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Sunday, December 16, 2007

The token starts to drop for Avi Dichter

I will explain the reference to tokens and the picture at the top at the end of this post.

For some time now, I've been wondering what Avi Dichter is doing in the Kadima Achora party and what he's doing in the government. This morning, Dichter has to be wondering himself. Dichter, the Public Security Minister and former chief of the General Security Service (GSS or Shabak in Hebrew) sounded the alarm over the weekend, and the moonbats in the government are now trying to shut him up. The worst part for the moonbats is that not only did Dichter blast the US National Intelligence Estimate on Iran; he actually tied it into the 'Palestinians' which brings the wisdom of Israel embarking on the entire Annapolis 'peace' suicide process into question:

Dichter on Saturday blasted the recent US National Intelligence Estimate that says Teheran has halted its nuclear arms program, warning that a nuclear Iran could lead to a regional war that would threaten Israel.

Dichter also suggested that if American intelligence agencies were wrong about Iran in the NIE, released on December 3, they could also issue false information about whether the Palestinians are fulfilling their security commitments.

He cautioned that a refusal to recognize Iran's intentions to build weapons of mass destruction could lead to a regional war like the Yom Kippur War, in which Israel was caught off-guard by Egypt and Syria.

"The American misconception concerning Iran's nuclear weapons may lead to a regional Yom Kippur, in which Israel will be among the countries that are threatened," said Dichter, speaking at a "Cultural Shabbat" talk in Bat Yam.

"The softened intelligence report proves that Israel failed to provide the Americans with the whole picture concerning the Iranian nuclear threat," he said.

"Something went wrong in the American blueprint for analyzing the severity of the Iranian nuclear threat," said Dichter, in one of the strongest criticisms of the US intelligence analysis offered by a cabinet member.
'Strongest criticism' is an understatement - only criticism would be more like it. While Army Radio noted this morning that several other ministers (if I could hazard a guess, I would say everyone from Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas plus former Defense Minister and IDF Chief of Staff, now Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, and possibly Defense Minister Ehud Barak himself) have said similar things anonymously, only Dichter has had the guts to say it in public. The more typical reaction has been that of Israel's buffoonish Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert:
In comparison, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert had merely responded to the report by arguing that Iran was still a threat and that Israel was still convinced of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's nuclear aspirations. Israel is not the only country analysts consider threatened by Iranian nuclearization; some Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia, are also viewed as potential Iranian targets.
Yeah, right. With King Abdullah holding Ahmadinejad's hand....

Although the harsh responses were directed at the Iranian part of Dichter's criticizm, what really raised the ire of the Olmert-Barak-Livni junta was probably the 'Palestinian' part. Here's what he had to say on that score:
Regarding the Palestinians, Dichter warned that retired US general James Jones, who heads the mechanism to judge the implementation of road map obligations, could also receive an inaccurate assessment of the situation on the ground and that there were no guarantees he would not make a serious error of judgment regarding the Palestinians' adherence to their commitments.

The "US could make a mistake and decide that the Palestinians have fulfilled their commitments, which could entail very serious consequences from Israel's perspective," Dichter warned.

"Israel cannot allow a situation in which Hamas conducts a war of attrition from Gaza, while Israel is simultaneously holding negotiations with the Palestinians," Dichter said. [But that's what Olmert has been doing all along. CiJ]

He stressed the need for the Palestinians to establish "real and operational" law enforcement, legislative and judicial systems.
I don't believe that 'make a mistake' is the right way of putting it. I'd suggest something more on the lines of not having the political will to tell Washington something it doesn't want to hear (assuming Jones wouldn't just outright lie). But Dichter's point is well-taken. And he's set off a row inside the government:
Israeli government officials harshly criticized Public Security Minister Avi Dichter's attack on the latest US intelligence assessment, Army Radio reported Sunday, with one senior official saying Dichter's words could cause serious damage to Israeli-American relations.

"The US stands by our side in the campaign against a nuclear Iran, and President [George W.] Bush has pledged to maintain Israel's security. We must not offend our closest ally," the source said.

Cabinet minister Ami Ayalon said Dichter made an error in publicly censuring the White House.

"Such haughty statements damage our ability to build a coalition [against Iran]," he said.
Ayalon, by the way, was director general of the GSS immediately after the Rabin assassination, and he's one of the best liars in the country. I wouldn't be surprised if that other 'senior official' is Foreign Minister Tzipi Feigele Livni herself. Other candidates: Any minister from the Labor party other than Barak, and Meir Shitreet of Kadima.

So why is Dichter part of Kadima? Because the token hasn't dropped all the way yet. He still apparently believes the 'Palestinians' have some desire to fight terrorism and live in peace with us, and he believes that all the Syrians really want is the Golan and not to destroy us:
He added that the Old City of Jerusalem was unquestionably part of Israeli Jerusalem, but regarding Syria, conceded that there could be no agreement without Israel withdrawing from the Golan, and that the question was what guarantees Israel would receive in return.
Keep thinking about the truth Avi, you'll get it eventually.

I promised to explain the tokens. In English, when someone understands something, we sometimes say that a lightbulb lit up in their head. In Hebrew, we say "yarad ha'asimon" - the token dropped. The reference is to the old style payphones that were in use here in Israel until 15-20 years ago that required the use of special tokens that at one time could only be purchased at the post office (under whose aegis the phone system - not yet known as Bezeq - was operated by the government). Depending on where you were calling and the time of day, if you made a call from the payphone, a token would drop every few seconds. If you needed to call from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv in the middle of the day, you could end up needing a lot of tokens, so you had an incentive to make sure the other side understood - so you could get off the phone and the tokens would stop dropping - as quickly as possible.

The picture at top left is some 1950's vintage tokens - they were the first picture of Israeli telephone tokens I found online (other than a piece of jewelry that really did not illustrate the point) when I googled for images of an "asimon."


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