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Today’s Top Stories
1. Media reports say the Israeli air force struck an unidentified target in the area of the Syrian-Lebanese border. Speculation naturally zeroes in on chemical weapons. According to AFP,
“The Israeli air force blew up a convoy which had just crossed the border from Syria into Lebanon,” one source said, without giving a precise location for the attack or saying what the convoy was carrying.
On a related note, this Jerusalem Post commentary is worth reading even more than when I first saw it this morning: Is a pre-emptive strike on Syria’s WMD legal? Spoiler alert: It depends . . .
2. AP: The International Atomic Energy Agency dismissed reports of sabotage at Fordow.
A diplomat familiar with the issue told AP that the IAEA’s information came directly from IAEA inspectors at Fordo.
The confusion underscored one of the challenges of reporting on the shadow war Israel and the United States are apparently waging against Iran’s nuclear program . . .
In a phone interview with The Daily Beast on Monday, Kahlili said his sources for the report came from inside Iran’s security establishment. He said Iran pays lobbyists in Washington to discredit reports by Iranian exiles and tarnish their image.
“Anyone who takes up this struggle against the regime is labeled a neo-con and a war monger,” he said. “I don’t have an agenda except freedom for Iran. This regime is a danger to Iranians and the world.”
But experts said distinguishing between credible and noncredible sources among Iranian exiles—not just for journalists but for intelligence agencies as well—can be a tricky business.
3. Mohammed Morsi’s inflammatory anti-Semitism is bad enough. Unfortunately, he has surrounded himself with like-minded people who speak their bigotry quite openly. Case in point is Fathi Shihab-Eddim, a senior Morsi advisor.
The myth of the Holocaust is an industry that America invented. U.S. intelligence agencies in cooperation with their counterparts in allied nations during World War II created it to destroy the image of their opponents in Germany, and to justify war and massive destruction against military and civilian facilities of the Axis powers, and especially to hit “Hiroshima and Nagasaki” with the atomic bomb.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel agreed to transfer $100 million in tax revenues to the PA. Jerusalem withheld the monthly transfers after the PA’s statehood bid but the Times of Israel writes:
According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the money transfer is a one-off measure “due to the financial hardship facing the PA.”
• Saying that the Golan belongs to Israel breaches the BBC’s rules on accuracy. A complaint was filed over John Humphrys’s coverage of 2011 Nakba protests, when protesters from Syria tried to cross the border. The Guardian explains the BBC Trust’s ruling.
• Israel boycotted yesterday’s UN review of its human rights record. Reuters rounds up the reactions.