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Today’s Top Stories
1. A former International Criminal Court prosecutor warned the Palestinians against pushing for war crimes action against Israel in The Hague. AP explains why:
Luis Moreno-Ocampo on Wednesday said the Palestinians are indeed eligible to join the court. But he said if they accepted its jurisdiction, Gaza’s Islamic Hamas rulers also could be investigated for rocket fire and suicide bombings against Israeli civilians.
In his first visit to Israel, he recommended the sides avoid the court and find a “creative” way to resolve their differences.
2. French TV censored a journalist’s comparison between the Toulouse killer and the IDF. The JTA explains:
“Merah would say he killed Jewish children because the Israeli army kills Palestinian children,” Caron said, according to a transcript of the censored sequence that appeared last week on the news website causeur.fr. “There are numbers on that too. I have the numbers. How do you respond?”
Caron made the remark as a panelist during a 30-minute talk with Alexandre Arcady, the director of a newly released film titled “24 Days” about the 2006 murder of Ilan Halimi — a young cell phone salesman who was tortured and murdered near Paris by a gang of 16 people who abducted him because he was Jewish . . .
According to Elizabeth Levy, a French journalist who wrote about France 2’s decision to censor the exchange, Caron was waving a report by a nongovernmental organization about the Israel Defense Forces when he challenged Arcady.
Queried by French media on the decision to censor the discussion, a France 2 spokesperson wrote in a statement: “Alexandre Arcady came to speak about his film. Aymeric Caron’s statements were irrelevant to the subject.”
3. Radio Free Europe: An Iranian commander let slip that the Revolutionary Guards are fighting in Syria. Hossein Hamedani’s comments were duly scrubbed from the Internet. If you can read Persian, here’s a cached version of what the mullahs didn’t want to say openly.
“Today we fight in Syria for interests such as the Islamic Revolution. Our defense is to the extent of the Sacred Defense,” Hossein Hamedani was quoted as saying by Fars. “Sacred Defense” is the term used by Iranian officials to refer to the bloody 1980-88 war with Iraq.
But as Time points out, it’s not a secret that the Revolutionary Guards are active in Syria, citing Tehran’s history of contradictory confirmations and denials.
4. Is the EU Preparing to Drop the Hammer? Will the European Union revive anti-settlement policies now that peace talks have collapsed?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Hamas executed two men accused of collaborating with Israel. NY Times coverage.
• Professor Mohammed Dajani was expelled from the Al Quds U. workers’ union for taking a group of Palestinian students to Auschwitz. Haaretz reports the expulsion’s especially bizarre because Dajani was never even a member of the union.
• Jerusalem Post: A Palestinian opened fire on the settlement of Psagot. No injuries reported.
• Worth reading: Ben Cohen takes an in-depth look at the UN’s rabid anti-Zionism.
Despite the “Zionism-is-racism” resolution having been annulled, these offices, agencies, and committees continue operating as the engine of the effort to delegitimize the Jewish state and attack it through boycotts, sanctions and divestment. It is these structures and their activities that are being exposed here systematically for the first time . . .
At the moment, the UN’s institutional treatment of Israel and the Arab-Israeli conflict encourages Palestinian hatred, legitimizes their rejection of Israel’s right to exist, increases Israeli mistrust, alienates its supporters, and, above all, enables the type of Palestinian unilateralism that undermines the peace process and prolongs the conflict. A renewed effort at reform by influential member states would go a long way toward changing this state of affairs for the better.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• In the hours leading up to Israel’s raid on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish government proposed deceiving the press by claiming warships had been dispatched to escort the flotilla. The Turks also considered sending naval ships into Israel’s territorial waters.
• Two Jordanian editors trashed a TV studio while debating press freedom and the Arab Spring. According to YNet, one of the editors is well known for supporting the Assad regime, the other supports the Syrian opposition. MEMRI translated the video.
• There’s a new diplomatic push for the International Criminal Court to investigate Syria for war crimes. But don’t hold your breath waiting for the UN Security Council to refer Syria to the ICC. Russia will likely veto any resolution. Foreign Policy adds:
The United States indicated that it could support the text after seeking assurances that the ICC prosecutor, based in The Hague, would have no authority to investigate any possible war crimes by Israel, which has occupied the Golan Heights since the Six-Day War in 1967, according to those diplomats.
• For commentary/analysis, see Zalman Shoval (Israel, the US and Iran), Clifford May (stopping a nuclear Iran), Jennifer Rubin (can a nuclear Iran and war be stopped?), and Irwin Cotler (12 ways Rouhani’s no moderate).
(Image of UN via Flickr/brianac37)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.