Plato's Guns

M i d e a s t Newsstand

Egypt gas find sparks panic in Israel about Israeli reserves – AP

by NewsStand

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Egypt’s new natural gas bonanza is causing an uproar in Israel, with energy stocks plummeting and recriminations over indecisiveness and infighting that have delayed production from the country’s own gas fields.

The government is currently struggling to get parliament to approve its natural gas business plan, but observers fear Israel may need to reassess everything now that Egypt, which had been cast as both an export destination and a partner, may have found its own independent solution.

Israel’s offshore gas reserves had long been regarded as a future cash cow for the resource-poor country, and gas exporters in Egypt were expected to be the key customers of Israel’s yet untapped Leviathan field.

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Why rich political donors are wasting a lot of money – Rick Newman/YahooFinance

by NewsStand

Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, is a self-made billionaire whose knack for business has helped him amass an enormous $28 billion fortune, according to Forbes. His winning percentage in politics, however, is far below his success rate in business.

Adelson and his wife Miriam have become political megadonors, giving roughly $100 million to federal candidates and groups supporting them during the last two election cycles, including failed presidential candidate Newt Gingrich in 2012. Only 56% of the candidates backed by Adelson won during those two cycles. That’s slightly better than the odds of winning a coin toss, yet it’s far below the reelection rate for incumbents, which exceeds 90%. And the winning percentage of candidates backed by political-action committees Adelson gave money to was just 42%, the worst performance among the 10 biggest megadonors in politics today.

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Russian jets in Syrian skies – Alex Fishman/Ynet

by NewsStand

A formation of Russian Mig 31's (Photo: Reuters)     Russian Mig 31’s

Russia has begun its military intervention in Syria, deploying an aerial contingent to a permanent Syrian base, in order to launch attacks against ISIS and Islamist rebels; US stays silent.

Russian fighter pilots are expected to begin arriving in Syria in the coming days, and will fly their Russian air force fighter jets and attack helicopters against ISIS and rebel-aligned targets within the failing state.

According to Western diplomats, a Russian expeditionary force has already arrived in Syria and set up camp in an Assad-controlled airbase. The base is said to be in area surrounding Damascus, and will serve, for all intents and purposes, as a Russian forward operating base.

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The Israeli Jew suspected of trying to join the Islamic State – Adam Taylor/Washington Post

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A young Israeli Jew suspected of planning to join the Islamic State has been found in Turkey and returned to Israel, the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem told reporters Tuesday. The 21-year-old had been taken in by police in the city of Iskenderun after the Israeli Embassy requested help, Haaretz newspaper reports, and family members flew to Turkey to escort him home.
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How top Clinton confidants talk about Israel when no one’s listening – Max Fisher/Vox

by NewsStand

Reporters are mostly combing through the just-released Hillary Clinton emails looking for scandal, but the correspondence also reveals how Clinton and the people in her orbit think and talk about important policy issues when they believe no one’s listening.

That includes, in this case, two emails from 2010 that offer a fascinating glimpse into how two Clinton-world foreign policy people, Martin Indyk and Sandy Berger (they are also former senior officials in the Bill Clinton administration), thought about Israel and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Neither was in government at the time, but their notes both reached Clinton as she was secretary of state. And it seems at least highly plausible that they would return to senior roles in a future Clinton administration.
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Win $250,000 Prize for Best Hasbara Proposal – Richard Silverstein/Tikun-Olam

by NewsStand

loveisrael hasbara campaign

Keshet Media, the holding company which includes Israel’s Channel 2 and the online news portal, Mako has launched a social media/marketing campaign, #LOVEISRAEL, which offers a cool 1-million shekel ($255,000) prize for the best hasbara proposal.  The ad copy reads:

“Are you disgusted with Israel’s image in the world?  Upload your idea to contribute to Israeli hasbara.  1-million shekels will be invested in an idea that will become part of the fight on behalf of our image in the world!”

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Car bomb damages Italy’s ENI joint venture office in Libyan capital (*Is this a Mossad Black-Op?) – Reuters

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*PLATO’S NOTE:  ENI is the very same company that two days ago announced the largest discovery of gas in the Mediterranean, possibly the world, found right off the coast of Egypt.  This discovery has royally pissed off the Israelis.  Is today’s bombing of ENI offices a coincidence? 

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Reuters – A car bomb went off in Libya’s capital Tripoli on Monday in front of the headquarters of Mellitah, an oil and gas joint venture between Italy’s ENI and Libyan state oil firm NOC, witnesses said.

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A Time For Some Summer Levity: A Conversation Between Netanyahu And Abbas – Alon Ben-Meir/HuffPo

by NewsStand

The following conversation between Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) is fictitious.

The setting: Bibi and Abu Mazen happen to come to East Jerusalem and stumble into each other at the Colony Hotel. They approached to say hello and felt that a brief private meeting would do no harm. A few minutes later, they adjourned to a secure room in the hotel.

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Iran, Antisemitism and Bagels – Obama Interviewed by Forward Editor-in-Chief

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Here is the transcript of Jane Eisner’s interview with President Obama on Friday, August 28 in the Oval Office. The questions have been edited slightly for clarity. His responses are published here in full.

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Is this disturbing video Israel’s Eric Garner moment? – Max Fisher/Vox

by NewsStand

For a few years now, Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh have held a weekly demonstration to protest the Israeli occupation that has confiscated village land for a nearby Israeli settlement. These protests don’t usually make international news.

But last week’s was different. Friday’s demonstration in Nabi Saleh escalated into a violent confrontation between an Israeli soldier and a young child — all caught on camera by the press who had attended the protest. The result was a video of an IDF soldier placing an 11-year-old child in a chokehold, holding a gun near his head, and then sitting on him as he screamed in fear and pain.

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