PA Spins Lack of News on Arafat InquiryOctober 2, 2013 15:32 by Pesach Benson
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Today’s Top Stories
1. International experts investigating the cause of Yasser Arafat’s death haven’t released their findings yet. But here’s how “informed Palestinian sources” spun the information vacuum to the Jerusalem Post:
The officials said that the delay may be designed to prevent the emergence of any issues that could have a negative impact on the peace talks.
The delay may also be aimed at avoiding diverting attention from the internal fighting in Syria, they surmised.
The officials also expressed fear that some Western intelligence agencies had intervened to block the delivery of the test results “in light of ongoing Palestinian allegations that Israel was behind Arafat’s death.”
Here’s one implausible theory: After whipping up the Palestinian street with tall tales of Mossad polonium, the PA doesn’t have the guts to admit that the 75 year-old Arafat died of natural causes.
2. The Islamic Movement, which is the Israeli branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, is struggling to remain relevant in the face of the Arab Spring. Reuven Barko looks at Shekih Raed Salah’s strategy:
Salah’s main problem is that he cannot blame the Jews for what is transpiring. They have nothing to do with it, but he insists — how can he find a way to embroil the Jews in Islam’s calamity? “They are out to destroy Al-Aqsa mosque!” This is not a new trick. Every time that the Palestinian Authority or Hamas hit a dead end, Al-Aqsa is used as a trigger for riots, and as a way to turn the international spotlight back onto our region.
3. Moscow is trying to fill the Mideast vacuum left by the US. The Washington Post writes:
“This is not a zero-sum endeavor. We are no longer in a Cold War. There’s no Great Game to be won,” Obama said, referring to an earlier period of big-power rivalry in which the British Empire and Russia’s czars vied for influence across Central Asia.
Whether Russia is equally determined not to compete with the United States in the strategically vital region is in question, however, Arab analysts say.
4. It’s time for the media to adopt these recognized and considered definitions of anti-Semitism. Learn more and sign the petition by clicking on the graphic.
5. 5 Reasons Bibi’s UN Speech Called Out the NY Times: A reminder that the papers influencing public opinion are also fumbling the story.
6. Iran Learns the Language of the West: “Even while the U.S. has now started to engage with Iran, it is Rouhani’s change in “tone” that is referred to. After all, very little has changed on the substance.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Mahmoud Abbas devoted his UN speech to bashing Israel. He should have spoke up for Palestinian refugees facing great dangers in Syria, Lebanon, and Egypt, Khaled Abu Toameh argues.
Today the Church of Sweden is a big critic of Israel and high-ranking bishops refer to the Israeli presence in the West Bank as a “sin” and an “abomination against God.” On their website the Church of Sweden recommends that their congregations “suspend investment, impose sanctions and boycott companies and products from the Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian Territories.”
There is clearly nothing spiritual about the views of the Church of Sweden regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
— Hassan Rouhani (@HassanRouhani) October 1, 2013
• For more commentary/analysis, see Einat Wilf, Ron Ben-Yishai, Elliott Abrams, Fiamma Nirenstein, Tim Marshall, Con Coughlin, Deutsche Welle, and a Washington Institute tag team of Dennis Ross and David Makovsky.
The Syrian Situation
• International chemical weapons troubleshooters began their mission amid intense fighting. AP coverage.
• The Washington Post assesses the impact of foreign mercenaries on the Syrian rebels. According to the BBC, some 30 Israeli Arabs are believed to be fighting with Islamist rebels. On the flip side, Are Greek Neo-Nazi Mercenaries Fighting For Assad?
• This wasn’t long in coming: Vladimir Putin was nominated for Nobel Peace Prize. However, UPI reports that Putin’s nomination wasn’t received by the Nobel committee in time for this year’s awards, which will be announced this month.
• Danny Danon weighs in on Israel-Syria issues in a CNN op-ed.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The US may revive its efforts to mediate the Israeli-Lebanese maritime dispute. At stake: who has rights to an 860 sq. km offshore area believed to hold oil and gas deposits. Daily Star coverage.
• An Egyptian physician was named as Yad Vashem’s first Arab righteous gentile. According to YNet, Dr. Mohamed Helmy who lived in Berlin during World War 2, saved a family of four with the help of Frieda Szturmann, who was also honored.
• Daily Mail: A former BBC editor says the Beeb’s run by an out of touch, outmoded “patrician elite” that is “more worried about ‘messing up’ than producing interesting programmes.”
(Image of Salah via Wikimedia Commons/Stayashuman)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.