Author Archives: Pesach Benson


Russia to Close Syrian Skies to Israel?

Russia to Close Syrian Skies to Israel?

Today’s Top Stories 1. Will Russia’s expected military presence in Syria close off Syrian skies to Israel? 2. “In a move that reflected growing internal disarray,” the PLO delayed elections for its internal leadership, which were set to be held next week, according to AP. 3. Russia reportedly bought 10 Israeli-made intelligence-gathering drones. And despite left-wing opposition,


PA to Void Oslo Accords?

Today’s Top Stories 1. According to Maan News, Mahmoud Abbas will declare at the UN that Palestine is a “state under occupation,” annulling the Oslo Accords. The Times of Israel reports that Saeb Erekat is masterminding this maneuver. . . . the resignation threats were no more than a diversion ahead of a dramatic move


Israel Debates Accepting Syrian Refugees

Today’s Top Stories 1. The PA wants Israel to allow Palestinian refugees fleeing Islamic State to obtain asylum in the West Bank and Gaza but Prime Minister Netanyahu said at the weekly cabinet meeting that Israel is unable to absorb refugees from Syria or Africa. Immigration and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin called Abbas’s suggestion, an


Obama Secures Senate Approval for Iran Deal

Today’s Top Stories 1. The White House clinched its magic number of 34 senators supporting the Iran deal when Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland gave it her approval. Thirty four is the number needed to prevent opponents from scuttling the deal. Politico reports that the White House is now setting its sights on  securing 41


UN: Gaza Will Be Uninhabitable in 5 Years

Today’s Top Stories 1. AP, AFP, and UPI all picked up on a UN report claiming that Gaza could be “uninhabitable” in five years if current economic trends persist. 2. I don’t know what to make of headlines talking about Mahmoud Abbas stepping down either, but here are a few tea leaves you can sort through:


“Sisi Scenario” to Resolve Lebanese Garbage Crisis?

Today’s Top Stories 1. Trying to fill a power vacuum and placate angry protesters, Lebanese lawmakers will reportedly appoint army chief Jean Kahwaji as president. Asharq al-Awsat‘s sources refer to this as the Sisi scenario, a reference to Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egypt’s current president and former military chief. 2. An Islamic State affiliate in Gaza claimed


Egypt’s Gas Find Upends Israeli Energy Plans

Today’s Top Stories 1. The “largest Mediterranean gas field” found off Egypt’s coast could meet the country’s natural gas needs for decades. The Zohr gas field‘s estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas is double the amount held in Israel’s Leviathan off shore field. Zohr certainly shakes up Israeli plans. Haaretz notes that Egyptian purchases


Lessons From Another False-Photo Tweet

For our false photo tweet of the day: Pavel Ryzhevsky, a columnist for the pro-Kremlin Komsomolskaya Pravda tweeted an image purporting to show a civilian shielding his baby from an attack in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine. Ryzhevsky dates the image as July 13, 2015. The Jerusalem Post provides a translation of


Swiss Government ‘Regrets’ Ambassador’s Tasteless Bibi Cartoon

Today’s Top Stories 1. Did the Arab Spring hit Gaza this weekend? Gaza beach corn vendor attempts suicide after Hamas ‘harassment’ 2. Switzerland “expressed regret” after its ambassador to Iran displayed a tasteless cartoon of peace doves defecating on Prime Minister Netanyahu. Ambassador Giulio Haas was addressing businessmen in Zurich, encouraging them to invest in


EU Warns of More Steps Against Settlements

Today’s Top Stories 1. EU envoy warns of more steps against Israeli settlements. 2. The Palestinian National Congress, which represents Palestinians both in the PA and the diaspora, is scheduled to meet for the first time in 20 years. The development further fuels speculation that Mahmoud Abbas is grooming Saeb Erekat as a successor. 3. The