Israel Daily News Stream 04/01/2012

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Furious reactions to Mark Perry’s expose of Israeli access to Azeri air bases. Jonathan Tobin takes it in stride, Ron Ben-Yishai furiously accuses the US of betraying Israel, and Ehud Yaari points out the IAF can’t reach Azerbaijan without passing over Turkish airspace:

The fact that Azerbaijan maintains close relations with Israel — including big arms and oil deals — does not justify flights of fantasy. Serious debate requires down-to-earth discussion based on facts and then a grain of common sense. The discourse about the way to tackle Iran’s nuclear challenge is far too fateful to allow it to be hijacked by the likes of “author and historian” Mark Perry.

See also reactions from Melanie Phillips, Dan MargalitBenny Avni, David Weinberg, and John Bolton. The White House, for its part, told YNet it had nothing to do with the leak:

Israel, as well as pro-Israel elements in the United States, blamed the White House for the leak, but according to the official, the US is “crawling with thousands of intelligence and former intelligence officials,” and the White House has no way of stopping them from offering information to the media as anonymous sources.

 According to Time, the Mossad’s scaling back covert activities in Iran.

The new hesitancy has caused “increasing dissatisfaction” inside Mossad, Israel’s overseas spy agency, says one official. Another senior security officer attributes the reluctance to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who the official describes as worried about the consequences of a covert operation being discovered or going awry.

 This from Sky News:

Intelligence agencies are searching for members of a secret Iranian network of assassins under orders to attack Jewish, Israeli and Western targets in Turkey.

• Dennis Ross and David Makovsky (WashPost op-ed) lay out a road map for Israel and the US to synchronize on Iran. The first step?

Because Israel is the only country that Iran has repeatedly threatened to “wipe off the map,” it is reasonable for it to have some input into the objectives of diplomacy and the timetable for progress in negotiations. The more Israelis feel their views are being taken into account, the more inclined they will be to give diplomacy a chance to work before resorting to force.

 More commentary at CNN, Paul McGeough, Emanuele Ottolenghi, Foreign Affairs, and the Calgary Herald.

Iran suspends Reuters over faulty ninja assassins headline.

Arab Spring Winter

A key Syrian citizen journalist was arrested by the army. According to CNN, Ali Mahmoud Othman, head of the Homs media center, was a key figure in the evacuation of injured Western correspondents.

The collapse of the Syrian pound is having a spillover effect on Jordan. More at The Media Line.

Rest O’ the Roundup

No press freedom in the PA. Reporter Youssef Al-Shayeb launched a hunger strike to protest her arrest. She exposed corruption in the PLO’s diplomatic mission in Paris. Meanwhile, journalist/blogger Ismat Abdel Khaleq was also imprisoned in solitary confinement for criticizing the PA on Facebook.

An embattled Robert Fisk denies to the Daily Telegraph‘s Damien Thompson that he made up facts. Thompson ain’t overwhelmed by Fisk’s star power, concluding:

More on this subject later. I’m trying to get to the bottom of another row involving Fisk – one that hasn’t been publicly aired.

(Image of Barghouti via YouTube/democracynow)

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