Today’s Top Stories
1. Police arrested six Jewish suspects in the murder of Mohammed Khdeir. Their identities haven’t been released, but police sources made clear to AP, AFP, and the BBC that the murder was motivated by nationalism — not crime or family honor. A development like this wouldn’t be complete without political posturing.
There’s a lot of soul-searching going on. HonestReporting’s Simon Plosker weighs in on the pro-Israel activists who spread speculation about Khdeir to desperately deflect blame on Jews. About Those Unsubstantiated Allegations.
2. A video making headlines shows Israeli security forces beating what appears to be Mohammed Khdeir’s teenage cousin, Tariq Khdeir. Tariq is a US citizen from Tampa Bay, Florida, making this a local story for the Tampa Bay Tribune.
A judge remanded Tariq under house arrest; the police said the teen attacked security officers, rioted, and had a slingshot in his possession. Tariq’s father discussed the incident with the Jerusalem Post. The Justice Ministry will investigate the police caught on film.
3. Israeli security arrested a suspected accomplice in the kidnap and murder of the three teenagers, Hamas member Husam Dofsh, of Hebron. According to the Times of Israel, Dofsh denies any role in the kidnapping.
Israel and the Palestinians
• YNet: Restrictions on Palestinians from Hebron entering Israel have been eased:
The Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories announced that as of Sunday morning Palestinian workers from Hebron were authorized to enter Israel. Additionally, Palestinians from the region would be allowed to enter Jerusalem during the month of Ramadan.
• This will probably be overshadowed by the Khdeir situation, but it’s still newsworthy that an Arab taxi driver confessed to stabbing Shelley Dadon to death last month.
Police officials say it’s likely that the murder was “nationalistically motivated,” which is an Israeli euphemism for terror as opposed to “criminally motivated.” Details at the Times of Israel.
• Former PLO lawyer Diane Buttu made waves by refusing to appear on CNN side by side with any Israeli government official. CNN grilled a very angry Buttu, then questioned Mark Regev separately. The unintended consequence: A calm Regev spoke unchallenged and had the last word.
• Over at The Independent, Yara Hawari joins the Haneen Zoabi fan club. Here’s one sentence you won’t see written ever again:
Haneen Zoabi, a member of the country’s parliament, has made one of the most rational evaluations of the situation.
• Haaretz‘s Barak Ravid takes an in-depth look at “the secret fruits of the peace process.” Could the US framework agreement still serve as the basis for future negotiations?
• On Argentinian TV, Jewish analyst Pedro Brieger of CNN in Spanish justified the killings of the three Israeli teens:
“Every occupation provokes resistance of all kinds, peaceful and violent,” said Brieger, who is Jewish, in a commentary that aired Monday on public TV . . .
“Every day Israel kidnaps people and also kills people, but this news doesn’t get reported in the international news agencies,” Brieger said. “You have to remember that these three young hostages were in a territory where the United Nations determined that Israelis had to withdraw. Israel is like a Pac-Man eating advancing Palestinian territory.”
• Lauren Booth acknowledges HonestReporting’s effectiveness.
• The UK’s biggest trade union, Unite, voted to throw its support behind the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign against Israel. More at i24:
The motion also commits Unite to taking “bolder steps like those that were taken against the South African apartheid regime” and to work with others to develop a “campaigning and leverage strategy around BDS within the next 12 months”, notably “against complicit companies involved in the occupation, the apartheid wall and the illegal settlements.”
• According to Mossad chief Tamir Pardo, the Palestinian conflict is a bigger threat to Israeli security than Iran or ISIS. Haaretz coverage.
• David HaIvri, who lives in settlement of Kfar Tapuach, explains in a Washington Post op-ed why he’s raising his family in the West Bank despite the dangers:
What motivates my wife and me to choose this place to raise our children (some the same age as the murdered boys from Gush Etzion) in spite of it all? Why do we disregard direct threats of terror and overcome all the challenges of living in small isolated towns, far from Israel’s main cities of Tel Aviv, Haifa and Jerusalem?
To us, that’s no different from the question all Israelis face: Why live here instead of in Los Angeles or in Australia? Zionism is the national hope of the Jewish people. It promises a return to the national homeland from which our ancestors were expelled 2,000 years ago. At the core of Zionism is the historical connection of the Jewish people to this land. And not only do we see Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, but they are the heart of that national homeland. In the time of the Bible, our fathers dwelt on these hills.
• I can’t really imagine what it’s like to be a journalist at a street clash. It’s bad news if the Palestinians suspect you’re an undercover cop or if soldiers mistake you for a threat. I hope the reporters and the cops are working in good faith, but after reading Avi Issacharoff’s Both sides target journalists, I’m having a hard time giving anyone the benefit of the doubt. CNN‘s Ben Wedeman, who was hit by a rubber bullet in eastern Jerusalem, seemed to take it all in stride.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Robyn Urback (The strange duality of Israeli life, interrupted), Fiamma Nirenstein (There is no “cycle of violence” in Israel), Elliott Abrams (Will Hamas choose war?), Amos Harel (Hamas ups violence, believes Israel doesn’t want war), Avi Dichter (Deport the heads of Hamas), and Haim Shine (Where does Israeli Arab loyalty lie?).
See also, Melanie Phillips (Crocodile tears over the cult of death), Or Ben-Shimon (A blow to academic coexistence), Con Coughlin (Israel’s biggest threat is doing nothing), Roger Cohen (Lawless Holy Land), Fareed Zakaria (social media and the Mideast conflict), and a staff-ed in The Observer.
Images: featured image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting, flickr/Shironeko Euro, flickr/PhotKing, puppy by Flickr/Zvi Kons