October 2, 2012-Elections in February or March, Sanctions May Actually be Working, Shai Agassi Fired From Company He Started Marc Schulman

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Israel Update
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By Marc Schulman

October 2, 2012-Elections in February or March, Sanctions May Actually be Working, Shai Agassi Fired From Company He Started

It looks like we are heading for new elections in the February or March. It appears that Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided not to even try to pass a budget, favoring instead to call for early elections. At this moment Netanyahu's popularity is on the rise. As one political observer stated today, Netanyahu expects to run on three things: Iran, Iran, and Iran. Of course four/five months is a long time around here. And if Obama is re-elected next month, he may try to return Netanyahu's favor and assistance.

There are growing reports that the economic sanctions on Iran are finally having a very significant impact in Teheran. Professor Uzi Rabi of the Tel Aviv Universirty's Center of Iranian Studies stated today that he believes conditions are ripe for a revolt in Iran. Rabi did not predict the start of a revolt, for as he said- no one can predict when a revolt will occur. However, Rabi believes conditions are ripe. Professor Rabi also described a new rift in the Iranian leadership that has received almost no attention- a rift between the Theocratic leadership and the Revolutionary Guard. It seems the theocratic leaders are angry at the Revolutionary Guard for how their support of Assad has turned out. The Revolutionary Guard promised they would be successful as they had in been in Iraq and Lebanon. Needless to say, they have not delivered on that promise.

Speaking about Syria, the killing continues, and American policy remains terribly muddled. Jeffery Goldberg (not usually a critic of President Obama) is quite critical in this piece: Hunt for Obama's Middle East Policy Comes Up Empty

Also today, in a surprise move, the Board of Directors of "Better Place"(the electric car project) unseated their founder and chief mover, Shai Agassi. Having met him a few weeks ago, this move seems like a big mistake– unless they are planning to liquidate the venture. To date, the project has fallen very short of its projections. That being said, I do not think I have ever met a better salesman than Agassi. He seemed to be able to create "Steve Jobs-like" distortion fields around himself. Of course, when all is said and done, re-inventing the car is a larger task than re-imagining the phone. The company may go on, but its soul will not be there.

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