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The Day In Israel: Monday Dec 21st, 2009

After convening three times yesterday, the seven-member inner cabinet is set to meet today to discuss a proposed terrorist exchange for Gilad Shalit with Hamas.

While it has been called “a make-or-break situation,” state officials have estimated that the deal will not be finalized in the near future.

Meanwhile, the parents of Gilad Shalit yesterday delivered a letter urging the Prime Minister to secure his release.

“We are appealing to you in a last-minute cry for help – please save our son, please save Gilad,” the Schalits wrote in the letter.

“Our hearts tell us that the negotiations have reached a point of no return… We are at a crossroads that has only two possible outcomes – the rescue of Gilad Schalit and his safe return home, or abandoning his fate to the hands of Hamas,” the letter read.

The parents of the captive soldier also pleaded with the prime minister not to “lay all the problems of the Middle East onto our son’s narrow shoulders.”

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

11:48PM: Jimmy Carter has apologized for stigmatizing Israel.

Former US President Jimmy Carter on Monday asked for the Jewish community’s forgiveness for any negative stigma he may have caused Israel over the years.

Carter, who is not a popular character in Israel, enraged the American Jewish community’s in the past with various statements made in his book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”

In the book, carter blamed Israel for impeding the Middle East peace process via settlement construction, further claiming such policy will lead to apartheid.

The former president also accused Israel of interfering with US efforts to broker peace in the region.

“We must recognize Israel’s achievements under difficult circumstances, even as we strive in a positive way to help Israel continue to improve its relations with its Arab populations, but we must not permit criticisms for improvement to stigmatize Israel.

“As I would have noted at Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, but which is appropriate at any time of the year, I offer an Al Het for any words or deeds of mine that may have done so,” he said.

“Al Het” refers to the Yom Kippur prayer asking God forgiveness for sins committed.

Head of the Anti-Defamation League Abraham Foxman welcomed Carter’s apology, saying it marked the beginning of reconciliation.

Call me uncharitable, but compared to the damage he has caused Israel – heck, the entire free world – I’d say his apology is peanuts.

11:36PM: Golani Infantry Brigade soldier Pvt. Mor Cohen, 19, has been shot and killed by a fellow soldier in a rare training accident, becoming the fifth soldier to die in such an accident this year.

11:35PM: Israel National News reports:

A Jewish youngster reported Monday evening that an Arab who dressed up as a Jew with a yarmulke and sidelocks tried to persuade him and an elderly lady into his car at hitchhiking post at the Tapuach Junction, north of Jerusalem.

10:28PM: Israel’s Channel 1 has reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu will agree to the Shalit swap deal.

8:52PM: Only in Israel: Photos like this taken at weddings

wedding_photo

(via: Muqata)

8:40PM: Ahead of the impending decision on a Gilad Shalit-for-terrorists exchange deal, I would like to put the question to you, my readers.

Should Israel release hundreds of palestinian prisoners and terrorists for Gilad Shalit?

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8:00PM: The mainstream media today had a field day reporting that Israel had admitted to harvesting the organs of dead palestinians, an apparent admission to the Swedish blood libel report we had previously denied so vigorously.

The source? This report from Israeli television featuring an admission that personnel at Israel’s Institute of Forensic Medicine harvested organs from Israelis and Palestinians without permission from the families.

While this is obviously troubling, the admission by no means confirms the Swedish blood libel report which claimed that Israel killed palestinians for their organs. In fact, if true, the people involved did not discriminate between dead Israelis and palestinians.

Honest Reporting has more, including some of the more dubious mainstream media treatment of this story.

5:42PM: The farce just got even farcier: Hamas has been helping British pro-palestinian lawyers bring war crimes prosecutions against Israeli officials in London.

5:05PM: Spot the difference:

Palestinian prisoner - AP
Palestinian prisoner Butthead

1:20PM: Another day, another near-collision at Ben Gurion airport.

1:15PM: Wonder what Natalie Portman sounds like talking in Hebrew? Wonder no more!

6:06AM: The PA has postponed indefinitely the first-ever Miss Palestine pageant. And it’s all Israel’s fault. Obviously.

After a wave of criticism, the finale of the first-ever Miss Palestine pageant has been postponed indefinitely by the Palestinian Authority.

The Ramallah Governorate announced on Sunday, “According to the requirements of the public interest, we decided to freeze and delay indefinitely of the coronation of Miss Palestine 2009 that was scheduled to be held on 26/12/2009 in Ramallah.”

The statement said the decision was made out of respect for the anniversary of the onset of the Israeli war on Gaza, which will be marked on 27 December.

But, the statement added, “We encourage such ideas that promote beauty that is committed to age-old Palestinian traditions and values.”

Sounds to me like contestants were supposed to parade themselves before pressing the detonator button.

Meanwhile, it’s not all bad. Miss Camel is still all set to go.

About the author

Picture of David Lange

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
Picture of David Lange

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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