Sunday, January 20, 2013

In The News

Israeli Elections: Will there be a strong conservative movement towards the right?

In fact, the few weeks of the campaign have highlighted fascinating trends in Israeli sentiment and affiliation, including the public’s apparent readiness to vote for fresh, unfamiliar faces, with no dependable track record. More notably, lots of Israelis — especially young Israelis — are evidently ready to vote for fresh, unfamiliar faces with very specific policies which, if implemented, would fundamentally change Israel.

The Netanyahu-Liberman alliance seems to have alienated many of the Likud’s traditional and Orthodox voters, who are switching in droves to Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party. And pro-settlement voters are switching to Bennett too, concerned that Netanyahu is not reliably committed to expanding settlements — which is somewhat ironic, given President Barack Obama’s reported assessment that Netanyahu’s insistent settlement-building plans will come to spell an existential threat to Israel.

In these final weeks of the campaign, while Netanyahu limps toward the finish line, the momentum is emphatically with Jewish Home — boosted, not harmed, by Bennett’s assessment that an IDF order to dismantle settlements is fundamentally illegal; and undeterred by US-born Jewish Home prospective MK Jeremy Gimpel’s documented relish for the theoretical prospect of a new Jewish temple replacing a “blown up” Dome of the Rock atop the Temple Mount.

Netanyahu vows hewon’t dismantle settlements in the coming four years. Bennett dismisses the notion of Palestinian statehood, and wants to annex most of the West Bank

Bennett, by contrast, comes with a firm ideology — a desire to reshape Israel practically and religiously, to expand its borders, to deepen its Orthodox fealty. He heads a motivated camp of energized nationalists, believers, the new pioneers. Nobody’s walking out of his campaign rallies.
So yes, boringly, Israel on Tuesday will vote in such a way as to leave Netanyahu best placed to head its next government. On the surface, nothing much may have changed. Don’t be fooled. Look a little deeper.

Also see:

Ali Akbar Velayati warns against overthrow of Syrian president, says "line of resistance in the face of Israel will be broken."

A senior aide to Iran's supreme leader warned against the overthrow of Syria's President Bashar Assad, saying his fate was a "red line", in one of the Islamic state's strongest messages of support for the Damascus government.
Iran has steadfastly backed Assad's rule since an uprising against his rule began almost two years ago and regards him as an important part of the axis of opposition against arch-foe Israel.

"If the Syrian President Bashar Assad is toppled, the line of resistance in the face of Israel will be broken," Ali Akbar Velayati, who is seen as a potential contender in Iran's June presidential election, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday.

Iran, a regional Shi'ite Muslim power which backs Lebanon's Hezbollah group, describes many Syrian opposition groups as "terrorists" who are backed by Western and Arab states. Assad follows an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.

There has been a surge in the death toll in the attack by Al Qaeda-linked terrorists on a gas installation in southern Algeria, authorities say.

The Algerian government previously informed journalists that 32 hostages and 23 terrorists were killed in thesiege by Algerian special ops forces intended to free nationals from ten different countries taken captive by the terrorists last week. But 25 have been discovered at the site of the four-day hostage standoff between Algerian forces and Al Qaeda-linked terrorists. According to Algerian state television, some of the hostages were executed by the terrorists.

The terrorist group attacked the In Amenas gas field installation, located deep in the Sahara Desert, allegedly in retaliation for Algeria’s agreement in allowing French fighter jets to pass through its air space to reach Mali. France is assisting the Maliangovernment in its fight against radical Islamic terrorists who are trying to overthrow the government. A number of African nations have also joined in the battle as well. 

Twenty-five bodies have been discovered by Algeria's army in the gas facility attacked by militants in the desert, private Algerian television station Ennahar said on Sunday, adding that the operation to clear the base would last 48 hours.
The bodies are believed to belong to hostages executed by the militants, said Ennahar TV, which is known to have good sources within Algerian security.
Meanwhile, Algeria's government said on Sunday the militants killed in the assault on the desert gas plant were from six different nationalities.

Islamist militants seized the remote compound in the Sahara desert before dawn on Wednesday, taking a large number of hostages. Details are still emerging of what happened when the Algerian army launched a final assault to end the siege on Saturday.
"What everyone needs to know is that these terrorists who attacked this gas plant are killers who pillage, rape, plunder and kill. The situation was unbearable," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said.

Later this year, Comet ISON will pass through the asteroid belt, enter the Inner Solar System and sidestep Mars on its way past Earth, putting on what scientists expect will be a spectacular heavenly show that is not to be missed.

Astronomers are calling it the “comet of the century.”
Comets offer one of the most spectacular celestial scenes the unaided human eye can see. By November or December, ISON is expected to be brighter than a full moon. Some believe it will be up to 15 times brighter.

ISON, for the moment, is a faint object, visible only in sophisticated telescopes, but that will change in the next few months.
British astronomer David Whitehouse, in the London Independent, reports that by the end of summer, it will become visible in small telescopes and binoculars.
By October, the comet will pass close to Mars, and it will start to become exciting. The surface of the comet will begin to shift as it nears the sun. As it continues to warm, the surface will crack, releasing small puffs of gas from its core, forming the comet’s tail. Slowly at first, but with increasing energy, the gas and dust will reflect even more of the sun’s light
By autumn, the view should be remarkable.
Astronomers have calculated that the comet will not impact Earth, however, it will pass less than 800,000 miles away from Earth, making it easily visible.
There are reports Comet ISON’s path resembles that of the Great Comet of 1680, which is also called Kirch’s Comet or Newton’s Comet. That comet’s tail was reportedly visible during the day.


Alice said...

There are two possible comets in 2013. Here is an article about comet PANSTARRS, coming this March:

From the article:

"Bottom line: As 2013 begins, there are two comets to get excited about. One is Comet PANSTARRS, which will be brightest in March 2013. The other is Comet ISON, which might become a daylight comet in late 2013. Although a comet’s movement in our sky can be predicted, its brightness cannot be. It’s too early to know whether Comet PANSTARRS or Comet ISON – the two exciting comets of 2013 – will dazzle or fizzle. But these two are worth watching!"

hartdawg said...

Netanyahu agreeing to a ceasefire a few months back could seriously hurt his reelection chance. I'm not sure how it's gonna work out. at least in Israel its right vs more right rather than right vs left

Scott said...

He'll get reelected, but the movement within Israel now seems to be right and that is going to make things very interesting in the near future IMO.

hartdawg said...

I believe you're right, but i still think his agreeing to a ceasefire alienated a lot of voters