Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Will Stanley Fischer seek Israeli presidency? Will Khaled Mashaal seek PLO presidency? And a nice Al Jazeera video about Jewish and Arab volunteer paramedics working together in Jerusalem.
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Khaled Mashaal may be eyeing Mahmoud Abbas’s job, and Hamas is going to merge with Islamic Jihad. The Daily Telegraph writes:
“As negotiations between Fatah and Hamas gain momentum, it is possible that Meshaal is considering the possibility of occupying the seat of President of the PLO executive. He will compete for that.”
Meanwhile, the JPost picks up on Arab reports that Mashaal and Abbas will visit Gaza together. Feel the love.
• What heady days for Hamas PR with headlines like these:
• Here’s an unexpected surprise from Al Jazeera English: a look at Jewish and Arab volunteer paramedics working together in Jerusalem.
On the very same day, YNet reported that two Hamas fugitives were arrested in eastern Jerusalem after hiding for a year and a half in a Red Cross building.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Must read: Greg Sheridan (The Australian) assesses the different “clocks” ticking on Jerusalem, Tehran, and Washington’s agendas:
Taken altogether, this is the most explosive mixture the world has seen probably since the Cuban missile crisis. There are so many moving and interlocked parts no one can predict the outcome.
But if by the end of this year Iran has not negotiated the abandonment of its nuclear weapons program, if sanctions have not comprehensively crippled its economy and if its nuclear program has not been degraded by Israeli or US air strikes, then it becomes overwhelmingly likely that Iran has survived the Western bluff and will in due course acquire nuclear weapons.
• The EU imposed new sanctions on Iran. According to CNN, the import of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products are banned, Iran Central Bank assets are frozen, and trade in gold, diamonds and other precious metals is proscribed.
Eager Saudi officials say that if Iranian oil is added to the list, they’ll happily cover the shortfall. Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said:
“Our focus is not on who drops out from production, but who wants more.”
• Business is business. Syria ‘signs Russian military jet deal’.
• WashPost: Arab League calls on Bashar Assad to step down. Spoiler alert:
But there were no indications as to what steps would be taken if Assad failed to comply.
• More bad news from Egypt’s tourist industry:
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Israeli media’s buzzing over the possibility of Stanley Fischer replacing Shimon Peres as President of Israel. Peres finishes his term in 2014, which is when Fischer completes his term as a well-regarded Bank of Israel governor.
• Over at Salon, Zbigniew’s being Zbiniew again:
”The Israelis have a lot of influence with Congress, and in some cases they are able to buy influence.”
• Iranian general confirms that southern Lebanon and Iraq are under Iranian influence. Outraged Lebanese politicians told the Daily Star this confirms what they’ve said all along: Hezbollah is Tehran’s toady.
• A Latino Visits Israel and makes some observations about the “warts and all” we tend to forget.
For more, see Sunday’s Media Cheat Sheet.