A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 16, 2011 Anti Ship Missile Found on Ship, Qaddafi Winning, Bahrain Crackdown
The news in Israel led with a look at the arms that were seized by Israeli commandos when they intercepted a ship in the Mediterranean. The ship had arms that were being shipped by Iran to Gaza. The ship had large ground to sea missiles that were being sent to Gaza to fire on Israeli ships. Interestingly, Israeli intelligence believes that the Iranians were trying to ship the weapons to the Islamic Jihad, and not to Hamas, (which Iran is beginning to feel Hamas is not as reliable as they had once hoped to act in Iran's interests.)
Meanwhile, Qaddafi has proven the world and me wrong. Two weeks ago, we all hoped he was in his final days. But in the past two weeks, we have seen what can happen if a dictator is willing to fire on his own people and has tight control on the army. Qaddafi made sure that his elite forces were under the command of his sons. Between the army and the mercenaries, he has successfully repulsed and then counterattacked the revolutionaries, who remain mostly leaderless. They now hold only one major city, Benghazi. There is little to stop Qaddafi from retaking the city, unless the international community intervenes. I hope people are imagining what Libya and North Africa will look like if Qaddafi succeeds in totally reestablishing his control.
Meanwhile, the Saudis and the Bahrain royal family are making a concerted effort to put down the Shiite revolt in Bahrain. It's not at all clear how much Iran is behind the Shiite activities, but they certainly have been behind attempted revolts in the past. The government seems to be brutally putting down the revolt. It has declared a state of emergency, there are no good sides in this situation.
There seems to be a certain undercurrent in the Jewish community, which seems to feel the media is not giving the proper weight to the murders in Itamar. I have two comments on this. First, however horrific the killings were, considering the events in Japan, and in other places in the Middle East, the killing of Jews by Arabs in Israel is just not newsworthy. Finally, the attempt of the Netanyahu government to use the killings to promote additional settlements further took away from the story.