Monday, October 30, 2006

Corruption and the Pols

Corruption is nothing new in any branch of government, in any country in the world. Israel is no different.

Mud slinging is going back and forth between police officials. Today revelations aired in the media of an alleged attempted bribe by a top policeman who wanted the job of Chief of Police.

According to media reports, police Major General (ret.) Ya'akov Borovsky allegedly called offered to drop corruption charges against then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, if Barovsky was appointed Chief of Police.

According to Israel’s Channel One news, northern police district, Brigadier General David Siso, suggested to Likud Party Central Committee member Salomon Karubi that in return for Borovsky's appointment as chief, it would be possible to make changes in the composition of the team probing one of the cases involving the elder Sharon. Ariel Sharon, is still in a coma in a Tel Aviv hospital, kept alive by a life-support system.

According to Sunday's TV report, in 2004, on the eve of a decision on the appointment of the next police commissioner, Borovsky met with Karubi, a close associate of Omri Sharon, in an effort to further his chances of being appointed to the top police post. Omri Sharon verfies that the conversation took place, but both Borovsky and Siso deny any meetings with Karubi.

Tzachi HaGegbi, then Justice Minister, was in charge of appointing the Chief of Police. He eventually chose Moshe Karadi. Reports circulated in the press that Karadi was connected to the Israeli mafia, who are very influential in the Likud Central Committee. Allegedly Karadi was appointed in exchange for the support of some of the Israeli mafia’s leading figures.

Hanegbi was forced to resign his position when the Attorney General indicted him for illegally appointing cronies to government positions.

Major General (ret.) Ya'akov Borovsky Barovsky today is an investigator at the State Comptroller’s office. That’s the same office that is now involved in an investigation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert for allegedly helping some of his cronies in their bid to take over Bank Leumi.

Former Prime Minister, and Likud Party Chairman, Benjamin "Bibi" Netanyahu is also in the news. A civil suit was filed against him by a Jerusalem moving company who claim that Netanyahu refused to pay for the cost of moving his furniture from one apartment to another, and for the storage of private items. According to the suit Netanyahu thought the moving expenses should be forgotten in exhange for government work the mover was doing for pay. The mover is suing for 350,000 shekels (about $65,000). Rumours about Netanyahu exploiting his government position for his own benifit have surfaced in the past.

At a late Monday afternoon press conference, Labor Party whip Ofer Pines resigned from his position as Minister of Culture and Sport Ophir Pines-Paz (Labor) resigned from the government, hours after a large majority of the Israeli cabinet approved the appointment of Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman as deputy prime minister.

Pines-Paz reportedly is planning to run for the position of Labor Party leader at the upcoming primary elections. Pines-Paz has said he would quit if Leiberman was accepted into the government. Pines-Paz has called Lieberman a "racist."

Israel Radio’s Reshet Bet political analyst said Pines-Paz had climbed a high tree and couldn’t get down without resigning. Labor party activists who support Pines-Paz in his bid for party leadership expected him to stand by his statements and resign.

Leiberman has been appointed deputy-Prime Minister with a special brief on security issues. Reportedly Leiberman has a plan to deal with the Iranian nuclear threat. CNN's Ben Weideman reported late Monday that Israel was very worried about Iran, citing Iranian leader's Ahmanijad's statements that he wanted to wipe Israel off the map. Weideman reported that Israel may well attack Iran without US help, much as Israel attacked Iraq over twenty-years ago, destroying the Iraqi nuclear reactor.

Leiberman is scheduled to appear on a panel at the Saban Center in Washington this week, where he may outline his plan for dealing with Iran. The panel he will participate in will begin following speeches by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and others. The panel is part of a conference headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissenger.

Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Monday that Israel has killed nearly 300 Hamas militants in the last three months. This comes amid media reports that the Egyptian Army has sent reinforcements into Gaza to help control the Egyptian-Gaza border. Egyptian Prime Minister Husnei Mubarak denies that he has sent an additional 5,000 troops into Gaza to beef up the security forces there.

Israel has been operating freely in Gaza hunting wanted militants and destroying arms smuggling tunnels. A Hamas activist died in a tunnel two days ago when the tunnel he was building collapsed upon him.

Israel is worried that weapons smuggled in from Gaza will be used against Israel in the event of another flare-up. Meanwhile Hamas has continued to send Kassam missiles into Southern Israel. Two more rockets landed in Sderot on Monday. Approximately two rockets a day now land in the South of Israel.

Israeli security officials reportedly are concerned that should more sophisticated weapons reach Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Israel could sustain causalities and damage, similar to the Katyusha rockets attacks from Lebanon. Many analysts now believe Hamas is already in possession of some Katyushas and even anti-aircraft and anti-tank weapons, the same types used by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

CNN also reported that UN Special Envoy Teri Larson is concerned about the steady flow of arms and ammunition from Syria into Lebanon. Press reports state that officials are concerned that the weapons will seriously upset the chances of peace in the region.

A terrorist cell was caught late Sunday night trying to reach the center of Israel. Four Arab men from the West Bank and one Israeli Arab woman were snagged at an IDF roadblock. According to press reports the Army had solid intelligence information that an attack was imminent. Israel closed off route 65, the Wadi Ara road, leading from the West Bank towards Netanya and Hadera. Traffic was backed up for hours. Highway 65 is now the temporary route used from the Trans-Israel Toll Highway (Highway 6) to the coast.

Jerusalem received about five inches of rain over the weekend, with more due on Tuesday and Wednesday. So far the Sea of Galilee, one of Israel’s prime sources of water, has risen about an 3 centimeters, but is still nearly three meters below it’s top limit.

Gasoline prices are scheduled to rise again Monday night, with a gallon of gas now selling for about $6.00. The dollar is now trading against the shekels at 4.28 to the dollar, down from 4.72 last spring. Exporters are complaining that they are having problems as their profits dwindle when they convert their foreign currency income into Israeli shekels.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Noah and the Ark

Israel is under siege, yet again, but this time it’s difficult to determine from which direction: from without or within.

Iran has declared that it is ready to begin a second stage Uranium cascade. What does this mean? Nothing good for Israel or the world. David Horowitz, editor of the Jerusalem Post, wrote a Friday editorial imploring the world to deal with Iran sooner than later, since later may be too late.

Right-wing politician Avigdor Leiberman claims to have the solution to problems with Iran. In a recent meeting with Javier Solana, Secretary-General of the Council of the European Union, Lieberman outlined his plan. After the meeting Solana said he didn’t agree with one word Leiberman said, but believed in listening to all sides.

Solana also said that he believed that Hamas does indeed want to make peace with Israel. This statement caused many analysts to wonder if Solana was reading the same newspapers as the rest of the world.

The Labor party is still split over what to do about Israel’s PM Olmert’s move to bring Leiberman into the Knesset. Olmert is already under pressure by the Comptroller of Israel, who has recommended that Olmert be investigated for his involvement in the attempted take-over of Bank Leumi, claiming that Olmert was guilty of a conflict of interests.

Other reports in the press of of Olmert’s wife receiving 240,000 shekels in salary over an 11-month period from Amdocs founder Boaz Dotan. The road safety organization Or Yarok is Dotan’s brainchild, begun after his son was killed in a road accident. According to media reports Or Yarok received over 100 million shekels from the Israeli government at the time Aleza Olmert was employed by Amdocs. The press speculation is that Olmert’s wife received the salary in payment for Olmert supporting the government providing funding to Or Yarok.

Discussions are still on-going between Israel and Hamas over the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shavit. The latest reports say that Hamas is demanding a simultaneous release of Hamas prisoners held by Israel and Shalit. Hamas strong man Mashal, based in Damascus, is reportedly making the decisions how Hamas conducts the negotiations. Meanwhile no progress has been reported on the two IDF soldiers still held by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

The IDF has been waging a daily campaign against the Hamas arms build-up in Gaza. Hundreds of tunnels have been discovered, dozens destroyed. Israel is searching for the weapons smuggled into Gaza from Egypt. Kassam rockets continue falling on the south of Israel, causing mayhem, injuries, and death. One can only wonder what Hamas, Hezbolallah and Iran will do when weapons of mass destruction can be delivered against Israel.

Reading Live Leibovitz’s book “Aliya” (St. Martin’s Press 2006) one is struck by the reports of bombing in Jerusalem, especially against the Palestine Post (now the Jerusalem Post) and on Ben Yehuda street in 1947 and 1948. Then, as now, blind hatred drives Arab fanatics to kill Jews. The reminders are more striking when one considers the threat of the Iranian nuclear rockets raining on Israel.

Hatred against the Jewish communities around the world is not new. According to historians Israel now provides a central focus for that hatred, making it simply easier for bigots to strike at one central target.

A group of diplomats from Mediterranean countries meeting in Spain have stated that the Road Map, a three-phased implementation of U.S. President George W. Bush's June 24, 2002 speech, designed to calm the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, create a provisional Palestinian state and allow for negotiations of a final status agreement, is no longer a viable option.

The "road map" calls for : that would make possible Israel and Palestinians "living side by side in peace and security." However, the roadmap does not specify the final borders of Palestine and Israel or any other details of the solution.”

Top diplomats from 11 countries bordering the Mediterranean will produce a new batch of proposals for reviving the Middle East peace process at a two-day meeting in Spain beginning Friday, a leading Spanish diplomat said.

This move comes in contravention to an initiative by U.S. Sec of State Rice, who is still trying to revive President Bush’s Road Map plan. Most Israeli political analysts have dismissed the Road Map as impossible to implement and have long ago advised new avenues, if possible.

Many, however, now question if there is a chance of a Middle East peace before another violent explosion. Israelis are uneasy about the future. The Hamas rockets continue to fall. Hezbollah has not been disarmed in Lebanon. UNIFIL II is reportedly not confronting Hezbollah, nor proving more than an inconvenience to Hezbollah’s plans. For now Hezbollah is content to rebuild and rearm. But Israeli pundits believe another attack is only a matter of time.

A few observers see this as a period that can be compared to Europe in the 1930’s, just before the Nazis launched their assault on Poland. The radical Islamic states are consolidating their power, planning their strategies, readying for their big assault. With so many Moslems now living in Europe, a fifth column is a distinct possibility. Israel is not their only target.

Many analysts see only hard times ahead. The US policy in Iraq is also a concern. Some have said that if the US pulls out of Iraq it will destabilize the entire Middle East, allowing radical Islamists to arm, train, and then spread their violence to other countries, much as they did in Afghanistan.

The western world seems at a crossroads, either confront the enemy out to destroy it, as hard as that is, or be ultimately attacked and perhaps over run.

Since this is the week that the Jews read the biblical portion of Noah, his construction of the Ark and the great flood, perhaps it’s time for Joe Smith in the Suburbs to start buying wood and making sure his garage can hold a big boat, because from the looks of it, a big flood is surely coming.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Back to Reality

The right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu party has joined the government of Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. When Avigdor (Yvette) Leiberman lead his party into the coalition of Olmert’s government, he gave Olmert 78 seats in the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, out of 120, providing Olmert with a comfortable majority. Leiberman was also given a cabinet seat and appointed Deputy Prime Minister.

Leiberman is considered a fascist by left wing and Arab politicians for his outspoken racist views. The left-wing Labor party, a critical part of the coalition, is roiling over Leiberman’s entry into the coalition government. But Labor Party strongman Fuad Ben Eliezer told Army Radio he has no objection. “We sat with Arafat, why won’t we sit with Leiberman?”

Talk of Leiberman taking his party into the government has been in the press for weeks. According to the Israeli newspapers, this move obviates any chances Likud leader Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu had of joining the Olmert lead government.

Ironically, Leiberman and Netanyahu, who are now political enemies, were once extremely close. Leiberman was a staunch supporter of Netanyahu and served under him when Netanyahu was Prime Minister. Leiberman broke away from Netanyahu and formed his own party. Media reports over the years have linked Russian-born Leiberman to the Russian Mafia. According to one source, rumors are circulating that Leiberman is under investigation for forty different crimes.

Prior to his joining the government Leiberman was making public statements that he had the solution to the crises brewing between Israel and Iran. Leiberman also recently introduced a bill before the government to elect Israel’s President according to the U.S. system, essentially eliminating the office of Prime Minister.

Israel's Haaretz pointed out that Only a few democracies in the world have a US style presidency, and some are bad examples, like Venezuela and Colombia. Neither of those countries are considered models of democracy.

Many Israelis expressed concern that Leiberman’s approach to government and democracy are a smokescreen for his plan to run Israel the same way Putin runs Russia, with an iron hand used to quash any opposition. Leiberman began his career in the student government at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was also reportedly a bouncer in the student union.

The Israel Govermnent's State Prosecutor said today that new material has come to light linking Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to illegally assisting millionaire pals from abroad, Australian Billionaire Frank Lowey among them,in their bid for purchase of Israel's Bank Leumi. There is also evidence of handing out jobs to political supporters unqualified for the position and without using legal selection procedures. The Prosecutor has passed the material on to the Attorney General’s office, which is reportedly considering bringing criminal charges against the Prime Minister. Olmert has been haunted by hints of illegal dealings for years but no charges have ever been brought against him.

Tzachi Hanegbi, former Justice Minister appointed by Olmert, was forced to resign when charges or illegally appointing cronies to government positions were brought against him by the Attorney General. Israel Radio reported today that should charges be brought against Olmert it was expected he too would be forced to step down. But analysts think that this scenario is a remote possibility.

Hearings into the accusations that Israeli police were involved in criminal activies is also ongoing. Yesterday Israel’s top police officer Moshe Karadi accused an underling of demanding a promotion or he’d let out news that would harm Karadi. It took several months, but Karadi eventually informed the Attorney General of the demands, and produced print outs of SMS messages with the demands. Karadi has been linked to organized crime by the Israeli media.

The scandal over Israel’s President Moshe Katzav’s sexual misconduct may soon cost Katzav his presidency. Pundits predict that Katzav will resign as soon as the indictment against him is brought against him. Katzav has stopped making many public appearances, and essentially given up his official functions.

The race is on, however, for who will succeed Katzav. Ruby Rivlin, former Speaker of the Knesset and long-time Likud supporter, is a front-runner. Those also interested in the position are former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Lau and former Israel Ambassador Collette Avital. The media reported today that Lau has been accused of accepting payment for officiating at weddings when that function is part of his public duty and should be done for free.

Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres is also considered a strong candidate. Analysts in the Haaretz newspaper, however, said that Peres wasn’t going to declare his run for the presidency until Prime Minister Ehud Olmert made a statement of support. So far Olmert has not committed himself to who he prefers as president.

Peres was a candidate for the presidency once before, competing with Moshe Katzav, who won the appointment. Given Katzav’s present troubles it is clear Peres would have been the better choice. Peres has standing in the international community as a statesman. Critics believe he would bring prestige to the office of president. However, analysts say that Olmert may be wary of Peres, who has a record of running his own policies, sometimes secretly.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz said today that Israel would not allow Gaza to become another Lebanon. The Israeli press is filled with speculation of an impending Israeli invasion of Gaza. According to Haaretz, Chief of Staff Dan Halutz said hundreds of tunnels exist, and that recently fifteen tunnels have been uncovered. The media thousands of tons of explosives and weapons have already been smuggled through tunnels from Egypt into Gaza.

Israel is very worried that katyushas missiles as well as anti-tank and ant-aircraft rockets are also being smuggled in. According to the press, Israel is planning a drastic move to close off the tunnels and seize the weapons. Some pundits think that the entry of Leiberman into Olmert’s government can bee seen as seeking right-wing support for a move back into Gaza. Defense Minister Amir Peretz has said that the IDF will not reoccupy Gaza.

Meanwhile Mohammed Abbas, head of the Fatah movement, said he will send 20,000 para-military forces into Gaza, ostensibly to disarm the Hamas fighters who have been waging a near civil-war. Hamas and Fatah supporters have been engaged in fierce battles over the last few weeks, with dozens killed and injured.

And a warning to travelers to Israel, even those who start their trips in Israel, and return a few weeks later. Beware of the deals on whiskey at the duty-free stores. Large signs attract one’s attention in the duty free, with deals on good whiskey; three bottles of 12 year old Glenlivet for $99; two bottles of 12-year old Jameson’s Irish Whiskey for $70, and on and on. Hard to find are the signs that every extra bottle costs another 500 percent if caught at the border by the customs guys

So, when you hit the border, be ready for the reality of Israel. A recent research reported on Israel Radio today said most foreigners interviewed at Ben Gurion Airport told researchers they likened Israelis to “foxes” or “tigers.” So, if you’re coming to Israel, beware of the wildlife, even at duty-free.

Friday, October 06, 2006

On The Road

Do not go to Switzerland if you are not wealthy or on a business trip.

First of all the keyboard is different. Secondly the Swiss Franc is abnormally strong. A dollar is worth 1.24 SF. A few years ago the exchange rate was 1 dollar for 2.5 Swiss Francs. A simple cup of coffee costs twice that in Starbucks, which is not cheap either.

The news is limited to the US pressure to stop N. Korea from testing a bomb. A few smatterings of headlines over the fighting in Gaza, and that is about all. Iraq hardly makes the news.

The Alps are in transition. Misty clouds blow in leaving a fine dust of snow on the peaks. We found a pleasant hotel in St. Moritz, cheaper because it is between seasons, but still heart stopping when one thinks of the bill. But this is a long haul from the hot dry dusty strife-ridden Middle East.

From here Israel is truly just a small blue dot on the map.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

When is too early too late?

Erev Yom Kippur

The Israeli Army completed its withdrawal from Lebanon on the eve of the fast of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. An estimated 9,000 UN troops are now in S. Lebanon, taking up positions near the Israel-Lebanon border.

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Israel’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Tzipi Livni, said that she had worked out a diplomatic solution to the Israel-Lebanon war five days after the outbreak of hostilities, but that Israel’s Prime Minister Ehud Olmert rejected her suggestion. He did not initiate diplomatic discussions until 10-days into the war, she said.

Israel’s Defense Minister Amir Peretz has warned Lebanon that Israel would not tolerate any incursions or incidents along the border, and would react to the stone throwing. Hezbollah activists taunt Israeli soldiers that patrol the Israel side of the border and Israeli farmers picking their crops in fields along the border, by spitting and throwing stones.

Israel Television showed footage of UN patrols on the Lebanese side driving past Hezbollah flags and huge posters of Sheik Nasrallah. The UN has said it will not interfere with the Hezbollah activities as long as no weapons are displayed.

The Jerusalem Post ran an article quoting an Israeli political analyst who said that even though Israel didn’t win militarily in Lebanon, it did score a major political victory. For the first time since Israel’s War in Lebanon I, over twenty-years ago, Lebanese troops are again deployed in Southern Lebanon.

This accomplishment, which Israel had been calling for even before the War in Lebanon II began, could be the beginning of a new era between the Lebanese government and Israel. There are those, however, who believe as long as Sheik Nasrallah is alive, there is no chance of a serious move for peace in the region. Israeli Cabinet Minister Faud Ben Eliezer has said that Israel should assassinate Hezbollah leader Sheik Nasrallah at the first opportunity. Ben Eliezer believes that another Hezbollah attack rocket barrage is just around the corner.

Israel however took no action against Nasrallah when he made his first public appearance since the war began. Nasrallah showed up in the Hezbollah stronghold of East Beirut and spoke to a huge rally. There was speculation in the Israeli press that an Israeli F-16 might fire a missile or drop a bomb on the speaker’s stage. Analysts said the ancillary damage would take the lives of scores of people in the audience, and that the attackt wasn’t worth the political and diplomatic fallout. Apparently these pundits were correct in their assessment because Nasrallah’s speech went off without incident.

A young Israeli asked the other day why the Palestinians started the last Intifada, in 2000? If Arafat was on the verge of peace, if prosperity was running at an all time high in the Palestinian territories, why would the Palestinians want to start a war?

The answer, according to one analyst, was that Arafat had no intention of making peace, and the entire Oslo process was simply a ploy, a Trojan horse, to rearm his men, which he did. (Israel allowed the Palestinian police force to acquire weapons as part of the peace agreement. These weapons were used on Israeli soldiers during the Intifada. And are still being used against Israelis.)

During that period Arafat wasn’t capable of making peace, even if he had wanted to. During discussions with a Palestinians journalist, we were told at the time that Arafat would have been murdered had he signed the agreement. In any case, the Palestinian source said, Israel’s then Prime Minister Ehud Barak did not have a mandate to make the peace that U.S. President Bill Clinton was pushing.

A referendum would have had to been called, and the odds of it passing were slim. Part of the peace plan, back then, was Israel turning over the entire old city of Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, to the Palestinians, with Israel maintaining access and control to the Western Wall. A protest demonstration was called. Nearly 300,000 Israelis showed up, linking hands in a human chain around the old city. This message wasn’t lost on Arafat.

Arafat’s death was welcomed in Israel. It was thought that his corrupt dictatorial regime was an obstacle to any real progress in negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.
But not much has changed. Arafat’s successor Abu Mazen talks about making peace, but he no longer is in power. Talk of another withdrawal from the West Bank, similar to the unilateral withdrawal Israel executed from Gaza, is being criticized as unrealistic.

Even one of the brains behind the Oslo accords, Shimon Peres, interviewed recently in an Israeli paper, said that Israel should not return any more territory to the Palestinians, nor give up any more land in the West Bank. Peres said this would only be a recipe for disaster, and allow the Palestinians to arm themselves with rockets, like Hamas has done in Gaza, to be used against Israeli targets.

A young IDF officer who served in the West Bank said that the only reason that the Palestinians don’t fire rockets into Israel is because they don’t have them, and can’t get them. Every car and truck driving into the West Bank is thoroughly searched. The situation in Gaza is much different.

The Egyptians lightly patrol the Gaza/Egypt border. Smuggler tunnels between Gaza and Egypt abound. One was used to great effect at the beginning of the War in Lebanon II when Hamas terrorists snuck into Israel attacked an Israeli army position, killed two soldiers and kidnapped Gilad Shalit, who is still being held somewhere in Gaza.

U.S. Sec of State Condeleeza Rice has said she is coming to the Middle East in the coming weeks to attempt to bolster the chances of Palestinian Authority leader Mohamed Abbas in his attempt to replace the duly elected Palestinian Prime Minister Hamas leader Haniyeh. Hamas remains steadfast in its pronouncements that it will not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

This attitude has resulted in the cessation of aid to the Palestinians. Demonstrations have begun in Gaza over Hamas’ inability to pay government salaries. Last week the Gaza Police staged a riot demanding months of back pay. The Palestinian government always paid salaries with aid supplied by Europe and the US. This aid stopped when Hamas was elected. The US has Hamas on the list of terrorist organizations. Sec. Rice hopes to reach some diplomatic agreement with Hamas on her upcoming visit.

The question does arise, however, what is the proper risk to take diplomatically and politically when dealing with a vicious cunning dictator like Nasrallah, or Achmanejad?
Some analysts have likened both men to the Nazis. The Iranian leader has said constantly that he has no intention of giving up his nuclear ambitions. Both the Iranian and Hezbollah leaders have said that they have no intention of giving up their goal of attacking and destroying Israel.

Arafat’s death did not create any large positive changes in the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue. Hamas continues to shell Israel from territory once held by the Israeli army. Yesterday two more Kassam rockets fell in Sderot, one landed near a home, but the residents were in Synagogue.

However there are men in history who are larger than life, who do not represent the will of the people, as much as influence that will. Who rule by tyranny and deceit, by fear and guile? Men with a charismatic personality who are able to sway public opinion with a grand gesture, a well-placed phrase, or a rousing speech. Men like Alexander the Great, Napoleon, Mao, Stalin or Hitler. The individuals who steers the course of history in a direction no one else could have.

Hitler was insane, but managed to convince his followers he had Destiny on his side. Tragedy followed in Hitler’s wake. Over fifty million people died because of his deranged thinking. Some were true believers, most sheep, many lead mercilessly to the slaughter.

But what would have happened if Stalin was killed in a farming accident when he was a teenager, or Mao shot while a young solder, or Hitler assassinated in 1928 before his maniacal policies took root. Madmen who ruled, and killed, and retarded progress.

Had Hitler not gotten as far as he did historians estimate there would be twenty million Jews in the world today, not 11. All those scientists, musicians, writers, poets, and artists who perished in the Holocaust would have lived to contribute to society and humanity. To progress.

Jewish men and women have won a disproportionate number of Nobel Prizes. Had Hitler not existed, how many more would there be today; how many other cures for cancer would be helping the sick; concerts warming the heart; books bringing wisdom and knowledge? Is there a time when a bullet is really the answer to stop a madman? Most agree Hitler should have been stopped earlier. Is now too late to stop the other Hitler’s? Maybe Faud Ben Eliezer is right. Get rid of Nasrallah and maybe his entire Reich will collapse. If not, who knows, maybe he will indeed become another Hitler, someday soon.

When is too early to do something, sometimes too late after all?