NSA Listening In on Israel?October 29, 2013 18:15 by Pesach Benson
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. Iran notified the International Atomic Energy Agency that it wants to make the Arak heavy water plant operational for a test run with dummy fuel rods. Time describes some dodgy aspects of Iran’s stated intentions — Israel and other experts worry it’s a ruse to get Arak online with real fuel rods that would make the facility invulnerable to a military attack:
[O]nce Arak goes online, the option of destroying Iran’s nuclear program with air strikes becomes moot. The reactor is essentially invulnerable to military attack, because bombing one risks a catastrophic release of radioactivity. In the words of Israel’s last chief of military intelligence, Amos Yadlin, who piloted one of the F-16A’s that cratered Iraq’s Osirak heavy-water reactor in 1981 before it was due to become operational: “Whoever considers attacking an active reactor is willing to invite another Chernobyl, and no one wants to do that.”
2. The NSA’s presumably eavesdropping on Israel too, but Paul Alster reports that Israelis take it as a given. If anything, Israelis perceive European anger as no more than righteous indignation.
“The whole story reminds me of the scene from Casablanca when the Chief of Police is shocked to find out that there is gambling going on in the casino!”
See also Jack Shafer‘s take.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The Arab Spring’s coming to Gaza, which means Hamas and the Tamarod Gaza movement are putting up hurricane flags. Haaretz reports:
The Tamarod Gaza movement, its name copied from the Egyptian youth protest movement that instigated the recent coup there, is organizing mass demonstrations on November 11, the anniversary of Yasser Arafat’s death.
Tamarod Gaza’s website is already advising Gazans to obtain a week’s food supply and remain at home, in anticipation of attacks by Hamas forces.
• Is an European Union-Israel compromise on settlement guidelines in the pipeline? The Jerusalem Post reports EU officials are mulling an Israeli proposal “that would allow the two entities to continue to sign cooperative agreements.” Without a compromise, important research and trade ties will unravel, reports Reuters.
• Memo to Yousef Munayyer: Israel has stringent security and profiles people crossing its borders using any number of criteria, not just ethnicity. Get over it.
• Hamas is producing M-75 at a fast and furious pace, which are capable of reaching Tel Aviv. YNet writes:
It is safe to assume that as opposed to last year’s conflict with Israel, during the next war the firing of medium-range rockets from Gaza will not be sporadic.
- Why is Mahmoud Abbas waging a two-faced diplomatic intifada while negotiating with Israel?
- Merchandising Hezbollah: Is the Party of God selling out, or taking advantage of stupid Western tourists?
- Jordan approves construction of kingdom’s first nuclear reactor.