A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
July 15, 2009 German Intelligence Believes Iran Will Have The Bomb in Six Months- Hezbollah Arms Explode In Lebanon
One of the major items in Israel’s news today was a report in the German Magazine “Stern”, based on an estimate by German intelligence suggesting Iran is only six months away from developing an atomic bomb. At the same time, Secretary of State Clinton spoke to the Foreign Affairs Council and made it clear Iran has only a short time remaining to agree to talks on their nuclear program. She also made it clear she understood that just because there would be talks, does not ensure any progress would be made.
Yesterday’s news of an explosion in South Lebanon, in which a two story structure, housing a major Hezbollah arms depot was destroyed, undermined the UN claims that “there is no evidence Hezbollah has been smuggling arms into Southern Lebanon”. Hezbollah tried to block UN forces from going near the village in which the explosion took place, but were forced to allow them in. The arsenal is one of hundreds Hezbollah has built in South Lebanon.
To counter the Hezbollah threat, Israel successfully tested the "Iron Dome" short-range anti-missile system today. The system successfully shot down an incoming Grad missile. Israel hopes to have the first anti-missile systems operational by next year. The first level anti-missile systems will provide a solution to incoming Grad, Katyshua and Qassam missiles. It will take a small fortune to purchase enough systems to defend all the population centers of Northern and Southern Israel, but it looks like an necessary expenditure.
The lead story in Economic news today in Israel was on its sudden jump in inflation. This month’s inflation rate was. 9 percent, and the current yearly rate is over 5%. Economist are divided, if this signals a return to a high rate of inflation, or a one time increase in prices.
President Obama met with the leader of the Jewish Community in the US on Monday night. The essence of the meeting was meant for Obama to explain his position and seek support of American Jews to pressure Israel to take steps for its own good. I have had growing unease with Obama’s foreign policy. I do not believe, as some do, that he is anti-Israel. I do believe Israel and America may be potentially endangered by a different problem. I fear Obama truly believes his campaign slogan- “Yes We Can”. This slogan may be an effective attitude to take towards domestic issues. However, I believe he could be making a very big mistake if he thinks the same attitude will necessarily work in foreign affairs. He seems to believe if he can get Israel to make concessions, (concessions that both Barak and Olmert essentially made already) he can get the Arabs, and especially the Palestinians, to agree to what they have never agreed to to date. Not in 1920... not in 1936... not in 1948 and not since. Maybe his power of persuasion is significantly greater than most of us thinks. Unfortunately, it’s more likely, in this case, his power of persuasion is less than he thinks.