Today’s Top Stories
1. Exiled Israeli Arab MK Azmi Bishara confirmed he has met with Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah several times since he fled Israel in 2006. Israeli police wanted to arrest Bishara on suspicion of collaborating with Hezbollah during the Second War in Lebanon. Ynet picked up on the former Balad party lawmaker’s interview with the Qatari paper, Al Arab.
Bishara insisted he shared no secrets with Hezbollah or anyone else and that he now opposes Hezbollah’s presence in Lebanon and Syria.
2. Fewer and fewer British schools are teaching students the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The Guardian explains:
The Council for the Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment says only one school out of 170 chose Israel-Palestine as a GCSE option . . .
So why the lack of take up? For a start, teaching the history of an ongoing conflict is a sensitive topic and some teachers worry it could spark factionalism among their students. Sharon Booth, of Solutions Not Sides, an education programme that brings Israelis and Palestinians into schools, says many teachers are nervous.
It’s okay, because British kids will use the UK press and social media to fill in their gaps of knowledge . . .
3. New Zealand’s Broadcasting Standards Authority set a nice precedent, ruling that the Israeli blockade of Gaza cannot be termed “illegal.”
HonestReporting reader Juliet Mozes filed a complaint after the TV New Zealand show, Te Karere, profiled a Maori MP about her experiences on the Women’s Boat to Gaza. The video is in Maori with English subtitles.
Mozes argued that the UN’s Palmer report, which upheld the legality of the blockade, was the leading document on the issue. Shalom Kiwi aptly fills in the rest of the details. Bottom line from the BSA?
Broadcasters should refrain from making unequivocal statements of fact on issues that are the subject of international dispute, to ensure viewers are not misled. This is particularly so in relation to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, where a broadcaster’s use of labels and descriptions can have a significant impact on the audience’s understanding of, and views on, the conflict.
4. New York Times to Israel: Let Terrorists Be: Even the terrorists disagree with the disgraced Israeli journalist who got a New York Times soapbox.
5. Washington Post’s Richard Cohen: ‘Jewish-Only Roads’: Columnists are allowed to have opinions, but they still have to get their facts straight.
6. Gaza’s “Sole Border Crossing With Israel?”:
Israel’s still transferring aid into Gaza, even though Hamas closed the Erez border crossing.
Israel and the Palestinians
• According to Israeli media reports, Hamas has developed a more powerful short range rocket capable of carrying heavier explosive loads.
The rockets, which were first reported on Army Radio, weigh dozens and even hundreds of kilograms each, and have a range of up to 10 kilometers. The range and the weight of the rockets suggest they are designed to maximize damage to Israeli towns bordering with the Strip.
• Ahead of this week’s Arab League meeting, ministers are pushing the organization to make a distinction between “terrorism and legitimate resistance against the Israeli occupation.” The ministers are taking a page from BBC Brasil . . .
• US Ambassador-designate David Friedman isn’t expected to formally take up his post in Israel until June, according to the Times of Israel.
• Although Israel and the United Arab Emirates don’t have diplomatic relations, Air Force pilots from both countries are participating together in a multi-national Greek aerial exercise.
• Lebanon appeals to UN as maritime energy dispute bubbles to surface.
At issue is a roughly 860 square kilometer (332 square mile) triangular patch of the Mediterranean Sea where oil and gas reserves are predicted to generate up to $600 billion over the next few decades.
Meanwhile, Defense News reports that the Israeli Navy wants its newest surface ships under construction in Germany to double their Iron Dome defenses in order to protect offshore rigs from Hezbollah rockets.
• The IDF arrested a top Hamas figure in the West Bank town of Tulkarem on Monday.
• Israeli Arab arrested for allegedly transferring funds to Islamic State.
• According to Israeli intelligence, 3,000 members of China’s Uyghur Muslim minority have joined al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups in Syria. Ynet coverage.
Around the World
• Swastikas, ‘white power’ painted on Phoenix high school; hate-crime squad investigating.
• Israel’s former ambassador, Ron Prosor, discusses the UN Human Rights Council’s Agenda Item 7, which mandates council discussion of Israel’s human rights record at every session.
No other nation is singled out as a standing agenda item and every other country’s human rights record is addressed under Agenda Item 4.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Ben-Dror Yemini: Mosul, Gaza and the world’s hypocrisy
– Mohammed Al Shaikh: Hezbollah and the gullible Arabs
– Dr. Shaul Shay: Targeted killings as calculated risks
– Dr. Col. (res.) Moshe Elad: Hamas is vengeful, but careful
– Yoni Ben Menachem: Does the assassination of a senior Hamas member in Gaza mean escalation?
– Mitchell Bard: Why don’t supporters of Palestinians care about PA abuses?
– Uzi Rabi: Expanding the ‘Hezbollah model’
– Cathryn Prince: Pro-BDS contributions to Jewish groups — a Trojan horse?
– William Jacobson: Rasmea Odeh was offered similar plea deal three years ago – why is she taking it now?
– Wall St. Journal: Pay for slay in Palestine (click via Twitter)
Featured image: CC0 pgdouglas; Bishara via YouTube/Center for International and Regional Studies; homework CC BY Robert Couse-Baker; rockets CC BY-SA Amir Farshad Ebrahimi;
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.