Diplomatic activity was on hold this week, as Prime Minister Netanyahu made an all out effort to change the Constitution of his Likud party, to delay internal elections by 18 months. His fear is that if elections were held now, supporters of the far rightist, Moshe Feiglin, would gain control of parts of the Likud party mechanism. If that were to happen Netanyhu fears he would not be able to maintain support from the party for any of his diplomatic actions. On Thursday night when the votes were tallied Netanyahu had gained his victory and the 18 months extension he wanted to put off the internal elections.
The Egyptians are in the midst of a major campaign against the Hezbollah and Hamas. They tried 12 members of Hezbollah on charges of planning terrorist activity against Egypt. At the conclusion of the trial yesterday most of those charged were sentenced to life in prison. Meanwhile the Egyptians have been blowing up many of the Hamas tunnels into Gaza, often with people in them. It was ironic to hear one of those who runs a tunnel complaining that, as opposed to Israel who warned the people in a house to get out before it attacked a building, Egypt was blowing up tunnels with no warning. There is a fascinating article in the New Republic on a war within Human Rights Watch on their coverage of Israel. Its founder, Robert Bernstein, has been very critical of the what he has called "the one-sided view of the conflict" that Human Rights Watch has been pursuing.
A supposed compromise was reached over the failure of Haredi schools to accept Sephardic students to their schools Emanuel. The agreement was there would be an all Haredi school and and a mixed school. I am not sure why anyone would want there kids to go to a Haredi school, but the agreement shows, once again, how insular and prejudice most of the Haredi community is. They claim they are not against the Sephardim, "because they Sephardim", but because they do not come from as vigorous religious backgrounds (most of them are first or second generation Ba'alei Teshuva.) Interesting the one party that has been very quiet about this dispute has been Shas. Israeli commentators attribute this to both the normal cowardice of Shas leadership and their own desires for their kids to be allowed to go to the top Charedi Yeshivot.