Today’s Top Stories

1. AP: Mohammed Morsi’s trying to smooth out Washington’s ruffled feathers over his video calling Zionists “pigs and bloodsuckers.” The Egyptian president told a delegation of visiting US senators his remarks “were a denunciation of Israeli policies.” I’m not sure that line will address the concerns raised by a Globe Mail staff-ed:

It will now be impossible for Israelis to believe he is sincere when he says is a partner in the peace process, and the Obama Administration will have a difficult time selling him as a trustworthy ally.

In the name of the stability and moderation Mr. Morsi has claimed to represent in Egypt, he needs to renounce his ugly statements and reinforce his commitment to peace.

Israeli Navy

Israeli missile ships during 2012 training exercise.

Israeli missile ships during 2012 training exercise.

2. Iran says it is deploying a fleet of ships to patrol the Red Sea and Mediterranean. Credit the mullahs for dropping the pretense of fighting piracy. The Times of Israel writes:

The move will put Iranian firepower at Israel’s doorstep, and likely raise tensions in the already skittish region.

Navy Commander Habibollah Sayyari said Iran’s 24th fleet would be sent to points around the region to act as a show of force and “counter threats” to Iran . . .

Oh yeah, it also helps secure Iran’s weapons smuggling pipeline to Gaza via Africa.

3. Danny Ayalon to Hurriyet: Israel looks ready to apologize to Turkey for the Mavi Marmara incident.

When asked about the preconditions of reconciliation with Turkey, Ayalon said: “For instance, I can think of creating a way of solving this by adapting the American-Pakistani formula. Remember, recently there were 24 Pakistani soldiers killed by mistake by American forces, and the Americans sent a letter that was accepted in Pakistan. And I believe this could be a good platform to clear away the issue.” When asked whether this was an apology, he said: “Yes.”

Israel and the Palestinians

Times of Israel: Hamas insists it won’t disarm for a national unity deal. Even if Hamas woke up one morning and found Israel gone from the face of the earth, its armed “wing” would find another raison d’etre and turn its guns on the Fatah.

While there was plenty of coverage of Samir Awad’s death during a West Bank clash, The Independent took things a step further.

The Independent

The article gives no indication that reporter Alistair Dawber sought the IDF’s response to claims that soldiers taunted the kids. As Palestinian violence and provocations continue to rise, these kinds of incidents are bound to increase. Indeed, the Western press doesn’t bother picking up on the drip drip escalation. In case you didn’t know, Palestinians rioted near Rachel’s Tomb.

The BBC sides with an anti-Israel extremist’s version of history. See the Jewish Chronicle for details on pro-Palestinian activist Ben White’s complaint, which was upheld by the BBC Trust (pdf format, page 16).

Professor Richard Landes is blogging his observations from the Paris courtroom, where French activist Philippe Karsenty and France 2 square off over the Mohammed Dura video’s veracity.

Tony Blair

Tony Blair

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Peter Oborne calls on Tony Blair to “fall on his sword” and step down as the Quartet’s envoy to the Mideast, having contributed nothing of significance to peace efforts:

Mr Blair and the Quartet have sought to achieve incremental improvements rather than challenge the fundamental injustice of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. I am sure that Mr Blair calculates that powerful criticism would hinder or prevent access to the Israeli leadership and make his day-to-day duties hopeless, and he may well be correct to think that Mr Netanyahu would not give him the time of day if he spoke out of turn.

But this diplomatic reticence does lay him open to the charge that he has been part of an international framework which has, perhaps without fully intending it, collaborated with the illegal Israeli colonisation of the West Bank.

I’m glad The Scotsman is using the word terror, but why is it only applied to Jews?

Jewish Terrorist‘ admits two murders

BBC looks at Bedouin/Israeli friction in the Negev.

(Image of ships via Flickr/Israel Defense Forces; Blair via Flickr/Chatham House) 

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