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Today’s Top Stories
1. The NY Times reports that American-Israeli differences on Iran continue to fester. The paper notes that the one weapon Israel would need most to attack Iran — heavy bunker busting bombs — is conspicuously absent from the arms deal Chuck Hagel is wrapping up with Israeli officials:
But what the Israelis wanted most was a weapons system that is missing from the package: a giant bunker-busting bomb designed to penetrate earth and reinforced concrete to destroy deeply buried sites. According to both American and Israeli analysts, it is the only weapon that would have a chance of destroying the Iranian nuclear fuel enrichment center at Fordo, which is buried more than 200 feet under a mountain outside the holy city of Qum.
The weapon, called a Massive Ordnance Penetrator, weighs about 30,000 pounds — so much that Israel does not have any aircraft capable of carrying it . . .
“It’s all about timetables,” said Dore Gold, the president of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs and a member of Mr. Netanyahu’s inner circle of strategists. “If you say the goal is to halt Iran in the enrichment phase, you don’t have much time. If you are waiting for Iran to weaponize” — the position the Obama administration has taken – “maybe you can give it another year or more.”
2. More details emerge on Iran’s connection to terror in Bulgaria. The National Post sheds more light on what’s shaping up to be more bad blood between Canada and Tehran:
A woman who originally came to Canada from Iran claiming refugee status has been detained in Bulgaria, accused of being an Iranian agent caught scoping out a Jewish centre in the capital city of Sofia.
A source familiar with the case, who did not wish to be identified because the source is not authorized to discuss it, told the National Post that the woman travelled to Bulgaria using a Canadian passport.
The unidentified woman, in her 50s, arrived in Sofia from Istanbul a few weeks after a high-profile 2012 Hezbollah bus bombing in Bulgaria that killed five Israeli tourists and a local driver, the Jerusalem Post reported.
3. A UN official Richard Falk blames the Boston Marathon attack on American support for Israel.
The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance in the post-colonial world. In some respects the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world, starting with the Middle East. . .
Now at the start of his second presidential term, it seems that Obama has given up altogether, succumbing to the Beltway ethos of Israel First.
No surprise: Falk, the UN Human Rights Council’s Special Rapporteur on Palestine previously compared Hamas to the French resistance of World War II, endorsed 9/11 “inside job” conspiracy theories, and called indiscriminate Gaza rocket fire at Israel, “survival screams.”
4. Boston Bombings Demonstrate Journalistic Failings: “Initial mistaken reports during a news event can create misperceptions that may may linger for years.” Were media mishaps a wake up call?
5. Six Secrets of Media Objectivity: Public opinion is largely shaped by the media. What should the media do to ensure the public is properly informed?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Worth reading: Erez Tadmor smacks down Haaretz:
Slashed budgets, plummeting standards, and political radicalization have turned Israel’s most respected newspaper into a case study in the collapse of modern journalism.
• Hunger-striking prisoner Samer Issawi agrees to end fast in exchange for early release — which will be eight months from now. Times of Israel coverage.
• One brave Jordanian lawmaker wasn’t afraid of getting cooties:
• The U. California-Berkeley student association supports divesting from Israel? So what?
• Palestinians are incensed that the British Library is loaning Israel the original Balfour Declaration. Details at The Scotsman.
- IDF intelligence is certain Assad’s using chemical weapons on civilians.
- The BBC discovers terror.
- The State Dept. clarifies John Kerry’s dubious moral equivalence.