Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Australia’s investigative TV show, Four Corners, levelled some ugly allegations at Israel over its treatment of Palestinian kids. The program was far worse than John Lyons’ accompanying advance articles, which we addressed yesterday. The video’s already on YouTube.
3. Turns out that the man targeted in yesterday’s Israeli air strike, Abdallah Kharti, was a real player in the world of Sinai Salafist arms smuggling. A Palestinian tied to attacks on Egyptian personnel is naughty, naughty. I hope Cairo makes Hamas sweat over this. From the Jerusalem Post:
In Gaza, Kharti is a member of the Popular Resistance Committees, but he apparently wears more than one hat. In Sinai, he is affiliated with the al-Qaida- inspired Ansar Beit Al-Maqdes group, which has been targeting both Israel and Egyptian security forces.
Haaretz‘s Amos Harel examines the common denominators of three targeted killing attempts in the last two weeks, and why Hamas hasn’t bothered avenging their blood:
What the three had in common was that they targeted members of relatively independent cells of small organizations that do not answer to the Hamas government in Gaza, or members of splinter groups.
These are terrorists that Israeli intelligence describes as “rebels.” Some have ties to groups that are part of the so-called global jihad, a weak coalition of factions fueled by the radical ideas of Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaida . . . .
These latest cases, however, were not attacks on a cell that was preparing to fire rockets at Israel – Hamas tends to accept such attacks as part of the rules of the game – but a deliberate attack on a specific person who had been previously involved in rocket fire or other attacks. These moves had a dual purpose: settling accounts for past crimes and thwarting future terrorist activity.
4. In the spirit of all the boycott buzz, check out our latest shareable image. If you want others to care, remember to share.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Mark down March 3 on your calendar for the next Obama-Netanyahu summit. The agenda? The framework agreement (and Iran). The announcement puts to rest Israeli media reports (quickly denied) that the president pulled the rug out from under John Kerry’s framework deal.
Whatever did or didn’t happen between the White House and Foggy Bottom, a NY Times staff-ed threw its weight behind Kerry’s initiative.
• Nice to see BBC having a soft spot for Israel as the start up nation.
• If you blink, you’ll miss the latest Palestinain state-building moves: The PA’s moving ahead with plans for a West Bank airport, a Gaza seaport, and a Gaza-Cairo rail link. YNet adds that Egypt’s taking the lead on assisting:
According to the agreement, Egyptian experts will travel to the West Bank to identify an appropriate location for a second airport in Area C. The first airport is to be built east of Jericho as the political peace process develops. The PA’s first West Bank airport has several design drafts, and the Egyptians are expected to prepare flight routes according to international aviation laws.
• My goodness, NY Times columnist Roger Cohen nails BDS. This is what we’ve been saying all along.
I do not trust the B.D.S. movement. Its stated aim is to end the occupation, secure “full equality” for Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, and fight for the right of return of all Palestinian refugees. The first objective is essential to Israel’s future. The second is laudable. The third, combined with the second, equals the end of Israel as a Jewish state. This is the hidden agenda of B.D.S., its unacceptable subterfuge: beguile, disguise and suffocate.
The anti-Apartheid movement in South Africa contained no such ambiguity. As Diana Shaw Clark, an activist on behalf of a two-state solution, wrote to me in an email, “People affiliated with divestment in South Africa had no agenda other than the liberation and enfranchisement of an oppressed majority.”
This is not the case in Israel, where the triple objective of B.D.S. would, in Clark’s words, “doom Israel as a national home for the Jews.”
• For more commentary/analysis, see Yossi Beilin (does US want peace more than Israelis and Palestinians?) Professor Ron Breiman (BDS hurts the Palestinians), and Moshe Arens (boycotters’ real goal is to delegitimize Israel).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Is Iran’s nuclear research legally protected by international law?
• Turkey’s foreign minister confirmed that Ankara and Jerusalem are “close to normalization,” reports Hurriyet.
• NY Post: Be wary of Vladimir Putin’s interest in Israeli offshore gas.
(Image of Cohen via YouTube/NCFpeace)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.