Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Libyan Islamists attacked the US consulate in Benghazi, killing US ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other staffers. car. Islamist protesters also breached the US embassy in Cairo. They were protesting “Innocence of Muslims,” a US-made film about Mohammed they deemed offensive.
Sam Bacile, the film’s California-based Israeli writer/director talked to AP by phone from somewhere in hiding.
The story took a politically convoluted turn: The White House disavowed a statement from its Cairo embassy that apologized for the film. Several tweets were removed from the US Embassy Cairo Twitter feed, though Buzzfeed and others got screengrabs.
See also The Lede, whose roundup of coverage (before Stevens’ death was reported) dispelled some early confusion.
2. Everbody picked up on the fraying US-Israel ties. Although the Daily Telegraph‘s Niles Gardner was blunt, I was impressed with CBS News‘ well-rounded coverage, particularly Pamela Falk’s assessment.
3. Former Mossad chief Ephraim Halevy to The Daily Beast: Tehran’s patronage of Bashar Assad may be enough to spark war irrespective of any real and imagined nuclear red lines:
“The Iranians are becoming ever more involved in Syria and it’s reaching proportions beyond the imagination,” said Halevy, who headed Mossad from 1998 to 2002 and later served as director of Israel’s National Security Council.
“This brings Israel and Iran in danger of a direct military confrontation in Syria,” he said. “It’s not to say that Israel seeks it, or Iran seeks it, but when you have such hatred spewed from Tehran towards Jerusalem, I don’t trust the Iranian capability to control what’s going on there.”
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• AP reports good news and bad news from the UN. The good news is the first paragraph:
The United States and its Western allies have persuaded Russia and China to support a resolution critical of Iran’s nuclear defiance in hope of showing Israel that diplomacy is an alternative to military force in pressuring Tehran, diplomats said Wednesday.
Now for the second paragraph’s bad news:
The resolution, which demands that Iran stop activities that could be used to make nuclear arms, cannot be enforced by the 35-nation board of the International Atomic Energy Agency, even if approved by vote or consensus as expected Thursday.
• Jeffrey Goldberg says Netanyahu and Obama need a marriage counselor. But why Gen. Dan Halutz?
• The Daily Mail reveals that Britain’s intelligence chief personally visited Jerusalem to dissuade Prime Minister Netanyahu from attacking Iran:
In an indication that the Government believes a strike on Tehran’s nuclear programme could be imminent, Sir John Sawers is understood to have made a personal mission to deliver a clear message that Britain is opposed to action now.
It is unusual for the head of MI6, who is known in Whitehall as ‘C’, to make a foreign visit as an emissary of the Government, and still more so for details to leak.
• Countries don’t just sever ties with each other overnight, so what did Canada learn to do just that with Iran? The CBC‘s Brian Stewart doesn’t ask why, but rather why now?
• Tehran gives too much credit to the Great Satan and Little Satan.