Syrians Battle for Quneitra Crossing

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Syrian soldiers and rebels are fighting for control of the Israeli border crossing at Quneitra. Rebels seized control this morning, but the army took back the crossing. UN forces at the crossing were evacuated. The battle was continuing as this post went to press. Quneitra is the only border crossing between Israel and Syria.

2. The IDF inaugurated its first company of soldiers responsible for filming combat soldiers at work. The Jerusalem Post quoted IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai telling the soldiers at a ceremony marking the end of training about the importance of their work:

“In addition to military achievements, perception has a critical role. One can win the battle but lose [in the battle for] public perception.”

3. President Obama appointed Samantha Power as his ambassador to the UN. The Lede picks up on an Israeli skeleton in her closet, but several heavyweight Israel supporters — including Sen. John McCain, Joe Lieberman, and Alan Dershowitz — told The Cable she’s changed, and that Power’s views on human rights and intervention make her a terrific choice to shake up the UN.

Joe Hyams

Israel and the Palestinians

JTA: Yasser Arafat’s getting a square named after him in the southern French city of Belfort:

Mayor Etienne Butzbach of Belfort, in eastern France, said in an article published Monday in the online edition of the local newspaper L’alsace that the homage to Arafat “is connected to the signing of the Oslo Accords.”

Butzbach, a socialist, was responding to protests by the city’s Jewish leaders, who said recognizing Arafat would be akin to honoring terrorism. Belfort already has named one of its public squares after the slain Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Worth reading: Happy Israel: Why time is on the Jewish state’s side.

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Trudy Rubin weighs in on the peace process.

Arab Spring Winter

US intelligence believes three Russian warships now in the Mediterranean are carrying weapons to Syria — possibly including S-300 missiles. CNN got the scoop.

Is Hezbollah seeking to set up shop in the Syrian Golan Heights?

• Hezbollah Unmasked is a terrific Saudi Gazette staff-ed.

No longer will Hezbollah be able to present itself convincingly as a champion of any Arab cause. No longer will it be able to pretend that its men are dying for the rest of the Arab world.

Ireland leads EU opposition to blacklisting Hezbollah.

For commentary/analysis, see the NY Times, McClatchy News, Tablet, and the Daily Star.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Israel-Vatican deal on land use said imminent

Heads up: The Washington Post is launching a paywall next week.

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

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