Betrayed Israeli Professor Blisters UNESCO

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Today’s Top Stories

1. After uproar, Iran disinvited from Geneva conference on Syria. Iranian statements against the premise of the gathering made it easier for Ban Ki-moon to withdraw the invitation. Good thing too: the talks would have collapsed from the boycott of Syrian rebels and other key countries opposed to Iran’s participation. Bottom line: Iran wouldn’t “get with the program,” writes McClatchy News:

Iranian leaders failed to follow through on a promise to endorse the conference’s goal of naming a transitional government.

2. Heh. Left-wing yuppies just can’t get enough of SodaStream, even though the product is supposed to be so boycottable. NY Magazine finds that everyone’s got an excuse for having it. And Benny Avni credits Scarlett Johansson for going against the Tinseltown stream:

In Hollywood, where misguided radical chic hasn’t cost anyone a juicy movie part in half a century, ignoring the anti-Israel catcalls is no easy thing these days. Sticking by SodaStream in such an environment is admirable.

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3. Professor Robert Wistrich, author of the Israeli exhibit that UNESO squelched bitterly slammed the organization for caving in to Arab pressure. He told the Times of Israel:

Wistrich also claimed that UNESCO only agreed to host the exhibition to improve its image in the United States, hoping to get the administration to start funding the organization again, after it stopped paying when UNESCO admitted “Palestine” as a member. The historian also took aim at the Obama administration, suggesting the State Department was schizophrenic because it had refused to cosponsor the exhibition — invoking the same reasons that Arab member states used when working successfully to torpedo it — yet later condemned the fact that it was canceled.

Israel and the Palestinians

Time to look busy: Hamas deploys forces to prevent rocket fire on Israel. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post rounds up the latest rocket fire on Israel, including Grads fired at Eilat.

Romania supports the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.

Maybe I missed it, Ali Jarbawi, but I didn’t hear any Israeli media grumble over any lack of response from the PA about Ariel Sharon’s death.

Stephen Harper

Prime Minister Stephen Harper

Nice of the Toronto Star to publish the text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Knesset speech. For an opposing view, Ahmad Tibi explained to the CBC why he walked out in the middle.

Weighing in on Stephen Harper’s visit are Shira Herzog, Andrew Coyne, David Akin, John Ivison, Michael Petrou, and staff-eds in the Toronto Star, Winnipeg Free Press, and Toronto Sun. The Globe & Mail gave op-ed space to Nabil Shaath — he’s sour grapes. Canadian cartoonists expressed themselves too in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, and Ottawa Citizen.

For more commentary/analysis, see Danny Danon (Israel-US ties), and the Washington Times (countering illegal boycotts).

Rest O’ the Roundup

Sanctions eased, Iran gets feelers from old trading partners.

Even when the easing begins, now set for Monday, it will continue to be nearly impossible to transfer money into and out of the country. “Most companies want to scope out the landscape,” said Rouzbeh Pirouz, the chairman of a Tehran-based investment firm, Turquoise Partners. “But I don’t think many of them will actually sign contracts and start putting money into this place very quickly.”

The photos are disturbing to look at, and they’re damning allegations of Syrian army torture. CNN and The Guardian got exclusive looks at the evidence which war crimes prosecutors are investigating.

Another car bomb struck a Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut. CNN reports four dead and 27 injured.

I wish sports wasn’t so politicized, but this is where we’re at. Big sigh.

  1. Chile bans Palestino football club anti-Israel shirt
  2. Nicolas Anelka to be charged by FA over ‘quenelle’ gesture
  3. Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics

I liked Diana Moukalled‘s take on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

(Image of Johansson via YouTube/SuperBowl 2014, Harper via Facebook/Stephen Harper)

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


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