Gilad Shalit from a September 14, 2009 video tape
Another week in the books, which means it's time for another Israel Weekly News Roundup. A major development on the Gilad Shalit front, Bibi's a grandfather, Iran rope-a-dopes world powers, and a third intifada is narrowly averted...for now.
"I yearn for the day in which I would see my family again" - Gilad Shalit, September 14, 2009: As I reported earlier in the week, Israel has traded 20 female Palestinian prisoners for video proof of Gilad Shalit's condition. Today, Israel received the video tape which depicted a calm and seemingly healthy Shalit addressing Prime Minister Netanyahu and his family while holding a Hamas newspaper dated September 14, 2009. His voice is a bit shaky, and he looks rather skinny, but all in all it's good to see a sign of life after 1,195 days in Hamas captivity. Check out the video here: Gilad Shalit Video.
Netanyahu a Grandfather: Prime Minister Netanyahu became a grandfather for the first time on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 when his daughter, Noa, gave birth to a baby boy. Mother is said to be doing well, while son is already preparing for the 2045 Likud primary elections.
Iran Hoodwinks the West: After news of a secret uranium enrichment site in the Shiite holy city of Qom, Iran hit the airwaves last week, world leaders acted in the only way they know how when it comes to Iran's nuclear program; meaningless talks and misplaced trust! Iran met with with world leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this week and agreed in principle to have Russia enrich its uranium to a level of 19.75%, which is enough for power generating purposes and well below the 90% enrichment level needed for a nuclear bomb.
The phrase "in principle" was italicized for a reason: Iran has lied and backed out of numerous agreements before regarding its nuclear program, and I don't expect this agreement will stand up either. Iran is trying to build a bomb, folks, so enriched uranium at the 19.75% level is worthless to the Mullahs. Either the Iranians will let the Russians enrich some uranium while covertly continuing to enrich to bomb-making levels in Iran, or they will drop out of the agreement altogether, inviting strong condemnation and worthless sanctions from the West. In either case, it's time to fire up the F-16s, Bibi.
Palestinian Leaders Threaten Intifada: The latest offering from those lovers of humanity, peace, justice and equality known as the Palestinians involves a group of tourists at the Temple Mount on September 27, 2009. Some 150 Muslim rioters surrounded a group of Jewish tourists and their police escorts and began attacking them for the horrendous crime of Jews visiting a Jewish holy site the night before the holiest day of theJewish year, Yom Kippur. The horror! The Palestinian Authority, an organization chock full of peace-loving and compassionate blokes, quickly responded by praising the Muslim rioters and threatening a third intifada:
"The [Palestinian] cabinet ... hailed our people who rushed yesterday to defend blessed al-Aqsa mosque and thwarted the attempt by extremist settlers to break into the compound"and:"A Third Intifada may erupt...in reaction to the Israeli disrespect of the feelings of Muslims and the storming by extreme Jewish groups of the al-Aqsa mosque."
Palestinians: never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, except when it comes to violence.
That's it for this week. Have a good weekend and a blessed Sukkot!