Today’s Top Stories
1. Britain’s Exeter University launched an investigation of a Palestinian student leader who posted a series of anti-Semitic tweets. Malaka Shwaikh — also known as Malaka Mohammed — deleted her Twitter account as her controversial tweets surfaced shortly after she was elected to a position representing post-graduate students.
The tweets under scrutiny included statements saying that Zionist ideology is “no different to that of Hitler’s” and that “Hitler did his deed and the Palestinians had to pay for it”. Judge for yourself Shwaikh’s response to the probe.
2. Congress is once again mulling legislation to cut off US aid to the Palestinians if the PA continues paying stipends to terrorists.
3. Palestinian unity took a hit after the PA decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank. Voting is scheduled for May 13. West Bank municipal elections haven’t been held since 2012. More at the Jerusalem Post.
4. Hate After Death: Gerald Kaufman and “Virulent Zionists”: An obituary for a long-serving British MP ignores his anti-Israel and anti-Semitic comments, portraying him as a “civilised” Zionist smeared by “virulent Zionists.”
5. Video: Is Israel an Apartheid State? As Israel Apartheid Week organizers prepare campus events demonizing Israel, Daniel Pomerantz examines the truth of their claims.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Just before this roundup was published, Israeli media reported that a Palestinian stabbed and lightly injured an Israeli in the Hebron Hills. The terrorist was shot by responding forces.
• The Shin Bet arrested an Israeli citizen who tried to join Islamic State in Syria. Haaretz coverage.
• Palestinian unity took a big hit after the PA decided to hold municipal elections only in the West Bank. Voting is scheduled for May 13. West Bank municipal elections haven’t been held since 2012. More at the Jerusalem Post.
• Israeli police finished razing nine homes built on the West Bank settlement of Ofra. The High Court of Justice ruled that the homes were built on private Palestinian land and gave the state a March 5 deadline to complete the demolitions.
• Zambian President Edgar Lungu arrived in Israel for a five-day visit. According to the Jerusalem Post and Lusaka Times, of the main items on the agenda is Zambia’s assistance in helping Israel regain its observer status in the African Union.
• An uneasy calm settled on the Lebanon’s Ein al-Hilweh refugee camp as a cease-fire brought an apparent end to violent clashes between PLO factions and Islamists yesterday.
Details on what triggered the violence are sketchy; Maan News reported that the violence began “when a bomb detonated in front of a call center inside the camp,” while AP quoted a UNRWA statement saying “armed actors” had entered one of its schools.
Maan added that two Palestinians — ages 12 and 18 — were confirmed dead while eight others, including a pregnant woman, were injured.
Around the World
• Israel Apartheid Week kicked off at Columbia University with a forum titled, “Zionists are Racist.” The Columbia Daily Spectator described a raucous event and reported that the university’s student council turned down a request from organizers to co-sponsor a week-long series of events.
• The FBI says shots fired at the Adath B’Nai Israel Temple in Evansville, Indiana are likely a hate crime, according to local reports.
• New York Times: Threats and vandalism leave American Jews on edge in Trump era.
• According to MEMRI, Hezbollah efforts to impose religious standards in public is raising the ire of Southern Lebanon. Banning gender-mixing in public, restricting music, and shutting down liquor stores has people wondering what the religious coercion has to do with “resistance.”
• I’m seeing a lot of discussion about Samuel Freedman‘s take on the Trump-Netanyahu alliance and the “anguishing choice” it’s forcing American Jews to make:
The trade-off that Trump and Netanyahu have almost literally offered American Jews is a blunt one: If you want lockstep support of Israel, then shut your mouth about anti-Semitism here . . .
For the vast majority of American Jews, though, an anguishing reality is now clear. To support Israel when it is cross-branded with Trump’s intolerance is to avert their eyes from a threat right here at home.
• I’m also seeing a lot of discussion about a question Bari Weiss poses for Jews in the anti-Trump movement, where people like Linda Sarsour and Rasmea Odeh are rising stars. Writing in Tablet, Weiss wonders if Jews have to make common cause with people who want to kill them?
If you call for the death of Zionists but support Palestinian nationalism, is being against Donald Trump the moral tie-breaker that makes you a legitimate ally of American Jews like me—and immune from our criticism?
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Avi Issacharoff: Israel stuck in tunnels of yesteryear as Hamas digs right now
– Barak Ravid: Israel’s Gaza war failure was first and foremost a diplomatic one
– Nahum Barnea: Protective Edge report: Harsh criticism, but no threat to government
– Mitchell Bard: What American universities can learn from the UK about anti-Semitism
– Bassam Tawil: Political operatives pose as journalists, human rights groups
– Hassan Barari: Iran’s Israel card
– Zambia Daily Mail (staff-ed): Zambia has so much to learn from Israel
Before you comment on this article, please remind yourself of our Comments Policy. Any comments deemed to be in breach of the policy will be removed at the editor’s discretion.