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

September 5 , 2007 Israel to Consider Cutting Electricity to Gaza, Changes in Iran

Today the Israeli Cabinet met to discuss how to respond to the Qassam which continue to fall. For the moment, it was decided to continue the current policy and not begin any large scale military actions. The feeling was that any such action would just strengthen Hamas and would not be fully effective. The cabinet did decide to instruct the Defense Ministry to examine the plan being pushed by Haim Ramon: to cut off electricity or water every time a Qassam lands in Israel. He defended the idea against legal criticism by arguing that agreements were in place with a legitimate government, but since there had been a take-over by Hamas, all agreements are void. As long as there is a terrorist government in place, Israel has no responsibility to provide anything to the people. The countervailing argument is that legally the occupation has not ended and thus Israel still has a responsibility to provide basic services.

Reuven Agassi, a leader in the high tech community in Israel, caused a stir today when he called on his fellow high tech leaders, not to hire anyone who does not serve either in the army or in national service. His suggestions, which he had to defend against criticism that it was discriminatory, is part of larger national debate that has been going on in the last few weeks after recent reports of ever higher number of citizens who are not going to the army. Two days ago a leading army officer was reported to have said that the standing army may have to decrease its size in the coming years if current trends continue.

There were important changes in Iran today. Rar Sanjani, who is considered an opponent of President Ahmadinejad, has become the head of Council of Elders, one of the most powerful positions in Iran. This decision is a major defeat for Ahmadinejad. Rar Sanjani is not considered more moderate than Ahmadinejad, but he comes across as such. Thus, to many observers this is actually a bad thing for Israel and the West as Ahmadinejad's comments and actions force western nations to take Iranian threats seriously. A more moderate face could result in the West being lulled to inactions.