France Launches Arafat Murder Investigation

Israel and the Palestinians

AP reports that the PA’s delaying its UN statehood push. Haaretz (paywall) explains that the PA prefers to avoid a messy confrontation with President Obama before the elections.

The BDS movement is howling over a new California state assembly resolution. AP writes:

An Assembly resolution urging California colleges and universities to squelch nascent anti-Semitism also encouraged educators to crack down on demonstrations against Israel, angering advocates for Muslim students . . .

The resolution, which is purely symbolic and does not carry policy implications, also condemns the suggestion that Israel is a “racist” state and that Jews “wield excessive power over American foreign policy.” The resolution characterizes the student campaign to pressure the University of California system to divest from Israel as anti-Semitic, and applauds university leaders’ refusal to consider it.

Simon Plosker joined a group of Diaspora Jews visiting Palestinians in Nabi Saleh. Why did he come away with a feeling of discomfit?

References were made to the occupation of 1948. Not 1967 when Nabi Saleh fell under Israeli control having formerly been occupied by Jordan, but the year of Israel’s rebirth. “Non-violent resistance” was a strategic choice while it was stressed that under international law, the Palestinians were entitled to use “all necessary means” to resist occupation. I remembered hearing similar sentiments from Palestinian terrorists after Israeli buses and cafes had been targeted by suicide bombers.

Clearly, whatever grievances the protesters of Nabi Saleh had with Israel, it wasn’t just over land issues or relations with the settlement of Halamish. It wasn’t over where the borders of two states should lie. The problem was with Zionism and Israel itself.

Sinai Security Situation

Egyptian forces killed 11 jihadis, arrested 23 more and seized weapon caches. The Times of Israel says some of the boxes found had Israeli markings.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

The Non-Aligned Movement summit begins tomorrow. The Scotsman predicts what’s going to happen:

Iran is using the summit to make a “visually forceful case that attempts by the US to isolate it have failed”, said Farideh Farhi, an independent Iranian scholar at the University of Hawaii. “And second that the touting of Iran and its nuclear programme as a global problem is a function of US hostility and pressures, and not reflective of the true sentiments of the international community.”

But what Iran hopes will be a public relations bonanza might yet turn sour over its staunch support for the Syrian regime, its main Arab ally. Mr Morsi yesterday urged president Bashar al-Assad’s allies – among them Iran, Russia and China – to help lever the Syrian dictator from power. “Now is the time . . . for this regime that kills its people to disappear from the scene,” he said.

As host, Iran will prepare the first draft of the summit’s final document, which is likely to include statements affirming its right to peaceful nuclear technology and censure of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian lands.

UN nuclear watchdog sets up ‘Iran Task Force’

NY Times columnist Tom Friedman’s disappointed with Mohammed Morsi’s decision to attend the NAM summit. He also choice words for the NAM itself:

By the way, what is the Nonaligned Movement anymore?

Nonaligned against what and between whom?” asked Michael Mandelbaum, a foreign policy specialist at Johns Hopkins. The Nonaligned Movement was conceived at the Bandung summit in 1955, but there was a logic to it then. The world was divided between Western democratic capitalists and Eastern Communists, and developing states like Egypt, Yugoslavia and Indonesia declared themselves “nonaligned” with these two blocs. But “there is no Communist bloc today,” said Mandelbaum. “The main division in the world is between democratic and undemocratic countries.”

Is Morsi nonaligned in that choice? Is he nonaligned when it comes to choosing between democracies and dictatorships — especially the Iranian one that is so complicit in crushing the Syrian rebellion as well? And by the way, why is Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations secretary general, lending his hand to this Iranian whitewashing festival? What a betrayal of Iranian democrats.

From the Sunday Telegraph: Ecuador’s helping Iran evade sanctions. It’s part of President Rafael Correra’s drive to inherit the mantle of Hugo Chavez.

Documents obtained by The Sunday Telegraph in Quito last week reveal that detailed plans have been drawn up to establish substantial banking mechanisms between the two countries, even though they lie 8,000 miles apart and have only the tiniest of trade links . . .

“The trading links between the two countries are marginal, so this new orientation by our government can only be explained in ideological terms or hidden deals,” said Cesar Montufar, an opposition leader who first helped reveal the Iranian ties last month.

By the way, the Telegraph ties in Correra’s support for Julian Assange.

Arab Spring Winter

Probe reveals Assad behind Lebanese terror plot. More at Al Arabiya.

Syrian rebels manufacturing their own rockets get more than just inspiration from the Palestinian rocket industry. The NY Times writes:

In many ways, the weapons gathered by the uprising here resemble those seen in the insurgencies fought against Western forces by Iraqis, or against Israel by Palestinians. This is in part, participants in the effort said, because they were able to model their weapons on those used in other Middle Eastern uprisings.

We copied original Palestinian rockets,” said Mr. Turki, who has since designed seven different styles of midrange explosive rockets.

Egypt’s constitutional assembly strips military of power to declare war, gives it to presidency. Details at the Times of Israel.

Rest O’ the Roundup

You know The Guardian’s operating on the fringes when the paper’s taken to task by Labour List, a blog by Labour party activists. Rob Marchant draws this conclusion from the Josh Trevino dust-up, as well as a laundry list of radical Comment is Free contributors — particularly Ismail Haniyeh and Sheikh Raed Salah:

Where the Guardian may think it is being edgy and controversial, it is often being, at the very least, offensive to the sensibilities of ordinary people not known for their over-sensitivity. At worst it is laid open to not unreasonable charges of racism . . .

And ironically, while CiF, which self-evidently makes no money, has an increasing readership, the Guardian’s paid circulation is on the down. CiF therefore contributes only cost to the newspaper, meaning that the paper is not just broke, but losing more money because of CiF every year.

Like a cuckoo gradually throwing out the other eggs from the nest, Comment Is Free is slowly eating the Guardian: both financially, as it cannibalises the print version; and editorially, as more readers become queasy about what it sees fit to publish.

(Image of Judge Gershon via IBTimesTV; seal via Wikimedia Commons/Zscout370)

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

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