The Israel Project
Washington, February 5 — Bulgarian officials have announced that a half-year investigation conducted by Sofia has linked members of the Iran-backed Lebanese group Hezbollah to the July 2012 terrorist attack in the Bulgarian resort city of Burgas. Five Israelis and a Bulgarian were killed in the bombing.
The announcement comes in the midst of American efforts to convince the European Union to designate Hezbollah as a terrorist group and to ban the organization from conducting business on the Continent. France and Germany have broadly rejected U.S. appeals to blacklist the group. Their objections may now become strained as Bulgarian officials outline evidence that Hezbollah committed a terrorist act on the sovereign territory of an E.U. member state.
By Ben Hartman, JPOST
Weapons found stashed at Arab school in Galilee Photo: Israel Police
Anti-tank missiles and rocket-propelled grenades were found stashed in a school and a kindergarten for special needs children in the Galilee village of Abu Sanaan, during a raid by police on Tuesday morning.
Pictures put out by police show three LAW missiles and four RPGs, all of which were recently stolen from IDF weapons depots. The arms were found in a drainage canal and a small pond on the ground of the school and kindergarten, along with raw explosives, grenades, and hundreds of assault rifle bullets.
By David M Weinberg, ISRAEL HAYOM
The haredi draft issue is proving to be the sticking point in the current coalition negotiations. Rightfully so, because focusing on this matter is the key to ending the chokehold that ultra-Orthodox parties have had on Israeli politics and matters of religion and state for the past 20 years.
It’s not that I believe that a new enlistment law will truly change the situation and facilitate the mass conscription of haredi yeshiva boys and kollel men into the IDF. It won’t. Whatever new legislation is drafted will be a compromise measure that changes things only at the margins, and will, at best, accelerate pre-existing and hopeful trends already underway geared toward greater workforce participation and national service among haredim.
by Jonathan S. Tobin”, COMMENTYARY
The New York Times reports today that a new study is attempting to downplay the role that incitement to hatred in Palestinian schools is playing in fueling the conflict. The study is the product of the Council of Religious Institutions of the Holy Land, a left-leaning ecumenical group that is partially financed by a grant from the U.S. State Department. The group claims as its goal to promote peace and understanding and their study’s conclusion purports to be as even-handed as their approach to peace.
Unbelievable! Oh, wait. Did I say unbelievable? I meant, very believable. As in — exactly what we’ve learned to expect from Old Europe:
The Commentator has learned that both the German and French governments have both piled pressure on the Bulgarians to “use nuanced language” in the report, for fear that Bulgaria may be the focus of future attacks if Hezbollah is openly named.
The Bulgarian government, it has been stated by leading sources, has been informed through ‘back channels’ that there will be serious repercussions from Hezbollah if it is to publically and overtly name the group. This information comes despite strong pressure from the US government to make clear that the bombing was indeed the work of the Lebanese terrorist outfit.
By GIL HOFFMAN, LAHAV HARKOV, JPOST
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is prepared to make a substantial offer to bring The Tzipi Livni Party into his coalition as a senior partner if negotiations with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid do not bear fruit, senior Likud sources said following talks with Livni’s associates on Monday.
When Netanyahu formed his coalition in 2009, he held direct talks that did not bear fruit with Livni on bringing Kadima’s 28 MKs into the coalition. The portfolios Netanyahu intended to give Kadima instead went to Labor, which had 13 MKs, and remained with the Independence Party when it broke off, even though it had only five.
“We understand that in a situation where Lapid does not join, the price we will have to pay to enable Livni joining the coalition will be relatively high,” a senior Likud official said.
By Attila Somfalvi, YNET
Analysis: Will prime minister be courageous enough to end sacred alliance with ultra-Orthodox parties?
Only two days have passed since the coalition talks officially began, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has already found himself in a jam. Despite the election results, which indicated that part of the Israeli public is fed up with haredi politics, Netanyahu is finding it difficult to detach himself from the sacred alliance with the parties that made him prime minister twice – in 1996 and 2009.
Netanyahu trusts the haredim; he knows they will not try to topple him or run against him, as opposed to Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, who consider themselves the future leaders of the country.
By Pinhas Inbari
The reported Israeli military strike on a Syrian arms convoy destined for Hezbollah in Lebanon and the non-conventional weapons production center near Damascus has put the Jewish state in the midst of the Syrian conflict. Israel can no longer afford the luxury to view the war across its border with indifference. It must hurry and decide what kind of Syria it would like to have on its doorstop, as other powers have already been trying to bend Syria’s political future to their ends, which do not serve Israel either politically or on matters of security. In the best-case scenario the linkage between Iran, Syria and Lebanon would be severed.