Today’s Top Stories
1. A Belgian newspaper fired a columnist who took to social media to laud the Palestinian terror attack which killed four Israeli soldiers on Sunday. After his dismissal from De Standaard, Dyab Abou Jahjah doubled-down on his praise for the attack in a series of tweets.
Jahjah was banned from Britain for his extremist views, most notably for saying in 2004, “I consider every dead American, British and Dutch soldier a victory,” and he’s reported to have ties to Hezbollah. Is it any wonder that Belgium has terror problems when radicals like Jajah are given newspapers columns?
An attack on occupation SOLDIERS in occupied territory is not terrorism! It is an act of Resistance. #FreePalestine
— Dyab Abou Jahjah (@Aboujahjah) January 8, 2017
2. Qatar’s planning to build an embassy in Gaza, reports Maan News. I wonder what this means, if anything, for the sturm und drang over relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem. Qatar is a significant patron of Hamas.
Naji Sharab, a professor of political science at Gaza’s al-Azhar University, told the Dunya al-Watan news outlet that “such a step is unprecedented in diplomatic relations,” and that he saw it as a potential move by Qatar to recognize the Gaza Strip as a national entity separate from the Palestinian Authority-ruled West Bank.
3. The Paris peace summit is coming up on Sunday. Haaretz got a sneak peek of a draft summary statement.
The dozens of countries attending the Middle East peace conference in Paris on Sunday are expected to call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to publicly renew their commitment to the two-state solution, and to renounce officials in their respective governments who oppose it . . .
According to the draft, participating countries will stress that they won’t recognize any changes to the June 4, 1967 borders, including in Jerusalem, except for any changes the two sides might agree during negotiations. The countries will also emphasize that they are committed to distinguishing, in all their actions, between the territories of the State of Israel and the settlements in the territories that Israel occupied in 1967.
Israel and the Palestinians
• YNet: The Interior Ministry revoked the Jerusalem residency permits of 13 members of the family of Sunday’s truck terrorist, Fadi al Qunbar.
As a result of the terror attack, in which four IDF officers were murdered, Minwa al-Qunbar, a permanent resident of Israel who is also in bigamous marriage contrary to Israeli law, will lose her permanent residency and corresponding social benefits.
Such a measure has previously never been implemented and prevents the family from appealing to the High Court of Justice, as they are not Israeli citizens.
• There’s no way to verify this, but a previously unknown group calling itself “the Martyr of Baha Alyan Collective” is claiming responsibility for Sunday’s truck-ramming terror attack, which killed four soldiers in Jerusalem. Baha Alyan was one of two Palestinians killed while shooting and stabbing passengers in an attack on a Jerusalem bus in 2015.
The name of this group sounds awfully similar to “The Leader Baha Alyan Course” a program offered by the Palestinian Scout Association, as flagged by Palestinian Media Watch. Just saying . . .
• Soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian trying to stab them during an arrest raid near Nablus last night.
• The New York Times announced that its new Jerusalem bureau chief will be Ian Baker. He’s an assistant editor who did a previous stint in Israel during the Second Intifada. He replaces Peter Baker, who is returning to the US to cover Donald Trump’s White House.
• Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria to Beirut encounter fear and loathing in the Shatilla refugee camp.
Around the World
• Reuters: Iran to double military spending. Plan “includes developing long range missiles, armed drones and cyber-war capabilities.”
• At least 17 Jewish community centers in the US and three Jewish schools in London received hoax bomb threats. Some buildings were evacuated while others took security lock-down measures. No bombs were found in any of the threatened facilities:
The calls were prerecorded in some cases and live in others, with the caller using voice disguising technology, and likely came from a single source . . .
— GermanForeignOffice (@GermanyDiplo) January 9, 2017
• South African President Jacob Zuma and the African National Congress are discouraging people from visiting Israel.
“The people of Palestine continue to suffer in their rightful quest for self-determination … We reiterate that we firmly discourage travel to Israel for causes not related to fostering peace in the region,” Zuma said in a speech to thousands of party supporters.
• Vandals smashed the stained glass window of a Philadelphia synagogue for the second time in two months.
• Heads up on an outbreak of cooties in the Mideast:
• Two years after Islamic terrorists attacked Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, Paris Jews expect another attack, despite various French security measures.
• It says a lot about the BDS movement that a member of the Modern Language Association has to remain anonymous in order to write about what happened at the MLA convention. Writing in Legal Insurrection, this MLA member provides a blow by blow account of the debate, vote and aftermath, as well as some conclusions:
The threat of real legal action, the obvious prospective headaches that BDS would bring, all clearly helped. Additionally, the anti-BDS contingent seemed better mobilized and more articulate this time around. But this is not something to rely on in moving forward.
One thing that emerged, as covered in our own story before the resolution, was how many factual errors the BDS advocacy documents contain. The oft-cited Alternative Information Center document listing all the ‘sins’ of Israeli academic institutions, is rife with demonstrable falsehoods. Cary Nelson published an extensive takedown of these last week in Fathom.
While it would be naïve to assume that the other side (or the Delegates) actually read Nelson’s piece this time (as opposed to watching the video, albeit only to confirm their view of Israeli academics as privileged) it is probably quite valuable moving forward for the lies and errors in these documents to be exposed in digestible format, for all to see.
Conspicuously absent from many BDS debates are those who are intimately familiar with the facts on the ground, and with Israeli society. Where are the many professors of Hebrew literature or Israeli literature academics who can both personally attest to the facts about the conflict and to how they and their friends will be affected by BDS? While true Israel haters might not be moved by the plight of their colleagues (your suffering is a small price to pay), many others might be, and could be moved by either facts or empathy.
• Tweet of the day goes to Grant Rumley for noting this awkward anniversary.
12 years ago today Mahmoud Abbas was elected to a 4-year term as president of the Palestinian Authority. https://t.co/E9I0KO99Gz
— Grant Rumley (@GrantRumley) January 10, 2017
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Bret Stephens: On Palestinian statehood (click via Twitter)
– Graeme Carle: Apply simple justice for all, Palestinians and Jews
– Herb Keinon: Has the penny dropped on terror in Israel?
– Lawrence Solomon: Why would anyone ever think the Palestinians would accept a two-state solution?
– The Spectator Australia (staff-ed): The evil of 23354
– John McCormick: Direct negotiation is the best way
– David Flint: Stabbing an ally in the back
– Daniel Runde: Don’t defund the UN — Find other ways to help Israel
– Bassam Tawil: Palestinians: Glorifying mass murderers
– Sally Abrams: Stop pretending this was a truck attack
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Israeli foolishness is making terror attacks possible
– Jerusalem Post (staff-ed): Why Jerusalem attack exposes Israel’s false peace partner
– Moshe Arens: Obama’s tragic Mideast legacy
– Shira Wolosky: The Modern Language Association and BDS
– Max Blankfeld: Israel and the Arab World – Here’s what could happen under Trump’s presidency
– Shahar Azani: Who’s really behind the academic boycott against Israel?
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