Israel Daily News Stream 04/22/2012

Iranian Atomic Urgency

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour interviewed Defense Minister Ehud Barak about the Iranian nuclear threat. In Part 1, Amanpour’s fixated on an Iranian fatwa banning nuclear weapons (ooooh) while Barak gets  testy on the issue of Israel and the US sharing the same view on intelligence assessments.

In Part 2, Barak is irritated when Amanpour gets hung up on the nuance of whether Ahmadinejad expressed his desire to either wipe Israel off the face of the map — or — to simply remove the unnatural Zionist entity. The conversation eventually turns to the Syrian uprising.

Arab Spring Winter

An encouraging sign: Syrian opposition leader Nofal Al-Dalawibi was interviewed by Israel Radio.

Dalawibi’s interview marked the potential beginning of a change from that mindset, should the Syrian opposition struggle prevail. When asked about the “fear that many Israelis have” that Islamic forces may occupy the political vacuum in Syria if Assad falls — and what effect that would have on Syria’s relationship with Israel — Dalawibi replied that the Syrian people do not want any more fighting. Syrian civilians have been left out of the political process for over 40 years and they only want peace, he added.

Dalawibi was speaking by telephone from Paris to Israel Radio’s Arab Affairs Correspondent Eran Zinger. Portions of the recorded interview, conducted in Arabic and translated into Hebrew for listeners, were released Friday and Saturday.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Two Israeli naval commandos injured aboard the Mavi Marmara talked about the incident for the first time. YNet writes:

Meanwhile, Y. also landed on the deck. “As I was sliding down the rope, I saw a group of people fighting. I had no choice, as I couldn’t climb back up. So I kept sliding down and saw four or five terrorists waiting for me there, armed with clubs, metal pipes and chairs. I came down, and they immediate started to beat me up, focusing on my head. I was wearing a military helmet, but they got it off, shattered it and started to pulverize me with blows to the head. While doing it, they started pulling me towards the edge of the deck, in order to throw my overboard.”

Seconds after landing on the Marmara’s deck, his left arm was completely crushed and remained hanging from his shoulder. Y. managed to pull out his handgun with his other hand and fired at the legs of his assailants.

“At that moment, I spotted one of our soldiers on the other side of the deck, with two terrorists standing above him and beating him up; he was bleeding on the floor. So I fired at the two terrorists and brought them down.”

How did you know who’s a terrorist and who’s an innocent civilian?

“There was no problem identifying them. The terrorists wore orange life vests, protective vests, and gas masks. All of them were equipped with cold arms. This is not what innocent peace activists look like.”

By this time, A. also managed to pull out his handgun. “The moment the assailants saw that I was holding a gun and waving it, they got away. I then looked up and saw another terrorist with a handgun aiming at a member of my squad. At that moment I opened fire at him and finished him off. I went back and saw that the terrorists who were on top of me earlier were now fighting my comrades. I opened fire at another one who jeopardized another soldier and took him down.”

NY Times correspondent Isabel Kershner visits the Arava Power Company, “now the leading commercial developer of solar power in Israel.” Its 18,600 solar panels are generating electricity and now international investors:

“God could not have invented a better place to do solar power,” he said during a recent tour.

 The UK just can’t get rid of Al-Qaida cleric Abu Qatada. It may take another 12-18 months to resolve whether he can be deported to Jordan. Details at The Guardian and Daily Mail.

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

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