Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Did the IAEA reach a real deal or a raw deal with Iran? Would the IDF strike Iran the day after US elections? Will Israelis be satisified with an Olympic spokesman’s explanation against a proposed minute of silence?
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Iranian Atomic Urgency
• The IAEA says it has reached an agreement with Iran on sending inspectors back to Iran. But AP notes that IAEA chief Yukiya Amano didn’t “seal a deal.” What’s really at stake?
By compromising on the IAEA probe, Iranian negotiators in Baghdad could argue that the onus was now on the other side to show some flexibility and temper its demands. Although Amano’s trip and the talks in Baghdad are formally separate, Iran hopes progress with the IAEA can boost its chances Wednesday in pressing the U.S. and Europe to roll back sanctions that have hit Iran’s critical oil exports and blacklisted the country from international banking networks.
It was unclear, though, how far the results achieved by Amano would serve that purpose, with his trip failing to seal a deal, despite his upbeat comments.
• Worth reading: I liked how Geneive Abdo summed up Israel’s view of the nuclear diplomacy in this CNN commentary. Judging from her conclusion, you should mark your calendars for Wednesday, Nov. 7 — the day after US elections — for a possible Israeli strike on Iran:
The Israeli clock has already run out. Whatever patience Israel is demonstrating is merely to respect President Obama’s wish to get through the November election without an incident.
But it is likely that after November, there will no longer be a pretense of optimism from any side.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Columnist Frida Ghitis says Israel’s national unity coalition “creates a world of tantalizing opportunities” for peace with the Palestinians.
I hope Netanyahu will offer an olive branch, a way for Abbas to return to talks without seeming to capitulate.
Given that his stance has achieved nothing and Netanyahu is essentially assured of staying in office until at least late 2013, Abbas may want to reconsider, especially since elections in the U.S. promise even more of the same, or worse, for Palestinians. Either Obama wins, in which case he will try to pressure an even stronger Netanyahu, or Obama will lose and a Republican president will be much less helpful to Palestinians.
In the meantime, any hopes Abbas had the Arab uprisings would prove a huge help to Palestinians have not materialized.