Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Today’s Lead Screed: Bibi’s rush to blame Iran for the Bulgaria bombing without evidence suggests that Israel’s capable of “fixing intelligence” to justify an attack on Iran. So argues Ray McGovern, a former CIA analyst and long-time critic of Israel. He writes in a Baltimore Sun op-ed:
As we saw 10 years ago with respect to Iraq, if one intends to whip up support for war, one needs to find a casus belli — however thin a pretext it might be. How about juxtaposing “weapons of mass destruction” with terrorism. That worked to prepare for war on Iraq, and similar rhetorical groundwork for an attack on Iran is now being laid in Israel . . . .
The likelihood of hostilities with Iran before the presidential election in November is increasing. Beware of “fixed” intelligence.
2. Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi makes first contact with Israel. Shimon Peres’ office confirmed that Mursi’s letter was delivered by the Egyptian embassy in Tel Aviv. But the Jerusalem Post says don’t go overboard reading the tea leaves:
Another diplomatic official said it was “good” that Mursi responded to Peres. But he cautioned about reading too much into what he said was a very general message that did not leave a lot of room for a continuation of the interaction.
In earlier reports (like AP), Egyptian officials denied Mursi sent a letter.
3. The threat of Syrian chemical weapons may give new urgency for Jerusalem and Ankara to fix their relationship and bring about an Israeli apology to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara affair.
According to the Times of Israel, if Israel launches air strikes on Syrian WMD stockpiles or convoys, it will be preferable “with a mollified Turkey across the border than with a Turkey still highly hostile to Israel and well-placed to intervene.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz met to discuss economic issues. According to Reuters, Israel and the Palestinians “agreed on a revamp of revenue collection that may help relieve the Palestinian government’s deepening debt crisis.”
• The Guardian picks up on the Central Bureau of Statistics latest figures for government spending in the West Bank.
• I was impressed with the frankness of this France 24 look at Gaza life under Hamas.