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Islamists blew the Israeli-Egyptian gas pipeline for the seventh time this year, two weeks after Egypt had resumed gas supplies to Israel.

This is a welcome outcome for the Egyptian junta: on one hand, it responded positively to American pressure to resume supplies against the wishes of local Muslim parties; but on the other hand, the supplies did not resume.

It is practically impossible to guard the entire length of the pipeline. The only option is the one employed by Mubarak—to threaten the Muslim Brotherhood as a whole rather than search for individual terrorists. Now that Obama has welcomed the Brotherhood into Egyptian politics, such collective responsibility is no longer possible.

The Supreme Court heard two eerily similar cases almost concurrently. In one case, former president Moshe Katsav claimed, with all circumstantial evidence on his side, that he did not rape his office worker, at least not in the normal sense of the word ‘rape.’ In another case, a northern Arab named Abu Zintai claimed that he did not murder his wife’s lover as detailed by his accomplice, even though all circumstantial evidence pointed to his guilt.

The Court believed the Arab and acquitted him. The president had earned no such trust.

Israel’s Arrow-2 SAM can reasonably be expected to intercept crude Iranian ballistic missiles. Thus, Iranian retaliation against an Israeli strike is not likely to be a problem.

Iran, however, purchased from twelve to thirty-two X-55 cruise missiles from Ukraine in 2000–2005. Ukraine also sent training teams and auxiliary equipment. Most Ukrainian participants in the deal were promptly assassinated, but the missiles were delivered. They are capable of delivering a 200kt nuclear warhead over 1,500 miles.

X-55 cannot be intercepted by Arrow-2.

November 2011
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