Israel’s Going to Early Elections

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Prime Minister Netanyahu announced early elections. Every correspondent and his mother reported it. ‘Nuff said.

2. The Daily Telegraph sheds some disquieting light on this weekend’s mysterious drone:

Intelligence sources have suggested that fragments of the drone recovered from the desert are made of an advanced type of fibreglass that is invisible to radar. It is thought that the drone may have been made by Iranian engineers, who were able to create such a high performance device by analysing the captured American RQ-170 drone which came down in Iran last December, and using the technology in reverse.

The flight path that the drone took is particularly worrying to the Israelis. Undetected, it flew the length of Israel, paying particular attention to gas and oil facilities and the industrial area of Haifa. It also flew over the Navy bases located there, including the top-secret base of Flotilla 13, a well-known commando unit. More worryingly still, it passed the Palmachim air base and had ample chance to survey Nahal Sorek, thought to be one of the key sites of Israel’s alleged nuclear weapons.

3. This is an astonishing commentary on the Israeli-Arab conflict simply because this is an Arab columnist writing in an Arab newspaper. Abdulateef al-Mulhim writes in Arab News:

The Arab world wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of innocent lives fighting Israel, which they considered is their sworn enemy, an enemy whose existence they never recognized. The Arab world has many enemies and Israel should have been at the bottom of the list. The real enemies of the Arab world are corruption, lack of good education, lack of good health care, lack of freedom, lack of respect for the human lives and finally, the Arab world had many dictators who used the Arab-Israeli conflict to suppress their own people.

These dictators’ atrocities against their own people are far worse than all the full-scale Arab-Israeli wars.

In the past, we have talked about why some Israeli soldiers attack and mistreat Palestinians. Also, we saw Israeli planes and tanks attack various Arab countries. But, do these attacks match the current atrocities being committed by some Arab states against their own people.

Read the full article.

Israel and the Palestinians

Discussing his UN statehood bid, Abbas didn’t raise talk about a settlement freeze. That prompted tea leaf-reading editors at AP to come up with this headline:

Abbas made no mention of a settlement freeze, and officials said Abbas believes a freeze would no longer be necessary if he receives U.N. recognition of a state that includes all of the West Bank.

It’s a good point, but using speculation to make a news headline sexier is dodgy business. Abbas didn’t mention the upstart Baltimore Orioles either, but don’t infer that he’s going to throw tonight’s ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium.

Worth reading: Sohrab Ahmari (Wall Street Journal, via Google News) deconstructs the Russell Tribunal on Palestine, a high-profile,  meaningless, exercise in demonizing Israel. Jurors like Roger Waters, Alice Walker, Cynthia McKinney, and Angela Davis, found Israel guilty of charges that are “systematic, numerous, flagrant and, sometimes, criminal.”

PA spokesperson to The Independent: International donors provided only 40 percent of aid pledged for 2012.

Palestinian civil servants – including police, doctors and teachers – only received the final portion of their August salaries last week.

This morning, Sderot was hit by two Gaza rockets, while another landed in Netivot. Jerusalem Post coverage.

Gaza Salafists launching political party.

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