Israel Busts Al Qaida Terror Plot

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Israeli arrested three Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem plotting a string of terror attacks. The Jerusalem Post reports they were recruited by an Al Qaida operative in Gaza.

The intended targets included the Jerusalem Convention Center, a bus traveling between the capital and Ma’aleh Adumim, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and emergency responders who would have arrived at the scene of attacks

2. Abbas rejects extending peace talks beyond nine-month deadline

3. A group of students who disrupted an Israeli musician’s performance were found guilty of violating the rights of other people to express themselves. Ten students from South Africa’s Wits University were sentenced to 80 hours of community and risk being expulsion if they violate school rules again.

Yossi Reshef, the pianist whose recital last year was disrupted, called the decision a victory for academic freedom, but the students defiantly rejected it:

“As far as I’m concerned, none of the people found guilty by the kangaroo court are prepared to do community service,” he said, adding that they were doing their part “as community leaders to stand up against the injustice of Zionism”.

4. Canadian PM Turns Tables on the Media: When it comes to the media’s attitude towards Israel, Harper gets it.

5. Israel Lobby Trope in The Independent: Is it really so difficult to believe that some U.S. Congressmen may harbor genuine concerns and mistrust towards Iran without some all-powerful “Israel lobby” pulling the strings?

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Israel and the Palestinians

 Payback: An Israeli airstrike killed two Gaza  thugs, including Ahmed Za’anin, who fired rockets at the end of Ariel Sharon’s funeral.

 UNESCO now looks to hold the Land of Israel Exhibit in June. The exhibit’s less likely to disrupt the peace talks in June because negotiations will likely collapse by then. Jerusalem Post coverage.

maple leaf One of Harper’s accompanying cabinet ministers, Jason Kenney, told the Times of Israel that foreign ministries around the world tend to have an institutional bias against Israel:

It’s no secret that the foreign ministries of most Western countries have an institutional bias against Israel that is probably informed by the fact that there is one Jewish state and dozens of other Islamic and Arabic states. That frankly informs the professional public service in most Western foreign ministries.

You mean there are 20 times as many diplomats who have served in Arab countries?

And 40 times more in Muslim countries. That’s right. The prime minister more or less intimated that in his speech. That means you’ve got dozens more diplomats and foreign policy wonks who absorb a particular perspective which is frankly and obviously hostile to Israel.

So that becomes the default position. It takes a profound act, it takes great intentionality on the part of political actors, to overcome that kind of institutional bias to begin with.

For more commentary on Stephen Harper’s visit, see Thomas Walkom, Jonathan Kay, Heather Mallick, a Globe & Mail staff-ed, plus cartoons in the National Post and Edmonton Journal.

Following up on the controversy over the shirts used by the Chilean soccer team, Palestino: the country’s National Soccer Federation banned the shirts, which featured a map of showing Israeli territory as Palestinian. The Santiago Times reports that the team president will simply put a different map on the shirts.

However, he was quick to point out that the ANFP does not specifically prohibit the use of the pre-1947 Palestinian map on shirt designs.

“It is clear there are no rules against using the ancient map of Palestine on sportswear,” Aguad told El Mercurio. “We are going to design a new shirt with complete liberty to include the territory of, and any symbols relating to, Palestine.”

If a pro-Israel team somewhere in the world did something similar, this conversation would probably be about dual-loyalties.

Palestino football club

Palestino football club shirts

The NY Times introduces us to Gedaliah and Elisheva Blum, American olim who are fighting the boycott of settlement products with the Orange Pages:

The Blums have since 2009 run a website promoting small businesses — mechanics, real estate brokers, caterers, etc. — in the settlements generally viewed as illegal under international law, and last fall they unveiled an online boutique selling settler art. Their approach is an attempted antidote to the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement that has been gaining ground lately — buy local, invest, celebrate.

Just learned that Israel’s new ambassador to Brazil, Dr. Reda Mansour, is a Druze diplomat.

Mansour joins two other Druze diplomats: Naim Aryadi, Israel’s ambassador to Norway, and Baheej Mansour, Israel’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic.

I wonder how the BDS movement explains this: Morocco Acquired Israeli Heron Drones via France.

For more commentary/analysis, see Ron Ben-Yishai (why Hamas and Islamic Jihad are de-escalating rocket fire), Emmanuel Navon (the Israeli-Palestinian demographic battle), Jonathan Tobin (refugees), Washington Times (UNESCO), New Haven Register (boycotts), and Yaacov Berg (Israeli reaction to boycott talk).

Rest O’ the Roundup

As implementation of the interim nuclear deal kick in, the LA Times gauged Israeli reactions.

I’m sure the mullahs in Iran are taking note: Israel and Kazakhstan signed a security-military cooperation deal.

YNet: A Syrian teenager getting treatment in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court that he not be returned  to Syria.

The High Court appeal states that the young girl, who was injured in battles in Syria which also claimed the lives of her mother and several other family members, fears for her life, and is requesting to be sent to relatives in another country. The petition notes that the relatives were informed of the issue and are willing to take the teen in.

Humanitarian aid is becoming a weapon in the Syrian civil war, including the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, reports the Wall St. Journal. There’s enough blame to spread around to everyone.

For more commentary on the Syrian situation, see the Wall St. Journal (via Google News).

(Image of Palestino via YouTube/24X7BreakingNEWS)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream

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