Israel News for October 23, 2015

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Another Mistake
A 28 yr. old Haredi man was arrested early this morning in Jerusalem for striking a security guard with an iron bar. He claimed that he thought the guard, who had a handgun in his belt, was a terrorist. A judge ruled leniently due the heightened tension and fear brought about by the wave of terror, and placed the assailant under house arrest.

Four men suspected of beating the Eritrean man in the Beersheva bus station “lynching” were released on bail yesterday.

Looks like a pattern here. If you’re not sure, shoot first, ask questions later, and pick up your “get out of jail free” card. The victims lose but hey, it’s an honest mistake due to the prevailing atmosphere of fear, so it’s all good.

For further reading click here.

Opinion: Troubling Case
The shooting to death of a Jewish man by soldiers in Jerusalem is still under investigation. The case is troubling. The victim, at least from his photos, clearly did not look Arab and, since he was religious, was probably wearing a kippah. Of course, none of that means he couldn’t have been a terrorist.

There was some sort of argument between him and two soldiers, which escalated into a physical scuffle. Witnesses testify that he tried to grab a soldier’s weapon. The bus driver stunned the man with a “shocker rod”. Then a civilian security guard saw the scuffle and shot the man. Then one (or both) of the soldiers shot him and killed him.

Some reports say that the man yelled, “I am Da’ash (ISIS)”. Was he saying that as a threat or maybe he was responding to the soldier’s demand that he identify himself in a sassy (and stupid, but typically Israeli) fashion? According to his former employer, he had a language problem and wasn’t totally fluent in Hebrew.

Does anyone else find this story troubling? Was the man on the ground as a result of the “shocking” when he was shot? Did the security guard have any right to shoot the man, who he couldn’t conclusively identify as a terrorist? Once the guard shot him, did the soldiers need to shoot him again? Did the soldiers feel that their lives were in danger from an unarmed, wounded man? Even if the guy was a nut case, was shooting him to death warranted? Should they have tried to shoot him in the legs?

The whole thing just doesn’t add up, but it’s unlikely that it ever will. The two soldiers will tell their side of the story in their own way, and they’ll probably be believed. In these difficult times, no one wants to accuse soldiers of anything that might make them hesitate in a real life threatening situation. So, just like the lynching of the Eritrean man, this killing will also be chalked up to mistaken identity, chaos and hysteria.

The problem now is that there are 300 soldiers patrolling the public transportation system who are not trained in police work, which is what this incident most likely was. Soldiers are trained to shoot to kill, and not ask questions. That could lead to more unfortunate incidents.

Kerry and Netanyahu
PM Netanyahu met for four hours with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Berlin yesterday. They talked about ending the violence, restoring calm, Temple Mount, status quo, incitement, yeah, yada, yada…you know the drill. Nothing new to say here. But something tells me this isn’t going to bode favorably for Israel. Let’s hope I’m wrong.

Iran Nukes
PM Netanyahu and the Israeli Government have been arguably the greatest opponents of the recent Iran Nuclear deal. But Israel’s top nuclear experts see things differently.

According to a Haaretz report, Israel’s Atomic Energy Commission, which advises the government on nuclear issues, has endorsed the deal. It believes that the deal will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, since any Iranian violation would be easily detected due to the outside surveillance and analysis methods put in place. In fact, a lot of the technology used to detect and analyze nuclear activity was developed by Israel.

The commission members believe that the 24 hour warning required to be given to the Iranians prior to inspection is irrelevant, since any illegal activity can be detected via technology.

According to the commission, even if the Iranians could somehow build a nuclear bomb, it would be too heavy to mount on a ballistic missile that could reach Israel.

This is all based on a Haaretz source. The commission declined to issue an official statement.

Even if the commission is right, which is really good news, it doesn’t mean that the Iran deal was a good one. Lifting the sanctions against them gives Iran much freedom and money to finance and perpetrate lots of terror and other evil things. That’s not good for anyone, except the terrorists, and maybe Assad.

For further reading click here.

Israeli Weapons
All the wars and conflicts in the world don’t seem to be helping Israel’s military exports. According to defense experts this could be the worst year for Israeli defense companies in a decade. Israel’s own defense budget won’t be of much help.

It’s so bad that the heads of the leading defense firms in Israel have requested an urgent meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss “a significant crisis in the defense industries.”

In a letter to the PM the defense industry leaders point out that, “there have been major changes in the defense sector – smaller budgets, more competition, less desire for Israeli-made products, and the growing demands to transfer know-how and work abroad.”

I guess peace on earth would put these guys out of business. Unfortunately for the rest of us, they probably don’t have to worry that much.

For further reading click here.

ISIS in Hebrew
ISIS has released its first video in Hebrew, featuring a masked terrorist threatening Israel and the Jews with all sorts of evil tidings. The Hebrew is pretty good.

Watch it for yourself here.

Enough Talk
Despite the incitement that PA President Abbas has been delivering in speeches and statements, Abbas might have to give Israel a huge thank you. Well, at least he should.

It was just revealed that Israel allowed Abbas’s brother-in-law to receive an emergency life saving operation at the Assuta Medical Center hospital in Tel Aviv, where he is currently recovering. Security personnel are protecting him, probably from the other patients.

So, can Israel expect a big thank you and change of heart from Abbas? Ok, back to reality.

For further reading click here.

Drivers Rejoice
Good news for Israeli drivers. Gas prices are continuing to fall, due primarily to the dropping price of crude oil in international markets. A gallon of gas in November will cost around $5.60. That’s pretty darn good for Israel. You can’t really drive very far there anyway, so you can make a tank last a bit longer than in the US. Unless you’re driving to Eilat or the Golan.

For further reading click here.