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Today’s Top Stories
1. Is Bibi eyeing some kind of unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank? Comments reported in the Israeli media are stirring considerable buzz:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu left Knesset members in shock this past Monday by suggesting that Israel would have to “separate” from the Palestinians, according to a report which appears in Friday editions of the nationalist-religious newspaper Makor Rishon.
According to the report, which was written by the newspaper’s political commentator, Ze’ev Kam, Netanyahu told lawmakers serving on the prestigious Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that for Israel to maintain its Jewish character, it would have to reach “a separation from the Palestinians.”
Kam quotes unnamed members of Knesset who were present at the meeting as saying that Netanyahu left some of them “stunned,” since they could not recall the premier ever using the word “separation.”
2. Palestinian unity — some assembly required:
3. Professor Mohammed Dajani — the Al-Quds University professor who angered a lot of Palestinians by bringing a group of students — resigned under escalating pressure. Haaretz got fresh quotes:
Professor Dajani told Haaretz he felt he had no choice after the university authorities refused to back up their private assurances with a display of public support after what he described as a campaign of “incitement” against him from some members of the university faculty . . .
“I put my job on the line to expose the double-talk we live,” Dajani told Haaretz. “We say something and do the opposite. We say we are for democracy and we practice autocracy, we say we are for freedom of speech and academic freedom, yet we deny people to practice it.”
4. The Economist Sugarcoats Hamas Terror: Isn’t it time for Big Media to deal with reality instead of sugarcoating terrorism?
See Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream for important news and commentary you might have missed over the Shavuot holiday.
Israel and the Palestinians
• As this roundup went to press, Shimon Peres arrived in Rome for today’s prayer meeting with Pope Francis, Mahmoud Abbas, and other religious leaders. See Jerusalem Post and Times of Israel coverage.
• The PA seeks wider Arab reprisals against Australia after Canberra refused to refer to eastern Jerusalem as “occupied.”
“Palestine will request that the Arab League and the Islamic Conference [Organization of Islamic Cooperation] review the relations of the Arab and Islamic world with Australia . . .
• The world’s largest academic union, the UK’s University and College Union (UCU), is sending a delegation to Gaza to “view the effects of the Israeli blockade” in liason with the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. And according to the Times Higher Education journal, the moving is sparking criticism within the union:
“We are ignoring clear safety advice issued by the FCO, and we will struggle to get travel insurance,” Ms Phillips said. “I also don’t know how we can justify spending thousands of pounds of members’ funds on this trip when we have so many major disputes and battles to fight [nearer to home],” she added.
• Keeping with The Guardian’s activist journalism mind-set, correspondent Peter Beaumont printed extracts from Breaking the Silence’s 10th anniversary celebration: a 10-hour recitation of “soldiers’ stories.”
This was published in paper’s Sunday edition, The Observer. Breaking the Silence is a political organization opposed to the “occupation,” whose soldiers’ “testimonies” get plenty of media play. The accounts have been debunked as based on rumors and hearsay, so fact-checking Breaking the Silence is certainly warranted. But that would spoil the mood The Guardian’s trying to create . . .
• I wonder if AFP‘s style guide officially refers to Harlem as “Black north Manhattan” too:
Israel’s army seized the West Bank, including Arab east Jerusalem, in the Six-Day War of 1967.
• The International Business Times appears to have taken down an article over a headline went a step too far on torture. But the IBT left footprints on Yahoo News (cached) and Twitter (the tweet links to News Locker). Go figure:
• Today’s feelgood story is courtesy the Montreal Gazette: Israel’s achievements in science deserve some attention.
• For commentary/analysis, see a the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (the UN’s Israel-bashing “rights” charade), NY Times staff-ed (Israeli-Palestinian collision course), Zvi Barel (the US embrace of the Palestinian unity government), Avi Issacharoff (nobody to talk to), Boaz Bismuth (was Bibi right all along?) Dror Eydar (it’s time to stop apologizing), and Ben-Dror Yemini (Abbas’ diplomatic victory).
Rest O’ the Roundup
Yet perhaps the most surprising detail about the poll was that it was conducted by Israelis.
• Abdel Fattah el-Sisi was sworn in as Egypt’s president.
• Was Mehdi Nemmouche really a lone wolf terrorist? The EU believes the Brussels gunman had help.
For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.