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Today’s Top Stories
1. Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah warned of war if Iran’s nuclear talks collapse. Ari Lieberman notes that the Party of God desperately needs the talks to succeed, and is even playing the same pipes of peace as the Obama administration. Whoda thought?
A cash infusion, the byproduct of sanctions relief, will enable Iran and Hezbollah to carry on with their pillaging.
Strangely, Nasrallah’s “anti-war,” pro-deal stance puts him in the same corner as the Obama administration. Administration officials have even adopted Nasrallah’s rhetoric, claiming that the imposition of stiffer sanctions on Iran, as contemplated by congress, would lead to war . . .
So we are now confronted with a bizarre situation where Hezbollah and the United States are advocating the same cause and using the same panicky language, while the French, the traditional authority figures on appeasement, are showing some backbone. If that isn’t strange enough, the leadership void created by the administration’s vacillation and appeasement has generated a peculiar realignment of realpolitik whereby the Saudis, Kuwaitis, Qataris and other Gulf nations are looking to their traditional enemy, the Israelis, to protect their security interests.
2. As if Israeli-American disagreements on Iran weren’t bad enough, John Kerry’s briefing to Congress poured more gas on the fire. Buzzfeed‘s Rosie Gray quoted one senator describing the Secretary of State’s dismissive, anti-Israel views. The Israeli media picked up on this:
Sen. Mark Kirk was even more forceful in criticizing the officials’ presentation, calling it “very unconvincing.”
“It was fairly anti-Israeli,” Kirk said to reporters after the briefing. “I was supposed to disbelieve everything the Israelis had just told me, and I think the Israelis probably have a pretty good intelligence service.” He said the Israelis had told him that the “total changes proposed set back the program by 24 days.”
A Senate aide familiar with the meeting said that “every time anybody would say anything about ‘what would the Israelis say,’ they’d get cut off and Kerry would say, ‘You have to ignore what they’re telling you, stop listening to the Israelis on this.’”
The case has forced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to choose between supporting victims of Palestinian terrorism and risking a diplomatic rift with China, and it seems that decision was made Friday even though the document noted that “the motion was not made lightly.”
4. Vote for the Dishonest Reporter of 2013: Our annual recognition of the year’s most skewed and biased coverage of Israel and the Mideast conflict. Make your voice heard.
5. NY Times Continues Anti-Israel Crusade: Why the continuing vendetta on the op-ed pages?
6. NY Times Photo Outrage: While a murdered soldier is buried, the Gray Lady twists the knife in the back of the Jewish state.
7. German Cartoon Demonizes Israel — On Kristallnacht: A trifecta of cartoons in respectable German newspapers this year represents a deeper problem that can’t be ignored.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Turns out the the West Bank housing plans nixed by the Prime Minister’s office this week were more complicated than we realized. According to the Jerusalem Post, the plans would have created new settlement blocs — the first in two decades — outside the security barrier.
• Open-mic gaffes are so revealing:
• The ugly gift of Palestinian incitement:
• The ugly gift of Palestinian incitement, part 2:
• Khaled Abu Toameh notes some heavy PA hypocrisy on the matter of Palestinian prisoners. It begins with dozens of Palestinians imprisoned in Kuwait since 1991. Kuwait is keeping the prisoners’ families in the dark about their condition:
That Palestinians are being held in prison in an Arab country is not surprising. What is not understood is the Palestinian Authority’s position.
According to the report, the Palestinian Authority has never approached the Kuwaitis concerning the fate of the prisoners . . .
For the Palestinian Authority, the plight of Palestinians in Arab prisons does not seem to be an important issue. As far as the Palestinian Authority leadership is concerned, the only “heroes” are those prisoners who are held in Israel. For the Palestinian Authority, the Palestinians who are being tortured and killed in Arab prisons are not worth even a statement.
• The Israeli Press Council reprimanded Haaretz columnist Gideon Levy. After a Beer Sheva man, Itamar Alon, went on a shooting rampage at a bank in May, Levy suggested that Alon’s military background dealing with Palestinians was a contributing factor.
The Israel Police lodged a complaint with the Press Council after the opinion piece was published. In its decision, the council rejected a claim by Haaretz and Levy that the article was an acceptable expression of opinion and should therefore be allowed.
It said that Levy had broken the code of ethics that requires a journalist to check facts, to be accurate, and to refrain from referring to the ethnic backgrounds of people unless it is relevant to the subject. Likewise, Haaretz itself should have verified the article’s content and its accuracy, the council asserted.
Levy won last year’s Dishonest Reporter award.
- Palestinian NGO slams Hamas for torture.
- Prosecutor argues Argentina-Iran truth commission unconstitutional.
- Jordan’s Queen Rania speaks out against Islamic radicalism.