Israel: Keeping Iran Happy

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March 10, 2010: Although Palestinian leaders want Jewish settlements out of the West Bank, these settlements provide over 20,000 jobs for Palestinians and buy over $250 million worth of goods from the settlements each year. Now the Palestinian Authority is going to outlaw the jobs and goods. Given the way things work in the West Bank, this will provide another corruption opportunity for Palestinian officials (to take a job in the settlements or buy settlement goods without being harassed by Palestinian police will require a bribe.) Meanwhile, Islamic terrorists in the West Bank continue to try and organize attacks inside Israel, and the Israeli police continue to detect their activities and arrest them. The level of experience is so low among Islamic terrorists that they are easier to detect and arrest. Most of the capable and experienced terrorists are dead, in jail or in exile. The Israelis want to keep it that way. It's different in Gaza, where Hamas has welcomed experienced terrorists, but these killers are stymied by the Israeli security wall, which is covered by vidcams and radar, and remotely controlled machine-guns, plus UAVs and quick reaction teams for anyone who does get through (that rarely happens, and no terror attack inside Israel has come from Gaza based terrorists.) But the home made rockets continue to get fired, and rarely hit anything.

Dubai continues to put on a media show over the January 19th killing of the head of the Hamas weapons smuggling operation (Mahmoud al Mabhouh)  in Dubai. Israel is blamed, but no conclusive (but lots of circumstantial) proof is presented, daily, in an ongoing media campaign apparently intended to please Iran. Dubai is not oil rich, and is bankrupt because of a real estate market collapse. Trade with Iran amounts to $12 billion a year, and illegal activity flourishes. Despite being a gangster paradise, Dubai is trying to show that it is cleaning up all the drug and terrorist activity, without doing anything. Thus the daily media circus against Israel and Mossad, showing how Dubai will continue to protect terrorists, Iranian operatives and money launderers (for corrupt officials in other nations) doing business there.

In Gaza, Hamas is distracted by internal battles with its own extreme elements (who insist on trying to attack Israel, despite the ceasefire), and other Islamic radical groups that are resisting Hamas control, and calling for faster imposition of Islamic conservative rules on all Palestinians in Gaza. This is best represented by the increasingly numerous lifestyle police, who force women to cover up, men to pray and block the sale of videos and music. All this is very unpopular with most Palestinians, but no one wants to take up arms over it yet.

A dead Palestinian was pulled from one of the smuggling tunnels between Gaza and Egypt. Last year, about 60 such deaths took place, usually because of collapses (suffocation) or electrocution (electric wires are strung to along the length of the tunnels to illuminate). Egyptian pledges to shut down the tunnels has stalled, apparently the Palestinians raised their bribes sufficiently to stop the campaign to find (with new American sensors) and destroy all the tunnels.

March 7, 2010: The Palestinian Authority (the West Bank Palestinians) agreed to indirect peace talks with Israel. This is all a propaganda exercise. The Palestinian demands amount to the destruction of Israel, and the Arab language Palestinian media still talks of destroying Israel. Palestinian schools teach kids that Israel doesn't even exist, and that what is known as Israel is actually "occupied Palestine." School children are taught that suicide bombing and terrorism against Israeli Jews is a good thing and a noble career choice. Hamas refuses to negotiate a long term peace deal with Israel, preferring to limit relations with Israel to ceasefires. Hamas propaganda makes it clear that Israel must be destroyed, and Hamas will do that as soon as possible. Most Western nations don't know how to deal with this Palestinian duality. Palestinians will talk of negotiations when offered money and other aid. But among themselves, they are consistently against any peace deal with Israel (which, to most Palestinians, does not even exist).

March 5, 2010:  Palestinians in the al Aqsa mosque (which is just above the Wailing Wall, a popular Jewish holy place and tourist attraction) threw stones at people below. The Palestinians were protesting Israeli settlers and Israeli policies in general. This happens periodically, even though Israeli security forces try to keep Palestinian troublemakers out of al Aqsa. Israeli police went into al Aqsa to stop the rock throwing, before it led to serious injuries. This was then denounced as an Israeli atrocity against Palestinians and Islam. The Palestinians are also upset that Israel has listed two more Jewish religious sites as protected by Israel. Palestinians have increasingly been attacking Jewish religious shrines in the West Bank (even if they are also Islamic holy places.)

March 3, 2010: In Haifa, a bicycle bomb went off, killing one and wounding twelve. There was no suicide bomber, and no Islamic group took credit, so police believe it was another gangster bombing, something that is becoming more common as extortion efforts are backed by this kind of violence against businesses.

February 28, 2010: In the last week, Lebanon has arrested another six Lebanese and accused them of spying for Israel. In the last year, about fifty of these arrests have been made, and most of them led to trials.

 

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