Israel Daily News Stream 06/04/2012

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Iranian Atomic Urgency

 Big Media’s still buzzing over a  NY Times report that President Obama ordered wave of cyberattacks on Iran. Israel has admitted boosted its own deterrence by confirming the IDF is active in cyberspace. The UK joined the circling of the wagons: Defense Minister Nick Harvey called pre-emptive cyber strikes a “civilised option,” as quoted by AFP.

 Worth reading: Mutually Assured Cyberdestruction.

“Somebody has crossed the Rubicon.”

 While we’re on the subject of cyber security, the Washington Post‘s look at a search engine called Shodan makes for very sobering reading.

Dueling op-eds at the Arizona Daily Star assess whether the  West should ease sanctions on Iran. No, says Lawrence Haas, “because sanctions are the world’s lone remaining non-military tool to prevent the regime from developing nuclear weaponry.” But Professor John Quigley argues yes — and only because it would be a good faith gesture:

To heighten the ambiguity of the situation, a regional state perennially at odds with Iran, namely Israel, already possesses nuclear weapons, and in condition to be launched at any moment.

This gives Iran a perfect reason to acquire them – as a deterrent to Israel. The major impetus to acquire nuclear weapons is to keep an adversary from using them. The Western powers do not pressure Israel to divest of its nuclear weapons.

Related reading: Iran and Israel: Who’s the Bigger Threat?

 Times of London columnist Tim Montgomerie (paywall) is visiting Israel. Today’s column describes the nation’s mood.

 Josh Mitnick of the Wall St. Journal catches up with Israeli singer Rita Jahanforuz. Her Persian language album is a big hit among Iranians around the world and even authorities in Tehran have taken notice.

Arab Spring Winter

Is there anybody at Damascus University and/or London’s Western Eye Hospital who can revoke Bashar Assad’s medical degree? I wouldn’t want him treating me after hearing Assad’s spin on the bloody crackdown:

“When a surgeon … cuts and cleans and amputates, and the wound bleeds, do we say to him your hands are stained with blood? Or do we thank him for saving the patient?”

The Syrian government’s investigation into Houla massacre exonerated itself, notes The Lede. But a defecting air force officer told The Observer he personally witnessed pro-regime militiamen –  the Shabiha — do it.

Assad’s taking a beating on the op-ed pages. The exasperation’s most palpable in The Economist‘s staff-ed, and in Haroon Siddiqui’s latest Toronto Star column.

Sinai Bedouins released two kidnapped US tourists. The LA Times says it’s not clear if an imprisoned Bedouin drug dealer was freed according to the kidnappers demands.

The Independent‘s staff-ed on Egypt: Nothing’s really changed.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Opening ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics: members of the US team carry a flag recovered from the World Trade Center.

Dvir Abramovich (Sydney Morning Herald) says the Munich Olympics victims indeed deserve a minute of our time. There’s enough precedent in recent Olympic history:

Remembering deceased Olympic athletes during the games is not unprecedented. Two years ago, at the Winter Games in Vancouver, a moment of silence was held during the opening ceremony for Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died several days earlier in a training accident.

And in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, members of the US team were allowed to walk into the stadium with a flag recovered from the rubble of the World Trade Centre.

Pinch me: Reuters says there’s even more offshore gas and oil off the Israeli coast than previously thought. We’re talking about “an estimated 6.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.4 billion barrels of oil.”

(Image of flag via US Navy/Preston Keres)

For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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