• Massive car bomb in Beirut Hezbollah neighborhood killed 21 people and injured more than 200. A group calling itself “The Brigade of Aisha, the Mother of the Faithful,” claimed responsibility for the blast, but some Lebanese officials — including the president — blamed Israel. According to Avi Issacharoff, nobody really believes that, so why the lip service?
The reason for these claims is obvious: These politicians, including Suleiman, are worried that an attack like this will prompt a particularly violent Hezbollah retaliation. In pointing the finger at Israel, they are trying to manufacture a common enemy for all Lebanese. Suleiman, who only days ago demanded the disarming of Hezbollah, understands that an attack like this in Dahieh could eventually lead to a complete takeover by the Shi’ite Hezbollah in Lebanon and a cleaning out of all pockets of opposition — be they Sunni extremists or rival politicians.
On Saturday, Lebanese security seized another car laden with 250 kg of explosives and wired to go in a Beirut suburb.
• Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said he’s willing to personally go to Syria to fight. Have a happy martyrdom, big guy!
• An increasing number of college-age Golan Druze are seeking Israeli citizenship. YNet notes the significance:
And the increasing number of citizenship applications in the Golan Heights is also good for the Jewish state, according to Dr. Kedar who said more Israeli citizenship holders in the Golan Heights could help Israel’s claim to the territory.
• More commentary/analysis, see:
- Mordechai Kedar unravels The Curse of the Sinai.
- Spengler on why American fumbling in Egypt complicates Israeli-Palestinian peace.
- Yaakov Lappin examines Israeli-Egyptian balancing acts.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Iran has 18,000 uranium centrifuges, according to the country’s outgoing nuclear chief.
• The Jerusalem Post published a scathing op-ed by Jonathan Pollard. Imprisoned for giving classified information to Israel, Pollard takes Israel to task for releasing Palestinian prisoners, withdrawing from Gaza, and being “befuddled by moral ambiguity.”
• This isn’t how Al Jazeera America envisioned its Tuesday launch: American internet users who wanted to see Al Jazeera English’s coverage of Egypt on YouTube were told the videos were no longer available to them. Gigaom explains why:
The blocking, which began on Thursday, is part of a concession that Al Jazeera made to get pay TV operators to carry its new Al Jazeera America network, which is scheduled to launch next Tuesday. With the launch, Al Jazeera will also start to block U.S. viewers from accessing its international live stream. Al Jazeera had previously said that it was going to disable access to the live stream, but many viewers will likely be surprised by this extending to news clips on YouTube as well – especially because these clips have been a big reason that people are intrigued with Al Jazeera’s take on TV news in the first place . . .
It’s somewhat ironic that Al Jazeera is forced to shut off access to these outlets just as the world’s attention is once again focused in Cairo — especially since not every pay TV operator is going to carry Al Jazeera America when it launches in a few days.
• FYI, British authorities are investigating Rupert Murdoch’s News International as a “corporate suspect,” in the year-old phone-hacking scandal. The Independent adds:
The development has caused pandemonium at the upper echelons of the Murdoch media empire.
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.