Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Hamas rules out military support for Iran in any war with Israel. Arab world shocked over footage of a “Syrian Mohammed al-Dura.” The Netanyahu-Obama summit dominates op-eds.
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Iranian Atomic Urgency
“If there is a war between two powers, Hamas will not be part of such a war,” Salah Bardawil, a member of the organisation’s political bureau in Gaza City, told the Guardian.
He denied the group would launch rockets into Israel at Tehran’s request in response to a strike on its nuclear sites. “Hamas is not part of military alliances in the region,” said Bardawil. “Our strategy is to defend our rights.”
• ABC News discussed with White House counter-terror official Richard Clark what would an Israeli strike on Iran would mean for the US. His rosy predictions? Gas prices double, terror against Americans, cyberwarfare, US Navy casualties in the Persian Gulf, and the US entering the war. Meanwhile, the BBC assessed how Iran might react to an Israeli attack.
• I see Jodi Rudoren‘s getting her feet wet at the AIPAC conference before she takes over the NYT’s Jerusalem bureau.
Israel, the US and Iran: Commentary/Analysis
• I’m starting off with Michael Ramirez.
By insisting that Israel’s military threat isn’t credible – without at the same time explicitly stating that America’s military threat is—the administration reassures Iran that it has little to fear from military action. The Israelis can’t and the Americans won’t.
• William Kristol: It’s the disconnected timelines, stupid.
Suppose you were the Obama administration, confronted by an intransigent Iran but facing an election in November and an American public weary of Middle Eastern wars. Wouldn’t you rather shoehorn an ally into undertaking this risky and unpleasant business in your place? . . .
But if it were my plan to finagle Israel into attacking, I wouldn’t practice a public diplomacy much different from Mr. Obama’s.
• Thomas Friedman: “The only question I have when it comes to President Obama and Israel is whether he is the most pro-Israel president in history or just one of the most.”
• Boaz Bismuth: “Is it possible that the meeting’s big winner was none other than Khamenei? Washington got itself more time. Now let’s just hope Iran doesn’t get the bomb.”
I see staff-eds as the purest voice of the newspaper because they reflect the editorial board’s opinion. I treat them more seriously than columnists, contributors, or blogs. So here’s a separate roundup of the considerable staff-eds I saw.
[Obama] has flatly promised to stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon — not to try, not to do everything humanly possible, but to stop it, period. In this test, there is no grading on the curve. Obama will either succeed in averting this dread prospect, or he will fail.
This is clearly a turning point in the long standoff.
But don’t let Monday’s united front foster the illusion that the U.S. has veto power over Israel’s options. If Israelis believe their very existence is in direct peril, their sense of self-defense reality will trump any notions of international unity.
And considering the Israelis’ history, who could blame them?
President Obama says he has Israel’s back. The question now is whether anyone believes him.
Yes, Iran is dangerous, and its threat to exterminate Israel is beyond unnerving. But a military response at this stage won’t work. It would only increase the danger.