Aug 19, 2009 Assad in Teheran, Drinking Up in Israel,Yaalon and Feiglin

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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

Aug 19, 2009 Assad in Teheran, Drinking Up in Israel,Yaalon and Feiglin

While President Mubarak of Egypt is in Washington President Assad of Syria made a state visit to Iran to congratulate Iranian President Achmadinejad on his election victory and his swearing for a new term as President.  Assad is the first foreign leader to visit since the elections.  Assad attacked the westerners who were behind the recent demonstrations.  The two Presidents stated in Teheran that Syria and Iran stood lockstep with each other strategically.  The visit underscores the gulf that exists in the Middle East.  From Egypt’s stand point there can be no worse country than Iran.  It is said that if you want to learn new Arabic curse words just speak to an Egyptian about Iranians.  It is not clear that Assad’s re-embrace of Achmadinejad today can be undone as far as the Egyptians are concerned.  The Iranian Arab divide is large; there are many who believe that the present bouts of bombings in Iraq are really the work of the Iranians.  In the meantime without anyone noticing a small civil war has developed in Yemen between the Shiite minority and the Sunni government.  500 have died in the last week of fighting. The Shia’s are being armed by Iran.

The recent murder on the Tel Aviv beach by a group of drunken teens has brought attention to the rise of drinking in Israel. Many of the cases of random violence in the last year can be attributed to drunken assailants.  There has been a dramatic rise in the last 10 years.  Israel still ranks low in the overall indexes, however what is disturbing is that in the most recent worldwide study Israel ranked second to only Ukraine in the number of 11 years that are drinking.  Clearly more attention needs to paid to the problem of drinking

I was surprised when the Likud celebrated the fact that former Chief of Staff Bougi Yaalon joined.  To me he was the Chief of Staff that failed to prepare the IDF for the Lebanon war.  He was so obsessed with fighting terror that he paid no attention to the need to prepare  the conventional forces for war.  Worse in a book he came out with and interviews he did last year he took no responsibility to any part of what happened.  Today Yaalon membership in the Likud and in the inner security cabinet blew up in Netanyahu face.  Videotape came out of the closed meeting of the most right wing faction of Likud Manhegt Yehudit led by Moshe Feiglin.  At that meeting Yaalon called Shalom Achad and the “elites” of Israel and virus.  He said there was nothing to fear from the Americans and pledged to work together with Feiglin.

The largest Swedish newspaper printed an article yesterday claiming that the IDF was killing Palestinians to take their organs and sell them on the world organ market.  The newspaper stood behind the story today, despite an outpouring of criticisms calling this a straightforward blood libel. The Swedish embassy in Israel apologized.  Sweden has consistently been the most anti Israel country in Europe.  There are some who point to a history of passive anti-Semitism.  In a recent poll 57% of the respondents exhibited anti-Semitic attitudes.

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