Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Intelligence officials confirm that an Iranian nuclear facility was blown up yesterday in Isfahan. Tom Friedman urges Israel to be more Fayyadistic than Salam Fayyad himself. And Israel releases $100 million in taxes to the PA.
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Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Quite a few Western press reports are picking up on a Times of London scoop about this week’s Big Bang in Isfahan. Sheera Frenkel writes:
Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.
The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was “no doubt” that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was “no accident” . . . .
He would not confirm or deny Israel’s involvement in the blast, instead saying that there were “many different parties looking to sabotage, stop or coerce Iran into stopping its nuclear weapons programme”.
• Daily Telegraph: Britain evacuated all its diplomatic staff from Iran after the embassy ransacking.
• NY Times columnist Tom Friedman says supporting Salam Fayyad’s nation-building is the best way for Israel to avoid getting burnt by Palestinian unrest and the Arab Spring.
But as I asked earlier today, when the Palestinians inevitably sacrifice Fayyad on the altar of national unity, what does Israel do? Be More Fayyadistic Than Fayyad?
• The government approved the release of $100 million to the PA. The Jerusalem Post writes:
According to government sources, Netanyahu believes that if the PA returns to its proactive efforts at the UN, Israel could once again freeze the funds. Under the terms of the Oslo agreements, Israel collects the tax monies each month and transfers them to the PA. Netanyahu said in the Knesset that Israel ultimately doesn’t want to see the PA fail.
• Thumbs up to Israel’s ambassador to the UN, Ron Prosor, for delivering an impressive speech yesterday, on the anniversary of the UN’s vote for the partition plan.
The resolution that gives the 29th of November significance – General Assembly resolution 181 – speaks of the creation of a “Jewish State” no less than 25 times. We still do not hear Palestinian leaders utter the term.
• The Christian Science Monitor picks up on Israeli “disquiet” over the question of “Whither Egypt?”
• Over at the Washington Post, Ashraf Khalil shares his 5 Worst Case Scenarios for the Egyptian Revolution.
• Reuters updates the latest on Turkey’s economic sanctions against Syria.
• According to Voice of America, the Muslim Brotherhood’s claiming victory in round one of the Egyptian elections by virtue of the high turnout.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• The Independent looks at the legal situation of Mohammed Sumarin, who faces eviction from his Silwan home. The case has been going on for years.
• Uri Dromi (Miami Herald) frets over the fate of Israeli democracy and free speech.
• If anyone wants to glean anything from these tea leaves, here’s Facebook’s 40 Most Shared Stories of the Year.