A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 12, 2009 - Netanyahu in the Knesset-Reactions To Turkish Decision to Cancel Joint Exercises
Today was the first day of the winter session of the Knesset. As is tradition, the session began by a speech by the Prime Minister. Netanyahu used the speech to attack the Goldstone Commission, stating that he will not agree to allowing Ehud Olmert, Tzpi Livni and Ehud Barak to stand trial for the actions the government will take. He reiterated the position he put forth at the UN, that if the UN embraces the Goldstone report, it would end the chances of any peace between Israel and the Palestinians; since no Israeli government will ever be willing to take a chance on peace if they cannot defend themselves-- if need be. As I was listening to excerpts from the speech, and those of opposition leader Tzpi Livni, I could not help reflect on an interview I heard last night with former Israeli President Yitzahk Navon (now 88). He was asked what was the major difference between today's leaders and the leader he know earlier in the state's history (early in his career he was a close aid of Ben Gurion). Navon's simple answer, was a lack vision. In his opinion, today's leaders have no vision of where they are trying to take the country.
Israel released video clips today of the beginning of the rioting on the Temple Mount. It clearly shows how the rioting was premeditated by riot's leaders. Video shows a small group of rioters attacking an even smaller group of French tourists, who were later claimed to be Israelis by the Muslims. It also shows that initially, very few Arabs were involved in the riots. It looked so unsuccessful that Al Jazeera TV used stock footage to show the rioting, instead of the limited protests and rock throwing going on, in order to help stir the pot.
Today, former Education and Justice Minister Amnon Rubinstein renewed his suggestion that Israel convene its own commission to investigate the charges stemming from the Gaza War. He believes strongly the only way to blunt the criticism against the war is to mount an Israeli investigation led by an independent jurist. He believes the Goldstone Report is not worth the paper on which it is written and the only way to blunt its claims is for Israel to mount its own transparent investigation. When the former Dean of the Tel Aviv University Law school was asked how a respected jurist like Goldstone could issue a report like the one he issued, his answer was there are only two explanations. One possibility is that some lawyers adjust their thinking to the needs of their clients. Another possibility is that some lawyers are just stupid. He intimated he felt the later was the case with Goldstone; implying he might be book smart, but lacks any common sense.
Israelis have been analyzing the import of the decision by Turkey to cancel the joint air force training exercise. While some tried to play it down, it does mark another point along a steady slide in relations with Turkey that have been deteriorating since the election of Endogen, with Turkey's ever steady slide to be known as an Islamist state. Earlier the military acted as counterbalance to Erdogan, and had cherished its ties to Israel. However, now that they have tried and failed to unseat him, the military is falling in line with the civilian government.
A few articles worth reading first on the ridiculous bestowing of the Nobel on President Obama- Thomas Friedman wrote a great piece in yesterday's NYT the Peace Keepers Prize
Ari Shavit wrote an excellent piece in Fridayís Ha'aretz on the long term effect of the Goldstone report Watch of for the Goldstoner.
Finally, James Woolsey, the former head of the CIA, about Israeli settlements in today's Wall Street Journal called the Ugly Premise of the Settlement Opponents