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Today’s Top Stories
1. Big Media remembers Ariel Sharon, who died on Saturday. His body is currently lying in state at the Knesset. World leaders will be arriving for a state funeral to be held at his Negev ranch tomorrow.
HonestReporting critiqued the Western press coverage: Ariel Sharon: Debunking the Media Myths.
2. Delegates at the Modern Language Association voted against boycotting Israel, reports the JTA. Members sufficed with a symbolic resolution merely condemning Israel, which was kicked up the totem pole to the MLA’s executive committee.
Inside Higher Ed’s Scott Jaschik was on hand as the Modern Language association’s convention kicked off in Chicago. Sparks flew at session 48, which discussed boycotting Israel, while a group of scholars set up an alternative panel at a different hotel. See dispatches one and two. For more commentary on the academic boycott issue, see Charles Krauthammer, and Walter Reich.
3. A Bangladeshi editor, Salah Choudhury, was sentenced to seven years in prison for writing articles supportive of Israel and of trying to visit the Jewish state in 2003. Reporters Without Borders denounced the ruling.
The onetime editor of a magazine called the Weekly Blitz, Choudhury was accused of damaging the country’s image in his articles critical of Islamism and of trying to attend a 2003 conference in Israel with the aim of talking about the emergence of radical Islam in Bangladesh.
He was also suspected of passing information to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.
Ariel Sharon Dies
• Israeli media says the IDF’s considering deploying an Iron Dome battery to protect dignitaries when Ariel Sharon is laid to rest at his western Negev farm tomorrow. In 2007, a Qassam rocket landed on Sycamore Ranch.
• Would that the NY Times have used the word “terror” during the intifada. Why did so many years have to pass before Ethan Bronner and the Gray Lady used the T-word?
Mr. Sharon faced clashes between, on one side, Israeli soldiers and settlers in the West Bank and Gaza and, on the other, Palestinian militiamen and guerrillas. And there were many episodes of Palestinian terrorism inside Israel.
And The Guardian also used the t-word, which probably violates the paper’s style guide.
The tide turned in his favour after new terror attacks (including one against Israeli tourists in Mombasa) and voters’ wariness about Mitzna’s daring peace plans.
• Strange as it sounds, newsmakers sometimes outlive the authors of their obituaries. I call it the ghoul pool effect. The Independent’s Eric Silver wrote obits for Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Shamir; both Prime Ministers outlived the veteran Mideast correspondent who died in 2008, as acknowledged by editors notes. By the way, The Independent discovered terror too. What changed after all this time?
After a suicide bomber killed 30 Jews celebrating Passover in a resort hotel in Netanya in March 2002, Sharon took the battle to the terrorists . . .
• Sharon was only dead a few hours, and a mindless Google News algorithm, at first glance, appeared to link him to a shooting in Bangkok last night.
In 1983, he was forced to resign from his role as defense minister after he was found to be “indirectly responsible” for the massacres in Sabra and Shatila, two Palestinian refugee camps in West Beirut where hundreds of civilians were killed by Israeli soldiers during Israel’s invasion of Lebanon.
• Columnists and other notables weighing in on Sharon and his legacy included Michael Oren, Yossi Klein Halevi, Elliott Abrams, Ronen Bergman, Benny Morris, Dennis Ross, Haviv Rettig Gur, Jeffrey Goldberg, Boaz Bismuth, Seth Lipsky, Michael Bell, Edward Geregian, Alan Dershowitz, and Eitan Haber, and Ben Birnbaum.
- Kerry threatened to cut US aid to PA if no peace progress.
- Former Shin Bet forced to leave Denmark to evade threat of arrest.
- Syrian Islamists recruiting Western jihadis to carry out attacks in US and Europe.