State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss issued a temporary order Wednesday evening preventing the government from appointing a new accountant-general to replace Yaron Zelekha. As ombudsman, Lindenstrauss has the authority to grant protection to officials who uncover corruption. The order was addressed to Finance Minister Roni Bar-On and is intended to thwart Bar-On's plan to approve the appointment of Shuki Oren [Bank Leumi Switzerland general manager, former vice pres. "Investec Cali", jetzt U-Bank - FIBI-group] as the new accountant-general at the cabinet meeting on Sunday. [Wie es mit den weiteren Plänen des Finanzministers bestellt ist die Kadimanisierung des Finanzministerium [konservative Ausgabenpoltik] voranzutreiben ist noch in der Schwebe.] Discount Bank on Wednesday cut ties with banks in Gaza, in line with the government's designation of Gaza as a hostile territory, the bank said in a statement. The Discount Bank decision followed a similar one by the larger Bank Hapoalim to sever links with banks in Gaza. They were the only two Israeli commercial banks dealing with financial institutions in Gaza. [Über die komplexe Lage bei der Hapoalim-Bank und Discount hatte uns Adam Entous berichtet. Bezüglich der Discount Bank gibt es aber auch noch andere, einfachere Gründe: "We view government employees as an important target market and we are looking forward to serving them. Government employees will see that there are very good reasons for working with us." -Israel David, senior EVP, 06.08.07]
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has added Jewish Agency Chairman Ze'ev Bielski to the forum of Kadima Party ministers knows as Sareinu, thereby effectively giving him the status of a cabinet minister within the party. Sareinu [unsere Minister] is Kadima's top policy-setting body, and it largely sets the agenda for the party's cabinet and Knesset activity. The move is thought to be an attempt to pacify Bielski, who was outraged by the cabinet's decision two weeks ago to fund two independent organizations that promote immigration - an area that was once the Jewish Agency's exclusive preserve. Nefesh B'Nefesh, which operates in North America and Britain, and Ami, which operates in France, had received ad hoc government funding before, but the cabinet's decision grants them permanent funding as part of the Absorption Ministry's annual budget. Bielski, who feared the decision would undermine the Jewish Agency's status, asked that the agency at least be given the authority to set funding criteria for the independent agencies, but the cabinet refused. Ever since, Olmert has been trying to appease Bielski, who has extensive contacts with overseas Jewish organizations. Bielski, once a member of the Likud Party, switched to Kadima after former prime minister Ariel Sharon appointed him Jewish Agency chair two years ago.
Just hours before a crucial vote, President George W. Bush strongly urged the U.S. Congress on Wednesday to reject legislation that would declare the World War I-era killings of hundreds of thousands of Armenians a genocide. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the United States is heavily dependent on Turkey for the passage of cargo into Iraq and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the resolution would be "very destabilizing to our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan." Ticker: 23:29 - U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee passes Armenian genocide resolution
Exclusive: Ynet reporter visits site of ‘Syria operation’ - Exclusive: Foreign journalists visit the site. + A sharp debate is under way in the Bush administration about the significance of the Israeli intelligence that led to last month’s Israeli strike inside Syria, according to current and former American government officials.
Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday laid out his most specific demands for the borders of a future independent state, calling for a full Israeli withdrawal from all territories captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. Abbas' claim comes as Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams are trying to hammer out a joint vision for a future peace deal in time for a U.S.-hosted conference next month. With Israel seeking to retain parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Abbas' comments appeared to set the stage for tough negotiations, which are expected to include complicated arrangements such as land swaps and shared control over holy sites. In a television interview, Abbas said the Palestinians want to establish a state on 6,205 square kilometers of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. It was the first time he has given a precise number for the amount of land he is seeking. Meanwhile.. A Republican presidential candidate has voiced support for a peace plan put forward by MK Benny Elon (NU-NRP) which maintains Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. Meanwhile ... The Palestinians are ready to yield parts of the West Bank to Israel, if compensated with an equal amount of Israeli territory, the lead Palestinian negotiator said Wednesday, spelling out his positions in an interview with The Associated Press.
Kriegsberichte: Undercover Israel Defense Forces troops killed one Fatah militant and wounded another during a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus early Wednesday. Palestinian sources said the raid had targeted the wounded man, a leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade [Amar el Anabusi] who recently signed a deal granting him amnesty from Israel but did not fulfill several of the document's conditions, group spokesman Mahdi Abu Ghazaleh said. [Hier sollen sich die marodierenden IDF-Milizen als PA-Preventive Force-Leute verkleidet haben.] Three Palestinians were injured, one seriously, and more than ten others were arrested in a large-scale Israeli military operation in Qalqilia in the northern West Bank. The IDF and the Shin Bet arrested one of Hamas's senior leaders in Bethlehem in a joint operation Wednesday evening. The army said that the suspects, Adel Issa Muhammad Jarish, was responsible for planning and executing numerous terror attacks inside Israel. The military wing of the Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades on Wednesday afternoon claimed responsibility for targeting an Israeli military vehicle with a rocket propelled grenade in Beit Hanoun in the northern Gaza Strip. In a separate incident, the An-Nasser Salah Addin, the military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees claimed that they clashed with an Israeli infantry unit east of Abasan Al-Jadida in eastern Khan Younis. The Al-Aqsa Brigades of the Fatah movement, and the military wing of the DFLP, the National Resistance Brigades, claimed responsibility for launching three homemade projectiles at the Israeli Western Negev town of Sderot in a joint operation. The Al-Aqsa Brigades also claimed responsibility for launching a rocket-propelled grenade at an Israeli monitoring tower in Khuza'a, near Khan Younis, in the southern Gaza Strip. The brigades claimed the tower was directly hit. The military wing of the PFLP, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigades, and the National Resistance Brigades on Tuesday evening alleged that they launched a homemade projectile at the Israeli town of Netiv Ha'asarah, north of Gaza. The military wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, the An Nasser Salah Addin Brigades, said it launched two mortar shells at Erez Crossing, between Israel and the Gaza Strip, on Tuesday evening, in addition to two homemade projectiles at Sderot. The military wing of Islamic Jihad, the Al-Quds Brigades, on Wednesday claimed responsibility for launching three bombs at an invading Israeli force in the northern West Bank town of Qabatiya. A number of Israeli military vehicles on Wednesday morning conducted a limited incursion into Beit Hanoun, in the northern Gaza Strip. Eyewitnesses reported that five bulldozers began the demolition of agricultural land around the Agricultural College, near the Erez Crossing.
Bassam Eid: "It not need to be a clash" - Ephraim Sneh: "Sometimes it needs to be a clash"
Putin: In a move that brought the feud between Russian tycoons Arkady Gaydamak and Lev Leviev to a new high, Russian President Vladimir Putin invited Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, an associate of Gaydamak, and not Rabbi Berel Lazar, who is close to Leviev, to a meeting with representatives of the European Jewish Congress at the Kremlin on Wendesday. [+ Putin signalisiert Sarkozy Entgegenkommen in Sachen Iran-Sanktionen sagt aber gleichzeitig, er glaube nicht an die iranische Bombe.]
Eight retired senior U.S. officials and lawmakers urged the United States and its allies on Wednesday to begin a "genuine dialogue" with Hamas Islamists ahead of a U.S.-hosted Middle East peace conference. ... The signatories were: former national security advisorsZbigniew Brzezinski and Brent Scowcroft; former U.S. trade representative Carla Hills; former Republican Sen. Nancy Kassebaum-Baker; former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, former U.N. ambassador Thomas Pickering; former Democratic Rep. Lee Hamilton who is co-chair of the Iraq Study Group and Theodore Sorensen, an adviser to President John F. Kennedy.
BWM-update: Nachdem einige BMWler meinen zarten Hinweis auf Halutz zwar gefunden haben, sich aber nicht trauten etwas zu sagen, erlaube ich mir die Reihe etwas zu erweitern und einen Tip abzulassen. Wie wäre es mit der seeehr glücklichen Ehe zwischen Menachem Genut und dem VW-Konzern? Schon bevor der Volkswagenkonzern die nanotechnologischen Errungenschaften der ApNano unter dem "most promising entrepreneur in Israel" in die Produktion einführte und damit einen boost der Frima auslöste doktorte Frank N. Genut an seinem Lieblingsprojekt herum. Noch befindet sich Genuts Produktion des IF-Materials in der semi-industriellen Phase, noch bringt er die Herstellungskosten nicht unter die Carbon-Preise. Wäre das nichts für Schäubles Anti-Terror-Einheiten? Ein Anruf bei Halutz genügt, aber ohne Anruf fürchte ich saugt der nur die Firma dort unten aus bis ihm der Staat verzeiht und ihn irgend eine Partei einstellt. [Oder habt ihr etwa schon? :-)))] PS: Da sich heute auch die bain Outsourcer heute bemüht haben: Ich bin nicht interessiert. Danke.