I'll be on the road all day today -- driving way north to inspect some stone for the house we're building, driving all the way back, scooping up the kids, polishing them up, and taking them to a recital both my boys are performing in (it's my five-year-old's first performance, so this is a big deal) -- and won't have time to post, but very quickly, you should know of these two events:
- The Israeli embassies in India and Georgia were targeted yesterday in a coordinated attack, the manner of which echoes the recent assassinations of nuclear scientists in Iran (bombs attached to cars). Iran has not claimed responsibility, but Israeli PM Netanyahu has stated that "Iran is behind these attacks". The wife of Israel's defense attache in India was wounded during the bombing in New Delhi (she has been operated on and is stable); the bomb attached to the car in Tblisi was spotted by its driver and removed by police before anyone was injured. Israel claims that intelligence gleaned from an examination of the bomb removed from the car in Georgia confirms that this was an Iranian strike. Israel is talking tough, but (according to Haaretz) is not expected to respond forcefully, at least not yet. (These events, by the way, coincide with the fourth anniversary of Israel's assassination of Imad Mughniyeh, who was a heavy hitter in Hezbollah.)
- President Obama's new budget, unveiled yesterday, indicates that there will be only slight reductions in aid to Egypt and the Palestinian Authority despite the former's arrest of US citizens for promoting democracy and the latter's embrace of Hamas, a US -designated terrorist organization that has emphatically reiterated its determination to destroy the state of Israel. The budget also indicates a $6 million cut in funding for Israeli missile defense programs. Haaretz: "The budget stipulates that no funds be allocated to a Palestinian state unless the Secretary of State determines and certifies that the Palestinians have addressed a long list of issues including 'a firm commitment to peaceful co-existence with the State of Israel' and 'taking appropriate measures to counter terrorism and terrorist financing in the West Bank and Gaza.'” An unidentified "administration official" says the Hamas problem will be addressed in 2013, when the money is due to be handed over.