• Reuters: Ban Ki-moon is displeased with Richard Falk for blaming the Boston Marathon attack on US-Israel ties.
Ban’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, told reporters that the secretary-general rejected Falk’s comments and pointed out that Ban did not appoint Falk. He was appointed by the Geneva-based Human Rights Council to his position in 2008.
“The secretary-general is hopeful that special rapporteurs such as Mr Falk, understand that while they have independent status, their public comments can undermine the credibility and the work of the United Nations,” Nesirky said.
• Yossi Klein Halevi (Globe & Mail) explains why the US needs to learn from Israel’s resilience to terror. A free society, he argues, is democracy’s best defense:
The lesson for the left is that a hard line against terror may, under extreme circumstances, prevent a fatal erosion in a nation’s faith in democracy.
There’s a lesson here for the right too. A democratic society under terror attack needs to constantly re-examine its tactics and goals – not only for its moral health but to ensure the basic unity of its people. In Israel, maintaining that debate has helped keep most of the left within the security consensus. Draft resistance is almost non-existent. So long as Israel remains a free society, its people feel a profound stake in defending it.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Tehran’s mayor and presidential hopeful, Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, lashed out at Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s litany of anti-Semitic and Holocaust-denying statements. But if you think he’s a voice of sanity in the Iranian wilderness, you’ll be disappointed. YNet explains why.
• Palestinian collateral damage you’re not likely to read about because Israel didn’t cause it. An ugly blast in Lebanon’s Nahr el-Bared refugee camp injured seven school children and three teacher, according to the Daily Star:
Preliminary investigations revealed that children were playing with a bomb left over from the 2007 clashes, between the Lebanese Army and fighters from Fatah al-Islam in the camp, when it exploded, the sources said.
• When I see headlines like this, I hope they all lose:
Reminds me of Alien vs. Predator. Pass the popcorn.
• The Washington Post reports more bad economic news from Egypt: the government’s running out of money for state subsidies on food and fuel.
But after two years of political turmoil, weak governance, a devastated tourism industry and sapped investments, the government is quickly running out of money to foot the bill.
• According to the Africa Report, Israel is re-opening its embassy in Uganda for the first time since the 1970s, when Idi Amin expelled Israelis from the East African country:
Speculation on the reopening of the embassy has drawn excitement from a cross section of Ugandans and farmers have expressed hopes for an agricultural boost.
The JCPA has more background on Israeli-Ugandan relations.
• A European Parliament report “skewers” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s management style and lack of vision. Der Spiegel picked up on the report, adding that she plans to step down from the post in 2014; potential successors such as foreign ministers Radoslaw Sikorski of Poland and Carl Bildt of Sweden are already jockeying for position.
(Image of Falk via UN/JC McIlwaine)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.