• The Christian Science Monitor analyzes yesterday’s Gaza airstrike.
• A brilliant staff-ed in The Australian picks apart Aussie universities for their dalliances with the anti-Israel BDS movement:
As a pluralistic democracy that provides for the security and well-being of Palestinians, Israel is not remotely comparable to apartheid South Africa. For decades Arabs have had greater democratic and human rights in Israel than in any Arab country. They make up about a sixth of Israel’s population and Palestinian Muslims hold seats in the Knesset on a platform of creating a viable Palestinian state. Israel is not perfect and the Palestinian issue must be resolved. But demonising Israel and Jews is not only wrong because it is racist, it is also an incorrect and deceptive interpretation of reality. Julia Gillard is right to condemn the BDS campaign, now so marginalised it has been disowned even by the Greens. We are entitled to expect our universities to take a stronger stand both against racism and in favour of facts.
• More than 1,000 Jordanian movers and shakers signed a petition opposing a confederation with the Palestinians. According to the Jerusalem Post, the petition also protests against using the Hashemite kingdom as a base for Western military intervention in Syria.
• The Lebanese Armed Forces are drawing down from Southern Lebanon, allowing Hezbollah to fill the void. Sources told the Daily Star that UNIFIL is frustrated as Hezbollah hampers its daily work. Reporter Nicholas Blanford suggests that Hezbollah is re-activating facilities destroyed during the 2006 war.But that’s not all:
Another conclusion to be drawn from the activities in the southern border district is that, despite the media attention lately on Hezbollah’s role in Syria, the resistance has not taken its eye off the ball in terms of the confrontation with Israel. On the contrary, the vast bulk of Hezbollah’s fighting force is looking south toward Israel, not east and north into Syria.
• Hezbollah’s eastern Lebanon supporters to AFP: We’re ready to be cannon fodder in Syria.
• In his first public interview since stepping down as the IDF chief of staff, Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi discussed Syria, Iran and Turkey with CNN‘s Christiane Amanpour.
• Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah tacitly acknowledged on TV that Hezbollah’s fighting with the Assad regime in Syria. AFP cited the money quote:
“A large number of (rebels) were preparing to capture villages inhabited by Lebanese,” so it was “normal to offer every possible and necessary aid to help the Syrian army, popular committees (pro-government militia) and the Lebanese,” Hassan Nasrallah said in a televised speech.
More coverage of Nasrallah’s speech at the Daily Star.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei controls an substantial portion of the Iranian economy through his various holdings and foundations. The most notable foundations directly controlled by him are Imam Khomeini Foundation, Mostazafan Foundation, Abdolazim Shrine, and Astan Qods. The heads of these foundations are directly appointed by the Supreme Leader and therefore, they do not pay tax, and they cannot be audited by the parliament or by the judiciary system. They operate as personal properties of Khamenei, outside the normal structure of the Iranian state. . .
If the West truly wants to add some bite to its sanctions program before Iran builds its first nuclear bomb, directly targeting the Supreme Leader’s commercial holdings is a good next step.
• Must read: Andrew Roberts (Wall St. Journal via Google News) says ancient and modern history validate Israel’s right to launch a pre-emptive strike on Iran. Roberts cites numerous examples from Europe alone in more detail.
In the Middle Eastern context, Goliath ought to have charged down David long before he was able to employ his slingshot and river pebbles to such devastating effect. The Egyptians should have attacked the Hittites as soon as the Egyptians suspected they were developing the chariot as a weapon of war. Had the Mayans and Incas assaulted the conquistadores as soon as they stepped ashore—and thus before the Spaniards could deploy their muskets, horses, metal armor, hand-held firearms and smallpox to crush them—they might not have seen their civilizations wiped out . . .
The slingshot, chariot, musket, cannon, machine-guns: All were used to devastating effect against opponents that seemed to be stronger with conventional weaponry but were overcome by the weaker power with new weapons that weren’t pre-emptively destroyed. Since President Obama’s second inaugural address has made it painfully obvious that the U.S. will not act to prevent Iran from enriching more than 250 kilos of 20% enriched uranium, enough for a nuclear bomb, Israel will have to.
• Don’t be surprised if Ahmadinejad winds up under house arrest, says Meir Javedanfar.
• You’ve heard plenty about Israel’s offshore gas. But did you know Israel could become an oil giant too? You read that right. Karl Vick of Time introduces us to oil shale, which is also known as kerogen. Who knew?
“We think that within a decade we can get 50,000 to 100,000 barrels a day,” says Relik Shafir, IEI chief executive officer.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.