Iranian Atomic Urgency
• AP: The UN has new intelligence that Iran is working on a nuclear weapon:
The diplomats say the information — from the U.S., Israel and at least one other country — alleges the research was done within the past three years.
• Here’s an American timetable I doubt Israelis will find reassuring: Leon Panetta said that once Iran decides to make a bomb, the US will have one year to stop it. This assumes US intelligence is on the ball. More at Reuters.
• Worth reading: Alan Elsner’s cri de couer on Israel’s Iran Dilemma resonates. But will America get it?
• Meet Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, the mayor of Tehran and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s likely successor. Sabina Amidi (Times of Israel) says he’s even more repressive than ‘Najad.
The former senior Revolutionary Guards officer, says Amidi, is homophobic, an election-fraud beneficiary, a Holocaust denier, an inciter of genocide against Israel, and a champion of the country’s efforts to build a nuclear bomb. Sounds like a moderate, rational guy who will be responsible with nuclear weapons!
• Jeffrey Goldberg interviews Robert Satloff on the Israel-Iran-US triangle.
• What to make of these dueling headlines?
“The pressing question today is whether the lessons of that success can be applied to Iran,” Makovsky writes, going into a long, concluding section about Israeli positions and the potential threats posed by an Iranian nuke. But if the “desire to minimize the potential of a response” rested on providing Assad with a “zone of denial,” then the only response to Makovsky’s “pressing question” is a resounding “no”: The lessons of the Israeli raid on Syria in 2007 can’t be applied to Iran’s nuclear program.
Unlike the Syrian nuclear program (or the Israeli one, for that matter), the Iranian nuclear program is not shrouded in complete secrecy.
I couldn’t get around the New Yorker paywall. To Gharib’s possible consternation, neither did Reuters.
Israel and the Palestinians
• A car carrying Palestinians trying to enter illegally hit and killed Israeli security liason Lior Farhi. Israel HaYom writes:
A friend of Farhi’s who was with him and documented the incident on film, said the driver sped up and hit Farhi on purpose. The two were documenting the entrance of illegal Palestinian workers to Israel, a daily occurrence.
He is survived by three children and a pregnant wife.
• A commentary in The Australian nicely articulates why the Palestinian media’s anti-Semitism is incompatible with peace efforts Ian Wilcox, a former Australian ambassador to Israel and envoy to the PA writes:
To be critical of Israel and its policies is not, of course, in itself anti-Semitic. PA opposition to many Israeli policies and practices is no surprise. But the PA must be persuaded by the many supporters of the Palestinian cause that, if it is sincere in its declared pursuit of a two-state solution, it must have the courage to stop its poisonous, racist characterisations of Jews.
To allow these obscenities to continue must further undermine the confidence of the only negotiating partner that could actually deliver a state for Palestinians – Israel. Not to take such action would confirm that the PA has joined with those (headed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran) whose objective is to threaten, demonise, delegitimise, even obliterate Israel, but who refuse to engage in the hard and even dangerous work of negotiation and compromise.
• Runner-up BDS fail of the day: Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley to visit Israel in late November with an economic delegation to promote business and cultural ties. Details at the Baltimore Sun.
• Another Palestinian prisoner launched a hunger strike after his detention was renewed without charges being pressed. But it won’t be a cause celebre in the West because Zakaria Zubeidi is imprisoned by the PA. According to Maan News, investigators want to tie Zubeidi to the murder of Juliano Mer-Khamis and an armed assault on the home of Jenin’s governor.
No charges have been brought against Zubeidi, and his family say he has been tortured and abused in jail.
• Tracey Shelton’s series of photos from Aleppo are going viral. Her image of a tank shell’s moment of impact on a group of rebels is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Backstory at the Global Post. Shelton’s taking all the attention nicely in stride.
• Manaf Tlass, the Syrian general who defected to rebels, said French agents helped him escape. Details at AFP.
• Nicholas Spangler was a student journalist when he saw the first plane hit the World Trade Center. He rushed towards the stricken north tower to record what he saw. As a blogger and journalist, I can identify with Spangler’s urge. He’s still wrestling with what happened. Would I have done the same?
I carry some other things as well. There is the psychologist who believes that if I am not in shock I must be in denial, after seeing so many people die. There is the girl who called me a vulture.
Vultures profit from disaster. When I ran to, and not from, the square, was I not on my way to exploiting this holocaust? Did I sense that the magnitude of the event could be made to magnify me? I cannot altogether refute this charge.
But something larger propelled me. I felt an intense passion in those hours, an exaltation. I felt alone at the center of the world. All details became iconic and crucial. I tried to record everything.
I believe that our present way of life ended in those hours. That is the dressed-up, smoothed-over analogue of seeing planes vanish into buildings and people coming down from the sky. I think it is proper and honest to say I wanted to experience that for myself and communicate it with as many others as I could. I have no ambivalence about that.
• The NY Times created a lot of buzz simply by leaving 9/11 anniversary coverage off the front page. Was it the right thing to do?
Rest O’ the Roundup
• A Cairo newspaper published Egyptian intelligence documents revealing that jihadis are planning terror attacks on the US and Israeli embassies. According to the Times of Israel, some of the names named are from Gaza, which means it’s time for Hamas to look busy.
• Reporters at two of Israel’s most influential papers are protesting newsroom cutbacks and other austerity measures. The Times of Israel reports that the Maariv staff burnt tires outside their offices, while Haaretz workers launched an open-ended strike:
Reporters said they would not hold interviews or write news stories and photographers would not be sending photos in to the newsdesk.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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