Today’s Top Stories
1. A growing number of Americans would support a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if a two-state solution doesn’t work out. The Times of Israel picked up on an survey by Professor Shibley Telhami and published by the Brookings Institute (pdf format).
3. Hamas is investigating reports that its spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, harassed an undisclosed female foreign reporter. According to the Times of Israel, Abu Zuhri has been suspended from his post.
4. How to Write Like an Action Hero: Letters to the editor are an important forum for public discussion, where you can educate and influence others. Here are 10 tips on how you can effectively make your voice heard.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Belgian politicians: No plan to recognize Palestine:
Lawmakers from the parties that make up Belgium’s governing coalition denied reports that it had agreed in principle to recognize Palestinian statehood.
With the IDF already having completed initial Fact Finding Assessment (FFA) reviews in a total of 47 cases, 25 cases are still sitting on Efroni’s case for a final decision.
Approximately another 50 cases are at more initial stages of review out of the around 100 cases being reviewed from the around 400 complaints filed.
• A Japanese daily paper, Sankei Shimbun, apologized for publishing an advertisement promoting books by conspiracy theorist Richard Koshimizu. He has previously claimed Jews were responsible for 9/11 and that the Holocaust was made up in order to establish the state of Israel. The Japan Times explains what Koshimizu’s latest books were peddling:
A little-known figure in Japan, Koshimizu used the promotional space to market a book claiming the United States is a “Jewish dictatorship state” that detonated an atomic bomb deep underwater to deliberately trigger the earthquake and subsequent tsunami that devastated Japan’s northeast coastline.
• The Royal Institute of British Architects cancelled a resolution demanding that an Israeli architects association be suspended from the Internation Union of Architects over settlement activity. More on the story at Architects’ Journal.
“We got it wrong.”
• Israel banned Irish politician Gerry Adams from visiting Gaza. An unidentified Israeli official explained to the Irish Times:
“Gerry Adams is certainly no friend of Israel. He’s not interested in meeting with anyone from the Israeli government but wants to go to Gaza to hang out with Hamas, ” the official said. “We are trying to calm things down over here and Gerry Adams visiting Gaza would only stir up tension and not contribute to calm.”
• The Daily Beast wonders: Why is American Muslims for Palestine — “which is outwardly committed to legal forms of protest, including boycotts, and sanctions, and rallies on college campuses” — now offering advice on how to provide financial support to Palestinians without breaking anti-terror laws in the US?
• Boston Globe columnist Farah Stockman visited Jerusalem’s Hand in Hand School, which continues trying to teach coexistence, despite a recent devastating fire.
• The White House says it obtained significant concessions from Iran in exchange for extending nuclear talks. See AP coverage and judge for yourself.
• For its lead story, Haaretz picked up on a UN report detailing contacts between Israel and Syrian rebels. I’m not sure what’s new about this though: media reports noted the same revelations in June. ‘Nuff said.
• BBC: Egypt sentenced seven Islamists to death for their roles in a Sinai ambush that killed 25 policemen last year.
• Russia’s deputy foreign minister visited Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah before leaving Lebanon. Do you wonder if Russian arms will trickle down to Hezbollah? The Times of Israel writes:
The Russian diplomat pledged that Russia would help arm Lebanon against Syrian rebel groups, and said Moscow was working to restart negotiations between the Syrian government and opposition without preconditions.
• Don’t buy Hamas denials: ISIS is alive and well in Gaza, says Khaled Abu Toameh.
It is important to keep in mind that the countries in Europe now voting for a Palestinian state may effectively be paving the way for a takeover by Islamic State.
• How the World Turned on Israel: An interview with Josh Muravchik
• For more commentary/analysis, see Stephen Flatow (Are Palestinian terrorists immune from extradition?), Elliott Abrams (Israel’s election timing), Jonathan D. Halevi (Abbas shuts door on peace talks), Burak Bekdil (Turkish hospitality for Palestinian terror), Alan Simons (How Hamas makes fools of the Western media), Shibley Telhami (The power and weakness of incitement). And for a sense of what the Palestinians are saying, see Amin Saikal (World’s frustration grows over Israel’s stubbornness on Palestine).
Featured image: CC BY flickr/Pedro Ribeiro Simoes; Koshimizu via YouTube/dokuritsutou2; Adams CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Iberian Proteus