UN to Probe Israeli Drone Strikes

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Today’s Top Stories

1. A UN lawyer is investigating fatal drone strikes by Israel, the US, and Britain. Bottom line, it’s a UN probe that Israel won’t cooperate with, and that the US will block. More at the Times of Israel:

The main focus of the investigation will be 25 reported drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and the Palestinian territories, he said.

No Israelis or Palestinians were listed among the experts who will help prepare the report, and Emmerson did not say he would visit Israel or the Palestinian territories.

Emmerson listed the US, UK, Pakistan and Yemen as countries he expected to cooperate with the probe, but did not mention Israel or the Palestinian Authority.

Predator UAV

Predator drone flies above the USS Carl Vinson in 1995.

2. Israeli media picked up on a WorldNetDaily report of a massive sabotage at Iran’s Fordow nuclear site:

An explosion deep within Iran’s Fordow nuclear facility has destroyed much of the installation and trapped about 240 personnel deep underground, according to a former intelligence officer of the Islamic regime . . .

The regime believes the blast was sabotage and the explosives could have reached the area disguised as equipment or in the uranium hexafluoride stock transferred to the site, the source said. The explosion occurred at the third centrifuge chambers, with the high-grade enriched uranium reserves below them.

The information was passed on to U.S. officials but has not been verified or denied by the regime or other sources within the regime.

3. Egyptians riot after court pronounces death penalty on 21 people involved in last year’s deadly soccer violence. Security forces regained control of Port Said on Sunday, but not before 31 people were killed. See CNN, and The Lede‘s roundup of related material.

4. Published in the Sunday Times while Europe marked Holocaust Memorial Day, this cartoon‘s imagery is an assault on the real victims of genocide, demeaning their suffering and insulting their memory.

Sunday Times

5. BBC “Forgets” Holocaust Memorial Day

Israel and the Palestinians

Hamas is setting up a military academy. For kids. Some 3,000 Gaza teens already finished a weekly program. AP picked up on the brainwashing. The Jerusalem Post writes:

[Haniyeh] said that children in grades 7-9 could join the school and graduate with a diploma or a BA in military affairs.

After digging in his heels on Sky News, British MP David Ward apologized for remarks about Israel, the Palestinians and the Holocaust. Elie Wiesel slammed Ward, whose comments were made ahead of European commemorations of the Holocaust. Ward had said he was

“saddened that the Jews, who suffered unbelievable levels of persecution during the Holocaust, could within a few years of liberation from the death camps be inflicting atrocities on Palestinians in the new State of Israel and continue to do so on a daily basis in the West Bank and Gaza”.

The PA is actively pushing for Tunisian president Moncef Marzouki to cancel an upcoming visit to Gaza. The Jerusalem Post explains why:

The PA fears that such visits would bolster Hamas’s stance among Palestinians and give legitimacy to its control over the Gaza Strip.

Ryan Bellerose, a member of the Metis people, one of Canada’s First Nations, explains why he’s A Native and a Zionist, resisting comparisons between the First Nations and Palestinian causes:

I hope the Metis keep walking the same road as the Jewish people.  Through their efforts, the Jews were able to preserve their identity despite terrible persecution and to revive their culture and language once back in their homeland.  They never lost their sense of who they were, but neither did they lose sight of the importance of looking forward.  Given their history, it would have been natural for them to become insular and reactionary.  But instead, they work hard to be productive and are friendly even to countries that have caused them tremendous suffering.  I want us to similarly make education and the preservation of our ancient culture a priority.  I want us to continue to strive for peace and productivity.

Many claim that we Natives have more in common with the Palestinians, that their struggle is our struggle.  Beyond superficial similarities, nothing could be farther from the truth.  Beyond the facile co-opting of our cause, the comparison with the Palestinians is absolutely untenable.  It trivializes our suffering.

Co-opting today’s native struggle to the Palestinian propaganda war is a fallacy.

Daily Telegraph: Britain’s Foreign Office ranked Israel with Iran, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan as having a human rights record “of particular concern.”

For more commentary, see Aaron David Miller (Foreign Policy).

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