Israeli News: A Daily Analysis
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A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman

February 19, 2008 A Time of Waiting

It has been a quiet few days in Israel as much of the country had been awaiting a big snowstorm that ended up just leaving a dusting. There is, of course, the sense of waiting for the other shoe to drop in terms of the retaliation for the killing of Hezbollah man Imad Mughniyah. The latest concern is for Israeli officials abroad . Until now they did not receive official protection while on vacation, that has now been added. There is supposed to be an Arab Summit meeting of foreign ministers next week in Syria. Some of Syriaís opponents within the Arab world have poured some salt on the Syrian wounds by declining to come and saying that Damascus does not seem safe to them at the moment.

There has been a debate in Israel on whether to follow the American lead and recognize the new nation of Kosovo. Some Likud Knessset Members have warned about doing so, since they see Kosovo as a precedent for the Arabs of Israel to demand their own state. Many of the countries with separatist movements, such as Spain, have not been quick to recognize Kosovo. Of course, making comparisons is a little difficult since Kosovo has evolved from the failed state Yugoslavia that disintegrated into civil war.

The Knesset has approved a new law making it illegal to smoke in the army, in the police and in prisons. Nice idea, but there is a saying in Jewish lawmaking one should not legislate a law that the public cannot uphold. The news commentators basically said ëgood luckí when they announced it.

Israel Channel 10 news has been airing a riveting series of tapes taken from the IDF archives. The tapes are of recordings of the radio communications during Israelís wars. There are conversation of Ariel Sharon leading the crossing of the Suez, of Golda Meir visiting the front and the last communications of the last outpost on the Israeli side of the before it surrendered. The army has 85,000 recording and has digitized 7,000 in a race to preserve them before they become unusable.