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December 16, 2007: And So It Goes

December 16, 2007

A two year old was injured today by shrapnel from a Kassam that landed near the family home in Kibbutz Zikkim, near Gaza. The child’s mother, who is pregnant, was also taken to the hospital to be treated for shock.

How long will stories like this be "routine" ? How did we come to the place in which such stories COULD be considered routine?





Lenny Ben-David, who served as deputy chief of mission at the Israeli Embassy in Washington some years ago, has written an instructive piece, with historic perspective, on the strategic value of Har Homa. Ben-David anticipates that the verbal harangue about new housing in Har Homa will be followed by attacks, as the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo was attacked previously.



A mission of (mostly military) Israeli intelligence personnel was dispatched last week to the US to convince authorities that Iran is indeed engaged in developing military nuclear capacity. As the meeting, which is about to conclude, has been off the record, details have not been revealed, but it seems certain that Israeli intelligence data was shared.


Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Livni is in Paris for that meeting of PA donors. Her message: We’re for a strong PA (which means, give them the money), but not at the expense of Israeli security. Well, there seems to be a bit of a conflict there. Once again, there is a failure to say that money should be withheld until the PA proves itself.

Livni did say that movement towards a state will be fostered if terrorism is halted. And she indicated that our building some homes in Har Homa would not be a stumbling block to anyone really interested in achieving peace.

Rest assured, we have not heard the last about the "settlement" of Har Homa.


I know that John Bolton, former US ambassador to the UN, was one of the really good guys: He sees clearly and speaks the truth. And on a regular basis he confirms my impression. Now in an interview Bolton has given to Der Spiegel in Germany, he has said: "His foreign policy is in free fall. The president is acting against his own judgment and instincts [and is] under the influence of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice…[He] does not supervise her enough. That is a mistake."


Hamas celebrated its 20th anniversary with rallies in Gaza yesterday and, according to a Palestinian news agency, reiterated its refusal to recognize Israel.

Hamas leader Usama Al-Mazini said that Gilad Shalit would not be released until all Palestinian prisoners were released.



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