Syrian Mortars Land in Israel

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Today’s Top Stories

1. An assortment of takes on what the US election results mean for Israel, the Mideast, and Iran. Among those weighing in are the Jerusalem Post, Nick Kristof, AP, The Independent, Asharq al-Awsat and more AP. Chris McGreal salivates at Obama’s leverage on Bibi, but Peter Beinart doesn’t expect revenge.

2. Three Syrian mortars landed in Israel as rebels and government forces fought near the border. YNet reports no Israelis injured:

Two of the shells landed near the border fence, while a third one landed in the Golan Heights community of Alonei HaBashan.

3. LA Times: The filmmaker behind “Innocence of Muslims” was sentenced to a year in prison. Mark Basseley Youssef, a.k.a. Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, a.k.a. Sam Bacile, used bogus names to set up fraudulent bank accounts. More than 70 people were killed in riots associated with the film.

Yet prosecutors and the judge emphasized Wednesday that the film’s message was irrelevant to Youssef’s probation violation case and prison sentence.

Israel and the Palestinians

A voice of sanity from Abu Dhabi. A staff-ed in The National praised Mahmoud Abbas for backtracking on the “right” of return:

His comment struck many observers as the diplomatic equivalent of waving a white flag. A failure of leadership, some Palestinians claimed. Traitor, others called him. Yet no one, as far as we can tell, has yet offered a more appropriate label for the comment: realistic.

Mr Abbas no doubt underestimated, astonishing though this seems, the passions Palestinians hold for their ancestral homeland. But if the Palestinians’ goal is an independent state – a position they will soon be advocating again at the UN – then the only way forward will be through hard, painful compromise.

When you think about it, the PA’s statehood push does offer Israel some silver linings. Among the strategic benefits Elliott Abrams explains:

First, once “Palestine” has become a UN member state it is far harder to argue that the “one-state solution” remains viable. Legally, the Palestinians will have moved definitively away from that outcome.

Unfortunately, nobody told Rachel Shabi, who peddles bi-nationalism at The Guardian today:

It’s only when freed from the dead weight of a two-state paradigm that a just, dignified and peaceful solution has the chance to flourish.

Hamas is pushing a three-state solution, but thinking about that has to make Shabi’s head hurt.

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