Today’s Top Stories
1. Nine BDS leaders in Spain are going on trial “for the boycott and harassment of Jewish American singer Matisyahu in the summer of 2015.” The Jewish-American singer’s performance at a Spanish reggae festival was cancelled — then reinstated — when boycott activists sought to force him to issue a pro-Palestinian statement as a condition of performing. According to the Jerusalem Post:
If found guilty, the nine BDS leaders, who face charges of incitement to hatred and discrimination, could face jail time.
After the Rototom Sunsplash festival initially dropped him, we wrote that BDS May Regret Getting Matisyahu Banned from Festival.
2. The Hamas politburo reportedly elected Yahya Sinwar as the new Gaza leader. He will replace Ismail Haniyeh, who is expected to become the terror organization’s supreme leader, succeeding the retiring Khaled Mashaal.
Sinwar was one of the 1,027 Palestinian terrorists released in the 2011 Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. Israeli media reports yesterday described him as “an extremist, even in the context of his organization” who is likely behind Hamas’s growing ties with Islamic State in the Sinai. More at the Times of Israel and Ynet.
3. Cooperation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese army is more open than it used to be. AP quoted Lebanese President Michel Aoun defending Hezbollah arms. More importantly, the Times of Israel examines what this means for the IDF:
The coordination between Hezbollah and the Lebanese army is turning into an almost strategic development that will require Israel to put a great deal of energy and thought into figuring out what to do about the Lebanese army in the next war.
The next time Israel fights the terror group, will the Lebanese army join in the battle against Israel? Will it transfer arms to Hezbollah? Or will it stand on the sidelines for fear of the enormous damage that it could suffer at the hands of the Israel Defense Forces?
4. ‘Busloads of Ukrainian Settlers’?: When an op-ed fails to disclose the background of a Palestinian “cartographer,” truth gets wiped off the map.
5. Australian Ambassador Attacked For Doing His Job: An Australian journalist attacks an ambassador and The Israel Project, falsely claiming they work to promote Israeli settlements.
6. Video: UN to Israel: Give Land to ISIS! Wait, what? Security Council resolution 2334 technically requires Israel to give land to Islamic State?
7. If you’re in the New York area, HonestReporting and The Philos Project invite you to attend the New York premiere screening of the award-winning film Eyeless in Gaza. This award-winning documentary follows journalists who covered the 2014 Gaza conflict, exposing the biased narrative told by international media through authentic footage, and interviews of journalists who reported the conflict.
Date: Monday, Feb. 13 (tonight!)
Time 7:00 p.m.
Where: The King’s College, 56 Broadway, New York, NY 10004
Details Click for more information or to reserve tickets.
Following the screening, Linda Scherzer, former Mideast correspondent for CNN, will moderate a discussion between Robert Magid, executive producer of Eyeless in Gaza, and Professor Paul Glader, who leads the journalism initiative at King’s College. The three will share their analysis and perspectives on the film. Watch the trailer.
Israel and the Palestinians
• German Chancellor Angela Merkel cancelled an upcoming summit with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While the official reason given was because Germany’s September elections, sources told Haaretz that her dissatisfaction with the Knesset’s contentious settlement regulation bill also factored into her decision. The annual German-Israeli summit was due to be held in May in Jerusalem.
• Repairs took almost two years to complete after it was badly damaged by Jewish arsonists, but the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes re-opened with an interfaith gathering of Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders, President Reuven Rivlin and other dignitaries. Three Jewish extremists were indicted for the attack on the Tabgha church, located on the shores of the Galilee.
• A Knesset committee advanced a revised version of the “muezzin bill.” The legislation under consideration would ban the use of loudspeakers for religious purposes between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. with violators being fined NIS 10,000 ($2,600), according to the Times of Israel.
• Hamas operative killed in tunnel collapse on Monday.
• Israel’s Foreign Ministry placed permanent exhibit at the UNESCO headquarters. Ynet explains what it is and why it matters:
The exhibit features a replica of the Menorah and the scene depicted on the Arch of Titus of the spoils from the Second Temple being carried into exile to Rome; project is part of initiative to combat attempts to deny Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount.
— Ynetnews (@ynetnews) February 13, 2017
• Memo to AFP: If you’re going to do a story about what it’s like to be an Israeli Arab member of the Knesset, at least acknowledge that that there are MKs beyond the Joint List. Do Eswaj Frej (Meretz), Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp), Ayoob Kara (Likud) and Hamad Amar (Israel Beiteinu) count for nothing because they would ruin your spin?
• Holocaust denial and anti-Semitic books are being sold on Amazon.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Aaron David Miller: Why Trump’s love affair with Netanyahu won’t last
– Amos Harel: On Iran, Netanyahu may not get what he wants from Trump
– Prof. Hillel Frisch: Dispelling the myth that Israel is the largest beneficiary of US military aid
– Michael Freund: Europe’s occupation hypocrisy
– Colin Rubinstein: Ignore Palestinians’ gripe, Jerusalem is the capital
– New York Post (staff-ed): When foreign govs meddle in Israeli politics
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