The Day In Israel: Thurs Oct 29th, 2009

Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, Gabriela Shalev, has warned that the Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead will not go away.

The Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead will not go away even if Israel launches an independent inquiry into the campaign, UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said Wednesday.

“There are no legal questions here – and we shouldn’t be deluding ourselves that the report will disappear if we launch a probe,” Shalev said during a discussion held at the Israel Democracy Institute. “We are seeing a murky wave against the State of Israel the likes of which has not been seen in many years.”

“It reached the point of de-legitimizing our existence as an independent state,” she said.

“We are doing a poor job of explaining our position,” Shalev added. “What we have here is an indictment against Israel, against freedom of expression, against the legal establishment, and against the army.”

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

6:02PM: A state memorial ceremony was held today marking 14 years since the assassination of formerPrime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Besides the obvious human tragedy, Yitzhak Rabin’s murder led to others co-opting his name to advance their own agendas. For instance, those who advocate a palestinian state like to refer back to Rabin and the Oslo process, yet conveniently leave out Rabin’s own views on the subject.

From his speech on the ratification of the Israeli- Palestinian Interim Agreement on the West Bank and the Gaza Strip:

We view the permanent solution in the framework of State of Israel which will include most of the area of the Land of Israel as it was under the rule of the British Mandate, and alongside it a Palestinian entity which will be a home to most of the Palestinian residents living in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

We would like this to be an entity which is less than a state, and which will independently run the lives of the Palestinians under its authority. The borders of the State of Israel, during the permanent solution, will be beyond the lines which existed before the Six Day War. We will not return to the 4 June 1967 lines.

Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says similar things and he is derided as an extremist.

5:26PM: There is nothing humorous about this Daily Show interview with palestinian politician Mustafa Barghouti and Jewish anti-Israel activist Anna Baltzer.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 1
Daily Show
Full Episodes
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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Exclusive – Anna Baltzer & Mustafa Barghouti Extended Interview Pt. 2
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Health Care Crisis

Stewart does not challenge them on any of the blatant lies, including the corker from Barghouti that “90% of the palestinian struggle has been non-violent. Today, it’s maybe 99;5% non-violent.” (05:55), although even Stewart’s B.S detectors activate when Baltzer claims that “Jews lived better within the Arab world than virtually anywhere within the Western world” (05:45).

9:48AM: Lebanon has sprung into action following the Katushya attack on Israel a few days ago, already identifying the culprits.

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman says Israel is behind the Katyusha rocket fired from Lebanon on Tuesday. In an interview to Hezbollah-affiliated Lebanese newspaper al-Akhbar, the president did not conceal his concern over the recent incident.

Suleiman said the rocket “is an excuse for Israel to keep violating Lebanon’s sovereignty and immediately use it to continue its intelligence activity in Lebanon due to Hezbollah’s presence.”

The president explained that the rocket attack from Lebanon coincides with Israel’s interested and said the shooter was an Israeli agent. “Therefore, I do not rule out the possibility that Israel is the one behind the Katyusha attack,” he said.

8:45AM: Ha’aretz headline:

White House slams Obama’s poor standing among Israelis

The problem is, there is no indication of any such “slamming” in the report itself, which does mention this though:

Obama’s advisers are worried about his lack of popularity and the expressed feeling that he is hostile to Israel. They believe this seriously harms his ability to advance the peace process with the Palestinians. Obama’s advisers see this as the reason why Israelis view his diplomatic initiatives on both Iran and the Palestinians so negatively.

Recent weeks have seen a number of meetings on the matter in the White House, and one of the ideas under discussion is an Obama visit to Israel. It was decided at this stage to wait and send Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Jerusalem; she is to arrive Saturday night.

I don’t know if that will work either. After all, if the below Jerusalem Post picture and caption is anything to go by, Israelis do not think much of her either.

hillary trash

8:35AM: As if we didn’t have enough problems.

grape juiceThe reliability of a breathalyzer device widely used by Israeli police has been called into question: A new study found the device is vulnerable to external conditions, and prone to registering innocuous substances as alcohol.

The defense team for a suspect charged with driving under the influence hired an expert to test the breathalyzer, manufactured by the German firm Draeger and widely used by the Israel Police.

The expert – Dr. Igal Bar-Ilan, head of the Analytical Chemistry Department at the research institute MIGAL in Kiryat Shmona, and a lecturer at the city’s Tel-Hai Academic College – found that external conditions such as temperature, humidity, and the length and speed of inhalation can affect reported BAC levels, making the driver seem intoxicated when he is not.

Bar-Ilan also found that the device is likely to incorrectly interpret compounds like acetone and acetic acid as alcoholic substances.

The study was conducted under police supervision and in cooperation with Draeger.

The device reported alcohol in Tirosh brand grape juice and the energy drink XL, the experiment found. When small amounts of alcohol were mixed with these beverages, the device reported the quantity was larger than it actually was.

Eran Ben-Ami, the attorney who initiated the study, said thousands of Israeli motorists may have been wrongly convicted of driving under the influence – an offense for which drivers may lose their licenses for two years.

5:50AM: The UN General Assembly announced it will meet next week (November 4) to consider the Goldstone Report.

12:45AM: While Syrian Dorktator Bashar Assad’s statement that Syria is ready to continue peace talks with Israel has been widely reported, not many news outlets are reporting claims by a Kuwaiti news site that an advisor to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with the Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister in New York (auto-translation):

Arab normalization: Syrian official adviser had met with Netanyahu

New York – Palestine Media – newspaper (Gazette) Kuwait on its website, quoting informed sources in Jerusalem said the Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad recently met in New York Yitzhak Molkho adviser to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

She explained that the meeting was held in the Helmsley Hotel in New York under the auspices of the rich American of Jewish origin Ron Lauder, known for his close ties with Damascus.

Kuwaiti newspaper quoted the sources mentioned as saying that the meeting was cordial and took two hours, during which the parties talked about the circumstances and climates conducive to the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Syria under the auspices of an American, referring to the Israeli side has confirmed his intention to hold talks without conditions. These sources added that Molkho Mekdad reported that Netanyahu is ready to make peace.

The same sources confirmed occurrence of other events at different levels between the Syrian and Israeli officials with the knowledge of authorities on both sides.


David Lange

A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media

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