Israel Daily News Stream 03/29/2012

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Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.

Israeli access to Azerbaijan’s airfields raises risk of war with Iran — according to a dubious source. So-called “witnesses” for Palestine suffer from tunnel vision. Italian authorities seize more than £ 1 billion in Gadaffi family assets.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Jonathan Schanzer: A look at the Global March on Jerusalem organizers shows the risk of violence tomorrow is high.

Jonathan Kay‘s take on the GMJ:

Jews and Arabs likely will continue to fight over control of Jerusalem for many years. But let us dispense with the idea that the Israeli presence amounts to a “racist” desecration of an otherwise “peaceful” city. If the moral battle between Jews and Arab were fought on the basis of who governed Jerusalem in a more tolerant and civilized fashion, the victor would not be hard to choose.

Worth reading: Over at the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Allen Krisiloff takes issue with the tunnel vision of a group of “witnesses” for Palestine.

Palestinian activists to stage another fly-in on Ben Gurion Airport. Arrivals are to stagger on April 15 and 16. The JPost writes:

According to one of the organizers, Mazin Qumsiyeh of Bethlehem, anywhere from 1,500 to 2,500 participants, ages 9 to 90, from 15 countries are expected to land in Israel on that day.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Foreign Policy makes waves with a revelation that Israel has permission to use airbases in Azerbaijan. Sounds dramatic, but the source, Mark Perry (back to him in a minute) requires a grain of salt:

Why does it matter? Because Azerbaijan is strategically located on Iran’s northern border and, according to several high-level sources I’ve spoken with inside the U.S. government, Obama administration officials now believe that the “submerged” aspect of the Israeli-Azerbaijani alliance — the security cooperation between the two countries — is heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran . . .

Senior U.S. intelligence officials are increasingly concerned that Israel’s military expansion into Azerbaijan complicates U.S. efforts to dampen Israeli-Iranian tensions, according to the sources. Military planners, I was told, must now plan not only for a war scenario that includes the Persian Gulf — but one that could include the Caucasus.

Perry’s a character. In January, the former advisor to Yasser Arafat said he was “sure” the assassination of an Iranian scientist was an Israeli false flag op, though he hadn’t confirmed it. And in 2010, he created another dustup by dubiously quoting Gen. David Petraeus on Israel-US ties.

Mark Perry

Arab Spring Winter

Two British journalists killed in Syria. Government forces shot at a house where the two freelancers, Naseem Intriri and Walid Bledi, both of Algerian descent, were staying in the town of Darkoush. A third reporter was injured.

It’s duck season for Bashar Assad and his online gadflies. AFP explains:

A purported email exchange between Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma in which she affectionately refers to him as her “duck” has been met with delight by activists and spurred a host of jokes on the Internet.

Tony Karon pessimistic about Kofi Annan’s peacemaking efforts — and understandably so.

Italian authorities seized £ 1.1 billion in Gaddafi family assets.

Most the wealth was in the form of shareholdings, including stakes in Italian bank Unicredit, the Juventus football team and the energy giant Eni.

If you’re following Egypt’s effort to draft a new constitution, the panel that’s  overseeing it will be chaired by an Islamist. Liberal members of the panel are already boycotting the proceedings. More on the mess at McClatchy News.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Egyptian columnist: The Jewish Festival of Purim Is Dedicated to Murderous Acts of Vengeance Against Non-Jews

(Image of airport via Flickr/hoyasmeg, Perry via YouTube/AlJazeeraEnglish, Gadaffi via YouTube/salim000001, money via Flickr/epSos.de)

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