Israeli News: A Daily Analysis

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

March 9, 2009--The Tragedy of Gilad Shalit

The news in Israel was led by the story of the protest tent set up by the father of Gilad Shalit, outside the Prime Minister Olmerts home. He is pressuring the Prime Minister to close a deal for the release of his son. The TV showed a visitor to the tent, who opposed the deal. Why? The visitor's sister had been killed seven years ago, by one of the terrorists who might be released in the exchange, a mere 100 meters away, at what had been Café Moment. He showed Noam Shalit the picture of his now dead sister. What could Noam Shalit say. It's an impossible situation. Another viistor to the tent was the daughter of Ron Arad, the Israeli navigator who was captured and has not been heard from in over twenty-five years. His daughter urged the government to act before Shalit becomes another Ron Arad.

Today Netanyahu tried to justify his acceptance of all Yisrael Beteinu's demands to his nearly rebellious Likud faction. Netanyahu stated there was no choice, since neither Kadima nor Labor were willing to join a coalition under conditions he could accept. He could not abrogate his secret agreement with Shas that ensured Livni would not be able to form a government. So instead, Israel is stuck with the government described yesterday.

There was an interesting picture in today's NY Times that accompanied a piece on David Axelrod in his new role in the White House. It's a picture of Axelrod in his office, in the background is a sign- "Obama", but in Hebrew.