DATE:1/07/2003 12:11:00 AM
BODY: I’m taking a break

I’ve been blogging almost daily for 9 months now and I feel that my blogging batteries are drained out. I’m also very busy these days and amid five days a week at work and four days a week at the University I'm left with very little time to blog. Soon the finals period will begin and I’m facing 6 exams in the next month, so every spare moment is dedicated for studying. This is why I’m taking a break. Hopefully I’ll be back somewhere in the beginning of February. You’ll have to go through the Israeli elections without my confused analysis. If war breaks in Iraq and Israel is attacked before my break ends, I promise to return (that in the unlikely case that I won't be called for a reserve service).

I hope you won’t forget me during my one month of absence and you’ll come back reading my blog when I’ll return.

Catch ya later

DATE:1/06/2003 11:55:00 PM
BODY: Where will Sharon lead us?

After ruling out Mitzna what’s left is Ariel Sharon, and that doesn’t make me too excited. Sharon has navigated the last 2 years in a reasonable way. The situation in Israel is shitty, no doubt about it, one of the more difficult times this young state ever had. One can only guess how much of it is Sharon’s fault. My guess is that Sharon is responsible to only a small percent of the current situation.

Sharon is not declaring his future plans specifically enough and I don’t like it. It enables him to be fond by right wingers, center voters and quite a few leftists as well, but I think his vagueness is kind of dodgy to say the least.

Sharon is hinting that he is going to make history in his second term, free from the pressure of being elected again. Some say that Sharon believes that the American Road Plan is nothing but something to calm the Arab countries until the fall of Saddam Hussein. After Iraq the next American target will be Syria. The US is going to force the Syrians to disarm Hizballah or they’ll go through the same treatment as Iraq did. This will be the time when Arab countries will beg America to accept them as its friends. Then it will be time to reach to an agreement with the Palestinians under close American guidance. It’s going to be the toppling of Arafat for a Palestinian state to be declared. The Palestinians will get a state with temporary boundaries with a deadline to complete the negotiation (probably after Sharon’s term). They’ll also get a huge financial aid package and isolated settlements will be evacuated, including Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip. (I’m skeptical about the US tackling Syria next, and hopefully Sharon will head towards the Palestinian state solution anyway). On the other hand all of the above could be wrong speculations and Sharon will do nothing to end this conflict by giving the Palestinians a state and by that dooming us to more bloodshed.

Will Sharon make a genuine effort to solve this conflict? Or is he really attached to each and every caravan on every godforsaken hilltop in the West Bank, thus he won’t do anything to separate Israel from the bloodthirsty Palestinians? Only time will tell. I do hope Sharon is going towards a solution that will separate the two people. I’m quite sure he will try but I’m not certain of that and that’s why I’m uneasy with his predicted reelection.

DATE:1/06/2003 10:56:00 PM
BODY: Listening to Mitzna

I went to hear Amram Mitzna speak today. He was talking in front of students at the Sha'arei Mishpat College (Law School) in my hometown Hod Hasharon. I wasn’t a Mitzna supporter before I heard him this morning and I didn’t change my mind after hearing him.

Mitzna didn’t say something new, and that’s okay. It’s worthy to note that Mitzna is putting everything on the table, he is not hiding his views and plans, opposite to Sharon’s annoying somewhat vague statements. I did find myself agreeing with Mitzna on a lot of stuff, mainly about inner society issues such as: religion-state issues, compulsory service for everybody, economical issues and so on. I even agreed with Mitzna’s on the borders of the future Palestinian state. So why won’t I vote for him? I do not agree with Mitzna’s plan to negotiate under fire and terror attacks with the double crossing liar named Yasser Arafat and to withdraw unilaterally if that negotiation fails. I think Barak’s unilateral withdrawal from South Lebanon was a good move but things are different with the Palestinians.

All by all, I think Mitzna is worthy to be Prime Minister. He seems to have many good qualities, and he’s lack of experience in the muddy disgusting Israeli Politics swamp is an advantage in my opinion. Likud is slandering Mitzna’s for being unqualified for PM job, I think they are wrong, they better concentrate in attacking his plans. Today a student asked Mitzna how can he be trusted as he is new to political national arena, Mitzna had a fine answer for that. He said that throughout his 30 years in the IDF, from being a young officer to a general, fighting in several wars he has led thousands upon thousands in the battlefield and they followed with full trust.

Here is Ha’aretz's report on Mitzan’s visit to Sha'arei Mishpat college which I attended today: “ There's no fence because political considerations are preventing the construction of a fence," Mitzna told students at the Sha'arei Mishpat College in Hod Hasharon. "There's no fence because Sharon is committed to Greater Israel. There's no fence because Sharon is first of all committed to the settlers and not to the security of the residents of Israel. The serious terror attack demonstrates once again that the residents of the State of Israel are being abandoned."

Mitzna noted that the prime minister can no longer blame the Labor Party - his erstwhile partner in the national unity government - for preventing him from implementing his policies. Even putting aside the question of whether to resume negotiations with the Palestinians, "it's possible to take action," Mitzna insisted, "but nothing is being done." For example, he added, "There's a fence in Gaza and no terror attacks come from there."

The Labor Party's candidate for prime minister also repeated his attack against the Likud for alleged corruption. "We're not afraid of terror or the threat from Iraq," he declared, but the political culture of "the party in power" is a source of deep consternation.

"We all stand in shock. Sharon manages the state like the Godfather, and the government is the extended family," Mitzna said.

DATE:1/06/2003 10:16:00 PM
BODY: 22 dead – 14 Israelis, 6 foreign workers and 2 yet to be unidentified bodies

Till now the names of 17 victims were released.

1. Anglov Kresamir, 33, from Bulgaria
2. Haim Meir, 74, from Azor
3. Sabao Miahai, 39, from Romania
4. Lilia Zibstein, 33, from Haifa
5. Victor Shobayev, 62, from Holon
6. Amiram Zamoura, 55, from Holon
7. Steven Arthur Cromwell, 43, from Ghana
8. Staff Sgt. Mazal Orkabi, 20, from Azor
9. Sapira Shoshana Yulzari-Yaffe, 46, from Bat Yam
10. Avi Kotzer, 43, from Bat Yam
11. Hanna Haimov, 52, from Tel Aviv
12. Nicolai Ion, 35, from Romania
13. Boris Tepelshvili, 51, from Yehud
14. Andrei Friedman, 30, from Tel Aviv
15. Ramin Nasibov, 25, from Tel Aviv
16. Mordechai Evioni, 52, from Holon
17. Ivan Haloniak, 46, from Ukraine

More on the victimes in Ha’aretz.

DATE:1/05/2003 08:37:00 PM
BODY: 22 dead and 114 injured in a double suicide bombing in Tel Aviv