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

January 8, 2008 Is a Barghouti Pollard Deal Possible?

New talks have developed about the possibility of a prisoner exchange involving Marwan Barghouti. These newly renewed talks, renews the idea of a deal that would include the release of Jonathan Pollard by the US. The idea being that President Bush would pardon Pollard and Israel would do the same for Barghouti, thus providing a way to release Pollard and give the overall credit to the Palestinian Authority and not to Hamas. Itís questionable whether this could happen, but Pollardís release would certainly receive wide spread support in Israel. We have failed terribly in finding a way to obtain Pollardís release.

The attempt by Olmert to resurrect the Ministry of Religious Ministry has hit an unexpected bump. That bump is the refusal of the Knesset to approve the decision. The same cabinet members who supported the decision from within the government have refused to support it in the Knesset. The delay has been somewhat of a surprise, since both the opposition Likud and the Labor party has received requests from Shas to support the move. Both might need Shas in a future coalition deal. It might, however, be the shameless attempt to give in to Shas, with the most absurd cover story in Israeli political history. Olmert claimed he needed the Ministry of Religious Affair, as now; he has to spend too much time signing papers, since he is currently responsible for Religious Affairs.
Two Katusha rockets fell on Shlomi (North West Galilee, on the Lebanese border) no one has taken responsibility. The odds are, however, that a Palestinian fringe group in Lebanon fired the rockets.