News You Might Have Missed Over Passover

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Follow up on the Obama Visit

 What can President Obama accomplish in the Mideast? The NY Times hosted a debate featuring commentary from David Makovsky, Daoud Kuttab, Dani Dayan, plus other wonks, writers and thinkers.

Charles Krauthammer penned a blistering response to the Obama speech.

Unnamed Israeli security officials disagree with Obama-Bibi coziness on Iran, saying Iran could become capable of building a nuclear weapon in July. According to the Times of Israel:

The sources added that Israel’s leadership had been mollified by US President Barack Obama’s visit earlier this month, which saw Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seemingly cotton to Washington’s later timeline on when Iran could have a nuclear bomb.

Darryl Cagle rounded up political cartoons about Obama’s Israel visit. One other cartoon whose moral equivalence stands out like a sore thumb was the Baltimore Sun‘s Kevin Kallagher.

Kevin Kallagher, Baltimore Sun

Lead Screed: An op-ed at the Red & Black (U. of Georgia) called on the US to cut ties with Israel.

Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal via Google News) followed up on his previous Jonathan Pollard column.

The Daily Telegraph picked up on Hamas orders to enforce gender segregation in Gaza’s schools, “including Christian and private schools and those run by the United Nations.”

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Worth reading: Stopping an Undetectable Iranian Bomb (via Google News):

How short would Iran’s fissile-material dash need to be so as to be undetectable?

• Pew Research Center: 64 percent of Americans favor stopping Iran’s nuclear program, even with military force.

A staff-ed in The Australian looks at the Israel-Turkey developments in light of the Iranian threat.

For more commentary on the Iranian atomic issue, see the Washington Post.

Arab Spring Winter

The government and rebels blame each other for the destruction of a historic, 2,000 year-old Damascus synagogue said to be built on the spot where the prophet Elijah annointed Elishas as his successor. More at the Times of Israel and Jewish News One.

The Lebanese government of pro-Syrian Prime Minister Najib Mikati collapsed. Michael Totten explains that he wasn’t as pro-Hezbollah and pro-Syrian as perceived, and that the West may come to miss him.

Alawites trying to distance themselves from Assad regime met in Cairo seeking a united Syria without sectarian bloodshed. Reuters says the delegates mean well enough, but is it too little too late?

Arms Airlift to Syria Rebels Expands, With Aid From CIA

See also the Wall St. Journal on Sinai lawlessness and Der Spiegel on human trafficking in the Sinai.

Hezbollah’s Headaches

France reportedly ready to add Hezbollah to terror list.

 Bahrain declares Hezbollah a terror organization.

 Cyprus court convicted a Hezbollah figure; the ruling labeled the group a terror organization.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Mehdi Hasan

Mehdi Hasan

Columnist Mehdi Hasan is one of the UK’s biggest Arab apologists, but I gotta credit him for being frank about his community’s anti-Semitism. He wrote in The New Statesman:

It pains me to have to admit this but anti-Semitism isn’t just tolerated in some sections of the British Muslim community; it’s routine and commonplace. Any Muslims reading this article – if they are honest with themselves – will know instantly what I am referring to. It’s our dirty little secret. You could call it the banality of Muslim anti-Semitism . . .

It is sheer hypocrisy for Muslims to complain of Islamophobia in every nook and cranny of British public life, to denounce the newspapers for running Muslim-baiting headlines, and yet ignore the rampant anti-Semitism in our own backyard. We cannot credibly fight Islamophobia while making excuses for Judaeophobia.

By the way, Lord Ahmed apologized for blaming his legal problems on Jewish conspiracies.

Ben Zygier allegedly gave Hezbollah the names of informants. The Sydney Morning Herald teamed up with Der Spiegel:

In an effort to improve his reputation in the Mossad and get back into a coveted operations role, he embarked on a rogue mission without informing his superiors.

Acting on information to do with the identity of an east European man known to be close to the militant Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah, Mr Zygier set up a meeting with the man towards the end of 2008 with the intention of turning him into a double agent who could pass information about Hezbollah back to the Mossad.

But the reverse happened, with Mr Zygier becoming the conduit for information flowing from Tel Aviv to Hezbollah. Contact between the men went on for months, with the European repeatedly demanding Mr Zygier prove his Mossad bona fides by giving up real intelligence.

For commentary on Israel’s apology to Turkey, see Ron Ben-Yishai, Hurriyet, and a pair of wonks in the NY Times.

(Image of Shalit via Flickr/Prime Minister of Israel,  Obama via Flickr/White House, Hasan via YouTube/HuffingtonPostUK)

For more, see the previous Israel Daily News Stream.

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