Pro-Israel Editor Disappears In Iraq

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Today’s Top Stories:

1. The Iranian-born editor of Kurd-Israel disappeared in Iraqi Kurdistan. Point of No Return fears that Mawlud Afand was kidnapped by an Iranian agent and is being held in Iran. Reporters Without Borders called for an immediate investigation, and explains why the magazine’s on Iran’s radar:

Its aims and activities are controversial and constitute a major source of discord between the Kurdistan Regional Government and Iran. The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Iranian pro-government media accuse the Kurdish authorities of facilitating the “activities of the Zionist enemy’s agents,” the Israeli intelligence services.

2. Five rockets hit Israel Thursday morning. Ashkelon schools remain closed today. A total of 70 rockets struck Israel on Wednesday. Hamas says it’s ready for a truce to be brokered by Egypt.

3. NY Times: CIA personnel secretly working in Turkey are “helping allies decide which Syrian opposition fighters across the border will receive arms.”

The C.I.A. officers have been in southern Turkey for several weeks, in part to help keep weapons out of the hands of fighters allied with Al Qaeda or other terrorist groups, one senior American official said. The Obama administration has said it is not providing arms to the rebels, but it has also acknowledged that Syria’s neighbors would do so.

Hot Southern Border

The verbal gymnastics necessary to avoid using the word “terror” took a creative turn. The Independent‘s Donald Macintyre writes:

The strike killed Ghaleb Armiilat and seriously wounded Mohammed Rashdan, who was a member of the Tawhid and Jihad organisation, an ultra-militant group that the army said had played a “central role” in Monday’s border attack.

That prompted Simon Plosker to ask:

What next? “Moderate militants”?

Here’s a sobering assessment from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy: Global jihad’s gaining quite a foothold for itself in the Sinai. Emphasis is on the global aspect:

The choice of non-Palestinians to conduct the attacks could be part of a conscious effort to establish the Sinai as a new base of jihad operations, providing an opportunity for all Muslims — not just Palestinians — to fight Israel. And the MSC’s credentials are enhanced by the fact that its statements and video were first posted on al-Qaeda’s official jihadist forum, Shamukh al-Islam, by an organization called Ibn Taymiyya Media, a Palestinian global jihadist media outlet most closely associated with imprisoned cleric Sheikh Abu al-Walid al-Maqdisi and his followers.

Israel and the Palestinians

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reports that there are 5.1 million Palestinian refugees world wide. And they’re getting younger.

The Palestinian Refugees are characterized as young population where 41.7% of them are under the age of 15 years for Palestinian refugees in Palestinian territory, 35.9% of Palestinian  refugees in Jordan in 2007, and 33.1% for Palestinian refugees in Syria in 2009, while 30.4% for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon in 2010.

Elliott Abrams responds to the absurdity:

Only in the Palestinian case does a separate organization, the UN Relief and Works Agency, count not only those who actually left their homes but those in succeeding generations, presumably forever, and regardless of whether those progeny were born and are settled elsewhere with full citizenship.

So a young American boy of, say, ten years of age born in Chicago to American parents, but whose grandparents were Palestinians who fled Israel in 1948, is counted by UNRWA as a “Palestinian refugee.”

Washington Post reporter Karin Brulliard looks at the PA’s corruption case against Yasser Arafat’s former money man, Mohammed Rashid. She wisely notes that the anti-corruption drive is also being used to suppress PA critics.

Continued on Page 2

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