Arabs Chafe at Helping Palestinian Refugees Fleeing Syria

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Arab Spring Winter

• Over at Forbes, Richard Behar’s amazed that the Western press has shown zero interest in a recent video of Mohammed Morsi calling Jews apes and pigs.

I studied the story’s journey and trajectory through America over the past week with Sue Radlauer, the Director of Research Services here at Forbes. We gave it seven days to see if any of the so-called “mainstream media” — a pejorative phrase that too-often obscures more than it reveals — bestowed the hate speech even a few sentences of back-page ink.  Nothing.

. . .

But major, seasoned reporters still need to hold Morsi’s feet to fire over such comments – if not by asking him directly about them, then at least by reporting that he uttered them. Surely, if the president of virtually any other country in the world had defamed an entire people in such a way — only a couple years before they got the top job, to boot — it would have at least gotten a few column-inches.  Yet Morsi gets a free pass.

Behar’s referring to this video which Memri posted online and transcribed.

Hezbollah’s active support of the Assad regime is one of the region’s worst kept secrets. Asharq al-Awsat sheds new light on the details.

Panetta: US Troops Securing Syria’s Chemical Weapons Not an Option in ‘Hostile Atmosphere’

Maan News: Egyptian security in the Sinai intercepted three trucks carrying 2.5 tons of explosives and mortar devices.

Hamas told the Daily Star that 885 Palestinians have been killed in the Syrian civil war; more than 20,000 remain in Syria.

An Islamist rebel chieftain was shot in Turkey — most likely by other rival Islamist rebels, according to the Sunday Times:

Thaer al-Waqqas, the northern commander of the Farouq Brigades, one of the largest rebel groups, was shot dead in the town of Sermin on Wednesday morning.

Waqqas had been suspected of involvement in the killing four months ago of Firas al-Absi, a jihadist leader in the Nusra Front, which Washington regards as a terrorist organisation with links to al-Qaeda.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Iran’s Foreign Minister was in Egypt making what Reuters refers to as a “charm offensive.” Tehran’s regionally isolated, and Ali Akbar Salehi didn’t leave with any tangible successes — unless face time with Mohammed Morsi and the Grand Sheikh of (Sunni) Al-Azhar University counts for more than meets the eye:

Yet, with their positions on Syria diametrically different, it is unclear how much real progress Iran’s new charm offensive could achieve. No trade or cooperation agreements were signed as part of Salehi’s visit.

Spanish police arrested two people suspected of trying to export to Iran valves “particularly suitable for use in the nuclear industry.” Details at AP/Israel HaYom.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Over at the Washington Institute, Michael Singh put together a thoughtful piece knocking the conventional wisdom that Israeli politics is lurching right-ward:

What is noted less often, however, is that left-wing parties have also gained. The same poll shows gains not just for the Labor party, but for the far-left Meretz party as well as social-justice-focused Yesh Atid (which did not previously exist), as well as for Tzipi Livni’s “Movement” party. The losers are the Likud-Israel Beitenu coalition, projected to lose nine seats, and the centrist parties — Kadima, which had twenty-one seats but will cease to exist, and Ehud Barak’s “Independence” party, which will not field candidates with his retirement from the Knesset.

Despite this shifting within both the left and the right, the polls indicate an absence of movement between the two poles. The result, rather startlingly, is that despite the churn, the right-left balance is forecast to remain precisely as it currently stands. The data projects not a more right-wing Knesset, but a more polarized one. It also projects a weaker position for Prime Minister Netanyahu in coalition politics, which could well mean a more right-wing government than that he currently heads, though — depending on what deals he is able to cut — this is hardly a foregone conclusion.

(Image of mass grave via Wikimedia Commons)

For more, see the previous Israel Daily News Stream.

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