Israel Daily News Stream 05/13/2012

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah to Haaretz: Only Hezbollah will decide if it’s an Iranian stooge.

Hamas foreign minister Mohammed Awad is visiting Tehran. Details at AFP.

National Unity Politics

Israel HaYom scored first post-unity interview with Shaul Mofaz.

Reporter Karin Brulliard of the Washington Post points to signs of a religious/secular culture war stemming from the unity deal.

I don’t see how this over-the-top McClatchy News headline is born out by Sheera Frenkel’s dispatch:

For commentary/analysis, see a  Washington Post staff-ed, Israel HaYom, Charles Krauthammer, Fareed Zakaria, Niv Ellis (Christian Science Monitor), Nir Eisikovits (Christian Science Monitor), and Hagai Segal (YNet).

Arab Spring Winter

En route to Gaza, George Galloway’s aid convoy arrived in Syria. The Times of London (paywall) writes:

The trumpeting of the convoy by Syrian state media appeared to confirm fears among activists that the visit would be used to burnish the reputation of President Assad at a time when he is facing growing international isolation . . .

Sources close to the mission said that the decision to go though Syria has caused tensions in the group in recent days, and that several participants had left the convoy while it was in Turkey.

Asharq al-Awsat: When Bashar Assad realized he was losing support of prominent businessmen, he did what any good godfather would do: He made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

It is well known that illustrious and prominent Syrian merchants and businessmen are working – behind their amiable facades – to the advantage of well-known officials, in what can be seen as marriage of convenience, however a marriage that lacks customs, laws and system because for these businessmen, the end justifies the means. This is why al-Assad is today witnessing an increasing number of businessmen defecting from the regime; a phenomenon that did not receive the same media coverage given to the defections from the al-Assad regime’s army.

A Washington Post staff-ed slams international dickering over Syria:

More than 1,000 men, women and children have died since Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, declared the Annan plan “the best way to end the violence.”

Rest O’ the Roundup

A woman facing her home’s demolition blew herself up — in China. That would explains why AP reported a scant four paragraphs on the incident. Can you imagine the word count if this happened in Israel?

LA Times correspondent Ed Sanders discusses Israeli naval issues with Capt. Sassi Hodeda, 47, the senior naval officer in charge of developing electronic combat systems. This Q&A touches on the deterrence value of submarines, the next generation of unmanned surface vehicles (USVs), and how Israel might defend its offshore gas fields.

The EU’s financing a $4 million environmental project to rescue the Dead Sea. Details at the Daily Telegraph.

For more, see the previous Israel Daily News Stream.

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