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Daybreak: Settlements Prompt Newer Wrist-Slap

Plus humanitarian aid for Homs, and more in the news

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• ISRAEL SAID IT WOULD RETROACTIVELY APPROVE 180 homes in a West Bank outpost. Blink and you’ll miss it, but the U.S. response—that this is “not helpful” for getting back to peace talks—is different than it would have been a year ago, when it would have condemned the settlements themselves. [JPost]

• IRAN’S SUPREME LEADER insisted that the nuclear program would continue to “progress,” but totally peacefully. “Owning a nuclear weapon is a big sin,” he said. [WP]

• THE ADMINISTRATION IS EMPHASIZING HUMANITARIAN AID to Syria’s opposition, rather than arms. [WP]

• VIDEO TELLS THE GRIM TALE of the unimaginably brutal bombardment of the city of Homs—it’s “the first YouTube war,” says one analyst. [NYT]

• PRESIDENT PERES BELIEVES ISRAEL SHOULDN’T ATTACK IRAN right now, and will tell President Obama this in person next month. [Haaretz]

• MITT ROMNEY NARROWLY BEAT RICK SANTORUM in last night’s debate, probably. [NYT]

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Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

a) The office of President of Israel is a ceremonial one, very much analogous to the Queen of England. And as was noted on Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet this morning by senior journalist and Peres biographer (twice) Matti Golan (currently a columnist in the Israeli business daily “Globes”), assuming the Ha’aretz report is accurate it’s a major violation of Israeli law and custom for the President to publicly express himself on highly sensitive matters of policy, especially to a foreign leader, unless he was expressly authorized to do so by the Prime Minister.

If Peres or another Israeli president were to publicly express his opinion that the “settlements” in Judea & Samaria should be formally annexed to Israel, I am sure MT would not have cited it so approvingly and LL would quickly produce one of his pontificatory polemics on how terrible & backward a country Israel is and how the President’s disregard for the rule of law were undermining an already tenuous democracy. Hypocrisy thy name is Tablet.

b) Peres’ judgment has been quite flawed in a number of critical areas. He vehemently opposed Israel hitting the Osirak reactor in 1981, and vociferously called the attack a grave error at least as recently as the mid- to late 1990′s. Peres also insisted that Arafat was sincere in his desire to reach a reasonable and peaceful accommodation with Israel. When confronted with Arafat’s public statements (in Arabic) as well as the official P.A. TV & radio rants that were at variance (to put it mildly) with Arafat’s supposed peaceful intents, Peres insisted that Arafat said very different things to him in private, and that is what is determinative. Guess what? Arafat lied to Peres & he fell for it!

For an interesting counterview on why Israel is NOT about to attack Iran see David Horovitz’s piece over at the “Times of Israel”: http://www.timesofisrael.com/an-israeli-strike-on-iran-not-so-fast/

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J’lem / Efrata

Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

The Jewish Exponent (Philadelphia) has an interesting report of a talk by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates in which he does a respectable job of analyzing the dilemmas surrounding a possible attack against the Iranian nuclear facilities:
http://www.jewishexponent.com/article/25349/Gates_Opens_Up_on_an_Armed_Iran/

One point: Gates speaks of 3 separate un-synced clocks on Iran that are ticking away with different deadlines. I would add two more, both on when Iran’s efforts reach a “Zone of Immunity” from attack. One “Zone of Immunity” clock for the USA and a different one for Israel, with the difference a simple consequence of the USA being able to project greater force at a greater distance than Israel. And given past history, Israelis are very reticent about outsourcing its existential security.

hg
J’lem / Efrata

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Daybreak: Settlements Prompt Newer Wrist-Slap

Plus humanitarian aid for Homs, and more in the news

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