A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 25, 2009 - No Official Inquiry- Riots in Jerusalem
Those who thought it would be good for Minister of Defense Barak to join Prime Minister Netanyahu's government in order to moderate it, were very mistaken. It turns out the opposite may be the case. Today, the government decided not to have a commission of inquiry into Operation Cast Iron, instead have some sort of administration inquiry. It turns out that Netanyahu was in favor of a larger inquiry but bowed to Barak's view.
There was rioting in East Jerusalem today that originated at the Temple Mount. They were a preplanned reaction to a convention of right-wing Zionist Rabbis who were expected to call on Jews to mount the Temple Mount to pray. The rioting today extended beyond the Temple Mount to the streets of the Old City of Jerusalem.
In a somewhat related topic, at a swearing in ceremony last week for the Shimshon unit, two young soldiers displayed a sign that Shimshon would not remove the settlers from the illegal outpost of Chomesh. The soldiers were given 21 day prison terms and will be removed from the unit. According to army sources, their Rabbi Eliezer Melamed was behind the action. According to an internal study of the central command, if an order is given to remove the illegal settlements, 30% of the soldiers might refuse the order.
Palestinian leader Abu Mazen has now declared that there will be elections in January. He stated that an attempt to reach an agreement with Hamas has failed. If Hamas allows free elections in Gaza that would be fine, if they do not, he will just have elections in the West Bank. Abu Mazen is betting that since the recent polls show Hamas being unpopular, the result would be a major lost for them. Hamas seems worried about the same thing, and has attacked Abu Mazen for planning an election. Of course, as we have learned in the past, polls are not always accurate.