Iranian Atomic Urgency
• According to Iranian dissidents, the mullahs are moving a center for nuclear weaponization research “to avoid detection ahead of negotiations with world powers.” Reuters coverage.
• Iran cancelled its annual anti-Zionism conference. Most papers picked up on the Daily Telegraph‘s scoop.
• Worth reading: Victor Davis Hanson explains why Benjamin Netanyahu’s become the Grinch that rains on Iranian-Western warm fuzzies. It’ll help you understand Bibi’s European media blitz., giving interviews to Sky News, the Financial Times (click via Google News), and France 24, among others.
Meanwhile, the NY Times bashed Bibi and his counter-offensive with descriptive words such as “shrill,” “increasingly alone,” “a one-man show,” and “a Messianic crusade.”
“The IDF tweet caused a bit of a stir in the oil market, with rumors circulating of a possible Israeli strike in Syria before people realized they were referring to events 40 years ago,” said Richard Mallinson, chief policy analyst at consultancy Energy Aspects.
• It seems that shoulder-fired missiles — the kind that the West didn’t want to send rebels because they imperil civilian aircraft — are now in the hands of rebels. AP picked up on a study:
Citing video and photo evidence from opposition forces, media and official accounts, the FAS study says some portable launchers and missiles have been seized by opposition forces during battles with Syrian troops, while others have been smuggled in to rebel fighters from neighbouring countries.
• NY Times: A fifth Hezbollah suspect was indicted for involvement in the 2005 assassination of Lebanese prime minister Rafik Hariri.
• Lebanon banned Matthew Levitt’s book on Hezbollah. When NOW Lebanon tried to get to the bottom of who exactly was responsible for blacklisting the book, Maya Gebeily was given three conflicting versions of what happened. According to one account, it was a case self-censorship by the publisher, which means the government never officially censored Hezbollah: the Global Footprint of the Party of God.
Lea Baroudi, from the Lebanese anti-censorship campaign MARCH, explained that book distributors like Levant and Ciel incur costs when they try to bring in publications that are likely to get banned. Instead, they pre-emptively “ban” the draft themselves and tell the authors that Lebanon’s General Security had refused their request to bring the publication to Lebanon.
• Islamist rebels executed “at least 190 civilians” — including women, children and the disabled. Details at The Lede.
• McClatchy News: Worried about being marginalized, moderate Syrian rebels are increasingly gravitating towards the Islamists. Defectors can even choose between two rival Islamic umbrella groups:
The Supreme Military Command and its forces, known collectively as the Free Syrian Army, are reeling as 40 or more affiliates this month have signed onto two new umbrella groups, both with agendas that are at odds with the U.S.-backed opposition’s long-stated vision of a democratic, pluralistic Syria.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Israeli-Eurasian ties are picking up speed.
• The Washington Post is standing by one of its Jerusalem reporters, Ruth Eglash, who was targeted by Electronic Intifada and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR). The two claimed Eglash has a conflict of interest because her husband, Michael, runs Upstart Activist, a pro-Israel advocacy organization for students.
We have thoroughly examined the specific questions raised by readers about potential conflicts involving the business activities of Ms. Eglash’s husband. After a detailed review of those activities, we have not found facts that constitute an actual conflict.
• Worth reading — especially if your TV tax money supports the BBC:
(Image of Netanyahu via YouTube/IsraeliPM)
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.