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Today’s Top Stories
1. A reality check for the minute of silence push: The LA Times invited writers from its parent company’s newspapers to comment on the Olympic issue. Last I looked, only Barry Stavro (LA Times) and Shannon Owens (Orlando Sentinel) weighed in. Readers didn’t bother to post a single comment.
The minute of silence is a worthy fight, but the American public is preoccupied with the presidential campaign, the Aurora massacre, and Penn State. At least Bob Costas will be behind the mic at the opening ceremonies.
2. The EU shot down an Israeli request to designate Hezbollah as a terror organization. According to AFP, EU officials buy into the notion that the Iranian-backed group’s political activities make it legit:
But Kozakou-Marcoullis said Hezbollah was an organisation comprising a party as well as an armed wing and was “active in Lebanese politics”.
“Taking into account this and other aspects there is no consensus for putting Hezbollah on the list of terrorist organizations,” she said.
The EU would consider this if there were tangible evidence of Hezbollah engaging in acts of terror, she added.
3. Irish Times: David Cronin, a self-described journalist and Palestinian activist, sought to make a citizens arrest of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in Brussels. Cronin charged Lieberman with “the crime of apartheid” before being hustled away. Cronin groused that guards confiscated his press card. Tsk.
Cronin previously tried to arrest Tony Blair and was caught on video trying to arrest Lieberman once before. The latter incident made for some messy coverage in The Guardian, where Cronin was once a contributing writer. I wonder if The Guardian will pick up on its hapless alumnus’ stunt.
Nevertheless, even the slight chance that the two might share the same track was quashed on Tuesday when a report by the Iran’s official news agency, Fars, claimed: “In a satanic step, Zionist media published the words of the head of Iran’s Olympic Mission who announced that the Iranian athletes will compete against the Zionist regime’s representatives at the Olympics.”
• The Palestinians, not surprisingly, strongly oppose an Olympic minute of silence. The Christian Science Monitor‘s Ben Lynfield writes:
But in the poisoned atmosphere of Palestinian-Israeli relations, the Israeli request is seen by Palestinians as a political stunt. Leading Palestinian politicians oppose the moment of silence, viewing it as a ploy to cast Israel as the victim in the conflict and to distract attention from Israeli practices today, including the military occupation of the West Bank.
“They want to remind the world of what happened a long time ago, to show they were suffering, so that the world will focus on other issues and that they will not be seen as the aggressive side,” says Hasan Khreisheh, deputy speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council.