Januaray 18, 2011 Medvedev in Jericho, Barak Leaves Labor, Tunisia

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

January 23, 2011 Turkel Commission Reports- New Blood for Laobr? JNF

If keeping track of Israeli politics was not hard enough there are now two Turkel commissions that are important parts of Israeli news. The first Turkel Commission issued Part 1 of its report on the interception of the Turkish flotilla heading to Gaza last year in May. The report called Israel's intereception of the flotilla leagally justified under International law. It also stated that the use of force by Israeli commados was also justified. It did criticize the government and the intellegience agencies for not being prepared for the resistance that the commandos encountered. Of course being legally justified, does not mean it was the smart things to do, and all to often we are hearing that we are justified in what we do, but of course it is not always the smart thing to do. The second part of the Turkel report is due in about a month. That report will deal more with the actual activities of the Commandos and their commanders and expected to be much more critical of the events.

The second Turkel report relates to the approval of the proposed new Chief of Staff, General Galant. That approval has been mired in controversy that has to do with whether Galant told the truth about additional land he gained on the Moshav he lives on. The public controversy has become ever more problematic when the Israeli media showed aerial photos of the rather opulent home that Galant has on the Moshav. Galant gave his side of the story today, and its not clear where the controversy is heading. Turkel and his committee (a different one) who is a former Supreme Court Justice is responsible for approving Galant's appointment. All of this needs to be straightened out in the next three weeks before Galant is suppose to assume his position.

Some interesting developments on the political scene with a group of high tech busisnessman led by Eron Margalit combining with some other leading other Israelis such as Ruth Heshin the head of the Jerusalem Foundation and the wife former Suprem Court Justice Michael Chashin, to reinvegorate the labor party. Their goal is undertake a major campaign to add 40,000 members into the labor party. The claim is that the generations of Israelis who have avoided politics and instead have dedicated their lives to high tech, are sufficiently worried by the states of Israeli politics to finally get involved. It’s a hopeful sign but only time will see it it will really happen.

Last week was Tu Be Shevat and school and synagogues all over directed their efforts towards raising money for the JNF otherwise known as Keren Kayemet. Suggestion- stop raising money for JNF- According to reports in Israel, the JNF currently has 1.5 Billion shekels in the bank that it has nothing to do with. Its receives large sums of money when land is sold for development. In addition the JNF spends over 80% of its money on administration.

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