Ariel Sharon Laid to Rest

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Ariel Sharon was laid to rest at his Negev ranch, following a state funeral at the Knesset. After the burial, Palestinians fired two rockets which landed in open areas, causing no injuries or damage. Haaretz reports that lingering attendees heard explosions; the IDF launched retaliatory air strikes.

Israel warned Hamas not to fire rockets and boosted security. But in the morning beforehand,  two rockets were fired into the sea.

Ariel Sharon

Shimon Peres eulogizing Ariel Sharon

2. Efforts to send relief supplies to 18,000 Palestinians in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp have failed. Maan News reports that 43 Palestinians have died in the last three months due to shortages of food and medicine. The Syrian army surrounded the camp after it was taken over by rebels.

3. Naughty, naughty. Bloomberg News reports Mozaffar Khazaee, an Iranian-American, was arrested trying to smuggle to Iran “technical manuals, specification sheets and other materials related to the Joint Strike Fighter program and jet engines . . .” Khazaee could face up to 10 years in prison if convicted.

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4. Debunking the Genocide Charge: A response to Israel-baiting UN official, Richard Falk.

5. Sharon and the Wrong Drugged Cockroach: A misused quote attributed to the wrong IDF general creates confusion.

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Remembering Ariel Sharon

Some 8,000 Israelis were evacuated from Gaza during the 2005 disengagement and how they’re faring is an unfortunately overlooked story. Thumbs up to the Washington Post for trekking out to Nitzan. (The Guardian was more into Palestinian celebrations).

 Haaretz rounded up what’s known from previously leaked US diplomatic cables and Palestinian documents to get a better sense of the disengagement and what Sharon planned to do.

For more commentary on Sharon’s life and legacy, see David Horovitz, Dror Eydar, Nahum BarneaDonald Macintyre, Daniel Kurtzer, Jennifer Rubin, Peter Beaumont, the Toronto StarIrish Times, and National Post.

• Staff-eds in the Wall St. Journal (via Google News), Chicago TribuneTimes of London, USA Today, The AustralianThe IndependentThe Observer, Daily Telegraph, South Florida Sun-Sentinel also weighed in.

Israel and the Palestinians

Worth reading: How Israel and Hamas Weaponized Social Media. The article’s timing is ironic — Twitter suspended Hamas‘s English language account.

Ohio State• Commentaries in campus newspapers buzzed about the academic boycott issue with criticism in papers from Duke, Northwestern (one and two), North Carolina State, and Virginia. Other developments at Princeton, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Ohio State universities.

Last but not least, Seth Siegel got an op-ed soapbox in the LA Times.

For commentary/analysis, see Richard Baehr (Kerry and the Palestinian refugee issue), Jonathan D. Halevi (Abbas denying his own authority), and Khaled Abu Toameh (Hamas courting both the PA and Iran)

Rest O’ the Roundup

Negotiators finally wrapped up the interim deal that will put some restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program and ease sanctions. Implementation begins on January 20. The NY Times explains the details, summing it all up as “an elaborate pause button.”

Doyle McManus comments on Mideast proxy wars.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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