Israel and the Palestinians
• I liked this Q&A on E1 by CNN‘s Fred Pleitgen.
• Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat spoke out on the settlement row.
“I don’t know of any city in the world whose regulator is the U.S. president.”
“My name was on a list of signatories of a petition supporting Palestine,” Drogba said in a statement. “Please note: I did not sign this petition or give my support to this initiative, because I have never got involved in any conflicts, even in my own country, the Ivory Coast.
• NY Times columnist Tom Friedman calls Israel’s latest settlement moves “arrogant.” He also frets that the security barrier and Iron Dome will work too well for Israel’s own good:
Meanwhile, with a few exceptions, the dome and wall have so insulated the Israeli left and center from the effects of the Israeli occupation that their main candidates for the Jan. 22 elections — including those from Yitzhak Rabin’s old Labor Party — are not even offering peace ideas but simply conceding the right’s dominance on that issue and focusing on bringing down housing prices and school class sizes. One settler leader told me the biggest problem in the West Bank today is “traffic jams.”
I am glad that the wall and the Iron Dome are sheltering Israelis from enemies who wish to do them ill, but I fear the wall and the Iron Dome are also blinding them from truths they still badly need to face.
• AP: It won’t be simple for the Palestinians to push war crimes against Israel at the International Criminal Court.
• Worth reading: In a well-articulated YNet commentary,Trevor Asserson explains why the foreign press beats the IDF every time.
• The Daily Telegraph‘s Matt Hill says Bibi’s bluffing on E1:
But few in the media have noticed that the move amounts to far less than it seems. In fact the decision was not an order to start construction in E1, but to begin the process of planning and zoning – as Netanyahu’s office hastily clarified yesterday. The initiative is almost certain to get lost in the wheels of bureaucracy once the front pages move on, as it has done in the past.
• Lead Screed: The Guardian‘s Glenn Greenwald on Israel as rogue state.
• Bad news for the BDS movement: India urges Israel to speed up defense projects.
Another major missile project, worth around $1 billion, that Israel could bag is the one to supply third-generation anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) to the 1.13-million strong Indian Army. The Army has already trial-evaluated the Israeli ‘Spike’ ATGM . . .
• This headline from The Lede pretty much sums up what you need to know about Egypt, where protesters have surrounded Mohammed Morsi’s presidential palace. The
pen phone is indeed mightier than the sword.
More on the demonstrations at CNN.
• Asharq al-Awsat‘s Tariq Almohayed says the chickens came home to roost on the Egyptian media:
I am in favor of the rigorous rules found in every respected media domain in the world, but I completely reject the intimidation of the media, and attempts to undermine it with blackmail, insults, and defamation, along the lines of what the Brotherhood is doing, and in the case of Egypt specifically.
The Egyptian media’s biggest mistake was to trust the Muslim Brotherhood’s project, and its shortcomings, without asking serious questions. By trying to keep pace with the disgruntled and enraged revolutionary forces against the Mubarak regime, the Egyptian media opted to go along with the loudest voice instead of undertaking its real role, which is to ask serious questions and provide accurate information. At the time, unfortunately, the Egyptian media decided to put the horse behind the cart, not in front of it, and now we see the media itself falling victim to the intimidation of the Brotherhood and the Salafis.
• A Times of London staff-ed (paywall) supports a Western attack on Syrian WMD stockpiles.
• As the Damascus regime collapses, the Israel-Syria border will get hotter and hotter, an IDF intelligence officer told Israeli TV.
The main problem is not local rebels but those that come from outside of Syria. Fighters have begun to flow into Syria from countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Libya. The source told Channel 2 “it’s important to say that we are talking about very dangerous people with experience fighting the U.S. Army” in Iraq or against the regime in Libya. Today, estimates have it that between 3,000 and 4,000 rebels are readying a fight with Israel, according to Channel 2.
Said the Israeli official: “It really doesn’t matter who controls Syria the day after the regime falls. Every indication is that it is not heading in a positive direction for Israel.”
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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