Today’s Top Stories
1. In tandem with a hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners, The New York Times published a scathing anti-Israel op-ed by convicted murderer and notorious terrorist Marwan Barghouti. In addition to not calling out Barghouti for any of his incorrect facts, the New York Times described him in the “by-line” merely as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.” In fact, Barghouti is a notorious convicted murderer and terrorist, head of the Tanzim terror group and a co-founder of the associated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, which is designated as a terror organization by (among others) Canada, the EU, the United States and Israel.
Originally published on a Jewish holiday (we don’t know if that was on purpose) Barghouti’s op-ed was soon followed by responses from Israeli MK Yair Lapid and PM Netanyahu.
Netahnyahu’s statement included this point:
Calling Barghouti a ‘political leader’ is like calling Assad a ‘pediatrician.’
while Lapid’s statement clarified that:
Barghouti doesn’t only believe in violence, he also believes that its permissible to lie. The attempt by the New York Times “to be balanced” amuses Barghouti.
(Both statements are worth reading in their entirety, by clicking on the links above).
To their credit, the New York Times have appended an “editor’s note” to the op-ed with some of the missing context, and their Public Editor Liz Spayd penned a strong response to the op-ed, which she also shared on Twitter:
How much should you know about Marwan Barghouti? More than you were told https://t.co/VwfMUGmUsn
— Liz Spayd (@spaydl) April 18, 2017
While the New York Times response is welcome, it did not come soon enough to prevent numerous other publications from quoting Barghouti’s op-ed without appropriate context and without even mentioning the New York Times corrections.
2. In a bid to spur international criticism of Israel, hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails have begun a hunger strike. Demands include: increased family visitation rights, improved medical services, ending administrative detention and greater access to educational materials (A number of Israeli and even some Palestinian sources contend that the strike is really motivated by a political maneuver rather than genuine dissatisfaction with prison conditions). It should be noted that Barghouti is positioning himself as a potential successor to Mahmoud Abbas, as head of the Palestinian Authority government. Barghouti (already a prisoner in Israeli jail for several counts of murder and terrorism) has since been placed in solitary confinement.
3. Turkey has long been known as a unique example of a Mulsim country that is also a secular democracy, with significant freedom and diversity. However, a sweeping referendum changes Turkeys fundamental constitution, and consolidates greater power in the hands of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. While the country remains highly divided and the result is still contested, some critics see this as the end of the modern day, secular Turkey envisioned by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, and even a return to the days of the Islamic empire of the Sultans. In March 1949 Turkey became the first Muslim majority country to recognize the State of Israel and despite tensions in recent years, Turkey has remained an important ally and conduit to the Muslim world. For these reasons, the future of Turkey is of critical importance to Israel.
4. HonestReporting follows up on the New York Times op-ed by Marwan Barghouti, exposing his lies, half truths, and the New York Times journalistic failures: sanitizing of a terrorist by giving him a public platform while failing to provide readers with critical facts and context. Check our article on this topic for regular updates.
5. The Times of London is one of the numerous publications that slams Israel on behalf of terror leader and convicted murderer Marwan Barghouti, while sanitizing his bloody history. HonestReporting critiques.
• A senior Hamas official says threats by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas cannot force the group to cede control in the Gaza Strip. Seeking to put pressure on Hamas, Abbas has slashed the salaries of thousands of former civil servants in Gaza and imposed a tax on fuel shipments to Hamas-ruled Gaza. Though details are currently sparse, this is a story worth watching: it will undoubtedly unfold in the weeks and months to come, with far reaching consequences.
• A young Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom, was stopped in an airport in the Philippines at the request of Saudi Embassy officials in Manila, while she was en route to Australia where she planned to seek asylum. In Saudi Arabia women face tremendous oppression and among other things, travelling abroad without a male companion is a crime. In a video Lasloom says:
If my family come, they will kill me. If I go back to Saudi Arabia, I will be dead. Please help me.
Strangely, Manila Airport General Manager Eddie Monreal told the AP he had no knowledge about the case and an immigration official reached by the AP said the airport’s immigration officers neither detained nor held any passenger under that name, yet reports out of Saudi Arabia indicate that she has already been returned to her country of origin.
• Three people were injured in clashes between local tribes and members of Islamic State in the Sinai. The unrest started when Islamic State forces shot at a truck smuggling cigarettes into the area, where the Islamic State imposes a strict version of Islamic law that prohibits the sale of tobacco, tribal sources said. For some time Egypt has been fighting against Islamic State and other terror groups in the Sinai, including Hamas. Israel recently issued a travel warning to Israelis against visiting the region which remains chaotic and not under clear control by any one group or government.
• Newly released historical records show that the Allied powers knew about the Nazi death camps much sooner and to a much greater extent than ever realized, yet they still failed to act. The Allies also prepared to bring numerous prosecutions against lower and mid-level Nazis for war crimes, many of which were never pursued. British historian Dan Plesch points out that we can learn much from the failures and successes of World War II and apply that knowledge to reduce the suffering in modern day Syria.
• Even in the wake of mass genocide and poison gas attacks in Syria, the spread of Islamic State, a refugee crisis that has spread as far as Europe, and the utter meltdown of numerous countries throughout the Middle East, most Arab (and even many Western) leaders continue to absurdly claim that the conflict between Israel and Palestinians is central to the region, if not the world. Writing in the Australian, David Suissa fiercely debunks that persistent myth, with a critical review of established facts and current events.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Barbara Kay: How academics portray Islam as a’ victim’ of oppression — even as they defend violent Islamists
– Olivia B. Waxman: The U.S. Intervened in Syria in 1949. Here’s What Happened
– Benjamin Weinthal: How Iran Enables Syria’s Chemical Warfare Against Civilians
Featured image: CC BY Thomas8047;
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.