PA Imprisons Dozens for Fighting in SyriaFebruary 13, 2014 14:53 by Pesach Benson
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. The PA has detained some 40 Palestinians accused of having fought with radical Islamic groups in Syria. The PA fears that the returning radicals will target both Israel and the PA for terror attacks. The Times of Israel writes:
Israel’s Shin Bet security service has warned that the civil war in Syria, a magnet for aspiring jihadists throughout the Middle East, has deepened the roots of al-Qaeda and like-minded organizations in the region. Those groups, it said, were increasingly striving to link up with willing Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to strike Israel and Western targets.
3. A special thank you from Scarlett Johansson. The actress thanks everyone for supportng her through the SodaStream controversy.
4. Will US “Jewish Zealots” Really Blacklist Celeb Photographer? An interview in The Independent promotes the trope of Jewish power in the American entertainment industry.
5. Israel Provides Cancer Treatment to Palestinian Children From Gaza: A tussle over stationery or principles?
6. If you haven’t already done so, visit and “Like” our new Facebook page, Fighting BDS, for everything you need to know about fighting the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Deutsche Welle picked up on the fracas over Martin Schulz’s address to the Knesset. Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, criticized Israel’s West Bank water policies — based on flawed numbers — but he insisted that his speech was pro-Israel. Last year, a study emerged documenting exactly how Palestinians use water as a weapon against Israel.
• British Prime Minister David Cameron cancelled his Mideast trip because of his country’s flood crisis. The Jewish Chronicle adds:
The trip is likely to be rescheduled but could now take months to come to fruition.
• Settlement products face boycotts from Israeli businesses, reports AP.
Along with other West Bank wineries, Berg recently went public with news that dozens of Tel Aviv restaurants were boycotting their wines in hopes of shaming them into reversing course.
The Associated Press contacted more than a dozen Tel Aviv restaurants, including some named by settlers. All refused to discuss the subject.
It wasn’t just the fear of alienating clients that likely deterred them from speaking but also a 2011 law in Israel that could expose them to lawsuits if a boycott became official. The law did not make a boycott call a criminal offense, but rather a civil issue that could trigger financial compensation. There is no actual precedent of this happening yet.
• The PA is going to ask FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) to expel Israel.
• Worth reading: It’s not illegal for Israeli companies to operate beyond the Green Line. Emmanuel Navon explains why, and then makes a conclusion that should make Europe sweat.
The actions brought against Israeli companies that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Line are therefore legally groundless, even according to the disputable opinion that Israel’s presence beyond that line is illegal. However, were other European courts to vindicate anti-Israeli boycotters in the future, then hundreds of European companies would be exposed to lawsuits because of their activities and investments in countries that occupy territories or that control disputed ones. The list includes, among others, China (over Tibet), Russia (over Abkhazia), Turkey (over Cyprus), and Morocco (over Western Sahara).
Although BDS activists do not have a case, they are potentially exposing hundreds of European companies operating in the above countries to liability. I say bring it on and give Europe a taste of its own medicine.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Yes, it’s a depressing app. Now let’s see Lebanon develop an app that lets terrorists take credit for bombings they had nothing to do with.
• Egypt’s battle against the Muslim Brotherhood is getting hotter. The latest arrest was an Egyptian national who works for the US embassy in Cairo. Details at the LA Times:
The jailed staffer was identified as Ahmed Eleiba. Associates said his work involved monitoring developments concerning political Islam in Egypt — a sensitive subject in the wake of the popularly supported military coup that deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
The incident reflected an increasingly aggressive stance by the Egyptian police and judiciary toward anyone suspected of even a tangential connection with the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Islamist group.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.