Morning Report: December 10, 2004

Sharon wins Knesset majority, new coalition. According to the latest bulletin from Debka: 'Sharon is now set to build a new government coalition with Knesset majority. After fierce contest, Israel’s ruling Likud voted Thursday 62% - 38% to grant Sharon a mandate for boosting his minority cabinet by co-opting Labor and ultra-religious parties. Dispute in Labor between two former prime ministers, chairman Peres and challenger Barak, has also been settled with an agreement to hold leadership primaries on June 29. This argument threatened to hold Labor back from joining the Sharon government.' (Debka)

White House warns IRI on Iraq interference. The Bush administration cautioned the Iran regime against attempting to destabilize Iraq, according to this AP item: 'Bush talked about Iran in meetings Monday with Jordan's King Abdullah II and Ghazi al-Yawer, the interim Iraqi president, both Sunni Muslims. Iran and Syria joined other nations at an international conference on Iraq last month at the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh in pledging to contribute to Iraq's stability and to prevent terrorists from coming into Iraq, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. The communique also called on all parties to tighten border controls. "We expect them to abide by that commitment," McClellan said. "Iraq has talked to Iran about these issues," the spokesman said. "We've made our views very clear to Iran, as well as others, and we continue to call on Iran to act in a responsible way and be helpful as the Iraqi people move forward on building a brighter future." (AP via Free Iran)

Most Germans see Israelis as Nazis, poll says. Jerusalem Post: 'Six decades after the mass extermination of six million Jews in the Holocaust by Nazi Germany, more than 50 percent of Germans believe that Israel's present-day treatment of the Palestinians is similar to what the Nazis did to the Jews during World War II, a German survey released this weekend shows. 51 percent of respondents said that there is not much of a difference between what Israel is doing to the Palestinians today and what the Nazis did to the Jews during the Holocaust, compared to 49% who disagreed with such a comparison, according to the poll carried out by Germany's University of Bielefeld. The survey also found that 68 percent of Germans believe that Israel is waging a "war of extermination" against the Palestinians, while some 32% disagreed with such a statement.' (Jerusalem Post via Roger L. Simon)

Japan adopts new defense doctrine. Japan has officially adopted a new defense doctrine which recognizes China and North Korea as threats. The policy change also eases restrictions on certain weapons. Details available from Stratfor. (Strategic Forecasting)