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Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and the US still not eye-to-eye on Iran. The State Department’s number 3 person, Wendy Sherman, was in Israel trying to reach an understanding with Jerusalem on the unfolding “first-step” deal with Iran. But the Times of Israel reports Sherman went home without one.
And in today’s best commentary: David Aaron Miller explains Why the US and Israel are split over the Iran deal.
2. France and president Francois Hollande took up the role as the new Great Satan (or gun-slinging frog), knotting up Western diplomacy with the Iranians. Foreign Policy explains how it happened. But why? Here are seven reasons:
- France takes Iran seriously.
- France wants to expand its role in the Mideast.
- Plainly perverted policy.
- It was Meyer Habib’s doing.
- Standing up to the US is good for Hollande.
- Standing up for the Gulf States is good for Hollande.
- Why else would the Wall St. Journal say Viva La France?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Jackson Diehl whomps John Kerry every which way.
• The international hacker group Anonymous took to Twitter to urge people to boycott Israeli-made products. But the Daily Telegraph‘s Willard Foxton ain’t buying in:
The plan – explained in excellent detail here by The Daily Dot – is to highlight the 729 barcode which identifies Israeli goods, and thus enable a boycott. Facetiously, I could suggest that therefore that Anonymous should stop using Intel processors (invented in Israel), removable hard drives (invented in Israel) and VOIP Internet calls (you guessed it, Israel). . .
The hacktivists don’t really follow the situation. They want a Star Wars-style evil empire to rail against and always like to support the underdog. But the truth is that for every tweet of nasty Israelis bulldozing houses, you could tweet one of Hamas throwing their political opponents off buildings or stringing up “collaborators” from electricity pylons.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• NATO’s former chief, Gen. Wesley Clark, discussed the Iranian situation with Haaretz. Spoiler alert: Washington wants to avoid war with Iran.
• Ex-national security advisors Giora Eiland and Uzi Dayan discussed the Iranian nuclear diplomacy with the Times of Israel.
• For commentary/analysis, on Israel and the nuclear talks, see the Jerusalem Post, YNet, Boaz Bismuth, Benny Avni, Dennis Ross, and Jackson Diehl, plus staff-eds in The Independent, The Guardian, and Times of London. The Times writes:
The test of President Rowhani’s intentions is not in being a more plausible figure than Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, his predecessor. It is not hard to be more emollient than a Holocaust denier who gleefully anticipated the extinction of the State of Israel. What matters is that Mr Rowhani acknowledge the reasonable apprehensions of Iran’s neighbours — Arab states as well as Israel — and demonstrate that their fears will not be realised. He must also be seen to have the support of Iran’s Supreme Leader in that diplomatic rapprochement.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.