Obama Arrives in Israel

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The influx of journos covering the visit is keeping officials in Jerusalem busy busy busy.  The Media Line and Anav Silverman look at the press corps behind the scenes.

Yet another poll (CNN) finds that Americans like Israel, don’t believe the Mideast conflict will be resolved anytime soon, and wouldn’t support a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran.

US Secretary of State Chuck Hagel to visit Israel next month.  Jerusalem Post coverage.

Time takes a nice look at the Iron Dome and how its technology makes it significantly less expensive than other missile defense systems.

Israel’s latest YouTube diplomacy caught The Lede‘s attention.

For commentary and analysis, see For commentary and analysis, see Ehud Barak (Wall St. Journal op-ed via Google News), Meir Javedanfar (Why Israel can trust Obama on Iran), Walter Russell Mead, Israeli diplomat Shai Bazak (Christian Science Monitor), and AP. Last but not least, Fisk’s being Fisk again.

Staff-eds in The Independent, Daily Telegraph, Christian Science Monitor, and Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (don’t free Jonathan Pollard).

On the next page:

Who’s minding Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Avigdor Lieberman’s absence?

Israel and the Palestinians

Yuval Steinitz

Yuval Steinitz

According to the Jerusalem Post, Netanyahu would appoint Yuval Steinitz as foreign minister if Avigdor Lieberman is convicted of corruption charges:

While Netanyahu holds the Foreign Affairs portfolio, Steinitz will meet most visiting dignitaries, including the foreign minister of Norway.

“Yuval is basically acting foreign minister, so receiving the post would be a natural shift,” a source close to him said. “He is respected around the world, and he has the skills and the English for the job.”

NPR examines the situation in E1. Nobody claims the West Bank would be cut in two. At least we’re past that issue. Rather, Sheera Frenkel’s dispatch emphasizes the inconvenience of the bypass roads winding up, down, and around the hilly terrain between Ramallah and Bethlehem:

It’s been an incredibly windy road and one that’s descended 3,500 feet. Palestinians who use this new route to go from the southern to the northern parts of the West Bank would have to then ascend another 3,500 feet before reaching the city of Ramallah.

All in all, Palestinians say it could take two to three hours to travel between cities that are less than 15 miles apart. But that’s just an estimate, they say, one they hope they will never have to test out.

A second dispatch by Larry Abramson addresses the issue of E1 cutting off Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank.

• A US appeals court began reviewing the Zivotofsky family’s lawsuit. They want their son’s passport to list his place of birth as Jerusalem, Israel. The State Department’s balking and the Supreme Court bounced the case back to the lower court. More at AP.

 Vladamir Putin invited Prime Minister Netanyahu to Moscow. Reuters says no date was specified.

  Michael Freund weighs in on “a bit of hasbara heresy.”

Rest O’ the Roundup

Israeli officials to Haaretz: The US has “pinpoint attack” on Iran ready.

• Would Israel bomb Iran? BBC talked to the experts.

 Israeli media reports confirmation that chemical weapons were used in Aleppo on a small scale, but it’s not clear if they were used by the army or rebels.

(Image of Steinitz via Wikimedia Commons

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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