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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.
      Cheshvan 13, 5768, 10/25/2007

      The Mad Rush to Annapolis

      Abbas and his men must be having quite a good laugh at the turn of events
      In recent days, there have been two headlines which underline the absurdity of the Olmert Government's desire to attend the proposed Annapolis summit meeting later this year with the Palestinians.

      The first, of course, was the news that Palestinian terrorists belonging to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction had planned to assassinate Olmert during a visit to Jericho a few months back.

      Despite the fact that the would-be assassins were Abbas loyalists serving in one of his so-called "security forces", Olmert continued to press forward and negotiate with the Palestinian leader as if nothing at all had happened. Instead of sanctions and retaliation, Israel chose instead to "hit" the Palestinians with unprecedented concessions.

      Abbas and his men must be having quite a good laugh at the turn of events.

      The second news item worthy of attention was this from Ha'aretz: "U.S. official doubts ability of PA to police West Bank". According to the story, General Keith Dayton, US Security Coordinator in the Palestinian areas, has reached the conclusion that the Palestinian security forces in Judea and Samaria are incapable of enforcing security needs in the area. This assessment is also shared by Israeli military and intelligence officials as well.

      But that doesn't appear to have stopped the Olmert government from its efforts to make a mad rush to Annapolis, where it hopes to turn over virtually all of Judea and Samaria to Palestinian control. They are so determined to reach a deal in order to salvage Olmert's political legacy, that "minor issues" such as an assassination plot against the Prime Minister or the security vacuum that an Israeli withdrawal would create, just don't seem to matter to them very much.

      And that, perhaps, is the scariest thing of all.