A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
March 20, 2012- The Shooting in France One Day Later, Israel to Buy Sixth Submarine
The news in Israel today was dominated again by yesterday's shooting in France. What struck me, more than anything, was the profound regrets and sympathy that French leaders showed to what had happened. They seem to be in shock that something like this could happen in France. Regardless of their political views, French leaders expressed their sorrow, as well as their solidarity with the Jewish community. As of now, it is not known who carried out the attack. The original belief that Neo-Nazis, former French paratroopers perpetrated the attack, has turned out to, most likely, be false. The only thing that is known for certain is that same gun and motorcycle were used to kill French paratroopers, two of whom were Muslim.
Israel today signed on a deal to purchase a 6th German submarine. These submarines have been designed jointly by Israel and the Germans. Germany is paying 1/3 the cost of the sub. The overall purpose of these subs is to provide strategic reach to the Israeli Navy. It has also widely believed that the German Navy provides Israel with an assured second-strike capability. The goal in having six submarines is to be able to have 3 subs deployed on a regular basis. One sub is usually undergoing long-term maintenance, one in short term maintenance, one in training. This will leave three subs available to be deployed.
I hate to defend the European Union's High Representative for Foreign Affairs. However, Catherine Ashton was attacked by Prime Minister Netanyahu for comparing the attack in France and the suffering of Gaza children. However, Israeli TV aired her complete remarks tonight. In her remarks, Ashton said: "When you look around at the terrible events of the past year, the killing in Sweden, the bus accident in Switzerland (last week), the killing in Toulouse yesterday, and the suffering of the children of Gaza and Sderot, we have to begin to listen to children when they speak." Maybe not the most diplomatic statement, but certainly not the worst thing ever said either.
Here is an interesting article in today's Washington Post by Richard Cohen, entitled: Playing for Time Through a Strike on Iran.