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Today’s Top Stories
1. John Kerry has a lot of Israel-supporters up in arms. The Daily Beast obtained a recording of the Secretary of State saying that Israel risks becoming an apartheid state if no peace deal is reached.
Senior American officials have rarely, if ever, used the term “apartheid” in reference to Israel, and President Obama has previously rejected the idea that the word should apply to Jewish State. Kerry’s use of the loaded term is already rankling Jewish leaders in America . . .
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki told The Daily Beast that Kerry was simply repeating his view, shared by others, that a two-state solution is the only way for Israel to remain a Jewish state in peace with the Palestinians . . .
But leaders of pro-Israel organizations told The Daily Beast that Kerry’s reference to “apartheid” was appalling and inappropriately alarmist because of its racial connotations and historical context.
On the bright side you could say Kerry’s confirmed that Israel’s isn’t an apartheid state yet.
2. For the first time, a Palestinian journo is the chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Israel. Samer Shalabi — a veteran CBC cameraman and FPA board member from the Ramallah area — is best known for refusing to be strip-searched by Bibi’s security detail in 2012. He shared some thoughts on the appointment with Matthew Kalman. I wish him luck.
3. It’s hard to have much sympathy with the Muslim Brotherhood, but can you imagine the outrage if Israel did this?
4. Chomsky Not Sure BDS Exists: Noam Chomsky sends ambiguous messages about BDS. Why?
5. Israeli Government Fellows Visit HonestReporting: To learn about media bias and how to fight it, a prestigious group of Israeli Government Fellows came to HonestReporting.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Haaretz: The PLO now seeks membership in 63 international organizations, and will push the UN to condemn both settlement building and Israeli activities that harm the status of holy sites including the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, AFP reports that Israel is suspending various Palestinian building projects.
• US envoy Martin Indyk, Kerry’s envoy for getting Israeli and Palestinian negotiators back together, is returning to Washington. According to Haaretz, Indyk has no clear plans to return to the region.
• Christy Anastas was disowned by her family because she doesn’t blame Israel for dwindling Christian demographics in the Holy Land.
Anastas was forced to flee Bethlehem because she spoke out against Palestinian discrimination against Christians in a controversial 60 Minutes story, and says Bob Simon misrepresented her views. Simon Plosker shared his impressions on Anastas after meeting her in London.
• Nice to see the Daily Mail pick up on PA stipends to Palestinian terrorists funded by UK taxpayers.
• For commentary/analysis, see Dore Gold (the myth of the moderate Hamas), Stephen Huntley (Palestinian leaders stand in way of peace), Alan Baker (a legal view on the Hamas-Fatah accord), Nadav Shragai (Holocaust-denial part of the Palestinian narrative), and Jonathan Tobin (Abbas and the Holocaust), plus staff-eds in the NY Daily News, NY Post, Irish Times and The Guardian.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Uh-oh. Western intelligence assessments picked up by Reuters suggest Syria can still produce and deploy chemical weapons.
• It’s not like they weren’t going to vote for Bashar Assad anyway . . .
• Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timerman, is in Israel for what is hoped will be the beginning of “a new era of ties.” JTA coverage.
Israelis are discovering the drawbacks of a society where everyone serves in the army: a whole lot of citizens know how to use explosives.
(Image of Kerry via Flickr/US State Dept.)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.