Hungarian Anti-Semite Wins Journalism Award

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Egyptian-Hamas ties continue unraveling; the  military is investigating possible Hamas links to a batch of confiscated fabric. AP explains why Cairo’s frayed by the find. Can Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood patch things up?

 The military warned that unnamed parties might impersonate Egyptian troops after the fabric, used for police and army uniforms, was seized near a smuggling tunnel running from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

2. Israel slammed Hungary for giving a journalism award to TV news presenter Ferenc Szaniszlo. In 2011, Szaniszlo was fined for making disparaging comments about Jews and Roma. Haaretz writes:

In a clip of one of his programs from 2010, posted on YouTube, Szaniszlo said Israel had been created by the West as a bastion against Arab-Muslim countries, but that it would lose its importance as such once the region’s oil and gas run out.

The western world needs to reckon with … emptying Israel,” Szaniszlo said in the video. “… It can be expected that the Jewish population from Israel … will need to be gradually relocated to Europe and the United States.”

AP quoted another skeleton from Szaniszlo’s closet:

In comments made on his show on Echo TV in 2011, Szaniszlo said Gypsies – or Roma – are monkeys and implied that Jews and Roma have carried out anti-Hungarian activities.

3. Nice ABC News scoop: Pakistan arrested a suspect connected to the kidnap and murder of the Wall Street Journal’s Daniel Pearl.

Officials told ABC News the suspect, Qari Abdul Hayee, who often used the alias Asadullah, was captured Sunday in a targeted operation by the Pakistani Rangers, a paramilitary unit, in the city of Karachi . . .

Pakistani officials said they do not believe Hayee carried out the murder, but said he was “privy to the whole situation” and that he was part of the terror group that carried out the crime.

Obama’s Israel Tour ’13

Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Israel ahead of President Obama. More on his comings and goings at the Times of Israel.

Jerusalem Post: Palestinian rioters in Bethlehem burnt photos of President Obama.

Two polls, one by the Jerusalem Post, the other by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv U., found low Israeli approval ratings for President Obama and little belief that he’ll succeed in peace making.

For commentary/analysis, see Jeffrey Goldberg (Obama’s the most Jewish president ever), Bret Stephens (Don’t free Jonathan Pollard — Wall St. Journal via Google News), Ron Ben-Yishai (it’s China, stupid), Elliott Abrams, and Michael Singh (why Obama’s get-tough-on-Israel approach failed).

Staff-eds in the Washington Post, LA Times, Newark Star-Ledger,  Bloomberg News, and Financial Times (via Google News).

See also Ambassador Michael Oren, Michael Totten, David Harris, Peter Beinart (“Charm isn’t enough. Obama also needs to scare Israelis.”), CNN, AP, NY Times, The Independent, and Time.

Israel and the Palestinians

NY Times Magazine Ben Ehrenreich discussed “the story behind his NY Times Magazine cover story.” But issues raised by Arnold Roth, Chemi Shalev, and Jonathan Tobin remain. The latter notes:

If the piece seems incredibly skewed toward the point of view of the Palestinians, it’s no accident. Ehrenreich has never made any secret about his view about the State of Israel: he thinks Zionism is the moral equivalent of Nazism and believes the Jewish state should not exist. He stated as much in a 2009 op-ed published in the Los Angeles Times titled “Zionism is the problem.” In that piece he didn’t merely repeat the canard that Israel was an apartheid state but actually said the racist South African government compared favorably to the Jewish state.

Israel sentenced a Gaza terrorist to 18 years for firing rockets. The Jerusalem Post explains that Khaled Silawi was caught trying to enter Israel to spy on military sites for future attacks.

Mariam Farhat, a.k.a. “The Mother of the Martyrs,” who died this week, might have been a role model for sending her kids to death. But other women of the “resistance” who served time in Israeli jails told Maan News that  returning to Palestinian society means a lot of social and family degradation. How ironic is this snippet?

Despite giving birth to two children, when her husband learned that she had been in jail he began to assault her on a daily basis and called her a “terrorist.”

USA Today takes a look at the BDS movement.

Arab Spring Winter

Free Syrian Army: 38 Hezbollah fighters killed in Syria secretly buried in Lebanon

“The corpses were transferred secretly to Lebanon and arrangements for the burial were being made after buying the silence of the deceased’s relatives,” the newspaper reported.

CNN notes a grim milestone in the Syrian civil war: Syrian jets attacked rebel positions in Lebanon.

Ghassan Hitto was elected interim Prime Minister of Syrian rebel-held areas. The information technology executive is  a Syrian-born Kurd with US citizenship. More at the NY Times and CNN.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Washington Post to launch paywall this summer based on the NY Times’ metered reading model.

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