What Events We Are Watching Today

images  Today’s three important events in the news that impacts on the Middle East and Israel.

 

  • At least nine people died when a car bomb exploded at a gas station in Damascus Thursday, just a day after dozens were killed in an airstrike on a gas station south of the city. Due to fuel shortages, gas stations have become easy targets in the three-way proxy war that has destroyed Syria, as motorists will often wait hours in line for fuel. On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Council estimated that more than 60,000 people have been killed in the 22-month-long uprising against Iran-backed Bashar al-Assad’s regime, a number that UN Human Rights Chief Navi Pillay called “truly shocking.”
  • A German columnist’s inclusion in the Simon Weisenthal Center’s list of top anti-Semitic writers is sparking debates across Europe. Jakob Augstein’s online columns in Spiegel have covered topics ranging from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to ultra-Orthodox religious groups in Israel to the U.S.-Israel relationship, citing in particular that he believes “the [U.S.] president must secure the support of Jewish lobby groups.” Augstein has also defended noted anti-Zionists from both Europe and the United States, namely German poet Günter Grass’ controversial poem about Israel’s nuclear program.
  • Bulgarian officials have identified and issued an arrest warrant for one of the suspects in the July bombing of a tourist bus that left five Israelis and a Bulgarian bus driver dead. At least three foreigners aided the suicide bomber, who according to officials did not plan to die in the attack in the resort city of Burgas. Bulgarian media have reported that a fourth suspect may emerge. At least two of the suspects, including the bomber, had fake documents from the state of Michigan. The identified accomplice’s actual country of origin is known to officials, but that information is not yet being made public.