Bethlehem’s Doing Better Than Big Media Lets On

Arab Spring Winter

Syrian rebels claim government used chemical weapons in Homs. The Times of Israel, citing Al Jazeera, writes:

. . .ten people suffered serious injuries from the chemical attack, including blindness and paralysis, and over 50 more people suffered other injuries.

Opposition activists posted a video online that they claimed shows a victim of the alleged chemical attack suffering from breathing difficulties.

As if chemical weapons aren’t enough, Syrian jets bombed a bakery in Halfaya as hungry civilians queued for bread. CNN quoted the opposition putting the death toll at more than 100.

With Egypt’s new constitution approved, the secular opposition is gearing up for the next stage. NY Times coverage.

In a news conference on Sunday, opposition leaders called the charter illegitimate and vowed to use any peaceful means available to prevent it from being carried out. “This is a constitution that lacks the most important prerequisite for a constitution: consensus,” said Hamdeen Sabahi, a leftist and former presidential candidate. “This means we can’t build our future based on this text at all.”

Robert Fisk looks back on 2012 and the Mideast. Best thing I can say about the column is that it made for a nice word cloud.

 Robert Fisk

Iranian Atomic Urgency

How many times have we heard “Next year is the tipping point for the US to attack Iran.” Dennis Ross makes that prediction for 2013, explaining to Jackson Diehl (Washington Post) why the coming year will be different:

Ross, who left the Obama White House at the end of 2011, concedes that prognosticators of an Iran crisis have a long losing streak. His reasons that next year will be different boil down to three: an approaching Iranian “breakout” capacity; Obama’s stated determination to prevent it; and the slow emergence of an economic and political climate in Iran that could prompt Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei to change course.

A Financial Times staff-ed (via Google News) weighs in on the Arab Spring, Iran and Israel.

Rest O’ the Roundup

BBC: The Libyan government says it’s preparing to release its files on the Lockerbie bombing, but it may be a year until that happens. I wonder what we’ll learn.

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

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