Prisoner Release Spin Games Begin

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Let the spin begin: A PA letter obtained by Haaretz urges its diplomats to emphasize that prisoners to be released are “freedom fighters” and “political prisoners.” You can guess who the real terrorists are:

The letter, which was distributed by the Palestinian Embassy in Santiago, Chile, a day after the cabinet’s decision on the prisoner release, claimed that Israel is the one terrorizing the Palestinians, and not vice-versa. “A terrorist is someone who forcefully occupies the other’s land, expels him and comes to live in his place,” the letter read, “…not the Palestinian political prisoner, the freedom fighter.”

For more spin games, the London Jewish Chronicle draws attention to statements by PA officials Nabil Abu Rudeinah and Yasser Abed Rabbo that any peace deal would only bind the Palestinians temporarily.

2. Toby Dershowitz notes that Bahrain is now blocking the website of Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV, as well as other sites associated with Al-Qaida. In particular, Hezbollah is accused of using Al-Manar to mobilize Bahrain’s opposition. Is the EU paying attention?

3. Iran’s new defense minister, Brig. Gen. Hossein Dehghan, was behind the 1983 suicide bombing of the US Marines barracks in Beirut. According to the JCPA, Dehghan likely gave the order to Hezbollah’s Imad Mughniyeh, who sent the bombers. Simultaneous bombings killed 241 American servicemen, 58 French paratroopers, a Lebanese civilian, and her four children.

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4. AP’s He Said/She Said Morality: What’s the Associated Press to do when it doesn’t want to judge Palestinian terror, but can’t ignore it?

5. Big Media Gives a Thumbs Up to Settlement Activity: The foreign press corps lauds Palestinian development of privately owned land while slamming Israel for doing the same.


Rest O’ the Roundup

Israel published a list of the 26 Palestinian prisoners to be released on Tuesday. YNet republished the list along with each one’s dirty deeds. Good thing too, because you wouldn’t know from the BBC‘s coverage that anyone other than Lior Tobel was killed by these people.

Reuven Berko on the mysterious explosion that killed a bunch of Sinai jihadis plannng a rocket attack on Israel:

. . .it is not inconceivable that the terror attack planned for Ramadan was meant as an attempt by Hamas to aid Morsi’s Brotherhood, its benefactor, to embarrass and further destabilize the Cairo regime.

Hamas seems to have based its operations on three premises. The first is that targeting Israelis in the belief that Egypt’s internal turmoil will prevent Israel from retaliating creates a win-win situation for Hamas. The second is that multiple casualties in Israel could result in an Israeli strike in Sinai, which would demand the new regime’s attention and ease the pressure on Gaza. And the third is that even if the terror attack is thwarted, Sissi and his army would be seen as collaborating with Israel, further discrediting them and bolstering Morsi’s position.

Meanwhile, UPI reports that Hamas has 600 operatives in the Sinai. See also Reuters.

The BBC’s man in Gaza transferred to Australia. Jon Donnison wrote the de rigueur goodbye to Gaza piece before diving into the Aussie election campaign. Vital statistics, indeed.

Jon Donnison

Ehud Barak discussed the Iranian threat with CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria.

Israel, Cyprus and Greece signed a memorandum of understanding on energy and water resources. A Cyprus Mail staff-ed lauds the deal.

Israel’s Maariv newspaper is in serious financial pain:

According to the agreement, the management will dismiss some 50 print workers in the coming days, and will fire an additional 20-30 journalists in the future.

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

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