A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
November 19, 2007 Olmert and Abbas Meet- Annapolis Meeting Nears
Prime Minister Olmert and Palestinian President Abbas met today to try to work out their differences, so that they can issue a joint statement at Annapolis. While the two leaders have yet to work out their differences, their foreign ministers will meet tomorrow to try to reach an accord. The major sticking point seems to be how to balance the roadmap with the negotiations on the central issues. Israel is insisting in a statement that while it agrees to negotiations on the central issues, any agreement on the central issues is dependent on the earlier issues of the roadmap being achieved- i.e. fighting terrorism and eliminating armed militia. Olmert stated again, that he would remove the illegal settlements and freeze new settlement effort. The government also agreed to the release of over 400 Palestinian prisoners as a jesture to Abbas. Meanwhile, more and more nations have asked to attend the Annapolis meeting. When Greece heard that Turkey was attending, they insisted on coming as well. All signs continue to point to Syrian participation.
The State Controller issued his annual report today. Along with expected criticism relating to last year Lebanon War, the report also outlined a number of actions of Prime Minster Olmert, when he was Minister of Trade, highlighting his help of Likud confidants to get support from the Investment Center under his control.
Another part of the report was devoted to the almost criminal control by groups of families of the major government corporations that control the ports and electric company. In the port of Ashdod, of the 1200 employees, 700 are related to each other.
In the electric company of the 13,200 employees; 3,500 are related. The head of the workersÕ union of the Airport Authority has 19 first-degree relatives working, mother, wife, brothers and children. When interviewed, he saw nothing wrong with that fact.