Tablet Magazine will be dark Monday in honor of Martin Luther King Day (and in defiance of Ron Paul’s wishes). Enjoy the best sports weekend of the year.
• In a false flag operation that made President George W. Bush livid, Mossad agents reportedly posed as U.S. intelligence agents to recruit members of a Pakistani terrorist group into conducting operations, including assassination, in Iran. Huge scoop. [FP]
• Frequent Tablet Magazine contributor James Kirchick links the contemporary use (typically on the left) of terms like “Israel-firster” and “dual loyalism” to the anti-Semitic far-right. [Haaretz]
• Entering roughly the same debate, Eric Alterman defends his own record and accuses critics of think tanks like the Center for American Progress and Media Matters of practicing “Jewish McCarthyism.” [Forward]
• Iran continued to allege that Israel and the United States were responsible for yesterday’s and other assassinations of nuclear scientists (which the U.S. strongly denies) and hinted at reprisals. [NYT]
• Yet weirdly the head of Iran’s nuclear agency showed up at the scientist’s funeral, almost as though the scientist had not been merely a scientist. [Golnaz Esfandiari Twitter]
• Prime Minister Netanyahu acknowledged that sanctions are indeed harming Iran’s economy and possibly working toward their goal of making the country compliant with international nuclear standards. [Haaretz]
• The head of the Kremlin’s Security Council accused Israel of pushing the U.S. toward war with Iran. [Haaretz]
• The Palestinian Authority set a Jan. 26 deadline for concrete progress or else it will pull out of the series of talks in Amman. It’s … unclear what the stick is here. Or the carrot, for that matter. [JPost]
• PolitiFact says that the Democratic accusation that the leading Republican candidates (excepting Paul) would “zero-out” aid to Israel is ridiculous. [JTA Capital J]
• Which religion, out of Christianity, Islam, and Judaism, offers the best average pay for clergy in America? Hint: Don’t over-think this one. [Slate]
• Tila Tequila is going to convert to Judaism. I am ashamed to admit that I have heard of Tila Tequila but proud to boast that I have no idea who she is. [TMZ]
• The Frugal Traveler (aka Matt Gross) visits Jerusalem! Now if only Bourdain would go. [NYT]
• Saad Hariri’s tweet “@” an Israeli Defense spokesperson could make things … awkward for the former Lebanese prime minister. [Abir G Twitter]
I imagine this video, starring Mayor Michael Bloomberg and with a cameo by former Mayor Ed Koch and set to the music of Lady Gaga, lets you feel what it’s like to take a lot of acid.