Following reports yesterday that Israel was seeking written guarantees from the US, the Obama administration is drafting something to persuade Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government to renew the “settlement” freeze in Judea and Samaria.
Nailing down the specifics? Way to rub it in.
Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)
2:45PM: PA TV broadcasts children’s thoughts on Yasser Arafat (via PMW).
And while there is talk of struggle, they are not referring to the reaction of their fellow children when Arafat forced himself on them.
1:45PM: Did you know that the year after the Six Day War, Israel and Iran did battle against each other, with Iran defeating us?
Mahmoud Bayati’s story goes back longer than most people’s memories. In 1968, Bayati was already 37 years old and coach of the Iranian national team. It was a year that remains a landmark for the sport in Iran as Bayati led Team Melli to victory in the AFC Asian Cup on home soil.
That fact that his team had beaten Israel 2-1 in the decisive match in the heart of Tehran – the Amjadie Stadium – made it all the more sweet.
“It was tense,” Bayati told the-afc.com of the match, which was the last for both teams in the round-robin format. “It was not long after the Six Day War and this added more fuel to the fire.??
“One night before the match, there was a rumour that a rich Israeli had bought all the tickets so that we would not have any fans. It was very stressful,” added Bayati, one of many legendary coaches being honoured this year by AFC as part of the Asian Coaches Year celebrations.
“So, the government decided to open the gates and allow the people to enter the stadium. They filled every corner and even the running track around the pitch.”??
Goals by Homoyoon Behzadi (75 minutes) and Parviz Ghelichkhani (86) helped Iran recover from the 1-0 deficit to make history with their first Asian Cup triumph.??
You can read more about it here.
1:40PM: An Al Qaida linked group has threatened Israel in Hebrew – to quote Madonna – “for the very first time.”
An Al Qaida-linked group issued a Hebrew threat on Thursday to avenge Israel’s killing of two Gaza militants, in what an expert said was the first use of the language for such propaganda.
In the half-minute-long recording posted on a website used by declared Al-Qaida affiliates, a hoarse male voice tells the “aggressor Jews” they will not be safe from rockets and other attacks until they “leave the land of Palestine”.
The speaker identifies himself as a member of the group Jemaa Ansar al-Sunna or “Community of Sunna Supporters”, which has a presence in Gaza.
Matti Steinberg, an Israeli intelligence veteran who specializes in Islamism, said it was unprecedented for Hebrew to be used on an Al-Qaida forum.
While Osama bin Laden’s followers have made public appeals in languages other than Arabic, this was usually to “win over, educate and preach to the wider Muslim world”, Steinberg said. “Here, by contrast, it seems the idea to make Jews feel that the threat is close at hand — and not some distant menace.”
The recording, which was quoted on Israel’s Army Radio, ends by invoking “al Quds”, Arabic for Jerusalem. The speaker’s reference to rockets suggests links with Palestinians in Gaza, where this has been a favorite mode of attack against Israel.
9:40AM: Ricky Gervais sidekick Karl Pilkington – a.k.a the “Idiot Abroad” – visits Israel.
Line of the year: “It’s like Pacman”
6:08AM: Another “Boycott Israel” flash mob fail.
I’m beginning to think the prerequisites for joining this movement are no singing or dancing prowess, and an aversion to showering.