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Today’s Top Stories
1. Business as usual? The White House says nuclear talks with Iran will continue even though the US had its own contingency plan to intercept Iran’s missile boat to Gaza:
While acknowledging that Iran is a major state sponsor of terrorism and implying that the US had also been willing to take action against the ship, White House Spokesman Jay Carney said that talks were still “appropriate” to try to reach a deal with Iran regarding its nuclear program.
More on the fallout below.
2. The US State Department is reportedly furious with President Obama. According to Hebrew press reports (picked up by the Times of Israel), Foggy Bottom believes the president’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg “was deliberately done behind Secretary of State John Kerry’s back and threatens to derail peace talks.”
“The interview Obama gave, unbeknownst to Kerry, in which he launched a personal attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a way that departs from any acceptable formulation, undermines Kerry’s sincere efforts,” an unnamed official told the paper.
The second source stressed that Kerry’s primary concern regarding the interview is that it “damaged Netanyahu’s and the Israeli public’s trust in the US efforts [to broker a peace agreement].”
A NY Times staff-ed also weighed in on the interview. I gotta wonder why the Gray Lady is so worried about a framework deal “tilting” towards Israel. The same fears should apply to a pro-Palestinian framework agreement too, but that would spoil the mood the editorial creates:
Negotiators have largely kept silent on details of the talks. But there are fears that the principles might tilt toward Israel, which would mean the final negotiations simply won’t get off the ground.
3. Details are scant, but Jonathan Pollard was operated on after a deterioration of his medical condition. Haaretz says his situation is “not good.”
4. Reuters: How a Typo Can Create a Conspiracy Theory: Just how much damage can a simple typo do?
Iranian Arms Intercepted
• Worth reading: Behind the scenes of IDF Operation Full Disclosure, and a nice BBC backgrounder.
• No comment from Syria, where officials are still practicing their don’t know nuthin’ soliloquies. Say with it feeling — like these guys!
- Iran denies Israeli claims of supplying rockets for Gaza
- Gaza groups deny Israel claims of Iran weapons shipment
- Sudan denies knowledge of arms shipment seized by Israel: official
• Glad to know the the US had contingency plans to intercept the Klos-C if necessary.
• The IDF produced this handy map tracing the path of the weapons shipment.
• For commentary/analysis, see Itamar Rabinovich (not a Karine-A moment), Eli Lake (well, maybe it’s a Karine-A moment), plus Ron Ben-Yishai, Amos Harel, Dan Margalit, the Jerusalem Post, and Times of Israel.
- Egypt seeks Russian air defense systems that could undermine Camp David agreement.
- Hezbollah built its own airport.
- Just how far have Al-Jazeera America’s rating fallen?