Iran Undercuts Hamas

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Hamas can’t be happy about this. Although it’s in the process of reconciling with Iran, the LA Times reports that Iranian aid to Gaza is being distributed by the rival Islamic Jihad.

That’s created an opportunity for Islamic Jihad, another armed group that has presented a growing challenge to Hamas’ authority in Gaza. Instead of giving arms and money to Hamas, Iranians have largely shifted their support to Islamic Jihad.

On Tuesday, the Islamic Jihad Relief Society began distributing Iranian food aid valued at $2 million to Gaza residents during the holy month of Ramadan.

Dozens of men and women lined up in front of trucks carrying pictures of the Iranian flag.

2. Eric Burdon, the 60’s rock star, arrived in Israel and cleared the air about his show’s earlier cancellation. The Independent writes:

“It was not my decision to cancel the show, it was my manager’s, who as a result of lots of threating emails she received, was genuinely afraid for my life,” he said.

“I’m not afraid to preform here and very happy to be back in Israel”

He continued: “Above all, it is important for me to convey a message that the past is not important, and the most important thing is and I came to Israel, as I wished to.”

3. One of the Hezbollah suspects wanted for the Bulgaria bombing is apparently still active on Facebook, according to the Long War Journal. If investigators can track down Meliad Farah through social media, I’d give that a big thumbs up.

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4. Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology: Fadi Arouri crosses the line between journalism and activism.

Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology

Israel and the Palestinians

Peace talks began yesterday. Washington Post coverage suffices.

According to Haaretz, the US gave letters of assurance to both Israel and the PA.

The content of the letters remains classified, yet it likely addresses the issues of borders and refugees.

In the letters, the U.S. apparently clarifies to the Palestinians that the American position is that negotiations should be carried out on the basis of the 1967 line with land swaps, and makes clear to Israel the U.S. position is that the future borders will not be identical to the 1967 lines but include changes in accordance to the reality on the ground.

Moreover, the letter to Israel apparently included an American declaration stating Israel is a Jewish state and that the U.S. position is that the Palestinian refugees should return to the future Palestinian state.


A White House official told Haaretz that the US pushed hard on the peace talks in order to avoid a “train wreck” at the UN later this year.

Avi Bell responds to the latest monster essay from the New York Review of Books. ‘Nuff said.

If Israel refuses to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it refuses to negotiate.

If the Palestinians refuse to negotiate, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians can see negotiations with Israel are pointless.

If Israel makes preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because it is trying to avoid negotiations.

If the Palestinians make preconditions to negotiations, that proves Israel is not interested in peace, because the Palestinians have to force Israel to be serious in the negotiations.

For commentary/analysis, see the Christian Science Monitor, Yossi Alpher, Avi Issacharoff, Herb Keinon, Noah Pollak, Ami Ayalon, David Horovitz, and Amnon Abramovich.

Rest O’ the Roundup

atomic bomb Several news services picked up on an a report estimating that by mid-2014, “Iran will have “the technical capability to produce sufficient weapon-grade uranium from its safeguarded stocks of low enriched uranium for a nuclear explosive, without being detected.” The original report‘s at the Institute for Science and International Security.

Worth reading: Andre Le Gallo (UPI), a former CIA official stationed in Iran, says lessons from the Iranian Revolution still apply to American dealings with both Iran and Egypt.

A NY Times staff-ed takes Egypt to task for all the violence and repression from the army leaders. But it also takes a shot at US timidity on the issue.

Washington has been doing less than its share. Excessive concerns with maintaining good relations with Egypt’s generals and fears that a loosened military grip on Sinai and the Gaza border might throw off nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have wrongly muffled America’s public voice.

A similar Washington Post staff-ed isn’t pleased either.

(Image of Burdon via Flickr/MitchD50, atomic bomb via Wikimedia Commons/SyntaxError55)

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

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