Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

April 20, 2009--Holocaust Remembrance Day and Ahmadinajad

Tonight is Yom Ha'shoa, Holocaust Remembrance Day. I had the opportunity to watch the beginning of the National Commemoration on at Yad Va'shem in Jerusalem on television. It was moving as it usually is, especially some of the personal vignettes shown of those seven people (one group of twins) who are survivors and were asked to light the torches of candelabra commemorating the six million Jews who were murdered. The event had a particular political dimension as it took place just a mere few hours the speech at the UN Human Rights Conference called Durban II by Iranian President Ahmadinajad.

President Peres lambasted the Iranian's President's (mentioning his name once tonight is more than enough) speech and the world that gave a Holocaust denier a stage, especially on this day- the eve of the Holocaust Memorial Day. Prime Minister Netanyahu tried to tackle a more difficult line, attacking the world for being so silent in not criticizing Iran's attacks on Israel and the denial of the Holocaust. At the same time, Netanyahu acknowledged the action of the US, Canada, Italy, Poland, Holland, Germany, Australia and New Zealand for not attending the conference due to the clear double standard that the conference was going to have on matters relating to Israel. This was a clear Israeli diplomatic achievement. Furthermore Netanyahu acknowledged the fact that most of the representatives of the West walked out of the hall when the Iranian leader began his speech. Is the glass half full or half empty?

On another note, Amos Yadlin, the head of the military intelligence, gave his first briefing to the new cabinet today. On the question of the direction of Syria, he stated that Syria would like to improve their relations with the new Obama administration, but that is not stopping them from giving their full support to terrorist organizations. He supposedly stated that Syria is giving Iran complete backing if their efforts with Hezbollah and Hamas. As to the state of the Iranian nuclear program, Yadlin stated that Iran is walking a careful line to move their program forward without crossing the line of weapons grade material. He believes they want to go forward up to the point where they could have weapons within a few months if they so wished

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