• Jonathan Tobin: Although Hamas is weakened, it still holds a veto over the peace process. What does that mean for Israel?
The bottom line is that for all of the ridicule now being heaped on Hamas’ boasting; it retains a veto over peace. That means even if Abbas and Fatah were to transcend their origins in terrorism, something that highly unlikely, the Islamist tyrants of Gaza are still capable of overturning any movement toward a solution. That’s why Israel would do well to ignore any American pressure to make concessions on borders, Jerusalem or refugees that would be pocketed by Abbas but never reciprocated. Nor, given the recent developments in the P5+1 negotiations, should the Israelis assume that they could trade a Palestinian state for an American guarantee against a nuclear Iran. So long as Hamas remains in power in Gaza, no matter how bankrupt or precarious they might be, they are the guarantee that peace is not in the offing.
• After stepping down as Israel’s ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren shared his thoughts on Israeli-American ties with the Jerusalem Post. (You don’t have to be an American to appreciate this Q&A.) In case you’re wondering, Oren’s returning to academia.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Uh-oh: A number of signs point to the US sliding towards a policy of containment.
• Shimon Peres discussed Iranian sanctions with France 24.
The Syrian Situation
• An eastern Jerusalem Palestinian was sentenced to 3.5 years for spying for Hezbollah.
• French intelligence notes a sharp spike in jihadis from Chechnya and the Caucusus making their way to Syria via Europe and Australia.
• The New Republic takes a fascinating look at Syria’s citizen reporters. Are they making an impact? How reliable are they? And what’s their agenda?
I asked Wassim if he felt like he was making a difference. He frowned. “In the beginning, I thought that, if I showed people what was happening in Syria, that they’d have no choice but to look,” he said. “And they did. Now there are many videos, every day, of shelling and fighting and sieges and gunfire. It’s too many videos, I think.”
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Unhappy that Turkey ratted on Israeli espionage in Iran, Congress cancelled the delivery of 10 drones. YNet picked up on Turkish press reports.
• Texas A&M is going to open an Israeli branch campus in Nazareth — the Texas A&M Peace University. The NY Times writes:
The university said that students and teachers at the campus in Israel would include Arabs and Jews, as well as international students and faculty, and that graduates would receive an Aggie Ring, the same one worn by graduates of the main campus in College Station, Tex.
• The Israel Space Agency signed a cooperation agreement with the EU. According to the Jerusalem Post:
Its significance is that it paves the way toward giving legitimacy and access to Israeli industry, research institutes and universities in the field of space to cooperate directly with their counterparts in the EU and to get bi-national research and development budgets.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.