The Day in Israel: Mon Mar 9th, 2009
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In response to reports that the US was demanding outgoing PA “Prime Minister” Salaam Fayad head a new Fatah-Hamas government, Hamas said it would not sit in a government under him.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
8:10PM: The Dorktator, Syrian President Bashar Assad, said Syria is ready to talk peace with any Israeli government.
To provide his peace-talking credentials, he launched into a diatribe against the Israeli Left and Right.
“One is bad and the other is awful,” the Syrian leader told the United Arab Emirates daily Al Khaleej, adding that Arab states should not hang their hopes on the ideological make-up of the Israeli cabinet.
“The right-wing is right-wing, and the left-wing is right-wing,” Assad said. “The right kills Arabs and the left kills Arabs. There is no value to all of these hopes,” the Syrian president said.
8:00PM: Here’s more on Galloway’s convoy to Gaza causing trouble with the Egyptian police and getting attacked.
And here’s Galloway’s first speech inside Gaza. Notice how he addresses terrorists as “heroes of the palestinian resistance.”
7:50PM: Since my last update:
- Operation Cast Lead did accomplish something. It made Hamas more popular.
- George Galloway and his band of merry nitwits have made it into Gaza after being subjected to stone-throwing and anti-Hamas graffiti.
- The Prime Minister’s Office has claimed that we don’t know anything about the new Hamas videotape of Gilad Shalit.
4:55PM: I am heading off to the synagogue in a few minutes.
Purim Sameach (Happy Purim) everyone! (more on Purim here)
2:17PM: One of the big stories here has been the Attorney General’s decision to indict former Israeli president Moshe Katsav for rape and other sexual offences.
Meanwhile, Ha’aretz reports:
So much for family loyalty.
11:18AM: Israeli tennis player Andy Ram, part of Israel’s Davis Cup team which defeated Sweden 2:1, laments the events of the past week in Sweden.
In almost every respect, the events of the past week in Sweden are a sad moment for Tennis, for sports in general, and certainly for Israel. Never in my career as an athlete have I encountered such hatred and such blend of sports and politics.
Up until the last moment, the protestors attempted to prompt the cancelation of the David Cup match between Israel and Sweden. After we already landed here, their leader met with Swedish team captain Mats Wilander and asked him to call off the contest.
The Swedish players actually understand us and are quite embarrassed by what is happening, yet these events have completely changed my perception of Sweden, and it is doubtful whether I’ll want to come back here ever again.
The feelings within the Israel team are very grim. All the innocence that prompted us to play tennis has disappeared, and this match, which was supposed to be a beautiful moment of sports, has become completely worthless. Nothing here is reminiscent of the Davis Cup; what we have is a war atmosphere, tension, and the feeling that something very bad may happen at any moment.
I have never seen the kind of security that we are receiving here; not even in Dubai, where I played a few weeks ago. At any given moment, we are surrounded by police vehicles, undercover police officers, and anti-terror forces. Every morning, they take us from the hotel to the stadium via another route, through an underground parking lot, with part of the ride being undertaken in armored vehicles.
Proud to be Israeli
The venue of the contest, which was supposed to be filled to capacity with fans, is almost completely empty because of fears of riots. Several rings of fences have been erected around it to keep everyone away. The fences are surrounded by thousands of police officers, who on Saturday had to battle thousands of rioting protesters who were hurling all sorts of objects, shattering shop windows, and attempting to get closer to the venue.
Since we landed here, almost a week ago, we left the hotel only three times; we ate at a restaurant twice, and went to see some tourist site. Even then we were surrounded by a crazy security presence. We spend the rest of the time at the hotel or on the court and make sure to be very cautious.
In recent years, the strength of our team has been its tight-knit spirit, and events such as the ones in Sweden boost our motivation. During such days, we are even prouder to be Israeli, and we shall do everything to restore our honor, which they try to trample here. In this respect, the best service we can do for ourselves and for the country is to win, and I believe we can do it.
9:32AM: The Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida has reported that in addition to a letter written by Gilad Shalit, Hamas’ “military wing” also gave their Deputy Politburo Chief Abu Marzouk a videotape showing Shalit in good condition during his recent secret visit to Gaza.
5:40AM: The IDF has imposed a general closure on the West Bank ahead of the Jewish holiday of Purim, which begins on Monday evening, given the palestinian terrorists’ love of this holiday and the tractor terror attack last week.