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Daybreak: Internal Dispute Over Iran Weapons

Plus, an anti-Assad tune, and more in the news

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An air defense missile paraded through Tehran.(Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images)

• President Ahmadinejad would like Iran to pursue nuclear weapons openly but is opposed on this issue by the mullah leaders, according to a new AP intelligence assessment. [AP/WP]

• Great report on the Palestinian statehood drive at the United Nations from the perspective of the Israelis. [Turtle Bay]

• Lebanon signed an energy exploration deal with Iran, which both may violate U.N. sanctions and be seen as provocative given the dispute over offshore natural gas fields. [JPost]

• Hamas and Fatah representatives will meet in Cairo later this month to continue work on reconciliation. Good luck with that, dudes. [JPost]

• “Come on Bashar, Leave.” It’s catchy if you sing it right. [NYT]

• The Kletzky family has established a memorial fund in memory of their slain eight-year-old son, Leiby. [NYT]

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Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

“according to a new AP intelligence assessment”

I didn’t know that the AP was an intelligence agency or had spies, satellites, wiretaps, SigInt & other sources of espionage at their disposal.

hg

That piece in Foreign Policy seems like pure revisionism to me. Israel and Palestine haven’t failed to establish an understanding because Arafat demurred on some question of territorial concessions in 1994. They have failed because Arafat turned down the offer of an independent state in 2000, and because Abbas did the same several years later, despite Israel’s having forcibly removed its own settlers from Gaza.

How can a reporter fail to mention this? Did I miss it?

Colum Lynch, like so many of his colleagues in the press, does terrible violence to the truth by effectively wiping the historical slate clean and maintaining the fiction that both sides in this drama have been equally intransigent. It’s a comforting notion for a mindset determined not to assign blame, or even agency, to the actors in a conflict. But it is a fiction, and the prevailing narrative is not Israeli; it is Western Liberal.

That’s not to say that Netanyahu hasn’t been stalling, or that he might not have the propensity toward reconciliation necessary to overcome the current impasse. I don’t think he does. But it was the Palestinians who elected Netanyahu, by rebuffing Barak, and answering Sharon’s wholesale territorial concession with a fusillade of missiles, to say nothing of Barak’s evacuation of Lebanon. This doesn’t constitute an Israeli narrative. It’s the truth.

The problem in eliding over these facts is that, while it preserves a worldview that takes as doctrinal the idea that reasoned dialogue will ultimately establish harmony among nations, it continues to obfuscate the real cause of the problem. And if the real cause isn’t addressed, the problem will just continue to fester.

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Daybreak: Internal Dispute Over Iran Weapons

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