• It’s that time of the year when the BBC polls the public to find out the world’s most popular country. Spoiler alert. Israel ranks at the bottom, only ahead of North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran.
• Google thinks that residents of Gush Etziyon live in Palestine. According to Israel HaYom:
Web users have apparently been astounded to discover that while trying to log into Google to perform searches, the search engine has been redirecting them to google.ps, the Palestinian handle, instead of google.co.il, as in the rest of Israel.
A two-state solution will be at hand when Palestinian leaders endorse it—consistently, in Arabic, to the Palestinian people and to the Arab world at large, in children’s textbooks and at their summer camps.
• Cassandra Wilkinson, a columnist at The Australian, says the anti-Israel BDS movement is just a continuation of centuries-old hatred, and hopes that the left will re-examine its alliance with Israel’s enemies.
• Worth reading: Diana Bletter shares her thoughts and fears after dusting off her family’s government-issued gas masks.
• France supports blacklisting Hezbollah. After years of terror against Israel, Paris wants to blacklist the organization because of its support for Assad. Twisted? Yeah, but I’ll take it anyway.
• Israel has managed to stay out of Syria’s civil war for two years, but with Assad, Hezbollah, Iran and Russia upping the ante, Jerusalem may have to devise a new policy. The NY Times examines Israel’s options, such as creating a buffer zone, establishing a proxy force, or even directly intervening. All have their own risks, but so does continuing the status quo.
• UN officials to AFP: Two-thirds of the Palestinians living in Syria have been displaced by the civil war.
Between 12 and 15 percent of the Palestinian refugee population has fled the country altogether, Grandi added.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Iran induces Internet coma ahead of elections: Virtual Pirate Networks (VPNs) are popular for circumventing regime filters, but they come with a risk:
This may all sound like a good setup at first, but in the long run, there is no telling who is behind the distribution of the VPNs to black market sellers in Iran.
• Time assesses the Iranian presidential campaign.
• Venezuelan TV personality Mario Silva blames the Mossad for faking his voice in a damning recording. Since political rivals uncovered the unflattering tape, Silva’s taken a break from broadcasting “for health reasons.” JTA coverage.
(Image of laptop via Flickr/Mike Licht)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.