BBC Still Won’t Call Jerusalem “Israel’s Capital”

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Today’s Top Stories:

1. Syria’s uncertainly secured chemical/biological weapons are increasing everybody’s jitters. The Media Line talked those in the know, while YNet/Reuters picks up on the IDF drawing up contingency plans to seize the arms if necessary.

Meanwhile, an army officer who defected told Reuters that Assad’s already moving the WMDs “for possible use in a military retaliation for the killing of four top security officials.” If it makes you feel better, The Daily Beast‘s Eli Lake reports that the CIA’s “scrambling to get a handle on the locations of the country’s chemical and biological weapons.”

2.  Three weeks before the Munich Olympics, a Palestinian informant tipped off German authorities that terrorists would stage an attack. The Times of Israel picked up on the German media buzz:

The Foreign Ministry in Bonn took the tip-off sufficiently seriously to pass it on to the secret service in Munich and urge that “all possible security measures” be taken.

But the Munich authorities failed to act on the tip, which was passed on to Bonn by the German Embassy in Beirut . . .

On Sunday, Der Spiegel said it obtained hitherto secret reports by authorities, embassy cables and minutes of cabinet meetings that demonstrate just how amateurish the German officials were ahead of the September 5 attack, which also claimed the life of one German policeman.

3. Jerusalem can’t get no satisfaction from the BBC. After the Beeb’s Olympic web site identified “East Jerusalem” as the capital of Palestine while not labeling any capital for Israel), the BBC tepidly updated the site; the Prime Minister’s Office isn’t satisfied by the revisions: neither am I. The Times of Israel obtained a copy of Mark Regev’s followup letter of complaint:

“Unlike all the other countries listed, in Israel’s case, our capital Jerusalem is not classified by the BBC as such but rather as a ‘Seat of government.’ I kindly request that Israel’s capital be identified accurately on your website.”

Israel/Olympic Angles

Times of London (paywall): Fearing that Israeli athletes will be terror targets, the Mossad’s in London hunting Iranian-backed terrorists. But defense official Amos Gilad says that’s all hooey. Naturally, more papers picked up on the Times’ sexy allegations than on Gilad’s boring denials as quoted in the Jerusalem Post . . .

“Intelligence doesn’t work that way,” Gilad told Army Radio, saying “you don’t send dozens of agents hunt down ghosts.”

Olympics boss Jacques Rogge reiterates: No minute of silence. But President Obama came out in favor. And David Feith (Wall Street Journal via Google News) gives Bob Costas and his planned minute of silence a thumbs up. Feith also reminds us of the Munich massacre’s media bonanza for the Palestinians:

The Munich attack was an unprecedented media event—likely more so than its perpetrators could have even dreamed, as it unfolded over almost 24 hours of live television. It ended with now-famous words from Jim McKay of ABC news: “Our worst fears have been realized tonight. They’ve now said that there were 11 hostages—two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning, nine were killed at the airport tonight. They’re all gone.”

Before his death in 2008, McKay spoke frequently about Munich, sometimes alongside relatives of the slain athletes. (“That day was the end of innocence in sports,” he wrote in 2002.) Now Bob Costas takes up McKay’s admirable tradition—before tens of millions of TV viewers.

Continued on Page 2

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