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The Lekarev Report - Israel News July 30, 2008

27 Tammuz 5768
July 30, 2008
ricearoni1.jpgBarak: In 2 Months We'll be Safer

After a series of meetings with top US officials in Washington, Defense Minister Ehud Barak appeared optimistic as to the improvement of Israel's anti-missile defense systems.

After some lobbying on Barak's part, the American officials pledged Israel would be connected to the global US system, capable of detecting an impending attack while the missile's engine is just heating up.  Israel is primarily intent on obtaining logistical support from the US, which would allow the IDF to launch a solo operation if need be. 
The achievement is the culmination of Barak's meetings with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen.
The Iranian threat topped the agendas of the majority of Barak's meetings, with the minister clarifying that as far as Israel is concerned "all options are still on the table."
At a press conference with Israeli reporters after the meetings, Barak explained that "it was important for the Americans to understand our stance and its derivatives, and I think they understand this better now, after this visit."
Barak arrived in Washington on Monday as part of an attempt to improve Israel's qualitative military advantage and to convince the US government not to drop the option of a military strike on Iran. The US promised to assist Israel in its defense.  
pardon.jpgPardon for Disengagement Objectors?

Legislation that would grant amnesty to Gaza disengagement protestors who committed offenses as part of the demonstrations against the pullout passed the first reading at the Knesset Tuesday night. 

Following the vote, one of the Knesset Members behind the bill, Reuven Rivlin (Likud,) said that "there are days when democracy needs to forgive and leave the past behind. The disengagement was a national trauma and it cannot be compared to any other social crisis." 

"The clemency law will assist in mending the rift within Israeli society and correcting the injustice done to families of the evacuees, those who paid the price of democracy in the harshest manner," he said. 

During the Knesset session, Knesset Member Zahava Gal-On (meretz) clashed with right wing Knesset members after she said: "I want to tell you, and you better internalize it, even if it's unpleasant - the State of Israel's problem is that for years it has been turning a blind eye to the crimes of the Right. For years." 

"So the role of democracy and the role of Knesset members is to protect, and our role, the Israeli Knesset, is to learn the lessons of the Weimer Republic's collapse," she added. "I remind you that democracy in Germany collapsed because it enabled its enemies on the radical Right to exploit it, to exploit the democratic mechanisms, and it undermined its basic powers." 

Following Gal-On's words, Knesset Member Zevulun Orlev furiously yelled in her direction: "You have gone crazy. You crossed all the red lines. It is unthinkable that an Israeli Knesset member will stand at the Knesset podium and say that the Right in Israel conducts itself like the Weimer parliament that brought Hitler to power."

Knesset Member Uri Ariel told Gal-on that "what you did is an abomination."

MK Arieh Eldad added: "As a doctor, I'm telling you - sickening self-hatred is a serious mental disorder - the self-hatred of the Israeli Left is sick and reflects a deeply rooted mental disorder - it has no cure."

The bill must pass two additional readings in order to become law.
24_obamawestwall_lg.jpgObama Note Deliberately Leaked by His Campaign

Last Friday, the day after Obama's visit to the Western Wall, Maariv published a close-up picture of the note written by Obama to G-d, supposedly after a yeshiva boy took it from the crack between the Kotel stones in which Obama deposited it.   Maariv's competitor Yediot Acharonot slammed the paper for violating Obama's privacy.

However, we have now learned that  "Barack Obama's note was approved for publication in the international media even before he put it in the Kotel, a short time after he wrote it at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem." A third newspaper, Haaretz, quoted Maariv as saying that "Obama submitted a copy of the note to media outlets when he left his hotel in Jerusalem."

Based on these statements, it appears that the Obama campaign "managed the event brilliantly, if deceptively, getting the double benefit of appearing to be victimized by the invasive Israeli press and a "prayer-thieving Jew" while at the same time leaking out his humble Christian plea to the L-rd," wrote one of the papers.

Just a few days later, "a (relatively) slick video appeared on YouTube that blended Obama's Western Wall prayer with various church scenes, crosses, a dove of peace, and a soundtrack based on Amazing Grace. The video closes with a "vote" button and an invitation to visit the official campaign website."

You can see it for yourself:

abbas.jpgAbbas Threatens to Dismantle PA

If Israel releases Hamas members of the Palestinian parliament as part of a deal for the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, PA President Mahmoud Abbas threatened that he will dismantle the Palestinian Authority.

Abbas sent the warning to GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Gadi Shamni via Hussein al-Sheikh, head of the PA's civil affairs department, who is responsible for coordinating with Israel on anything involving the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Al-Sheikh, who told Shamni that this was a "personal message" from Abbas, stressed that the Palestinian leader did not speak merely of "resigning," but of "dismantling the PA."

Israel arrested dozens of Hamas politicians, including ministers and parliament members, shortly after Hamas kidnapped Shalit on June 25, 2006. Many have since been released by order of a military court, but about 40 remain in Israeli jails. 

250olmert_barak_dbo.jpgOlmert, Barack Tensions Continue

The war of words between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak over Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann gathered steam Tuesday night.  Responding to Olmert's statement that if he had to choose between Friedmann and Barak, he would pick Friedmann, Barak replied: "If and when the issue arises, I doubt Prime Minister Olmert will be the one dealing with it."

He was referring to the likelihood that Olmert will be replaced following the Kadima Party leadership primary in September.

The battle erupted when Barak, who chairs the Labor Party, said he would demand Friedmann's replacement as part of any coalition negotiations with Olmert's successor. .

"Olmert is in repression," a senior Labor Party official said yesterday. "He is prime minister [only] until the Kadima primary, so his statements are really not relevant. They are meant to create the impression that he is still running the country. When we demand that Friedmann be replaced, Olmert will no longer be prime minister."
At Monday's faction meeting, Olmert accused Barak of "trying to issue diktats from the bottom rung of the ladder.  I'm the prime minister, and if anyone thinks he will force us to fire someone else in order to forge a coalition with him, he is mistaken."

Added Olmert: "I recommend that no one [try to] intimidate Kadima. We're the largest party." 
syriagolan.jpgOlmert Promised Golan Heights to Syria?

As if Israelis didn't have enough reason to be angry and disgusted with Ehud Olmert, Army Radio said this morning that the Prime Minister promised the Golan Heights to Damascus in exchange for direct peace talks.

The report quoted Likud MK Yisrael Katz as saying that the Syrians had agreed to direct talks with Israel, on the condition that Israel give up control of the Golan Heights in advance.

On Tuesday, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni voiced concern that the prime minister would easily give up too much Israeli land without appropriate compensation, saying that there were "issues regarding negotiations with Syria that still require internal planning."

Also Tuesday, Olmert himself claimed that Israel would be able to place before Syria a true alternative to retaining ties with Iran and Hizbullah, and said that the indirect talks would, "at a certain stage," need to turn into direct talks.

The Prime Minister's office denied the report but their track record lately on denying reports has not been too reliable.  It would not be surprising that given a little while the report will be proven true.  The saving grace is that he will soon be gone from the Prime Minister's office.
conkle-wanderingturtle.jpgBehold the Turtle

One of the more humorous emails I received yesterday said this: "Behold the turtle who only makes progress when he sticks his neck out."  He wrote it in context of expressing support for the Lekarev Report regardless of whether the Jeff Porter issue was right or not.

The saying made me smile but it also made me think.  It's a humorous picture but how true.

In any arena of life, we don't make progress unless we step out of our comfort zone in one way or another. 

So let me just encourage all of us today, if there's something you have been feeling you need to do and have been afraid to step out, go ahead!  Be strong and courageous, just as Moses told Joshua.  We never know what we can achieve until we try.

Maybe somebody out there needed this encouragement today.

Thank you, Dave, for your email!

Shalom and blessings,


The Torah of Hashem is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of Hashem is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of Hashem are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of Hashem is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of Hashem is clean, enduring for ever; the ordinances of Hashem are true, they are righteous altogether;  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.

Psalm 19:7-9 

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