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. Egypt believes Hamas knew about the Kerem Shalom attack ahead of time. Cairo also doubts Hamas will close down the smuggling tunnels if the Rafah crossing were opened 24/7. More on all that at Haaretz (paywall). Meanwhile, Hamas lashed out at Cairo for closing the border. The border will be open for the upcoming Eid al-Fitr holiday, however.
2. South Africa’s deputy foreign minister called on his citizens to boycott Israel. The Mail & Guardian reports that a delegation of KwaZulu-Natal mayors and municipal officials already called off a scheduled trip. More on Israel’s diplomatic reaction at the Jerusalem Post.
3. An Obama administration source told Israel’s Channel 2 news not to assume that the US will finish off a war that Israel starts. From the Times of Israel:
The US feels a profound commitment to the defense of Israel, and so could be relied upon to protect Israel defensively from the consequences of an Israeli attack on Iran, the TV channel quoted the source as saying. But the thrust of the US source’s message to Israel, the TV report said, was “don’t rely on us to finish the job.”
Sinai-Gaza Terror Ties
• Elliott Abrams: Morsi will need Israeli help to take back the Sinai:
Law and order and government control in Sinai require real Egyptian-Israeli intelligence and military cooperation, something else it will be difficult for Morsi to maintain for ideological reasons. Morsi has just chosen a whole new group of military leaders and has also replaced the head of the intelligence service. What instructions will they now receive: keep up that cooperation with Israel, or stop working with the Zionist enemy?
• For more commentary/analysis on the Egyptian situation, see the NY Times.
Israel and the Palestinians
• I always speculated that The Guardian is the most widely read newspaper at the BBC. Now The Commentator confirmed and quantified the fact. Nearly 60,000 copies of the paper are delivered to the Beeb each day — paid for by UK taxpayer money. The Guardian, which won the 2011 Dishonest Reporting Award, is a declining left-wing paper.
After responding to a Freedom of Information response seen by The Commentator, we’re able to determine the papers of choice amongst the fair and balanced staff at the BBC.
Not surprisingly The Guardian tops the list with 59,829 bought between April 1st, 2010 and February 28th, 2011. In addition to this, “Auntie” bought 43,709 copies of the struggling Independent. This compares to 48,968 copies of the Telegraph and 45,553 copies of the Daily Mail.
• Palestinian tycoon Munib al-Masri reacently met with Israeli businessman Rami Levy (no slouch himself) at one of Levy’s West Bank supermarkets. Masri’s plugging the Arab League’s 2002 peace initiative and you have to admire his effort for dialogue. And the thanks he gets?
• The Israeli Electric Corp. is threatening to cut electricity to the West Bank over $105 million in unpaid debts. Maan News writes:
A major reason for the accumulation of debt is that refugee camps in the West Bank refuse to pay their bills, Muslih said. There is also a disparity in the buying and selling tariff of electricity, he added.
The threatened cut to supplies would affect areas in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Ramallah and Jericho, Muslih said, adding that power cuts in the West Bank could become as frequent as in the Gaza Strip.
• I was a little worked up by Jodi Rudoren’s tweet till I confirmed that 127 olim on the flight are going straight to the army. Palestinian terrorists often justify killing Israeli kids by calling them “soldiers to be.” Free lance journo Ben White tweeted his sour grapes.
• Worth reading: Philippe Assouline delves into a parallel language invented by Palestinian activists and their supporters. Check out his little dictionary of Palestinese.
• Over at Open Zion, Lyn Julius responds (again) to Lara Friedman about Jewish refugees from Arab countries.