A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 10, 2007 Division in US Government Over Israeli Actions in Syria
Today’s New York Times led with an article about disagreement in the Bush Administration on whether the intelligence on the Syrian/Korean nuclear connection that Israel had was reliable, and whether its actions were justified. Those around Secretary of State Rice as well as the Secretary of Defense Gates were the ones most skeptical. Israeli observers see a direct connection between these claims and those who have been trying to blame Israel for false intelligence in the period leading up to the Iraq War. This latest fight, which has clearly been leaked, is making Israeli policy makers rethink their policy of silence and are now considering going public with the intelligence and the actions taken.
The State Comptroller has ordered the Finance Ministry to temporarily not replace Yaron Zelekha, Israel's Accountant General. Zelekha has claimed he is being replaced because he reported on the corruption of members of the government. The State Comptroller in his order stated that while he has not completed his investigation, on the surface there is evidence that his claim is right, and until he finishes his investigation, Zelekha should stay on the job. The Finance Ministry has stated that for the moment it will follow the order. It may however try to the go the Supreme Court next week to overturn the order.
Israel’s high school teachers went out on strike today. They are expecting a long strike. The teachers want a large increase in pay without changing their work rules and hours and the Ministry of Education wants a major reorganization. One of the problems is that any increase in wages of high school teachers will automatically result in an increase to all other government pay. Clearly Israel, whose school now ranks last in the West, needs a major overhaul. The overhaul cannot take place without money, but money without a major overhaul is a waste as well
A new public opinion poll came out today. According to the poll, Olmert's approval rating has risen since July from 14% to 25% while Barak's approval has dropped from 53% to 41%. If election were held today 33% said they would vote for Netanyahu, 24% for Barak and 10% for Olmert.