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Today’s Top Stories
2. The two most notable personalities vying for the Iranian presidency were diqualified from running. Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei was the protege of outgoing president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad; Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani served as president in the 90s and might have attracted significant liberal reformist votes.
According to the BBC and Wall St. Journal, of 686 people who formally registered their candidacy, only eight are being permitted to run — and none of them will rock the boat with the mullahs. Meir Javedanfar assesses what it all means. Meet the Great Eight.
3. Hamas to Egypt: We’ll shut down all the smuggling tunnels once a commercial crossing opens up. The more Gaza’s drawn into Egypt’s orbit, the less responsibility Israel has to take for the strip. Maan News notes:
Egypt’s reopening of the Rafah crossing on its border with Gaza in May 2011 eased travel for Palestinians, many of whom had not been able to leave the enclave since 2007. However, commercial goods do not pass through the terminal, and Palestinians in Gaza still rely on the tunnels.
4.Participants in HonestReporting’s Spring mission arrived for a week to meet the people behind the headlines. On day one:
- Times of Israel editor David Horovitz shared his insights on the latest developments.
- Aryeh Green of MediaCentral talked about working with the foreign press corps.
- Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich of the IDF spokesperson’s unit discussed the info war.
Alex Margolin’s tweeting some of the mission’s key activities. Follow the mission at @HonestReporting.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas unveiled its newest teaching curriculum. Textbooks for grades 8-10 will address “plans to liberate Palestine and the legitimacy and various forms of resistance.” According to the Jerusalem Post, the books will go into use next school year.
• Worth reading: Toronto Star columnist Vivian Bercovici slams the BDS movement for hijacking the language of liberalism to demonize Israel.
• Residual coverage of al-Dura from CNN and the NY Daily News; residual commentary from Ronn Torossian, Algemeiner, and The Guardian‘s Rachel Shabi. Then there’s this otherwise decent CNN video with this snarky title: Did Israel lie about child’s death?
• Expect more forced haircuts in Hamas police stations. Maan News reports that Gaza security forces have been instructed to uphold “standards of manliness.”
• Lithuanian foreign minister to Jerusalem Post:
If products grown or manufactured in settlements are not properly labeled as such, it could spark moves in some European countries to boycott all Israeli goods . . .
- Egypt coordinating Sinai military crackdown with Israel.
- Germany supports blacklisting Hezbollah.
- How will Iran react to upcoming IAEA report?