Written by Right Side News
22 Tammuz 5768
July 25, 2008
Back in the Hot Seat
Several hours after Attorney General Menachem Mazuz harshly criticized him for obstructing police investigation against him, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has agreed to another round of questioning at the hands of police interrogators investigating corruption allegations against him.
Olmert's legal team informed the police of their consent to meet next Friday for what will be the fourth such interrogation of the PM - however the police have yet to confirm the date. The police had been trying for two weeks to arrange the next questioning session and were utterly frustrated by the obstinance demonstrated by Olmert and his lawyers.
In a response submitted to the High Court of Justice on Thursday evening in response to a petition demanding Olmert's suspension, Mazuz wrote: "The police has met considerable difficulties in setting dates to interrogate the prime minister and in setting the length of the sessions.
"These are difficulties never experienced in the past with other public officials (under investigation), particularly with past prime ministers," said Mazuz.
"The prime minister needs to make himself available to the interrogators when asked to do so, in accordance with the investigation and within an appropriate amount of time," the attorney general wrote.
"The situation in which a prime minister sits in office while multiple criminal investigations are being conducted against him is likely to raise questions regarding his ability to fill his post, both in regards to his ability to devote the necessary time and energy to his position under these circumstances and in regards to the damaging of the public's trust."
Apparently it took a rebuke from the Attorney General of Israel for Olmert to finally back down. Does the word "hutzpah" come to mind? In the extreme?
Blast in Tehran Destroys Hizbollah Convoy
The London-based Daily Telegraph newspaper reported this morning that a mysterious explosion devastated an Iranian supply convoy intended to reach Hizbullah.
According to the report, the strong blast took place in one of Tehran's suburbs as a military convoy left a Revolutionary Guards' ammunition storehouse. At least 15 people were killed in the explosion.
Western sources reported that the blast took place on July 19 and that the convoy was carrying military equipment for the Lebanese terror organization.
It was also reported that senior Revolutionary Guards officials banned the Iranian media from reporting the explosion, even though it was heard throughout the capital. The Guards launched an investigation into the incident.
An official source told the newspaper that the strong explosion was heard across Tehran, adding that the Revolutionary Guards were trying to silence the incident despite the fact that many people were killed.
Was it sabotage? The Iranian Intelligence Minister said following the incident that the main suspect in the affair was arrested.
IDF Chief Honored by US Army
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, surprised IDF Chief of Staff Lieutenant-General Gabi Ashkenazi yesterday by honoring him with the US military's highest award. Ashkenazi received the decoration as a special gesture during a military ceremony held in his honor at the Pentagon. Mullen called Ashkenazi over and slid the medal on his neck. He said the award was given to the IDF chief for his year long contribution to the war on terror, his work for Israel's security and his contribution to improving the security dialogue between the two armies.
Following the reception, the two met face-to-face and discussed the issues on the agenda for about two hours.
Kuntar: 'I'll Kill Israelis Again'
Days after his release last Wednesday, convicted Lebanese Druse terrorist Samir Kuntar told Arab television stations that he plans to earn a master's degree in "military resistance" and reiterated his commitment to kill again.
Kuntar said he was "proud" of killing Israelis, and "Allah willing, I will get the chance to kill more Israelis," in an interview with Lebanon's Future TV, according to a transcript provided by The Middle East Media Research Institute.
MEMRI, a Washington-based, pro-Israel think tank published excerpts this week of a number of Arab-language interviews with the released prisoner.
Kuntar, who served 29 years in an Israeli prison for his part in killing a father and his daughter as well as an off-duty policeman in Nahariya in 1979, was released with four other Lebanese prisoners on July 16 in exchange for the bodies of IDF reservists Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
The day after he was released, Kuntar told Hizbullah's Al-Manar TV: "This time yesterday, I was still in their hands. But right now, there is nothing I'd like more than to face them again," according to a MEMRI transcript. "I ask Allah to make this happen very soon."
450 French Jews Make Aliya
After an intense year of preparation and organization, the Jewish Agency, in conjunction with the French aliya organization AMI, greeted 450 new French immigrants on Wednesday at Ben-Gurion Airport.
The olim, who ranged in age from three months to 69 years, came on three special flights - two from Paris and one from Marseille.
This marks a peak in French aliya, which has been on the rise since 2000. The French Jewish community, numbering close to half a million people - the second-largest in the world - has continually expressed a Zionistic bent, sending almost 80,000 new immigrants to Israel since the establishment of the state.
Recognizing this growing trend, Jewish Agency chairman Ze'ev Bielski said that "the arrival of hundreds of new immigrants is a real celebration for the Jewish people and the State of Israel. The Jewish Agency will continue to develop new programs to promote aliya from the West and assist in the absorption of these immigrants in Israel."
The Jewish Agency partnered with AMI - an absorption organization for French Jewry founded by Pierre Besnainou - in 2001 in an attempt to strengthen aliya from France.
Alert IDF Soldiers Prevent Bombing Attack
A bent license plate caught the attention of alert Israeli soldiers who decided it needed to be checked. Good thing! It turns out they intercepted a car that Palestinian terrorists apparently planned to use in a bomb attack.
Soldiers who stopped the suspicious car leaving the West Bank town of Jenin on Wednesday found a 20-pound bomb strapped to a gas canister inside. Three Palestinians in the car fled on foot with troops in pursuit.
Neither the Palestinian faction that sent the terrorist squad nor its intended target were immediately clear.
Thank G-d, they were stopped!
'Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: When ye pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their idols, and demolish all their high places. And you shall drive out the inhabitants of the land, and dwell therein; for to you have I given the land to possess it. Bamidbar/Numbers 33:51-53
This week's Torah portion presents us with a situation in which Moshe appears to act 'out of character'. It has to do with the request of the tribes of Reuven and Gad to settle their flocks and families on the eastern side of the Jordan.
Why did Moshe react uncharacteristically? What's the message for us?
This Week's Torah Meditation
Shabbat Shalom and many blessings to all of you,