UN Warns Lebanon Not to Arm Hezbollah

Today’s Top Stories

1. The UN warned Lebanon not to arm Hezbollah after Lebanese President Michel Aoun told Egyptian media:

“As long as the Lebanese army is not strong enough to battle Israel … we feel the need for its existence,” Aoun told the Egyptian TV network CBC on Sunday night. He added that Hezbollah “has a complementary role to the Lebanese army.”

UN coordinator Sigrid Kaag took to Twitter to remind Aoun that UN Security Council resolution 1701 prohibits Lebanon from arming the Iran-backed terror group.

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2. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington for his meeting with President Donald Trump, which may be overshadowed by the abrupt resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn.

According to Haaretz, Flynn played the central role in preparing the summit and its agenda. As for the agenda itself, AP had the most thorough look at what the leaders are expected to discuss tomorrow.

Flynn resigned after it was revealed he misled White House officials about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador to Washington.

3. The UCLA Daily Bruin apologized for a tawdry anti-Semitic cartoon. Although the cartoon was removed from the Daily Bruin’s web site, students and alumnus like, for example, Nathan Soleimani continued to debate it.

Israel and the Palestinians

• Thumbs up to the New York Times for the most thorough piece I’ve seen yet on Hamas’s new Gaza strongman, Yahye Sinwar.

• A Palestinian woman lit herself on fire after PA security forces confiscated her family’s vending stalls in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. According to the Jerusalem Post:

When police officers told the woman’s son and husband that they must relocate their stalls to one of the deAsignated locations, they hit the officers, Zreikat said, prompting the police to arrest them and confiscate the stalls. Shortly thereafter, the woman set herself ablaze.

• According to the Daily Telegraph, Israel quietly withdrew its Ambassador to Egypt, David Govrin, towards the end of 2016 over unspecified security concerns.

The ambassador is currently working from Jerusalem and the Israeli government hopes that he will be able to return to his post soon.

• The changing face of Israeli media:

Around the World

• German news agency ‘regrets’ reporting anti-Semitic conspiracy against Trump.

• If you want to see how badly campus discourse has sunk, check out The McGill Daily‘s coverage of a moronic student council meeting discussing a “punch a Zionist today” tweet that has the Montreal campus in an uproar.

Unfortunately, there’s a bigger picture lacking from the student paper’s report, probably because “The Daily maintains an editorial line of not publishing pieces which promote a Zionist worldview.” So better overall coverage at the National Post and JTA.

• BDS crowds disrupted Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon’s lecture at Columbia U., prompting this tweet of the day from Eli Lake.

• The British government issued new measures to prevent local councils from boycotting Israel, the Jewish Chronicle reports.

• Disney severed ties with YouTube star PewDiePie over his anti-Semitic posts. The move came after the Wall St. Journal (click via Twitter) raised questions about anti-Semitic imagery and Nazi references in his videos.


• Rabbi’s expulsion rattles Russian Jews fearful of Kremlin crackdown.

• AP offers some nice practical tips for spotting fake news. Some things are so obvious we take them for granted, forget about them, then wonder what we were thinking when we wasted time on — or shared — a fake story.


• Worth reading: Journalist Hunter Stuart describes how his views on the Mideast conflict changed after spending a year in Israel. He arrived shortly before the outbreak of the “Knife Intifada.” (Hat tip: Tom Gross.)

World Press Photo awarded Turkish photographer Burhan Ozbilici of AP with the photo of the year for an undeniably gripping image: Mevlut Mert Altintas standing over the body of Russian Ambassador Andrei Karlov, who he assassinated at an Ankara art gallery.

If you’re concerned with how the fight against Islamic terror plays out in the media, you should consider a compelling dissent by Stuart Franklin, who chaired the 2017 World Press Photo award jury.

Placing the photograph on this high pedestal is an invitation to those contemplating such staged spectaculars: it reaffirms the compact between martyrdom and publicity.

• Plenty of commentary about today’s Trump-Netanyahu jaw-jaw time:

Bret Stephens: Mideast rules for Jared Kushner (click via Twitter)
Gil Hoffman: 10 tips for a successful Netanyahu-Trump summit
David Horovitz: With Trump, on Israel (and lots of other stuff), you just don’t know
Aluf Benn: Weak and totally dependent on Trump, Netanyahu will have to tiptoe in Washington
David Makovsky: What will Netanyahu discuss with Trump?
Alan Dershowitz: Trump welcomes Netanyahu
Yaakov Katz: Which Trump will Netanyahu meet on Wednesday?
Ruthie Blum: The art of the ‘no deal’ with the PA
Steven Simon, Aaron David Miller: Can this ‘special relationship’ be saved?
Senators Dianne Feinstein and Martin Heinrich: Two-state solution crucial for Mideast peace
New York Times (staff-ed): A new beginning for Israel and the US

• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .

Dr. Reuven Berko: A ‘certified’ terrorist leader
Yoram Ettinger: Can Israel rely on foreign peacekeepers and security guarantees?
Benny Avni: UN erupts in uproar after Trump vetoes high post for ex-premier of ‘Palestine’
Yoram Schweitzer: The rocket attack on Eilat: Why now?
Amb. Alan Baker: “The two-state solution”: What does it really mean?


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