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Protesters in IranAs tens of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Tehran, the American president remained silent, an attitude which markedly contrasts with how outspoken he was over the Egyptian crisis. There was not a word of encouragement for the Iranian protesters from the White House.

Obama would be wrong to think that his support would discredit the Iranian opposition: government propaganda connects them to the CIA, anyway. His support would greatly encourage the crowds.

In the absence of the kind of international condemnation levied at Mubarak, the ayatollahs feel free to suppress the riots.

On other hand, Iranian reformers are no less anti-Israeli and pro-nuclear than Ahmadinejad.

The judicial branch continues its triumphal run over the executive branch with its indictment of Berlusconi. The Italian PM is charged with the trivial offense of paying for sex.

Traditionally, sovereigns and politicians have been accorded immunity, or at least granted a much-relaxed threshold of criminal behavior, but today they are singled out for exemplary prosecution.

After ten years of bickering, the PA has finally settled the Ungar case. A US court ordered the PA to pay $116 million in a wrongful death case for murdering the Ungar family in 1996. The Ungars, who lived in Israel, had US citizenship. In the meantime, PA accounts in the United States remain frozen.

Israel, on other hand, exerts no similar pressure on the PA in wrongful death cases. Even in the rare instances when Israeli courts have awarded damages to the relatives of Jewish victims, the government has refused to block Palestinian accounts in Israel or even deduct the court-ordered payments from the tax transfers Israel pays to the PA.

February 2011
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