Sale of Dead Sea Scrolls Fragments Angers Israel

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Today’s Top Stories

1. PA to Haaretz: We’re not satisfied with Kerry’s financial plan. No political concessions for economic carrots.

2. The EU is not renewing its arms embargo on Syrian rebels. Russia — which is (yes) selling Assad S-300 missiles — called the EU’s decision a blow to peace.

3. Sale of Dead Sea Scroll fragments angers Israel.

Nearly 70 years after the discovery of the world’s oldest biblical manuscripts, the Palestinian family who originally sold them to scholars and institutions is now quietly marketing the leftovers – fragments the family says it has kept in a Swiss safe deposit box.

Most of these scraps are barely postage-stamp-sized, and some are blank. But in the last few years, evangelical Christian collectors and institutions in the U.S. have forked out millions of dollars for a piece.

The Times of Israel expands on the scroll’s complex legal status.

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Israel and the Palestinians

The Jerusalem Post picked up on Dr. Qanta Ahmed visiting Israel right now, touting the country’s tolerance. If the name rings a bell, it’s because you may have seen one of her most widely-read, straight-from-the-hip articles a few months ago, Israel’s jihad is mine.

Israel does not fit the description of an apartheid state and instead, the media ignores the real problem, which is in the Muslim world, she said.

• Reuters takes an in-depth look at how’s Hamas is doing in the West Bank. Animosity and mistrust run deep.

For commentary/analyses of John Kerry’s peace efforts, see David Ignatius, David Horovitz, Khaled Abu Toameh, Josh Mitnick, Dan Margalit, and Haviv Rettig Gur. Last, but not least, Max Blankfeld, who serves on HonestReporting’s board of directors, questions if Saeb Erekat and the PA leadership really want peace based on the 1967 borders.

Arab Spring Winter

•  When it comes to the safety of journalism and free speech, Hezbollah sheds crocodile tears.  Syrian journalist Yara Abbas, who worked for a state-owned station, was killed by rebels in Qusair. Meanwhile, Marwa Olleik, a 20 year-old journalism student, was chased out of her Southern Lebanese home after criticizing Hezbollah online. These two headlines highlight Hezbollah’s hypocrisy.

Daily Star

Now Lebanon

Le Monde journalists who witnessed chemical weapons attacks in Syria put new pressure on Bashar Assad. They smuggled suspected “chemical weapons elements” out of Syria, which are now being tested in Paris. Reuters reports they also smuggled suspected “chemical weapons elements out of Syria, which are now being tested in Paris.

Sen. John McCain sneaked into Syria for a surprise meeting with rebels. The Daily Beast got the scoop.

 AP updates the latest from the battle for Qusair.

• For commentary/analysis on the civil war developments, see Zalman Shoval, Elliott Abrams, the NY Times, Michael Totten, and a Christian Science Monitor staff-ed.

Power outages spark Egyptian protests, putting Mohammed Morsi on the defensive, reports AP:

Morsi says Egypt only has 80 per cent of its electricity needs met and that its turbines are outdated. “We have a real energy problem in Egypt,” he told reporters over the weekend.

Rest O’ the Roundup

 Jonathan Schanzer (The Atlantic) weighs in on Argentinian-Iranian ties, including their joint “truth commission” investigating the 1994 AMIA bombing.

Good news: Israeli, Turkish manufacturers boost ties

Soft diplomacy in action: Israel to help India diversify fruit, vegetable crops

(Image of Dr. Ahmed via YouTube/HumanRightsUN)

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

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