Diplomatic Spat After Iranian Translator Falsifies Morsi Speech

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Israel and the Palestinians

Palestinian admits to poisoning Raanana family.

BDS fail of the day, courtesy the Washington Post. Karin Brulliard reports from Gaza:

Some business owners who import goods through Israel, which restricts the kind and number of items it allows in, said they worry Gaza might be flooded with inferior Egyptian-made products.

“Nothing prevents us from importing through the tunnels,” said Tareq Alsaqqa, who owns a chain of home appliance stores. “But we prefer to bring goods from Israel. Why? Because the goods that enter from Israel go through quality testing.”

Yasser Arafat leaving Ramallah

The National Post‘s Jonathan Kay on the nature of conspiracy theories and the French investigation of  Arafat’s death:

First: Conspiracy theories are never extinguished by official investigations. Instead, the conspiracy theorists just trace bigger and bigger concentric circles around the original imagined plot, drawing the investigators themselves into the ever-growing cast of evil-doers. Those who believe LBJ killed JFK will always believe LBJ killed JFK . . .

Second: Conspiracy theorists have a special fondness for Jews, and cloak-and-dagger Zionist Jews in particular. The idea of modern-day Protocols-of-Zion types slipping radioactive poison into Arafat’s coffee fit right in with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories that have been around since the Middle Ages, in which skulking Jews were imagined to go from town to town poisoning wells, or siphoning off the blood of little children for their Passover matzos.

Whoda thought it? Gaza has 600 millionaires.

David Harris on “unlivable Gaza” was talking about the NY Times. But he could just as easily have been talking about Reuters, BBC or the LA Times.

Sour grapes: Richard Falk and Jimmy Carter gave big thumbs-down to the Rachel Corrie verdict. Tsk.

Daily Mail columnist Adrian Hilton, and Jackie Kemp (Comment is Free — you read that right) are fed up with Palestinian protesters disrupting the Batsheva dance group’s performance in Edinburgh. The latter writes:

Surely it would make as much sense to blame the ballerinas of the Mariinsky (formerly the Kirov) for Putin’s human rights abuses. Indeed, Batsheva’s choreographer, Ohad Naharin, has said he is “in disagreement” with his government whereas the prima ballerina of the Mariinsky, Diana Vishneva, has maintained a studied silence over the fate of Pussy Riot.

On the other hand, the Herald Scotland published an activist’s op-ed supporting a cultural/academic boycott of Israel.

Arab Spring Winter

It ain’t often Al-Qaida makes  my day. They threatened Hezbollah for supporting Bashar Assad. Lebanese analysts told the Daily Star the threat’s credible.

The Syrian uprising’s having one worrying spillover effect on Lebanon: It seems to be radicalizing the Sunnis who support Saad Hariri and the liberal Future Movement. Michael Totten explains the Arab Winter’s chilling effect on the Beirut Spring:

But conservative Sunnis are only willing to support moderates like the Hariris when they feel safe. If they feel physically threatened by Alawite militias, Hezbollah, or anyone else for too long, many will feel they have little choice but to back radical Sunni militias if no one else will protect them.

Extremist Sunnis could eventually ruin what began as a peaceful movement for reform and change in Assad’s Syria. It would be even more tragic if they did the same thing in Lebanon after the Beirut Spring showed so much promise.

Austin Tice

Missing US journalist Austin Tice is reportedly in Syrian custody, writes the Washington Post:

In an appearance on a Czech television station on Monday, Czech ambassador to Syria Eva Filipi said of Tice that “our sources report that he is alive and that he was detained by government forces on the outskirts of Damascus, where the rebels were fighting government troops.”

The Czech Embassy has been responsible for U.S. interests in Syria since the U.S. Embassy was shuttered in February . . .

Rest O’ the Roundup

The Financial Times takes a great look at Israel’s offshore gas finds.

Sudan withdrew its candidacy for a seat on the UN Human Rights Council. The Sudan Tribune writes:

It is not clear what prompted Sudan’s decision but it is likely that Khartoum did not want the negative publicity associated with its candidacy and the possibility of a last minute diplomatic setback.

The Maariv newspaper’s ceasing daily publication. According to Israeli media reports, the paper will maintain its NRG news site and continue publishing its weekend edition.

(Image of Ashrawi via Flickr/Salaam Shalom, Arafat via YouTube/globalnational)

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