Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Over at Bloomberg News, Gary Milhollin explains why North Korea serves as a cautionary tale for the Iranian talks:
The North Korea and Iran deals are essentially the same. After the agreement with North Korea, the country’s leaders were left with enough plutonium in the form of spent reactor fuel to make about six nuclear weapons, after further processing. The deal being floated for Iran would leave it with sufficient enriched uranium to make about six nuclear weapons, after further processing.
Of course, North Korea did the processing and made the bombs. What we have to ask ourselves is this: Why won’t Iran? Is there any reason to believe that this time the outcome would be different?
The mistake in the North Korea talks was not to insist from the outset that all nuclear fuel should be shipped out of the country, and all nuclear sites should be dismantled.
By the way, Israeli officials are also reminding the world that Iran’s enriched uranium will need to be transferred. More on that at the Jerusalem Post.
• Times of Israel: Rebels now control the entire Syrian side of the Golan. But they’re very wary of Israel and left Assad’s army in control of Quneitra border crossing:
The Quneitra border crossing is still being held by the Syrian regime, he added, but only because the rebels prefer not to take control if it, given the political sensitivities of such a move.
• The UN peacekeeping adviser who disappeared along the Israel-Syrian border was identified by the Times of Israel as Carl Campeau, a Canadian national.
• “Good” Syrian rebels are getting heavy weapons, and the Washington Post says the weapons are tilting the civil war in their favor — both in terms of the fight against Assad, and the battle for influence against foreign jihadis. The NY Times specifies that Saudi sugar daddies are purchasing Croatian arms.
• Half of Syria’s hospitals no longer function because the army has been systematically targeting them. Details at McClatchy News. Imagine the outrage if Israel did this:
Of Syria’s 510 hospitals, 124 are state-owned and the rest are private. The government has reported that half the public hospitals are no longer functioning. An opposition group, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, claims that 225 private hospitals have stopped working because their facilities were damaged or destroyed or their medical staffs fear they’ll be targeted.
The group says makeshift emergency rooms set up in schools, mosques and other buildings to treat rebel and civilian casualties have been attacked 185 times;
• Zvi Mazel, Israel’s former ambassador to Cairo, isn’t ruling out the possibility of the Egyptian army overthrowing Mohammed Morsi.
• Too funny: Bahrain banned Guy Fawkes masks.
• Islamists declare cultural war in Egypt, defacing monuments to cultural icons in recent days. The Jerusalem Post writes:
The growing strength of conservative Muslims in Egypt since the victory of Islamists in national elections has given them confidence in challenging the parts of the country’s cultural heritage that do not meet their religious standards.
• For more Arab Springcommentary/analysis, Richard Cohen,
Rest O’ the Roundup
• What effect will a looming US budget sequester have on military assistance to Israel — particularly Iron Dome? Globes crunches the numbers.
• The Times of Israel picks up on unconfirmed Arab media reports that Hezbollah’s Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah may be in Iran receiving treatment for cancer.
• Israel successfully tested its Arrow 3 anti-missile system. I liked Reuters coverage.
• Gerard Henderson of the Sydney Morning Herald, fires back at “dual loyalty” charges surfacing in the Australian media.
• The Independent‘s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown speaks out against radical Islam:
But no injustice can excuse or explain the rise of brutal Islamicists. Palestine is their cynical, moral pretence. Racism? Black Afro-Caribbean men who suffer the worst discrimination in this country don’t set up terrorist cells. Muslim foreign policy rage is questionable too. Over many decades, Western meddling in, say, Zimbabwe or Kenya has led to some of the intractable, current problems in those nations. Again, Kenyans and Zimbabwean migrants to the UK aren’t cooking carnage in pots in their kitchens. . .
Thoughtful and honest Muslims stay silent because they fear ostracisation or inciting more racism against Muslims – both real perils. But silence now is cowardly, and collusion with the corrupters of our faith. True believers have a duty to speak out against that corruption.
For more, see Sunday’s Israel Daily News Stream.