Joe Levin, private eye.(NYT)

• Good piece on Israel’s wildly successful anti-flotilla diplomacy, which has on one front evolved into a “ bidding war between [Turkey and Greece] to help Israel.” [Guardian]

• Yet Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan insisted that Israel must not only express regret but actually apologize for last year’s flotilla raid. That will make Israel and Turkey’s negotiations toward formal diplomatic rapprochement more difficult. [Reuters/Haaretz]

• At least 12 died in anti-regime protests in Syria today, bolstered by U.S. Ambassador Robert Ford’s surprise visit yesterday to the dissident stronghold of Hama. [WSJ]

• Your weekend reading is this amazing profile of Joe Levin, the foremost private investigator specializing in the Hasidic world, courtesy the other daily magazine of Jewish life and culture. [NYT]

• China and Russia have reportedly been aiding Iran with its nuclear program since the 1990s. Thanks, guys. [Washington Times]

• Super-brief primer on next Monday’s Quartet talks from Aaron David Miller. [Wilson Center]

• Note the mutual useless stereotypes of Manhattan and Florida. [NYT Magazine]

• If you think of Lebanese politics as the English Premier League—“all about the relaxed rules about foreign ownership and player transfers—it becomes easier to understand (mainly if you already understand the EPL). [Karl reMarks]

• Francophilic intellectual Arthur Goldhammer blogs a review by Sylvie Kauffmann of an autobiographical book by Dominique Moïsi called Un Juif Improbable. But I’m sure there are plenty of non-Jewish French intellectuals. [French Politics]

• Influential film historian Robert Sklar died at 74. [NYT]

Viggo Mortensen as Freud? David Cronenberg directing? Keira Knightley receiving spank-therapy? Sign me up!