Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Is the labor dispute at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs threatening Israel’s national security? According to Haaretz, Israel’s highest intelligence chiefs said as much to the Prime Minister, though we’re not privvy to their argument. Bottom line: They asked Benjamin Netanyahu to intervene to resolve the labor dispute:
Sanctions include the refusal to issue diplomatic passports to ministers, the halt to cable communications between Israeli diplomatic missions worldwide and the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, and the refusal to help with arrangements for ministers visiting foreign countries.
2. Will Syrian refugees be resettled in the USA? The LA Times reports that the White House is open to the idea, but has no received no formal request from the UN to do so. Political and homeland security issues are sensitive, as are questions of who would qualify.
3. Experts who talked to the Christian Science Monitor waxed effusively over Israel’s expertise in cyber security. The Jewish state’s a heckuva cyber incubator.
4. In the spirit of a French museum glorifying Palestinian suicide bombers, we bring you the Martyr Lisa. If you want others to care, remember to share.
5. Apartheid: More Than a Word: A South African guest post explains how Israel’s detractors have hijacked the word “apartheid.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• In an effort to breath new life into peace talks last year, Israel offered to release 50 Palestinians imprisoned before the Oslo accords. However, Mahmoud Abbas rejected the offer, insisting that all 107 Palestinians imprisoned before Oslo be released. Judging from this Times of Israel report, you have to wonder about the PA’s sincerity:
The Palestinian official, who asked not to be named, is one of Abbas’s close associates. He said that the release of all the pre-Oslo “veterans” is a “strategic” requirement for the PA. Choosing his words carefully, he said their release could prove sufficient to bring the PA back to the peace table, but he refused to say so explicitly, and could not rule out additional Palestinian conditions.
• Israel confirms de-facto building freeze in eastern Jerusalem.
“One should view this as a temporary hiatus,” Lieberman said. “We have an interest in [Secretary of State] Kerry succeeding. You don’t always have to be right; you can also be smart.”
What characterized the civil-rights movement was its strict adherence to the philosophy of nonviolence. Even when attacked with fire hoses and police dogs, civil-rights demonstrators courageously refused to retaliate.
The Palestinian leadership, by contrast, for decades has used violence whenever missile attacks or suicide bombers suit its aims. It is Israel that has shown an inclination to absorb punishment, though the country’s tolerance stretches only so far before it responds militarily to attacks.
The comparison that Ms. Walker and her comrades in the boycott-Israel movement make to the civil-rights movement is false in other ways. Unlike the American South decades ago, when local governments enacted laws and policies to prevent U.S. citizens from attaining full rights, Israel has tried repeatedly to reach an agreement with the Palestinians in the West Bank that would grant them sovereignty. In 2005, Israel even withdrew unilaterally from the Gaza Strip. We all know how that turned out.
• The LA Times was in Qusayr as residents began returning to their homes.
• The Toronto Star‘s Haroon Siddiqui makes a strong case for Western intervention in Syria:
Perversely, all the reasons cited for not intervening militarily have come true because of not intervening militarily.
• Egyptian counter-terror officer shot and killed in Sinai. AP coverage.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.