Catherine Ashton to Step Down From EU

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Today’s Top Stories

1. The US and UN called on Israel to investigate the deaths of two Palestinians during a street clash last week. How did the wire services do? AP was reasonable enough, while AFP utterly downplayed/omitted Israel’s objections — that the security footage was edited, soldiers used rubber-coated bullets, and that the footage didn’t show the full scope of the clash. Defense for Children International conceded to Reuters that Muhammad Abu Thahr and Nadim Nuwara may not have been innocent:

Brad Parker, an attorney for DCI, could not rule out the possibility that the Palestinians who were killed had been involved in earlier violence at the scene.

2. EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton is due to step down from her post in October. And Reuters reports that could delay international nuclear talks with Iran if they’re not concluded by then:

A delay would mean a new EU foreign policy chief taking over, someone with less familiarity with the issues or rapport with the Iranians. Alternatively, although it is unlikely, it could result in the baton being handed to another, non-EU party, which might reset the clock from Iran’s perspective.

3. A new generation of Hezbollah is testing its mettle in Syria, but the civil war is also diffusing the organization’s resources. Can it really maintain a war-footing against Israel while fighting takfiri too? The NY Times takes a look.

4. The Monster in the Middle East: The way news services depict Israel, it’s no surprise that people think of the country as a monster. But if people had the facts, they’d see things differently. If you want others to care, remember to share.

5. The Independent: Zionism “Displaced the Palestinians”: Reporter previewing the papal visit can’t differentiate between opinions and news.

6. Groups Condemn BDS Intimidation at UCLA: Students for Justice in Palestine’s malicious actions aren’t going unnoticed at UCLA.

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Israel and the Palestinians

 Maan News: The new Palestinian cabinet of technocrats fronting for Hamas will be inaugurated by May 29.

Jordan wants to capitalize on papal visit to market itself as “the other Holy Land,” reports the Washington Post:

Jordan is hungry to take a bite out of the surging Bible tourism industry that it says generates more than $3 billion per year in neighboring Israel and the Palestinian territories.

• A grueling day for the family of Rachel Corrie: They appeared before the Israeli Supreme Court to argue why a lower court’s dismissal of their wrongful death lawsuit should be overturned. The hearing continued into the afternoon as this roundup was published. The Jerusalem Post’s Jeremy Bob is live-tweeting the proceedings.

Yonah Jeremy Bob

For more commentary/analysis see Naftali Bennett (Wall St. Journal via Google News plugging his peace plan).

Rest O’ the Roundup
One Syrian rebel group already receiving advanced American weaponry has stated it wants to “the return of all Syrian land occupied by Israel.” Adam Kredo writes:

Al-Sa’oud’s 13th Division was among the first armed Syrian opposition groups to receive U.S.-made TOW anti-tank missiles from the Obama administration, which is said to have carefully vetted each of those rebel factions receiving American-made arms.

Lebanon hasn’t been rocked with any car bombings for quite awhile. The reason may surprise you, according to Foreign Policy:

The violence appears to have been thwarted by an alignment of interests among some unlikely allies: Lebanon’s Sunni political elite, the United States, and Hezbollah . . .

This new coordination benefited Hezbollah by bolstering the group’s efforts to secure its strongholds in the southern Beirut suburbs and the Bekaa Valley, which borders Syria. For Lebanon’s Sunni political elite, the public victories against terrorism allowed the newly appointed ministers to project an aura of stability in the country and portray themselves as in control of events . . .

U.S. officials, however, appear to be on board with whatever coordination is necessary to stop terrorist attacks in Lebanon.

Good grief:

Nigeria’s neglected Israeli drones won’t help find girls.

Egypt’s former president, Hosni Mubarak, was found guilty of using public money for personal use and sentenced to three years in prison. Mubarak now 86, currently lives in a Cairo military hospital under house arrest. Details at the LA Times.

(Image credits in small font)

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

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