A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
December 19, 2008--FAA Drops Israel Safe Status, Iran Pushes for Truce End
The lead item in today's news was Israel's losing its status as a location to and from which it is safe to fly. This action was taken by the US FederalAviation Administration. After all these years of worrying about danger from terrorism, it was not terrorists, nor the threat from shoulder fired missiles that caused Israel to loose the status, but rather 30 years of ignoring various reports and warning about the deteriorating state of air traffic control in Israel. There have been a rising numbers of near misses in the past few years, and a chorus of warnings. After every incident the Transportation Minister promises to take action, but generally they are too busy running for election or dealing with other party matters to deal with a "minor" matter like air safety. What are the results? Israel will be treated like a third world nation. Each El Al flight will have to go through a special safety inspection. The new code sharing agreement between El Al and American Airline will be put on hold, and no doubt the insurance that carriers will have to pay coming and going to Israel will go up dramatically.
Meanwhile, in the first day after the official end of the truce with Hamas, four Qasams landed in the Negev. Iran has been pushing hard to end the truce, and part of what we are seeing is a proxy war between Iran vs. Egypt and the rest of the moderate Arab world. Iran is looking to make Egypt's life difficult, and the end of the truce will put Egypt in a poor position. An Israeli invasion of Gaza might not be good for Hamas but it would no doubt be a propaganda bonanza for Iran.
Tonight, Israel Channel 1 news reported on a whole list of possible - Hide quoted text - problems in this weeks Kadima primaries. The accusations center on vote fixing in the primaries. We will see if this develops into an official investigation.