NSA Listening In on Israel?

Stanley Fish deconstructs the inconsistencies of the academic boycott of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas is waging a two-faced diplomatic intifada, writes Khaled Abu Toameh:

What Abbas is also not telling world leaders is that he and his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, had negotiated with Israel for more than 14 years while construction in the settlements was continuing. Back then, the issue of the settlements did not seem to bother Abbas and Arafat.

According to Palestinian sources, Abbas even agreed to continued settlement construction in return for the release of Palestinians from Israeli prisons.

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Rest O’ the Roundup

The Times of London got a peek at a report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons detailing new info about Syria’s chemical arms stockpile. Here’s a quick by the numbers look:

1,300: tons of declared chemical weapons.
290: tons of toxins that also have industrial use.
2: chemical cylinders that may have belonged to rebels.
21: declared sites already visited by international inspectors.
2: declared sites in areas too dangerous for inspectors to reach.

More on the OPCW at the BBC.

According to Globes, Israel rejected a US-proposed compromise delineating Israeli and Lebanese areas for offshore gas and oil exploration. We’re talking about 850 sq kilometers of disputed maritime rights.

Tamar gas field

Jordan’s government approved plans to build a $10 billion nuclear reactor. According to AFP, the plant will be finished in 2023 and provide 12 percent of the kingdom’s energy needs.

Should Iran be part of next month’s Geneva II talks sorting out Syria? Judge for yourself:

It didn’t take long for Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef to catch flak. His first program of the season took shots at the current government and the Morsi regime.

During the show Youssef appeared to predict the coming storm, in a skit that riffed on the theme of censorship. “Nobody will tell us what to say. We shall say what we want,” he deadpanned as a hand reached from beneath his desk and replaced his script with another.

Merchandising Hezbollah: Is the Party of God selling out the cause, or just taking advantage of stupid Western tourists?

After the Second Lebanon War, Hezbollah — financed by Iran — embarked on rebuilding program called “Construction Jihad.” A more apropos name would’ve been “Better Bombs and Gardens.” Yaakov Lappin explains why:

One out of every 10 homes in Lebanon now has a rocket launcher or Hezbollah weapons stored in it, Erdan said. Civilian homes, he said, are constructed in southern Lebanon in a way that allows the roof to open up for the firing of a rocket at Israel.

That should head off headlines screaming of Israel’s “disproportionate response” in the next war, right?

Worth reading:

How to negotiate with Iran

(Image of Arak via WikimediaCommons/Nanking2012, airport via YouTube/VOAvideo, gas via YouTube/PBS

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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