Shorts: Mideast

Netanyahu may hire Karl Rove

Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu may hire former White House adviser Karl Rove.

Citing sources close to Netanyahu, Israel’s Channel 10 reported last week that Rove’s name has come up on a roster of strategic consultants that the Israeli opposition leader is thinking of hiring as he prepares for a possible leadership challenge against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Rove, who is widely credited with securing President Bush his two terms in office, quit the White House last year. — jta

Iran complains to U.N. about threat

Iran filed a United Nations Security Council complaint after an Israeli official threatened to attack its nuclear facilities.

Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former defense chief, said last week that Israel would have no choice but to attack Iran given the failure of U.N. Security Council sanctions in curbing its nuclear program.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s office has not responded to the complaint. — jta

Brief altercations at Tel Aviv parade

There were brief but heated altercations June 6 between participants in the Tel Aviv Gay Pride parade and a group of right-wing demonstrators.

No one was wounded, and police were not required to intervene.

The demonstrators held up protest signs, one of which read, “Animals! You have nothing to be proud of, take your medication.” — jps

Hoopoe named Israel’s national bird

The hoopoe was recently named Israel’s national bird.

After months of consulting with the public and ornithology experts, President Shimon Peres declared the hoopoe, or “duchifat” in Hebrew, Israel’s national bird.

The white-crested fowl — which is not kosher to eat, according to Leviticus — is commonly seen in the Middle East and has an Israeli commando unit named after it.

Among other candidates for the national title defeated by the hoopoe were the Palestine sunbird, whose English name was deemed politically problematic, and the bulbul, which in Hebrew also serves as slang for the male sexual organ. — jta