Irked Envoy Exits UN

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Today’s Top Stories

1. The Times of Israel talked to a number of experts and activists about the Arab League’s new line on land swaps and what it means for Israel. Judge for yourself if the glass is half-empty or half-full. Haaretz reports that Tzipi Livni’s flying to Washington to discuss the Arab League proposal but also notes Jerusalem’s concerns.

2. Hmmmm. A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that most Americans don’t support getting involved in Syria, even if Bashar Assad’s using chemical weapons.

3. Lakhdar Brahimi wants to quit his thankless work as the UN and Arab League’s envoy to Syria. This AP snippet says volumes about the political paralysis:

Brahimi has found that speaking for two organizations with different views on Syria has made his role of trying to mediate a political transition almost impossible, two diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because their discussions with Brahimi were private.

While U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been calling for talks and urging all countries to stop arming the Syrian government and rebels, the Arab League is supporting the Syrian opposition, which Brahimi finds especially troubling, the diplomats said.

Brahimi is also fed up with the divisions in the U.N. Security Council that have prevented any action on Syria, the diplomats said.


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4. No Sugarcoating BDS Ignorance: Pro-Palestinian activist admits that Max Brenner chocolate franchises have nothing to do with Israel.

5. Reuters Plays Loose With Numbers of Palestinians Evicted: Fact-checked Reuters fails with figures.

Israel and the Palestinians

According to Asharq al-Awsat, Hamas is cracking down on Salafist rocket fire from Gaza:

. . . the Hamas government in Gaza withdrew security personnel from the field, except for a limited number who man official security points near the border, and replaced them with members of its Al-Qassam Brigades.

Freedom House released its Freedom of the Press 2013 report. Its rankings placed Israel as “partly free;” the West Bank and Gaza ranked at practically the bottom of the barrel.

Israeli checkpoints stop terrorists, not elections, argues Khaled Abu Toameh.

The Palestinians know, for example, that were it not for the continued power struggle between Hamas and Fatah, they would have had free elections several years ago.

Israel HaYom picked up on a survey which found that 40 percent of Palestinian Muslims said suicide bombings were a justifiable defense of Islam.

Rest O’ the Roundup

For commentary on the US and Syria, see a Washington Post staff-ed, Elliott Abrams, George Will, and Aaron David Miller.

Worth reading: The Geopolitics of Israel’s Offshore Gas Reserves

Attempts to employ these resources for the sake of advancing peace between Israel and its Muslim neighbors will be the greatest temptation at the policy level. Yet the historical record suggests that increasing co-dependency between Israel and its neighbors and using development efforts to anchor rapprochement among populations are quixotic cul-de-sacs. Such efforts in the past only increased Islamic resentment against Israel and played into their ideologues’ anti-Semitic imagery of Jewish control of their economies.

(Image of Brahimi via UN/Jean-Marc Ferre)

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

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