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      Fundamentally Freund
      by Michael Freund
      An alternative approach to Israeli political commentary.
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      Michael Freund is Founder and Chairman of Shavei Israel (www.shavei.org), which reaches out and assists "lost Jews" seeking to return to the Jewish people. He writes a syndicated column and feature stories for the Jerusalem Post. Previously, he served as Deputy Director of Communications & Policy Planning in the Israeli Prime Minister´s Office under former premier Benjamin Netanyahu. A native of New York, he holds an MBA in Finance from Columbia University and a BA from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University. He has lived in Israel for the past decade.
      Tishrei 13, 5767, 10/5/2006

      Sleep Tight, Hamas

      Have you ever heard of a fighter reassuring his opponent before he gets into the ring that he won't even try to knock him out?

      Neither have I – at least until today, that is.

      Speaking to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is reported to have said this afternoon that the Government is planning a large-scale military operation in Gaza in order to stem the tide of rocket attacks against Israeli towns and cities.

      But in case you thought that Israel is finally preparing to retake Gaza, as it should have done long ago – well, think again.

      Shortly after the meeting took place, Israeli spokeswoman Miri Eisen was quick to backtrack: "We won't change our mode of operation in the Gaza Strip and we will not go back to Gaza. We intend to continue our operation there and carry out pinpoint operations."

      And so, in a remarkable act of utter inanity, Israel is essentially telegraphing its intentions in advance to the Palestinians, letting them know that they have little to worry about.

      Indeed, instead of employing some creative ambiguity about its objectives, thereby creating additional disarray in the terrorists' ranks, the Government has chosen to calm their fears and reassure them that their hold on power will not be threatened.

      So sleep tight, Hamas, and have no fear, for the Government of Israel has just let you know that your terrorist regime is safe for now.