As this is being written, in late August 2006, news wires around the world are running a story that Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority, has launched a new peace initiative with Israel. However, the new school books that the same Mahmoud Abbas has now introduced in the Palestinian Authority school system - run independently of Hamas - represent a curriculum that prepares a new generation of Palestinians to destroy Israel.
And so it came to be. On Rosh Hodesh Elul, we will sit with our family in our garden for Shabbat dinner, fulfilling the prophecies of old, that foresaw a time when we would all sit in peace under our fig trees and appreciate the peace of mind that the land of Israel can at times provide.
In the meantime, Israel has begun to coordinate the handover of southern Lebanon to UNIFIL and the Lebanese army, and a three-way coordination meeting was already held yesterday at UNIFIL headquarters in Nakoura.
Hizbullah guerrillas are expected to hamper the deployment of the Lebanese army in the south. IDF intelligence assessments expect Hizbullah to try to renew its activities in southern Lebanon, starting with civilian affairs.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in an address given on Monday in the Knesset, predicted further warfare is to be expected in the future.
Israel's top military brass told the media that the Israeli media had achieved its goal, which was to "weaken Hezbollah" so that a political process could be facilitated - for the U.N. and the Lebanese government to enforce U.N. resolutions which state that Lebanon must disarm all foreign and terrorist troops from its soil.
The Israeli security cabinet approved Israeli military plans to expand the ground offensive under way in southern Lebanon on Wednesday. While three government ministers abstained, none voted against authorizing the military to move northwards to the Litani River and perhaps beyond.