Today’s Top Stories
1. Maintaining that Sudan is no longer in Iran’s orbit, Israel is urging the US and Europe to begin improving relations with Khartoum, Haaretz reports. It’s a tricky proposition because the US has designated Sudan as a state sponsor of terror, and because the International Criminal Court indicted President Omar Bashir for allegedly directing a campaign of mass killing, rape, and pillage against civilians in Darfur.
The Foreign Ministry believes Sudan cut its ties with Iran about a year ago, that arms smuggling from Sudan to the Gaza Strip has been halted and that Khartoum has moved closer to the axis of Sunni Muslim states led by Saudi Arabia.
Israeli officials said another message relayed to Shannon was that the positive steps taken by Sudan must not be ignored, and that American gestures toward Khartoum could be helpful . . .
One Jerusalem official said Israeli diplomats asked their contacts in Europe to assist Sudan in dealing with its vast external debt, which stands at close to 50 billion dollars, and to consider erasing some of it, as has been done with other countries that have fallen into severe economic crisis. Israel warned that an economic collapse in Sudan could further undermine stability in this part of Africa and end up strengthening terrorist elements there.
2. YNet: Workers began building a 2 billion shekel underground barrier along the Gaza border.
3. Municipal elections in the West Bank and Gaza are a month away, but you can forget about staying up late for dramatic results. Only in Palestine, right?
4. The Guardian: Filleting the Context: An otherwise nice dispatch about Gaza fishermen fails to mention why Israel enforces a maritime no-go zone.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel denied Jordanian journalist Modar Momani from entering the country. According to YNet, Momani “is widely regarded as a promoter of bilateral relations,” and both Israel’s embassy in Amman and the Government Press Office lobbied against the Shin Bet’s decision. But a Jordanian opposition leader, Mudar Zahran, tweeted that Momani’s a spy. Draw your own conclusions.
Israel expels Jordan's state news agency's reporter,Mudar Momani, who's a Royal Intelligence agent,this after the Opposition raised the flag
— Mudar Zahran (@Mudar_Zahran) September 6, 2016
• Al-Jazeera launched a new Arabic language web site dedicated solely to coverage of Jerusalem. What’s behind the disproportionate attention? Journalist Ben Lynfield reviewed the site for the Jerusalem Post:
The education coverage concluded with a call on readers to support the Palestinian cause.
“The battle of education in Jerusalem is not the battle of Jerusalemites alone. Indeed, it is the battle of the Palestinian people and the Arab and Islamic nations and all countries and people who raise the slogan of human rights and international law.’’ Much of the site’s coverage appears aimed at emphasizing the value of sumud, or steadfastness, in the face of Israeli actions . . .
The intensive coverage focuses not only on perceived Israeli violations of the site but also alleged silence, indifference or even “collusion’’ with Israel by Arab regimes, notably Egypt.
• Israel, Hezbollah and Iran are in secret negotiations to close the chapter on Israeli airman Ron Arad, who disappeared in Lebanon 30 years ago. Journalist Ronen Bergman reports
“Iran’s Revolutionary Guards are motivated to find Arad in return for solving the mystery behind the disappearance of 4 Iranian diplomats it believes Israel is holding captive.”
• Archaeologists restored decorated floor tiles they believe covered the floor of the Second Temple. The tiles were rescued from being dumped by the Islamic Waqf during controversial renovations on the Temple Mount a decade ago. Nice coverage at The Media Line and BBC.
• The “guerrilla art” movement came to Tel Aviv with an exhibit addressing Nashat Melhem’s shooting rampage earlier this year. The New York Times picked up on it, and even managed to use the word terror in a headline without quote marks or attribution to another person.
• UPI takes a closer look at Israeli concerns that Hezbollah and Iran will open a new front in the Syrian Golan. If indeed there are long range ballistic missiles in the Syrian Golan, they’re not aimed at rebels.
There are reports that long-range ballistic missiles — including Iranian-built Shahabs and Fateh-110s — have been deployed at Qusair, although satellite imagery has not confirmed this.
Around the World
• Music composer Brian Eno refuses to let Israeli dance company use his music.
According to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, the dance piece using Eno’s music – entitled HUMUS – was due to be performed on Tuesday at the TorinoDanza festival at the Teatro Regio in Turin, but was withdrawn after Eno was made aware of the Israeli embassy sponsorship. His name has been removed from the festival’s website.
• Belgian government official who called Israel ‘identical twin’ of ISIS resigns.
• British lawmaker Naz Shah, who shared anti-Semitic Facebook posts, is under police investigation.
• German-wide teachers union calls BDS anti-Semitic, apologizes for publishing a pro-boycott article in its magazine.
• Few violent incidents against Jews and Jewish sites in Greece but anti-Semitic stereotypes still widespread in society
• A 17-year-old high school student was arrested over online anti-Semitic threats made to Jewish students in two San Francisco-area high schools.
• After wrapping up a tour of duty as Israel’s deputy ambassador to Ireland, Daniela Giulia Traub, shares her thoughts how the Emerald Isle perceives Israel:
Investing time, effort and money on Ireland is crucial. With dreams and facts we can and will have better relations with Ireland. They are not afraid of difficult truths. It was, after all, the legendary Irish author George Bernard Shaw who wrote: “Live in contact with dreams and you will get something of their charm: live in contact with facts and you will get something of their brutality. I wish I could find a country to live in, where the facts were not brutal and the dreams not unreal.” It was if he were describing the State of Israel.
• Here’s what else I’m reading today . . .
– Eric Mandel: What will US do if Hamas wins municipal elections?
– Amb. Danny Danon: Taking the fight against anti-Semitism to the UN
– Miriam Elman: Intimidation is the new BDS tactic
– Malcolm Lowe: Israeli settlements, the violet line and the Cheshire cat
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