Israel Daily News Stream 02/28/2012

Israel Daily News Stream

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Fatah and Hamas plot an intifada to distract Palestinians from their failure to reconcile. Might Egypt extradite Moussa Abu Marzook to the US?  And why are Israeli reporters considering severing ties with the International Federation of Journalists?

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Israel and the Palestinians

Would Hamas and Fatah stir up an intifada to cover up their utter failure at national reconciliation? Khaled Abu Toameh says the two already doing that.

Many Palestinians are deeply disappointed with Fatah and Hamas, which have been fighting each other since the Islamist movement came to power in 2006. Hamas and Fatah are aware that many Palestinians are increasingly frustrated with the ongoing dispute between the two sides.

They are afraid that one day the Palestinians may erupt against Fatah and Hamas. Some Palestinians have even begun talking about organizing an uprising against the two parties.

To avoid such a scenario, Hamas and Fatah are now working hard to direct the heat toward Israel. Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Mashaal know that only a new intifada against Israel will help them stay in power: Palestinians will be too busy fighting Israel.

Haaretz: Palestinians plan mass march on Israel’s borders on March 30 (to coincide with Land Day).

Nice to see the Washington Post note some co-existence, a topic that too often flies under Big Media’s radar.

Jeffrey Goldberg deconstructs a Harvard conference on the one-state solution.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Today’s big buzz: a US intelligence official told AP that Israel won’t give the US advance notice of any attack on Iran — for America’s own good:

Israeli officials said that if they eventually decide a strike is necessary, they would keep the Americans in the dark to decrease the likelihood that the U.S. would be held responsible for failing to stop Israel’s potential attack.

The BBC assesses what an Israeli strike on Iran might look like.

Israeli officials tell Newsweek don’t underestimate Israel’s ability to strike Iran.

A Dallas Morning News staff-ed says don’t underestimate the bite of sanctions or Iran’s disintegrating alliances.

Two wonks in the WSJ say don’t underestimate the danger posed by Iran just because public debate “conflates intelligence assessments with policy recommendations.” For an example of the phenomenon Frederick Kagan and Maseh Zarif decry, don’t underestimate Comment is Free’s Michael Boyle.

Arab Spring Winter

Moussa Abu Marzook

Hamas leader Moussa Abu Marzouk moved to Egypt. Politico notes that the US has an outstanding indictment on the Marzouk:

The presence in Egypt of Hamas deputy political bureau chief Abu Marzouk, reported Sunday by the Associated Press, could become another point of tension in the already fraught relationship between Washington and Cairo. However, the current crisis over 16 Americans charged with running illegal non-governmental organizations in Egypt is likely to consume all the bandwidth for the time being.

Abu Marzouk was indicted on a terror-related racketeering conspiracy charge in 2003 by a federal grand jury in Chicago, along with two other men accused of being Hamas operatives . . .

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago said Sunday he believes the indictment of Abu Marzouk is still pending. The spokesman declined to comment on any efforts to bring the Hamas leader to the U.S. to stand trial.

A trial held in Chicago in 2006 and 2007 for Abu Marzouk’s codefendants reached a muddled result which could lead some U.S. officials to question whether it would be wise to attempt to prosecute the Hamas leader, if the Egyptians were ever to turn him over.

Max Boot (via Daled Amos) points out that Hamas bailing out on Syria mortally undermines one of Assad’s key narratives:

This development, which I personally find astonishing (a sentiment that I have to think is shared by the Syrian regime), is a body blow to Bashar al-Assad’s fundamental narrative, in which he claims to be targeted by the west and Israel because of his leadership of the “resistance” and his support for the Palestinian cause. When the party that is the Palestinian resistance chooses to desert Assad’s regime, the regime’s resistance and pro-Palestine narrative collapses . . .

Mother Jones obtained what appears to be government “hit list” of Syrian dissidents. We’re talking about 718-page spread sheet listing the names, phone numbers, neighborhoods and activities of thousands of people. But is this list for real?

The document does not contain any identifying government markings. But the experts consulted agree that its organization and content—which they say is striking in scope—are characteristic of lists used by intelligence services in the Middle East . . .

The list also includes military defectors and their units and ranks, Abdulhamid said. “This kind of info on this scale cannot be available to the general public, or faked.”

The hactivist who alerted Mother Jones to the online document said that it was posted by members of an activist organizing committee inside Syria, but declined to provide any details confirming that, citing security concerns. It’s conceivable that the document involves deception by the Syrian regime or counterintelligence operations by its adversaries . . .

Worth reading: Homs and Khan Yunis: A Tale of Two Cities

What was imagined in Gaza is actually happening in Homs.

If the Syrian first lady didn’t exist, Disney would have to invent her. Madame Assad tells Queen Rania everything’s okay and expresses concern for “worrying reports” from Jordan. I’m not making this up.

A new attempt to evacuate two wounded Western journalists from Homs failed. The BBC explains why French reporter Edith Bouvier and British photographer Paul Conroy refused to board a Syrian Red Crescent vehicle:

Paul Conway’s wife said on Sunday that her husband had rejected an earlier opportunity to leave Homs with the Syrian Red Crescent as the photographer had been advised that they were “not to be trusted”.

And the UK’s International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell told the BBC there was evidence of people on the ground “infiltrating the Syrian Red Crescent” and “posing an additional danger” to injured people seeking to leave Homs.

Roger Cohen on why to arm the Free Syrian Army:

As the Bosnian war showed, the basis for any settlement must be a rough equality of forces. So I say step up the efforts, already quietly ongoing, to get weapons to the Free Syrian Army. Train those forces, just as the rebels were trained in Libya. Payback time has come around: The United States warned Assad about allowing Al Qaeda fighters to transit Syria to Iraq.

Israel’s first ambassador to Egypt since Mubarak’s ouster presented his credentials to Field Marshal Tantawi. Reuters picked up on the story.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Hezbollah’s using its government to push its agenda in Lebanese classrooms. Efforts to teach a required “history of the Resistance” are being met with, uh, resistance, according to Ya Libnan via EoZ.

The National Federation of Israeli Journalists is mulling breaking ties with the International Federation of Journalists over the umbrella organization singling out Israel for criticism over the status of women reporters.

Contacted on Monday, Boumelha declined to comment on the Israeli federations’ threats to leave the organization. He also turned down requests to furnish further information on Israel’s alleged mistreatment of female journalists.

The latest dispute between the federation and the international body was sparked when the IFJ compared Israel to countries such as Mexico, the Philippines, Somalia, Russia and Nepal, where over the past few years women journalists have been murdered or faced violent sexual assaults while doing their jobs.

(Image of Marzook via YouTube/msmicunow1, crosshairs via US Navy/Ryan Walker)

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