Today’s Top Stories
1. A Palestinian rammed a flatbed truck into a group of soldiers in Jerusalem at a popular promenade in the Armon HaNatziv neighborhood. As this roundup went to press, four soldiers were confirmed dead and 13 injured.
Reports identified the driver as Fadi Alkanbar, of eastern Jerusalem, who after hitting the soldiers, reversed and rammed into the group again. Palestinians celebrated in Gaza. Security cameras caught the attack on video.
On a related note, see Total Failure: IBT Screws Up Coverage of Jerusalem Terror Attack: How many things can go wrong with one story?
2. Israeli satellite uncovers Russian surface-to-surface ballistic missiles stationed in Syria. A lot of papers picked up on YNet‘s scoop. The Iksander missiles, with a range of 500 km, are stationed on Russia’s Latakia air base on the Syrian coast.
The Assad regime and the Iranians have both asked the Russians to sell them the missile systems, but have thus far refused their requests at Israel’s insistence. However, this request hasn’t kept the Russians from using the missiles themselves against ISIS and Fatah Jabhat al-Sham (formerly known as Jabhat al-Nusra).
Israel is worried that some of the missiles might be stolen from the Russians in Syria and given to Hezbollah. Meanwhile, the West is worried about the missiles’ presence in Syria in general, mainly due to the heavy warhead they carry.
— Charles Lister (@Charles_Lister) January 6, 2017
3. In an embarrassing defeat for the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions campaign, members of the Modern Language Association 1) shot down a resolution endorsing BDS and 2) adopted another resolution calling on the academic organization to refrain from boycotts. Details at the New York Times.
Total Failure: IBT Screws Up Coverage of Jerusalem Terror Attack: How many things can go wrong with one story?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Despite BDS pressure and European Union labeling guidelines, West Bank industrial zones are booming as companies market their products India, China and Africa. According to YNet:
At the Shahak industrial park being built in the northern West Bank, over 100 dunams have been sold to developers. The Barkan industrial park outside of Ariel – which already has 160 factories and companies – has registered a further 60 companies who want to relocate to the area.
Due to this huge increase in demand, another industrial park is set to open. Called the Nahal Rabah – Gates of Shomron Industrial Park, it will be located next to Sha’ar Tikvah and Oranit, putting it within a 20 minute drive of Petah Tikvah.
• Israel cuts $6 million in UN funding over anti-settlement vote.
• Gaza fisherman who collided with Israeli ship declared dead.
• Hamas slams Facebook over blocking “more than 90 pages supporting Hamas, in addition to 30 personal accounts affiliated with the movement.”
According to Maan News, many of the accounts had supported a campaign commemorating Hamas’ first bomb maker, Yahya “The Engineer” Ayyash, who Israel killed in 1996 with a booby-trapped cell phone. The campaign was called “Be Like Ayyash.”
Around the World
• Jerusalem Post: Islamic State calls on recruits to copy arson terror method used in Israel.
Through arson, operatives can “impose terror on an entire country,” the terror organization stressed.
• I think Al Jazeera‘s overplaying this “scoop,” but the network nonetheless caused the Israeli embassy in London to go into damage control. It secretly filmed a junior employee discussing how to “take down” the UK’s Deputy Foreign Secretary Sir Alan Duncan. The embassy apologized for Shai Masot’s comments, calling them “unacceptable” and he will be “ending his term of employment with the embassy shortly.”
• French supermarket apologizes for ‘made in Israeli settlement’ labels.
• The Spanish province of Valencia appears to have adopted a boycott of Israel as an official policy near the end of December. BDSniks are celebrating but I’m wondering why province leaders haven’t made an official announcement and are avoiding the press. According to the JTA:
Attempts to obtain a copy of the resolution, which was not found on the council’s website, did not immediately succeed. Calls and emails to the council were not answered nor returned.
• Turns out 2016 was the deadliest year ever for suicide bombers around the world. The Times of Israel picked up on stats compiled by Tel Aviv University’s Institute for National Security Studies. The INSS says Islamic State was responsible (directly or indirectly) for 70 percent of the year’s suicide bombings.
This past year, 469 suicide bombings were carried out by 800 perpetrators in 28 countries, causing the deaths of about 5,650 people . . . In view of the Islamic State’s territorial losses and the increasing international efforts to drive it out of the areas it controls, it appears that suicide terrorism will be a key tool for the Islamic State in consolidating its image as invincible, creating deterrence against its enemies, and taking revenge for the international activity against it.
• Police in Palo Alto and Stanford University are investigating a spate of swastika graffiti on campus and around town. In some locations, the graffiti was accompanied with the words, “No Jews allowed.” More at the Stanford Daily and San Jose Mercury News.
• Former NATO supreme commander Admiral James Stavridis calls on the US to form a closer military alliance with Israel. Specific areas he’d like to see enhanced include cybersecurity, intelligence cooperation, joint forces training, and technology and innovation.
• Memo to Tom Rogan: Israel probably turns a blind eye to direct US snooping more than you or I realize because, well, everybody does it. If Israel really got a (allegedly indirect) intelligence scoop on the US, get over it.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Victor Davis Hanson: Why the anti-Israeli sentiment?
– Elliott Abrams: What happens when UN Security Council resolutions are ignored?
– David Pollock: Israeli coordination with Arab states isn’t new. Talking about it is
– Dr. Reuven Berko: Why is Kerry ‘worried’?
– Melanie Phillips: Real liberals must shun Palestinian colonialism
– Amir Taheri: Obama and the Palestinian fig leaf
– Eitan Haber: Two reconciliations for two people
– Bridget Johnson: It’s not about the settlements, it’s about the terrorism
– Tom Tugendhat: Britain was wrong to back the UN’s anti-Israel resolution
– Juliet Moses: Israel vote was an affront to all New Zealanders
– Denis MacEoin: UnCorked: Ireland’s pseudo-academic anti-Israel hate-fest
– Richmond Times-Dispatch (staff-ed): US must restore relations with Israel
For a sense of what Israel’s critics are saying, see Yousef Munayyer.
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