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Today’s Top Stories
1. American intervention’s on hold as the White House unexpectedly seeks Congressional approval. The Wall St. Journal had best coverage of how that happened. Britain’s parliament already voted against joining an attack; the French parliament may debate the matter too.
Israel’s taking note of the West’s sudden lack of urgency. The Times of Israel explains:
The ongoing hesitance and indecisiveness with which the West is reacting to the alleged used of nerve gas to kill hundreds of civilians in Syria reinforce Israel’s skepticism of the international community in general and, specifically, the idea of security guarantees in any future peace agreement with the Palestinians, Jerusalem officials indicated Friday.
The British Parliament’s decision Thursday against joining a possible military strike on Syria further eroded Jerusalem’s confidence in Western assurances that Israel would not be alone if it were ever attacked, a well-placed Israeli official said.
Along similar lines, the Jerusalem Post points out that Western weakness on Syria increases the likelihood of an Israel attack on Iran.
If gassing 1,429 people, including at least 426 children, as US Secretary of State John Kerry said on Friday, does not lead to a military assault, will the crossing of the nuclear threshold – when no one is killed – trigger a response?
2. It’s hard to be comfortable with the way the White House is appealing to Congress to support intervention in Syria. The message, reports Politico: It’ll help Israel. I wish Israel didn’t have to be involved in this:
The White House will need every vote it can get on the Syria resolution, and the senior administration officials left little doubt that Israel would be a point of emphasis in private discussions with members of Congress.
The Capitol is filled with strong supporters of Israel who understand the argument, one of the officials said.
But Israel’s security is a political razor blade that could cut both ways.
3. Israeli security busted a Hamas terror cell planning to bomb a Jerusalem shopping mall during the upcoming Jewish holidays. YNet coverage.
4. The Times of London: Israel Can Do No Right: Israel’s accused of discriminating against Black Africans.
The Syrian Situation
• So much for “never again.” US intelligence knew ahead of time that the Assad regime was preparing the chemical attack that killed hundreds.
• AFP: It’ll take three weeks for laboratory experts to analyze soil samples taken by UN investigators.
• No Western strike on an Arab country is complete without reports of human shields. Bashar Assad’s bussing thousands of prison inmates to sites the regime believes will be targeted by US strikes. At least there don’t appear to be any naive fools from the West willingly serving as a human shield now. How about you, George Galloway? Are you up to it?
• Syria’s moving its Scud rockets.
• Could Syria strike back if the US attacks?, asks CNN.
• A BBC film crew in northern Syria got footage of the aftermath of a napalm bomb dropped on a schoolyard. At least 10 students were killed.
• The Media Line takes a closer at Israel’s cyber defenses.
• Bashar Assad, Hezbollah, Iranian agents, and Al-Qaida jihadis aren’t really dipping their toes in the Kinneret. This inaccurate map’s might just be a Freudian slip by the BBC.
• Jerusalem Post: Hamas and Fatah agree to oppose a US strike on Syria because “This would only benefit Israel.”
• According to Arab media reports, Hezbollah stopped a Saudi diplomatic car in Beirut and detained its passengers for several hours.
• For more commentary/analysis, spend your Labor Day catching up on Tariq Alhomayed, Avi Issacharoff, Jeffrey Goldberg, James Taranto, Meir Javedanfar, Ron Ben-Yishai, Paul McGeough, and Dan Margalit. See also Charles Krauthammer, Elliott Abrams, Bernard Avishai, David Horovitz, The Commentator, Dore Gold, Michael Young, and Amir Taheri. Weekend staff-eds in the Washington Post, NY Times, and LA Times weighed in while the Times of Israel rounded up Arab media reactions.
- Federal budget docs reveal the US spies on Israel.
- Terrorists attack ship in Suez Canal.
- Anti-American conspiracy theories abound in Egypt’s media.