Palestinians Use Water as Weapon Against IsraelJanuary 9, 2013 16:51 by Pesach Benson
• Jerusalem Post: Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal are meeting in Cairo today to discuss national reconciliation.
• Frida Ghitis isn’t giving up hope on Mideast peace yet.
• Mohammed Morsi told CNN he’d like the US to release Omar Abdel Rahman, better known as the blind sheikh who was involved in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Morsi talks elegantly about the rule of law, humanitarian considerations, and improving Rahman’s prison conditions. I wonder if Egyptian prisons meet Morsi’s lofty ideals.
• Media reports say Jordan is turning away Palestinian refugees fleeing Syria.
Jordan has absorbed some 126,000 Syrian refugees, but Palestinians fleeing Syria are placed in a separate refugee camp at the Cyber City compound, under stricter conditions, and are banned from entering Jordanian cities. The Jordanian government fears that an influx of Palestinian refugees may tilt the demographic balance in Jordan even more towards the Palestinians, who are already believed to comprise a large majority of the population.
• Israel’s not the only country involved in lopsided prisoner swaps. The Syrian regime released 2,130 civilians — mostly Syrian and Turkish nationals — in exchange for 48 Iranian
Revolutionary Guards members pilgrims. CNN writes:
“The big prize for the regime is the Iranians, keeping them happy,” said George Sabra, vice president of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces. “The regime never cared about the lives of the civilian population or even his own armed forces.”
Where are you, Deborah Orr?
Rest O’ the Roundup
• French students are taking Twitter to court. They want Twitter to release the identities of people who posted anti-Semitic tweets under the hashtag #SiJetaisNazi (#IfIWereANazi) which was one of the country’s top five trending topics last weekend. Details at the Times of Israel.
• So much for first impressions. Staffers at Current TV met their new Al-Jazeera bosses for the first time. Linda Stasi says the encounter left everyone “miserable.”
• With 1.5 million Twitter followers, AP’s cashing in on sponsored tweets. The Nieman Journalism Lab looks at the ethical and practical issues involved. So far, Twitter’s allowing it, but the rules could change.
• I liked the Daily Telegraph‘s photo essay about the Mideast’s big winter storm. Israelis, Palestinians, Jordanians, Lebanese and Syrians are all hunkering down. No white wonderland for displaced Syrians — AP describes how one refugee camp became “a muddy swamp where howling winds tore down tents and exposed the displaced residents to freezing temperatures.”
Some frustrated refugees at a camp in Zaatari, where about 50,000 are sheltered, attacked aid workers with sticks and stones after the tents collapsed in 35 mph (60 kph) winds . . .
More on the weather’s regional effects at The Media Line.
(Image of water via Flickr/rich115)
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