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Today’s Top Stories
1. PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah resigned just two weeks after taking office; the Jerusalem Post explains that the cynics were right all along:
“Hamdallah discovered that the Palestinian Authority president wants him to serve as a yes-man with no powers,” the source explained. “Abbas wanted a prime minister who would play no role and only carry out orders from the president’s office.”
Abbas’s decision to appoint two deputy prime ministers with expanded powers to the new government was the first sign of the PA president’s intention to curtail the powers of Hamdallah.
As Dan Murphy (Christian Science Monitor) points out, So Long, Fayyadism.
2. Israeli Druze leaders are pushing for the government to take in their brethren living in Syria. Details at the Times of Israel.
3. After reading this AP update, who wants to talk about international conspiracies in Egypt?
An Egyptian court says Muslim Brotherhood members conspired with Hamas, Hezbollah and local militants to storm a prison in 2011 and free 34 Brotherhood leaders, including President Mohammed Morsi.
4. The Curious Case of the Israeli Ku Klux Klan Photo: Salon misused an image and misled its readers.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Worth reading: Washington Times columnist Suzanne Fields offers several very compelling arguments against the EU’s labeling laws for settlement products:
Such pure bigotry not only hurts Jews, though that is its aim, but will hurt the Palestinians, too, the people the self-righteous Europeans say they want to help by labeling targets for boycott. More than 23,000 Palestinians work in Judea and Samaria. Almost half of these workers are between the ages of 18 and 29, and their average daily pay is 88 percent higher than what they would be paid in Palestinian-controlled areas. These Palestinians who work for Jews have health benefits and pensions that are not easily obtained in Palestinian factories and shops.
They can work in Judea and Samaria because they can be employed at 17, unlike the Palestinians who, for security reasons, must be at least 26 to work. These fine points are lost on the liberal Europeans who feel oh-so-good about themselves when they can read a label and look for a Jew to target for “occupying” what they consider to be Palestinian territory.
• If the US can engage the Taliban, why not engage Hamas? asks Paul McGeough (Sydney Morning Herald).
• The NY Times picked up on Hamas executing two alleged “collaborators.”
That a black acquaintance of Friedman’s is quoted as saying Keys made the right decision to go to Israel reminds me of how easy it can be to be used in an article of this kind. This same person probably thinks Israel truly honors Africans and Ethiopian Jews because it crowns one young black Ethiopian woman it’s national beauty queen. I am sure there has been much laughter in Israel about this ploy. It must have cost next to nothing to pull off because it is unusual for people who have very little to immediately recognize when even that is being taken from them.
Walker ain’t the first to raise this silly charge. See The Hypocrisy of a Black Miss Israel? my most widely-read blog post of 2013.
• According to the Washington Free Beacon, John Kerry’s considering Robert Malley for a State Dept. advisory position directly involved with the Mideast process. In 2008, Malley resigned from the Obama campaign after he was caught engaging Hamas. And in 2001, he tried to whitewash Yasser Arafat’s responsibility for the Camp David II talks. But that’s not all:
Malley has a controversial anti-Israel history that includes chastising the Jewish state while negotiating with Hamas. He also has defended Hezbollah, as well as other violent and illiberal Middle East factions.
• Arab citizens of Israel are losing faith in their elected leaders and increasingly opting for national service. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, the number of Israeli Arabs volunteering for national service has risen 76 percent since 2011. Nevertheless, Arab MKs continue to incite against Israel.
• Australia and Israel jointly issued a stamp commemorating the 1917 Battle of Beersheva, which involved the Australian Light Horse Brigade. But media reports Down Under say Palestinian activists are trying to get their own licks in, encouraging people to boycott the stamps.
• Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed the peace process, Iran, and Syria in a Q&A‘ with the Washington Post’s Lally Weymouth. Shimon Peres discussed the same topics in a Q&A with Foreign Policy’s Aaron David Miller.
- Filipino peacekeepers to quit Golan?
- Bibi caught between anti-terror lawsuit and ties with China.
- What’s wrong with this? Pro-Assad Palestinian gunman decries foreign rebels.