A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 18, 2009 - Israel Stunned by Killing of Whole Family, Iran Bombing, Israel Finds Alternative Place For Air Training
Israel was stunned today by the killing of six members of the Ushranko family in Rishon Letzion. Two grandparents, both parents and two small children were killed by a yet unknown killer. Police theorize at the moment, that the killings were over some business dispute. The Ushankos were small business owners, owning a bakery and a restaurant. It was the brutatlity of the killings that shocked Israel. The first two theories put forward, a) that it was a murder/suicide or b) that a professional killer was responsible, were both proven wrong. The physical evidence points to an outsider who did the killing, who left behind DNA and fingerprint evidence, both something a professional killer would not do.
Iran was shocked today, when the Deputy Commander of the Revolutionary Guard, and a close confidant of Ahmedinejad, was killed (with a large number of his deputies) by a suicide bombing in the city of Pisheen, in the Sistan- Baluchistan, southeast region of Iran near the Pakistani border. The Jundallah– "soldiers of God", a Sunni separatist group claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Iranian leadership seem stunned by the successful attack and automatically blamed the west for the attack. Today's bombing does not directly threaten the current government's control, but it is a major embarrassment for Ahmedinenjad and his government. The attack underscores the multitude of challenges the Iranian leadership faces in keeping itself in power.
If you can get a copy of the Jerusalem Report of October 26, 2009, I recommend reading an excellent piece by Dahlia Schneindlin on the state of the Palestinian puplic opinion, called: "Quo Vadis Palestine". I could not find it online. In the piece she shows that on one hand, the decreased level of trust Palestinians have towards their government, while on the other hand, the dramatic drop in support for Hamas. Hamas has lost so much support that Fatah would beat Hamas almost 4-1 in an election. Polls also show absolute majortities in favor of peace agreements with Israel, along the lines of the TABA Geneva accords, with the one area the majority do not want to compromise on being Jerusalem, mirroring the Israel view.
Israel managed to find an alternative place for the airforce to conduct joint manuvers, and that is in Sardinia with the Italian Airforce.
Today I watched a fascinating interview between Queen of Rania of Jordan with Christian Amanpoor. I wished Israel had such a well spoken spokesperson.