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Tuesday, February 12, 2013
I begin with a report on little
Zakkai, who indeed was operated on yesterday. It's been an incredibly
tough haul for his parents, first because Zakkai had developed a cold and cough
and there were consultations until the last moment regarding the advisability of
doing the surgery. It was decided that going ahead was prudent. And then,
they had to get to Boston, where the hospital is located, and where there were
huge amounts of snow.
Zakkai, thank God, came through
the surgery well and the surgeons were satisfied. He is in an ICU unit but
having considerable pain, for which he is being treated. Terribly hard not just
for the child, but for the parents to witness. ("Unnerving and deflating,"
is how it was put in an update.) Please God, he will get past these first few
days and rally quickly. He is quite a fighter.
Please, continue to pray for
him -- for his speedy and complete recovery. And I'll provide further
Avraham ben Yakira Avigael
Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke
last night at a gathering of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish
American organizations. Before I share what he said, I want to note an
interesting but not surprising phenomenon that I
observed; while not uncommon, it was perhaps more blatant than
What I saw late last night and
today is that what was emphasized about his talk by any given Internet news site
-- what was featured in its headline -- depended very much on the political
orientation of the site. And I think it's important for my readers to be
forewarned of this.
Thus, there were headline
references to the fact that Netanyahu said he still supported his "two-state"
proposal advanced in his Bar Ilan speech. And, indeed, he referred to
this. But it is not my impression that this constituted the most
significant part of what he said. Especially since he also said that the
PA has placed pre-conditions on talks, which means they are not advancing
negotiations in good faith.
The most important, in my opinion,
is this (emphasis added):
"I drew a line at the U.N. last
time I was there.
Iranians] haven’t crossed that line, but what they’re doing is to
shorten the time that it will take them to cross that line.
"The way they’re
shortening that time is by putting in new, faster centrifuges that cut the time
by one third. This has to be stopped, for the interest of peace
and security, for the interest of the entire world.
"How do you stop
it? Well, you have to put greater pressure on them. You have to upgrade the
sanctions. And they have to know that if the sanctions and diplomacy
fails, they will face a credible military threat."
convinced -- Netanyahu himself has said -- that this is first on the agenda for
the talks between Netanyahu and Obama (who will, it has been announced, be
arriving on March 20).
Yes, Obama may
try to convince our prime minister that he can handle matters, while Netanyahu
may show some "give" in luring the PA to the table in order to get what he wants
from the president.
Obama, it is
being said, doesn't want any "military surprises." But if "handling
matters" means simply attempting to "negotiate" with Iran, Netanyahu is
neither foolish enough, nor unserious enough, to go for this. A visit
to Israel this week by Rose Gottemoeller, acting US undersecretary of state for
arms control and international security, is being interpreted as an attempt by
the US to "pave the way" for Obama's visit by providing reassurances.
US officials are
saying that America has built up military assets in the Gulf that are
capable of attacking Iranian nuclear sites at short notice. I don't think
"capable" is the issue, so much as willing and ready.
mitigating factors may always intervene. But what I see from where I sit
is that Obama is reluctant (afraid?) to make unilateral decisions, as a
true leader would. He prefers to rely on international
consensus, which surely isn't going to support him on a tough stand on
While I see that
Netanyahu remains courageous in this regard. Witness the air attacks in
Syria. I received again today, as I had previously, a statement from an
impeccable source in the government indicating that our prime minister is
prepared to move instantly if there are signs of transfer of WMD to terrorist
hands. No fudging on this. No worry about what the world thinks.
Perhaps it is
legitimate to extrapolate from this situation to that of Iran.
according to seismic data that have been picked up, has just conducted
a nuclear test -- a fact that is alarming. The North Koreans provide a
model for Iran to follow. The Iranians will be watching, as well,
international response to Korea.
Jerusalem was put
on high alert today because of intelligence regarding a possible terror
attack. I have no information on the nature of that possible attack.
I believe the alert level has now been reduced.
of Arkansas Mike Huckabee is in Israel now leading a Christian evangelical
tour for some 200 participants. At a press conference, he indicated
that President Obama should announce the release of Jonathan Pollard before
America is fond of securing
"good will gestures" from Israel. Now it's America's turn.
I'm not overly
fond of petitions, but this one, on behalf of Pollard, is worth responding
to. It will be hand delivered to the president during his
You will see a page in Hebrew, but can scroll
down for the text of the petition in English, plus a
At the top of the screen (which is in Hebrew), you will see 3 boxes to
fill in and a green "send button."
Box number one: Fill in your full name Box number two: Write "Bayt
Yisrael" Box number three: Your email address (Optional. It will not be
THEN HIT THE GREEN SEND BUTTON!
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