Major Events in Israel and the Middle East
A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
Government Survives No Confidence Vote- Crisis Contineus
Tuesday May 8, 2007
Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak broke his silence and held his first news conference today. Various commentators spent the day discussing the details of what he said and how it could be interpreted. I thought he was very straight forward. He stated that the Winograd Commission's conclusions were strong enough that the Prime Minister has no choice but to resign. He stated that he hopes that Olmert would resign before the Labor primaries on the 29th. If Olmert does not resign and Barak is elected as Labor Chairman, he would do his utmost to force Olmert out or to force new elections. Barak stated that he would be willing to serve in the interim as Minister of Defense while awaiting new elections.
Israeli Channel 10 television reported that sources close to Olmert have concluded that the Prime Minister's tenure can now be measured in weeks. Members of Kadima are said to be working on how to pick a new leader and let Olmert resign with some sense of dignity.
There was an interesting dialogue on television tonight between the military correspondent of Ha'aretz and Ephraim Sneh, the Deputy Minister of Defense. The correspondent stated that the army has multiple plans for taking action in Gaza but it realizes that the current government does not have the domestic support to take any actions. Sneh countered that politics do not come to bear as a factor, but then went on the say that how problematic any effort in Gaza would be.
London and Kirshenbaum had an interesting interview with Mosh Aminvav, who just wrote a book called Jerusalem Syndrome. Aminvav posits that none of Israel's goals in reunifying the city have been met. No country recognizes Jerusalem as the country's capital and Israel only controls 1/3 of east Jerusalem. Seven Billion dollars has gone to build new neighborhoods that have not helped the demographic balance, and Jerusalem is the poorest city in the country. He states that the city went from 37 sq. kilometers before 1967 to 130 sq kilometers. The Old City is only 1sq. kilometer and he states that all of the abovementioned should have been annexed.