Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Ehud Barak to The Daily Beast: The Pentagon has plans for a surgical strike on Iran.
“Under orders from the White House, he noted, “the Pentagon prepared quite sophisticated, fine, extremely fine, scalpels. So it is not an issue of a major war or a failure to block Iran. You could under a certain situation, if worse comes to worst, end up with a surgical operation.”
• Ehud Barak to Davos: Syria’s continued bloodletting shows that international assurances are worthless.
• Henry Kissinger: Crisis involving a nuclear Iran is in the “forseeeable future.”
Israeli Elections: What Next?
• Is Big Media unfairly raising expectations of peace? Perhaps. Michael Koplow (Foreign Policy) says it’s “analytically lazy” to label Yesh Atid as “center left” on security issues.
• On a lighter note, see The Daily Show‘s take.
• For more commentary, see the Toronto Star,
• Reuters: Syrian rebels detonated a car bomb near the Israeli border, killing eight members of the country’s military intelligence.
On Thursday, mistrust erupted into confrontation. Masked men believed to be with Al Nusra raided the headquarters of two secular civilian grass-roots organizations — setting in motion one of the most dramatic tests yet of the makeshift system of local governance that civilians and fighters have established in Saraqib, a rebel-held town.
The dispute also tests the clout of jihadist fighters and the ability of civilian opposition groups to stand up to them.
• Oooooh. An Iranian official said a Western attack on Syria is an attack on Iran. AP coverage.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Mysterious blast at Hezbollah weapons depot?
• A French court ordered Twitter to identify the people behind a number of anonymous anti-Semitic tweets. France 24 writes:
“This is an excellent ruling that will stop a feeling of impunity among Twitter users that they can post whatever comments they like,” the associations’ lawyer Stephane Lilti told reporters on Thursday.
Twitter has 15 days to comply with the order, failing which it will be fined 1,000 euros a day until it does.
Olga Khazan comments on what this all means for the French Jewish community.
• When Holocaust denier David Irving led a tour of the Majdanek concentration camp, the Sunday Times tagged along:
I began to wonder if I might have glimpsed a truth about the source of Irving’s mission, however, when I challenged him on the moral relativity that he believes exists between the Nazis and the allies. “We wanted to stop the war,” I said. “They wanted to take over Europe.”
“But it was no business of ours,” he snapped. “We had no business getting involved with it. And because we did, we lost the empire, which was a huge force for civilisation around the world. What the empire was doing was worth everything and we should not have risked it. We were fighting somebody else’s war because Churchill had been bribed by the Jews. He had been hired by them in 1936.”
“So it all comes back to the Jews?”
“In this case it does.”
• Poor Andre Pshenichnikov, the Israeli national who was arrested in Egypt for illegally entering the country. A day after a judge ordered his release and deportation back to Israel, a prosecutor had the 23-year-old re-arrested for a retrial. Pshenichnikov — who once sought to renounce his Israeli citizenship and live in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem — told Egyptian interrogators he wanted to go to Gaza to join the resistance. More at the Times of Israel.
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.