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Today’s Top Stories
2. Bulgaria blames Hezbollah for last year’s Burgas bombing. As the NY Times points out, this will raise a lot of uncomfortable questions for the EU, which prefers ducking the issue of designating Hezbollah as a terror group.
The European calculation all along has been that whatever its activities in the Middle East, Hezbollah does not pose a threat on the Continent. Thousands of Hezbollah members and supporters operate in Europe essentially unrestricted, raising money that is funneled back to the group in Lebanon.
Changing the designation to a terrorist entity raises the prospect of unsettling questions for Europe — how to deal with those supporters, for example — and the sort of confrontation governments have sought to avoid.
“There’s the overall fear if we’re too noisy about this, Hezbollah might strike again, and it might not be Israeli tourists this time,” said Sylke Tempel, editor in chief of the German foreign affairs magazine Internationale Politik.
3. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is visiting Cairo.It’s historic because no Iranian head of state has gone to Egypt since the Islamic revolution. Ahmadinejad also wants to visit Gaza, Jerusalem, and outer space. He’ll find lots of support for his latter wish on Twitter.
4. HonestReporting on Tour: UK and US Speaking Events: See our upcoming appearances. Want to bring an HR speaker to your area? Contact us at email@example.com
• According media reports, Iran rebuffed a Syrian request to strike back at Israel.
The unsourced report, on Israel’s Channel 10, said that Iranian officials, who have castigated Israel over the strike and said Israel will come to regret it, were approached by Assad to turn the words of criticism into deeds, but responded that “we’re engaged in a media campaign.”
• Syria’s defense minister on why Damascus won’t retaliate against Israel:
He said Israel attacked the research center near Damascus because rebels were unable to capture it. He called the rebels Israel’s “tools.”
Israel and the Palestinians
Meanwhile, the Washington Post, says State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland “did rhetorical backflips Monday to avoid taking any position.” The most obvious angle of all was picked up by The Media Line, which followed “the wave of insults, charges, and counter-charges.”
It was yet another example of how anything concerning Israelis and Palestinians sets tempers flaring.
• A NY Times staff-ed doesn’t think Americans can criticize Israel without getting whacked in the head. But HonestReporting’s closer look at the piece’s language suggests a willful blindness to the BDS movement’s modus operandi.