Israel and the Palestinians
• Conflicting photo captions from Gaza have Simon Plosker wondering about the NY Times.
• Gaza rockets fall on Israel, but where’s the media?
• The Independent‘s Matthew Kalman picks up on Ariel U. getting recognized as the first “fully fledged university operating from a West Bank settlement.” Rather than focus on the steak (the need for higher education to the West Bank, Israeli Arabs attend too), Kalman focuses on the sizzle (Palestinian opposition).
• Canadian BDS fail: Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay’s visiting Israel with a delegation of businessmen and academics. The Jerusalem Post notes, ironically, that hizzoner arrived on Friday, the same day Canada severed ties with Iran.
• Miami Herald columnist Frida Ghitis raises a good point about recent regrettable Jewish attacks on Palestinians:
Unprovoked attacks against Arabs must stop.
But those who claim there is no difference between Israel and its enemies are completely mistaken.
There is an enormous difference between a state, a society, in which some people behave outrageously and one that glorifies their outrages.
Nobody will throw a parade or name a street or a square for the young Jews who attacked the Arab teenagers. The Jewish hoodlums were immediately put in prison. The prime minister’s office wasted no time in responding to news of the attack, saying, “We unequivocally condemn racist violence,” and urging the police to quickly bring the perpetrators to justice.
Within a few days, the Jerusalem District Attorney filed indictments against nine Israelis in the incident.
Just as importantly, the Israeli Ministry of Education ordered all schools to engage their students in discussions about the terrible events. And, in case any of the teachers happened to sympathize with the attackers, the ministry told schools to let students express their views but in the end, “the unequivocal message must be a condemnation of racism, of violence.”
In other words, there are violent racists in Israel. But the country as a whole opposes them and vehemently condemns their actions.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• A prominent Israeli nuclear scientists believes Iran is already a nuclear armed power: the mullahs just aren’t capable (yet) of making a warhead light enough to deploy on their Shahab missiles. Professor Uzi Even talked to the Times of Israel about his assessment of Iran, and comparisons to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program, which he also assessed back in the day.
• Worth watching: Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the Iranian situation with the CBC, and shared his thoughts on Canada’s decision to break ties with Iran. He also told the Ceeb he’s discussing with the US other ways to pressure Iran.
• Over at the NY Times, Bill Keller buys into the notion that containing a nuclear Iran is better than pre-emptive military action.
At the end of this theoretical exercise, we have two awful choices with unpredictable consequences. After immersing myself in the expert thinking on both sides, I think that, forced to choose, I would swallow hard and take the risks of a nuclear Iran over the gamble of a pre-emptive war. My view may be colored by a bit of post-Iraq syndrome.
What statesmen do when faced with bad options is create new ones. The third choice in this case is to negotiate a deal that lets Iran enrich uranium for civilian use (as it is entitled to do under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty), that applies rigorous safeguards (because Iran cheats), that gradually relaxes sanctions and brings this wayward country into the community of more-or-less civilized nations.
• New info revealed about
Israel’s somebody’s attack 2007 on Syria’s nuclear reactor. David Makovsky’s article is behind the New Yorker‘s paywall, but YNet summarizes. Not many buildings can withstand 17 tons of explosives . . .
• Alawite defectors are more numerous than I thought. Time talked to a few:
Captain Umar in Syria is a rebel fighter and an Alawite, and he considers Assad a “butcher.” The officer no longer believes the regime’s propaganda and says he abandoned his unit after the government began shelling civilian neighborhoods in his hometown. But Umar says it is Assad who is injecting the conflict with a sectarian hue. “Bashar is telling us the Sunnis will slaughter us,” he says via Skype from Syria. “He is scaring Alawis and pushing them to the edge. This is why the army is killing the people in the street. They are scared the Sunnis will massacre us.”
• Don’t you hate it when this happens?
More on the hacking at The Lede.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Mexico arrested three Hezbollah operatives, one of whom handed over to the US. Details at AFP.
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