Will New Indian Prime Minister Take Israel Ties To New Level?

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Today’s Top Stories

1. Will a UN debate redefine who is a Palestinian refugee? Probably not, but, like Jonathan Tobin, I’m glad the debate will draw any attention to the idiocy of treating Palestinian refugees differently the world’s other refugee populations, and the UNRWA’s sorry role in perpetuating misery.

2. What’s in store for Israel-India ties, now that the center-right Bharatiya Janata Party is ruling in New Delhi? The International Business Times calls Prime Minister Narendra Modi, “Israel’s best friend in South Asia,” while The Peninsula reports that the Arab world’s watching with “unease.”

See also Aditi Bhaduri (who thinks Modi could become the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel), Haaretz, and the Times of Israel.

3. Splendid: Hamas wants to follow the Hezbollah model for governing Gaza: sitting in the cabinet, abdicating responsibility for routine government matters, and maintaining its own independent armed forces. More at Haaretz.

“If anyone expects Hamas to hand over its missile network to the PA, he’s making a big mistake,” the Hamas source said. “Hamas wants to avoid ministerial responsibility for civilian matters, but it wants to maintain its power as a popular-resistance group.”

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4. Anti-Semitism A Problem? Not For The Guardian: The Guardian accuses an anti-Semitism survey of being “waved around like a propaganda tool.”

5. So Appalling, It’ll Make You Weep: Pass the tissues for an Australian radio personality’s take on the Mideast conflict.

6. UCLA Chancellor Slams Anti-Israel Pledge: Will Gene Bloch’s statement be enough to end a chilling effect hitting pro-Israel students?

Blankfeld Award

Israel and the Palestinians

Haaretz: Israel took one punitive measure against the Palestinians: The government has barred Palestinian banks from making shekel deposits in Israeli banks.

The 1994 Paris Protocol, which Israel signed with the Palestine Liberation Organization, gives the [Palestine Monetary Authority] the right to convert excess cash received from West Bank Palestinian banks into foreign currency via the Bank of Israel and to exchange shekels for foreign currency and the reverse . . .

The ban on transaction has left Palestinian banks with an excess of 300 million shekels on hand in monthly terms.

Avi Issacharoff

Avi Issacharoff

• Khaled Abu Toameh responds to the near-lynching of Israeli journalist Avi Isacharoff with harsh criticism for his Palestinian counterparts:

The Palestinian Authority bears responsibility for failing to take action against those who are inciting against Israeli journalists working in its territories. Some Palestinian Authority officials have even inflamed the hostility by coming out in favor of the campaign against the Israeli journalists.

Unless these are exposed and reined in, more people — businessmen, tourists and journalists — are likely to lose their lives in Ramallah or Jenin.

In the good old days before the peace process began, 20 years ago, Israeli and Palestinian journalists used to cooperate, help and work with each other. But there is a new generation of Palestinian “journalists” who have been brainwashed to a point where they regard themselves as foot soldiers in a revolution. Many of them are political activists disguised as journalists, and full of hatred. They are giving journalism, and especially Palestinian journalism, a bad name.

By the way, the Palestinian Journalists Association condemned the attack.

• The State Department denied a Washington Free Beacon report that Martin Indyk bashed Israel in a Washington hotel bar.

On the next page:

  • Arabs view Olmert jailing with admiration and envy.
  • Knesset sets date to choose Shimon Peres’ successor.
  • Is Israel receiving clandestine Kurdish oil?

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