Is Syria Weaponizing Its WMDs?


Worth reading: An Open Letter to Jewish Campus Professionals and Educators

A NY Times staff-ed slams the settlement moves.

The plan to develop E1 is particularly disturbing because the Obama administration, like others before it, have considered expansion there fatal to a two-state solution.

Staff-eds disapproved of E1. I was impressed with the Daily Telegraph‘s respectfully written approach. Contrast that with The Independent, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, and The Guardian. The latter which starts off:

Supporting a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict feels increasingly like clinging onto a cliff edge while someone with heavy boots stamps on your fingers. The boots were Israeli on Monday.

Also in The Guardian print edition, former European diplomats Mary Robinson and Martti Ahtisaari plug a settlement boycott.

PBS discussed the situation with David Makovsky and Ghaith Al-Omari.

Watch West Bank Construction Obstructs a Two-State Solution on PBS. See more from PBS NewsHour.

When you get right down to it, Ian Buruma’s Globe & Mail commentary essentially argues that Israel isn’t interested in peace.

See more commentary/analysis from the Times of London (paywall), Sky News, Jonathan Tobin, and Amir Mizroch.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Amos Yadlin and Charles Krauthammer tag-teamed a Toronto debate against Fareed Zakaria and Vali Nasr. The topic? Whether the world can tolerate a nuclear-armed Iran. The Canadian Jewish News was on hand.

Arab Spring Winter

Egyptian media went on strike as secular civil disobedience spreads. Zee News says three private TV channels announced they would leave their screens blank tomorrow, while 11 independent newspapers said they would not publish tomorrow. Several papers even coordinated their front pages, as described by the Egyptian Independent:

In an unprecedented move, privately owned papers including Al-Watan, Al-Tahrir, Youm7 and Al-Wafd share the same front-page headline: “No to dictatorship,” with a hint at the bottom saying the press strike will take place Tuesday in protest of restricted freedoms in the draft constitution.

The entire front pages of all three papers are dedicated to an expressive, embodied image of a prisoner — representing the press — who is sitting hopelessly in a jail cell with his legs chained together.

An analyst offered AP one reason the West isn’t hurrying to send in troops to secure Syrian WMDs.

A primary argument against sending in US ground troops is that whoever takes possession of the chemical weapons will be responsible for destroying them, as part of the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention. Destroying Syria’s stockpiles could cost hundreds of millions of dollars, and take more than a decade, Quinlivan said.

From the NY Times:

A Russian political analyst with contacts at the Foreign Ministry said that “people sent by the Russian leadership” who had contact with Mr. Assad two weeks ago described a man who has lost all hope of victory or escape . . .

If he will try to go, to leave, to exit, he will be killed by his own people,” Mr. Lukyanov said, speculating that security forces dominated by Mr. Assad’s minority Alawite sect would not let him depart and leave them to face revenge. “If he stays, he will be killed by his opponents. He is in a trap. It is not about Russia or anybody else. It is about his physical survival.”

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

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