The Lebanese are deep in their election campaign. The Saudis are heavily supporting the Sunni candidate, with the Iranians supporting to the Shite Hezbollah candidate. The Sunni candidate who is the son of slain politician Rafiq Hariri is running on a platform that says he is the hope to keep Lebanon at peace and out of the hands of Nasrallah. This will be the first truly democratic election in Lebanon’s history. 40-45 pct. of Lebanon is Shite, 20-25 pct. Sunni – 20 pct Maronite Christian and the rest are divided among 28 religious groups.
President Obama had a Town Hall meeting today with University students in Instanbul. At the end of the remarks he stated the following: "But it will depend on young people like you being open to new ideas and new possibilities. And it will require young people like you never to stereotype or assume the worst about other people.
In the Muslim world, this notion that somehow everything is the fault of the Israelis lacks balance -- because there's two sides to every question. That doesn't mean that sometimes one side has done something wrong and should not be condemned. But it does mean there's always two sides to an issue.
I say the same thing to my Jewish friends, which is you have to see the perspective of the Palestinians. Learning to stand in somebody else's shoes to see through their eyes, that's how peace begins. And it's up to you to make that happen."
If you are interested read the full transcript on the 100 day section of my web site.