The story of the assassination in Dubai continues to be a leading item on the Israeli news, as it continues to play around the world. The unprecedented video pictures of the assassins continue fascinate the world. What was unexpected, was the lengths the police in Dubai went to in order to investigate the incident. The explanation seems to be that Dubai feared their country becoming a center of intrigue and assassinations. Most Israeli observers believe whatever diplomatic flack has developed as a result will blow over. In the meantime, Dubai and Hamas found themselves in a confrontation, when Hamas demanded the extradition of the two Palestinians arrested by Dubai. The Dubai government has rejected the request, stating they only deal with real governments and not with groups that are not legitimate governments, such as Hamas. They also stated that Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, the Hamas leader killed, was not a very good person, having killed against Islamic law, and deserved to be punished.
A new study has shown that the single most dangerous long-term threat to Israel is a demography threat; however, not the demographic of the Arab Jewish balance, but the demographic of the Charedi vs. the non Charedi world. The statistics show that in 1979, 20% of the Charedi men, ages 35-55 did not work and 18% of Arab men, ages 35-55 did not work. In 2008, the figures for unemployed Charedi men reached 65%, and 27% unemployed Arab men. This increased unemployment is very problematic, in and of itself. However, the second statistic shows, that in 1960 61% of the children went to secular public schools, while 15% went to Charedi schools. Today, 49% of the students in Israeli public schools are currently enrolled in the Charedi system. If current trends continue, by 2040 77% percent of Israeli elementary school students will be in Charedi schools. It is obvious the country cannot survive if these two trends continue. The Charedi community could be adequately subsidized by the rest of the country, when they were as small minority. Given their current growth rate, the Charedim are reaching a size where the subsidy system cannot successfully continue. It is no surprise that none of the Israeli leadership are willing to take on these issues, and with every year that goes by, it becomes harder to make changes.
Today, France's Foreign Minister visited Damascus, and the US State Department announced they had removed Syria from the list of nation considered "dangerous to visit". All of this has taken place without Syria making any serious concessions-- rather, just the opposite. Syria has reasserted its control over Lebanon, and has deepened its ties to Iran. Expert on Syria, Professor Guy Bechor, of the Inter-Disciplinary School in Herzliya, was interviewed today on London and Kirshenbaum. Bechor tried to explain how Syria managed to extricate itself from diplomatic isolation. He stated he has been scratching his head trying to understand it. The answer Bechor has come to, is that Assad has managed to convince the world he is the best of the bad options... that it is better to work with him than have to deal with the Muslim Brotherhood who might come to power. Bechor's explanation is, I guess, as good as any other, since the actions of the United States and France are not really explainable.