Tuesday, July 21

The Iran Deal and Israel

Hassan Rouhani speaking during a press conference in Tehran a day after a deal was reached on the country's nuclear programme Photo: REUTERS
Benjamin Netanyahu’s acolytes are hell-bent on undermining Barack Obama's nuclear pact with Iran
Well the deal is done and the signatories have signed. It may not be the greatest deal to prevent Iran from developing the nuclear bomb. The aftermath of this deal remains to be seen. Israel and the Gulf Arab States are not happy about this deal and it is understandable. President Obama is going to great pains to reassure these concerned countries that the US will not abandon them in favor of Iran. The deal does not address the terrorism that Iran commits nor does it weaken Iran’s relations with its proxies such as Hezbollah in Lebanon or the support that Iran is giving to the Shiite Houthis in Yemen. The nuclear deal is just about preventing Iran from developing a nuclear weapon and is not concerned with Iran’s terrorist activities or Iran’s desire to destroy Israel.

Obama's Iran Nuclear Deal Speech may allay some fears but PM Netanyahu’s reaction to the deal as expected was negative. Obama did contact Netanyahu after the signing of the deal but Netanyahu is not convinced that the deal is the best thing on the market curtailing Iran’s aggressive and uncompromising attitude towards Israel, which is not part of the deal.

There is room for concern and skepticism about the success of this deal in curtailing Iran’s nuclear capabilities. Iran is not a state that has much credibility neither in the West nor in the Middle East. Its human rights record is atrocious and its desire to destroy Israel remains unabated. If one examines the latest Memri Clips that are on my blog, Rouhani appears conciliatory up to a point, while Ayatollah Khamanei harangues the crowds against the US, Israel and even England. One must bear in mind that the true power remains in the hands of Khamanei. The Ayatollah regime in Iran is oppressive and evil. President Rouhani of Iran remains a sugar-coated pill and a puppet of this regime that within time will disappoint all those who were captivated by his charm.

On the other hand, Israel’s Netanyahu Coalition sees this as an opportunity to unite Israel under the Netanyahu banner. It comes at a time when Netanyahu is trying to unite his coalition of strange bedfellows in order to get various bills passed. The US-Iran Nuclear Deal is a fantastic digression to justify Netanyahu's maintenance of power by proving to the opposition that the danger to Israel’s existence is severe. He has managed to garner support on his stance against the deal even from the official opposition leader, Isaac Herzog. Netanyahu is making political capital over this deal as he knows that this will unite the country and strengthen his political leadership.

Now that the deal is a fait accompli, Israel must move on and Netanyahu should study the agreement thoroughly. Military vigilance of course is important as Iran by its own admittance and rhetoric has no desire to recognize Israel and is even determined to destroy Israel.

Obama has sent reassuring messages but time will tell whether Iran will comply with the agreement. Meanwhile, making political capital by opposing the agreement is not wise. Netanyahu will not influence Obama. We have the right to be skeptical but we have to view the deal from a wider perspective.

Netanyahu is continuing with his hysterical obsession against the Iran Deal. He will not achieve anything apart from uniting the extremist masses in his government with the hope of sucking in the Zionist Camp to join his coalition. Yitzchak Herzog has denied emphatically that his party, the Zionist Camp will join the coalition. Netanyahu’s statements against the Iran Nuclear Deal do not serve Israel’s interests in the long term nor the future of Israel’s democracy. It could lead to a scenario whereby Israelis who oppose Netanyahu’s attitude to the Iran Deal will be considered traitors and be ostracized.

Issues that need to be addressed are the aggressive threats against Israel and the powers who are signatories to this deal. President Obama claims that this deal is primarily to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb and does not concern Iran’s aggressive rhetoric, threats and terrorism.

Netanyahu’s plupperings are not going to influence the US-Iran Anti-Nuclear Deal and it would be in Israel’s best interests to remain vigilant as to the Iranian threat on Israel’s security and its existence. Israel has the right to defend itself if Iran threatens its existence. Israel’s right to defend itself should include a preemptive strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, if there is evidence beyond any reasonable doubt that Iran has plans to destroy Israel.

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Reaffirms 'Death to America' Slogan, Calls to Bring U.S. Leaders to Trial

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Reaffirms 'Death to America' Slogan, Calls to Bring U.S. Leaders to Trial

Iranian President Rouhani Describes Nuclear Deal, Says: The Superpowers Have Officially Recognized a Nuclear Iran

Iranian President Rouhani Describes Nuclear Deal, Says: The Superpowers Have Officially Recognized a Nuclear Iran

Saturday, July 4

The Bias and Hypocrisy of the UNHRC

ISIS Savages
What has happened to the UN? So many cruel incidents are occurring in the Middle East today and one would expect that the UN would play a more active role in condemning the Islamist terrorist movements that have mushroomed over the last 45 years. Instead, Islamist terrorist movements had started off as “freedom movements” fighting against the Israeli Occupation since June 1967 under various guises - such as hijacking civil air flights, terrorizing passengers and holding them hostage as well as shooting innocent people. This had “revolutionized” to the Trade Centre Twin Tower Tragedy committed by Al Qaeda on 11th Sept, 2001 as well as many other mega terror operations under radical Islamist groups such as Al Qaeda and their proxies. The incidents of terrorist activity against innocent people spread through Europe and the rest of the world like a cancer, exacting a high cost in innocent lives. The list of Islamist terrorist acts continues unhindered and increases on an almost daily basis.

More victims of ISIS. The organization is parading their murders as a means of intimidating

This does not seem to perturb most UN members and their pathetic lackey the hypocritical, double-standard UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC). Not a word from these “reputable” international bodies of any condemnation of the massacres occurring in the Middle East and in Africa. ISIS, the most evil and cruel representative of Islamist terror on earth, has an almost free reign to do exactly as they wish. Their aim is to establish an Islamist Caliphate in every state that they conquer by using the cruelest, satanic methods that boggles the imagination. The UN and the UNHRC are so involved in condemning Israel for defending itself against Hamas terror during Operation Protective Edge that it gives the ISIS savages the green light to massacre their opponents at will all over the world. The UN should hang its head in shame as well as their disgusting UNHRC. These world bodies allow ISIS a free hand to behead and pillage at will. This incredible apathy sends out a signal to the world that they are accomplices to terror committed by Islamist terror groups by gunning for Israel all the time with their Operation Protective Shield Report on the Gaza War of July-August 2014.

Hamas was not condemned for their terrorism against Israel or for starting the war as strongly as Israel was blamed for defending itself against Hamas terror. This is a sign of weakness on the part of those illustrious legal professionals, who compiled this report. Its worth is that of human feces, as it is written in “unbiased” legalese verbosity. The message that it sends out is one of almost total indifference to Hamas terror and even ISIS terror. ISIS is waiting on the borders of Gaza to form a coalition with Hamas. They now have the support” from many UN members to “free Gaza” and the right to establish an Islamist Caliphate there together with Hamas. It will not stop in Gaza but will threaten Israel as well. There are signs that ISIS and Hamas are cooperating, although it may be a bit premature to confirm this despite Hamas denials. The credibility of Hamas is poor so it could be a strong possibility. Both terrorist groups have similar goals and the ill-fated flotilla from Sweden that did not succeed in breaking the Gaza blockade is actually serving the Hamas-ISIS axis.

ISIS is threatening not only the US, EU and the Arab states, but the whole world. They are taking over large areas of territory in Syria, Iraq, Libya and they have proxies in Nigeria called Boko Haram that are slaughtering and kidnapping people. As usual, the world under the UN umbrella remains indifferent. All seem so concerned to enforce BDS against Israel to worry about the terrible massacres and cruelties of ISIS and Hamas.

Many imams in the heart of Europe are brainwashing non-Muslims from their mosques to join ISIS and the fight against these evil imams is not effective.

Why does the world not wake up and form a united coalition to destroy ISIS that is threatening not only the Middle East but the Western World as well? These savages are hardly curtailed in their blood-lust to establish a Caliphate. If the UN does not take a stand against these ISIS savages, they are culprits no less than ISIS. The UN members are too involved in bashing Israel. Under an ISIS-Hamas caliphate, many Palestinians will be slaughtered for not holding the ISIS world view. The only nation that unfortunately has no state and is putting up a courageous fight against ISIS is the Kurds. They have more balls than Europe and their wimpish leadership and the US together. They have still not tasted the coffee in the Middle East.

Tuesday, June 30

A Year after Operation Protective Edge

A year has passed since the prelude leading up to the Gaza War of 2014. The reason for this war can be summed up in a simple, rather hackneyed statement: The inability of Hamas to recognize Israel's right to exist.

This can be viewed in a number of ways. Apologists for Hamas and its supporters claim the "Palestinians' legitimate right for freedom from Israel's illegal occupation of Palestine since Israel's establishment in 1948 or "El Naqba" (The Catastrophe)". Wars waged against Israel by its Arab neighbors is very much part of Israel's history even before the Six Day War of June 1967. The June 1967 war was a war for the destruction of Israel. The constant harping on the occupation just added fuel to the non-recognition fire of Israel's Arab neighbors.
Today Israel has peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, which was not the case during the June 1967 War and the October War of 1973.

The Arab States that are officially still at war with Israel are now showing signs of pragmatism as they face a very serious enemy that is common to all the players in the Middle East. 

Since the Arab Spring that is now a Middle Eastern nightmare and the fall of Syria, Libya to ISIS, parts of Lebanon to Hezbollah that is Iran's proxy, Iraq to ISIS and Jabhat al Nusra. All these Islamist terrorist groups share a common desire to establish a bloody Caliphate based on Sharia law in its strictest interpretation. Those who do not believe in their Islamist world view are killed. Their cruelty towards the infidel is unbridled anywhere in the world today. 
They are a threat to many Arab states in the area.

The UN remains silent on the genocide that ISIS and the Islamist terrorist groups commit against non-Muslims and Muslims, who do not share their cruel world view. These savages seem to have freedom to kill almost unhindered. The carnage in these countries is hardly mentioned in the UN and the condemnation of their cruelty in that pathetic world body is hardly more than an impotent squeak of displeasure.

So much energy is spent on bashing Israel for human rights abuses against the Palestinians. Now the PA and Hamas want to take Israel to the ICC in The Hague. Another flotilla made its way to Gaza to attempt to break the blockade. Fortunately they were intercepted by the IDF and taken to Ashdod port. Fortunately, no casualties on both sides were reported. The crew members will be deported to their countries of origin. Why are these so-called hypocritical human activists not going into Syria and all the other countries where ISIS is massacring innocent people in order to demonstrate? Human rights are non-existent there. They would not dare! They would be beheaded by ISIS and they know that Israel is easy meat for them as the IDF is no threat to their lives.

Hamas does not care about their people. They suffer from the usual fantasy syndrome of liberating their people from the Israeli occupation by force and this includes terror. The rhetoric coming from the Hamas leadership in Gaza is based on fantasy and they believe that the more they fantasize the closer they will reach their goal of Palestinian freedom from the Israeli Occupation. In fact, Gaza is not under Israeli occupation. There is an Israeli blockade on their coastline and this is because of security reasons which they have brought upon themselves. 

The Palestinians in Gaza are suffering because of Hamas fantasies of grandeur and their attempt to achieve their goal of trying to destroy Israel, thus fulfilling their beliefs as enshrined in the Hamas Charter.

Hamas does not care about the Palestinian people anymore than ISIS and Jabhat Al Nusra care about theirs. This is so obvious and their hypocritical human rights pundits fail to accept this. Human rights are not part of the Hamas lexicon. The suffering of the Gaza Palestinians is without a doubt the fault of Hamas who must be made accountable totally.

Meanwhile the UN Commission Report into Operation Protective Edge 2014 has found evidence of both Israel and Hamas committing war crimes. The report was unbiased and was involved in the results of the war on the population of Gaza. It never went into any depth as to who was responsible for the hostilities and terror against Israel that initiated a response. The launching of rockets into Israel from populated areas in Gaza that provoked a response was stated in a neutral fashion. Israelis, who lived on kibbutzim bordering Gaza, and who took the brunt of rocket fire were not even mentioned in the report. The evidence was based on reports about the destruction of homes and the loss of life of Palestinians. The Report accused both sides of violations of International Law and not the reason for Israel's retaliation, which is no less relevant as to the results of heavy collateral damage by the IDF.

The report itself appears balanced. It accuses both sides according to the dry letter of International Law of human rights violations. It showed no depth as far as Hamas behavior is concerned and thus lets them off the hook as to being the party that must be held responsible for the IDF response despite the unfortunate tragedy that had resulted.

Israel was reacting within its rights as any country would to defend its citizens from Hamas militant aggression, whether it was building of tunnels for terrorist infiltrators into Israel with the intention of committing terrorist acts, as well as the firing of rockets from schools and civilian population areas enveloped in human shields. It is important to note that this issue was mentioned in the report and given some emphasis. However the innuendo of the report leans more towards an anti-Israel stance rather than total objectivity. 

Saturday, June 13

BDS and Culture in Israel

When looking at the title of this article, a question that one is tempted to ask is: What is the connection?  BDS and culture have nothing to do with each other. If we examine this, we can see that BDS does affect culture freedom and democracy in Israel. How? One may ask.

Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev
The new Israeli Coalition Government is now right wing,  if not more towards extreme right wing. The Likud Election Campaign played on the feelings of many apolitical citizens, who were not motivated to vote. PM Benjamin Netanyahu is an expert at fomenting fear of Israel's Arab citizens, when he felt that his Likud Party was going to lose. His perspiring face and tactics, bordering on racism towards Israel's Arab minority citizens, worked to his advantage at the last minute.

Israel today is being threatened by BDS groups in Europe, the US and many parts of the world. This has created a "siege" mentality within the government as well as amongst many Israelis. The BDS threat against Israel is not really anti-Semitic (BDS encompasses a heterogeneous range of groups, including many anti-Semites identifying with BDS and Palestinian terrorist groups, such as Hamas that climb on to the BDS bandwagon, irrespective of the government's settlement policies in the occupied territories, supporting the destruction of Israel), but against the occupation in the West Bank and the establishment of settlements there, whose legality in international law is questionable. BDS is a negative group that has nothing to contribute in any solution to this conflict. Much of the BDS propaganda is based on many hearsay falsities concerning Israel and does not deserve support.

The lack of progress in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority under President Mahmoud Abbas's leadership is part of the problem. There are many reasons for this which I have delved on in previous articles and will not go into that here. One reason that does stand out is the failure of Israel's leadership to freeze settlements and continues to build new settlements in the West Bank. This is the official reason for the BDS movement to threaten Israel. The Israeli Government has not shown any desire to negotiate a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict because they are not even prepared to raise the issue of settlements in the West Bank, even as a preliminary for trust-building measures between the two sides. The lack of movement towards a Two-State Solution is a potential danger to peace. The instability in the Middle East with ISIS, Jabat al Nusra and a host of other Islamist terrorist groups, complicates the issue even further. The Israeli Government must be viewed as partly to blame for the strengthening of BDS movements against Israel because of their lack of vision in moving forward towards a solution of the impasse that exists. So the negotiations will be tough but at least there could be some hope in allowing the ball to fall into the Palestinian court if Israel gave some hint of concessions, even if the Palestinian negotiators view them with distrust.

How does this affect Israel's democracy? The government has developed a "siege" mentality because of the very complicated and hostile environment with its players surrounding Israel. Anybody in Israel, who does not agree with government policy and is viewed as left-wing, has the mark of Cain. Peacemakers are viewed as traitors to the siege mentality of the right wing government.  Dissent to government policy is not encouraged and is often viewed as a threat to national interests. This is a threat to democracy in Israel.

This threat seeps down to cultural activities as well. The Minister of Culture and Sport, Miri Regev and the Minister of Education, Naftali Bennett, are well known for their right wing views. They have formed a cartel  refusing to subsidize cultural activities that are not in accordance with their respective party ideology. The taxpayer's money goes to the Culture and Sport Ministry that should be non-political. After all, not all Israel's taxpayers are right wing supporters. The Regev-Bennett cartel claims that the voters have given them their support and this allows them to adopt their party line as well as their own criteria for subsidizing cultural activities. These two "paragons of culture" have made decisions on hearsay and not from being present at theatre performances of plays that they view as being anti-Israel. They have appointed themselves as the watchdogs of culture in Israel. They even decide that actors who do not wish to perform in settlements that are in the West Bank will not receive subsidies for the theatre groups to which they belong.  

The "siege" mentality of the government is a threat to Israel's democracy. This pathetic, self-righteous government is digging a trench and pulling its supporters into it out of fear.

Soon Israeli culture will be narrowed to the confines of non-controversial cultural projects in theatre, TV, literature, art and poetry. It will come as no surprise, if the government coalition will pass bills ensuring their criteria for subsidizing cultural activities. All this because of fear of open mindedness, even if it does not dovetail with their ruling, right wing ideology.

Israel will be subjected to censorship in cultural activities if this trend continues

Saturday, May 30

An Independent Palestinian State?

Over the years , there has been much discussion, official and unofficial of a Two-State Solution. Many think tanks were also involved in finding a way to achieve this. It seems logical, just and fair striving and supporting this solution. It is unjust to occupy another people who seek independence from an occupying country. The world supports a Two-State Solution. However, the problems involved in trying to achieve this seem insurmountable.

In order to begin the process of a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, there must be a basic desire on both sides to reach an agreement. If there is a desire on the one side, but not on the other, no agreement will ever be reached.
Hamas has reaffirmed its "strategic position" regarding its refusal to recognize Israel, or hold direct talks with it, Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad said.

It is not enough expressing support for a Two-State Solution verbally, while in practice, both parties are not prepared to concede, apart from not having  leadership that has the courage and foresight to get the peace process moving.

On the Palestinian side, the Palestinian Authority (PA), under President Mahmoud Abbas, has no support from the Palestinian People. The PA negotiators are there but they are impotent. The chief negotiator, Dr Saeb Erekat, has been representing the PA for over 20 years. The same polemics are uttered endlessly and no progress has been made. In the background of all these negotiations, keeping a watchful eye on the PA, is Hamas and its allies. Hamas, has no intention of recognizing Israel's right to exist and is against negotiations for peace of any kind. Hamas has more support from the Palestinian electorate than the PA. In aprevious article I had enlarged on this. If by remote chance there is an agreement on a Two-State Solution and President Mahmoud Abbas signs, he stands a good chance of his life being endangered by Palestinian extremists.

On the Israeli side, support for a Two-State Solution is receding. PM Netanyahu is determined  that it will not occur on his watch. Netanyahu has appointed veteran Cabinet Minister, Silvan Shalom, to be in charge of negotiations with the Palestinians. Both Hamas and the right wing Israeli coalition government paradoxically do not agree to a Two-State Solution, each for totally different reasons of course.

The present Israeli Government will never agree to dismantling settlements and withdrawing from areas occupied after the June 1967 War. This is one of the basics of a Two-State Solution. Apart from that even if they did dismantle settlements, it will have no impact on Hamas. Hamas will only agree to a One-State Solution - the replacement of Israel by a Palestinian State and all that it entails. In the unlikely event of Israel withdrawing from the West Bank, it would result in Hamas taking over as they did in Gaza, there would be slaughter of settlers and those Palestinians opposing Hamas.

On both sides of the deep divide, there are no serious partners, who can engage in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Apart from seriouslack of trust and hatred, there is nothing that can remotely link the two sidesin a common desire for peace. The PA, with its history of corruption and its fear of Hamas and the extremist Islamist elements, does not represent anybody but themselves.

Another factor in this conflict is that Hamas, which has more support than the PA, does not wish to come to terms with Israel's existence or negotiate a peace treaty. This is in contrast to the situation in South Africa when all peoples had a desire to end apartheid and the White and Black leadership negotiated in good faith an end to the apartheid regime. I "apologize" to the self-righteous, double standard, "humanists" and their NGO allies, who keep on comparing Israel to apartheid South Africa as well as supporting BDS. They view Hamas as an organization for liberation of the Palestinians from the Israeli Occupation and refuse to see this notorious organization of terrorist thugs who kill their own people that oppose them, as well as carrying out terrorist acts against innocent Israelis. The racist anti-Semitic slogans of Hamas resembles the diatribes against the black people of apartheid South Africa if one is searching for a comparison with the Palestinian - Israeli Conflict and apartheid South Africa.

The stalemate will continue until a new order on both sides arises that has the courage to negotiate a Two-State Solution, which is the only possibility for true and lasting peace. Painful concessions and compromises have to be made by both sides and neither side is prepared to do just the bare minimum towards achieving peace.

On the other hand, the PA and Hamas have signed an agreement and despite the tenuous nature of this agreement, it is obvious that Hamas will not allow the PA to sign a peace agreement with Israel. The Hamas Charter makes this perfectly clear:
Article 13 of the Hamas charter states unambiguously
“There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors.. ” (The Avalon Project).

When the PA is handcuffed by Hamas, a Two-State Solution will never be feasible and the stalemate will continue. This stalemate will lead to further violence and terror. 

Wednesday, May 27

The Bickering Right Wing Coalition of Self-Interest

The Likud won the most seats in the Knesset after the March 2015 Elections and, superficially, it seemed that Netanyahu would have no problem forming a right to extreme right-wing coalition. Everything seemed to go in his favor especially the moment the results were known.
34th Cabinet of Israel

This was not to be. He was surrounded by a macabre mix of small right wing parties, such as Naphtali Bennett's  Bayit Hayehudi, Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu, the ultra-Orthodox Shas under Arye Mahluf Deri and Torah Judaism Parties. Avigdor Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu decided not to be part of the coalition. A right wing coalition of 61 members was cobbled together with much bickering, political blackmail for cabinet posts and intra-fraternal strife. Even the opposition of 59 members is fragmented. This will give the coalition more power than it deserves.

We all saw the result. Netanyahu won and lost. While forming a coalition, he paid a very high price by giving out key cabinet posts to the small, political blackmailing, sectoral parties so that he could present his credentials to President Reuven Rivlin. We witnessed an amazing circus of squabbling, mediocre party hacks scrambling for cabinet posts, leaving the Likud dry with relatively minor portfolios that were divided into almost indecipherable cabinet posts that hopefully would make a united coalition. This was meant to satisfy the hungry potential cabinet ministers, whose grudges against each other were so blatant. The latest edition to the cabinet is Gilad Erdan, who was sworn in at the last minute possibly at the expense of veteran, Benny Begin. Begin may have a cabinet post created for him at the last minute. Gilad Erdan is loyal to Netanyahu and defended Netanyahu and his wife's follies through thick and thin. Initially he was left out of the cabinet. However with a "kvetch" here and there he was brought into the cabinet.

The majority of the Israeli Electorate is right wing and even that vote is split among right wing small parties. Most of the leaders of these parties have super-inflated egos and wield tremendous power to blackmail Netanyahu into giving in to their demands for cabinet posts. In order to satisfy them a law increasing the number of cabinet ministers from eighteen members to twenty members was cobbled together at a lightning pace.

The ultra-Orthodox partners never had it so good for many years. The conscription of Haredi youth into the IDF will not occur. There will be increased funding for their yeshivot at the tax-payers' expense. They will get increased funding from the National Insurance for maintenance of their children. Secular education will be denied them so that they will remain eternal Talmud scholars, unable to develop skills to earn a decent livelihood on the free market. More state money will be going into settlements in the occupied West Bank, thanks to Bayit HaYehudi (The Jewish Home Party) in the coalition. It will be a coalition to promote narrow sectarian interests.

In apartheid South Africa under white minority rule, the government maintained power by shouting "swart gevaar" (black danger) which was basically a call to the blood by using racist scare tactics. This worked for many years until sanctions were declared against South Africa and the economy collapsed as a result. This heralded the demise of apartheid and a democratically elected ANC government.

In Israel, on Election Day, Netanyahu went into a panic and used the sane "call to the blood" tactic. He stated that the Arabs were coming out in droves to vote and this could be a threat to Israel. The ruse worked but Netanyahu lost to the small right wing parties and the ultra-Orthodox parties. The "wheeling and dealing" to form a coalition, which has always been part of Israel's political leadership, had reached a new low. All the members of the coalition dislike and do not trust each other. This coalition will probably not last until the next scheduled election in 4 years.

The Zionist Camp candidate, Isaac Herzog, lost the elections and perhaps it is a blessing in disguise for him. We are all witnessing "how the mighty Netanyahu has fallen". Netanyahu had it made for him after the elections, but had made painful compromises rather than brave decisions as the small parties blackmailed him politically and left him without any choices. He went back on his cabinet post promises for his political party cartel, leaving his party colleagues disgruntled.

This coalition will be impotent and there will be no reforms that will improve the lot of the economically weak sectors. The Finance Minister, Moshe Kahlon, who promised to introduce reforms in lowering prices of natural gas has turned around and has washed his hands fromhis rhetoric before the elections as it goes against a tycoon friend of his that has large financial interests in one of the gas companies called Tamar.

Most of Israel's Likud cabinet ministers have received chopped up pieces of portfolios to satisfy their voracious appetites for cabinet posts. It is rather pathetic and wasteful. Thank goodness that Israel has many tax-payers who will fulfill their civil duties to pay for coalition follies.

Peace with the Palestinians and the two-state solution will not happen on this Netanyahu watch. He has made that clear. There will be no freezing of settlements in the West Bank. On the Palestinian side there is no viable partner for peace any less than on the Israeli side. President Mahmoud Abbas, will be unable to sign any agreement with Israel on that score even if conditions were amenable. The extremists in the Palestinian camp from Hamas, Islamic Jihad and those even more radical will assassinate Mahmoud Abbas, whose power base is very weak if he even signs a peace agreement with Israel. He is better off threatening to take Israel to the International Court of Justice in The Hague for war crimes where he can somehow maintain his status quo which suits him and his PA. After all, Dr Saeb Barekat, the eternal negotiator, will be unemployed in the remote event of a peace treaty being signed.

The blame for this situation lies with many Israeli voters who are ignorant of the importance and responsibility of voting. There will be no breakthroughs for peace or any progressive new laws. It will be the same stereotype declarations of recognizing Israel as the nation state of the Jewish People and with that much undertones of racism towards Israel's non-Jewish minorities. Sectarian interest, especially serving the right wing, will take priority in this pathetic coalition of mediocre, small party political hacks.The government will have its strength in making laws that have a right wing and religious orthodox Jewish consensus rather than what is good for all Israel's citizens. Israel will be in for a rough ride internationally.