But it all depends on who is in the coalition. Elkins is concerned that Kadima, under Mofaz, will join, as will Yair Lapid's new party, thus diminishing the relative weight of the Likud faction.
"China is a big importer of oil especially from Iran, therefore Chinese ministries of finance and transportation, Chinese commission of development and reforms and insurance companies are to insure and guarantee transportation of Iranian oil tankers."
 The state-run General Insurance Corp. of India (GIC) has announced that it will provide third-party liability cover of up to $50 million for ships bringing crude from Iran.
"India, which depends on imports for about 80% of its energy needs, buys 14-15 million tons of crude oil a year from Iran..."
 In spite of a UN arms embargo, Iran managed to import over $560 million in weapons over a three-year period. This is according to The Telegraph (UK), which has secured data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
According to Anna MacDonald, Oxfam Control Arms campaigns manager, Iran's success in accessing the international arms market showed the ineffectiveness of current restrictions.
"If you are an unscrupulous government, it's quite easy to find your way around them."
In light of all of the above, news coming out regarding Iran's expectations for the next round of negotiations is nothing short of sickening:
"Iran has made no secret of its hopes for the next round of nuclear negotiations with world powers: Pledges by the West to ease sanctions as a step toward deal making by Tehran....
"Iran has been careful about avoiding ultimatums in a possible sign that it sees the meeting scheduled for later this month in Baghdad as a stepping stone, not a showdown."
So far the US has rejected the idea of reducing sanctions as a confidence building measure, but I'd be less than honest if I said I wasn't nervous about this possibility. Hillary Clinton talks about a negotiating process. What I see is Iran conceding some small point, and then the US crowing about this and making that gesture, even though what has been conceding is sorely insufficient.
In the mixed Arab-Jewish neighborhood of Abu Tur, yesterday, a bus carrying children aged 3 - 13 was set upon by local Arabs throwing cinderblocks. The driver sped away -- no one was injured but the bus was damaged.
In cooperation with the New Wave Research institute, Israel Hayom conducted a special poll last week for Independence Day. The results are heartening:
Amongst the representative sample polled, 93% are proud to be Israeli and 70% are very proud. A full 80% would rather live here than anywhere else.
Gives a perspective that is different from that of most news reports, doesn't it?
Jerusalemites, those over 55 and the religious are happiest.
An ancient seal, dating back roughly 2,600 years to the time of the First Temple, has been found near the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.
It bears the Matanyahu in Hebrew.