Egyptian Unrest Continues

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Today’s Top Stories

1. How come nobody ever asks the Palestinians to take risks for peace, or show bold leadership? Haaretz quotes the PA’s latest excuse for avoiding peace talks.

It should also be noted that, despite all of the authority that President Abbas has, the decision to renew the peace talks is not solely up to him and his negotiating team. A senior member of Abbas’ Fatah faction told Haaretz that the Palestinian street is highly pessimistic about negotiations with Israel, making the Palestinian Authority wary of announcing a resumption of talks that may ultimately not produce results, as was the case in prior rounds.

2. A spokesman for one of the Islamist rebel groups in Syria told the Times of Israel they have no quarrel with the Jewish state. But analysts are divided on the Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade’s sincerity.

3. Egyptian unrest continues. More on the demonstrations below.

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4. The Untold Truth: 150 Million Europeans Hate Israel: A new book posits that 150 million Europeans believe Israel is exterminating the Palestinians.

5. Get Your Head Around This: Does a very strange sentence in one newspaper make sense to anybody?

6. Why did Andrew Pochter’s murder hit HonestReporting particularly close to home? Listen to the Israel Audio News Stream.

Israel and the Palestinians

So you think Israelis aren’t interested in peace? An Israel HaYom poll found that most Israelis A) support peace talks, and B) expect nothing to come of peace talks, and C) oppose goodwill gestures (like a prisoner release) as a price to pay for peace talks. In other words, if the Palestinians become serious about talking peace, they’ll find willing Israeli ears.

An optimistic Times of Israel piece focuses on the gaps John Kerry reportedly narrowed. Israeli concessions include a construction freeze on parts of the West Bank and a prisoner release.

For commentary/analysis, see a NY Times staff-ed and the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Blankfeld Award for Media Critique

Arab Spring Winter

Protesters ransacked the Muslim Brotherhood’s national headquarters in Cairo.

Once again, there’s a very ugly side to the Tahrir Square demonstrations. According to Reuters, “more than 30 women suffered organised sexual assaults by gangs of men in the square during Sunday’s rally.” And YNet reports that an unidentified Dutch journalist was released from the hospital after being assaulted and raped in the Cairo square several days ago.

A military helicopter flying over Tahrir Square dropped Egyptian flags on surprised protesters. The Washington Post reads the tea leaves:

But it does seem to at least wink at the military’s support for the protests.

For more Egypt coverage, see the LA Time and Daily Telegraph.

Arab columnist Abdel Aziz Aluwaisheg makes the case for pursuing Hezbollah on war crimes charges.

Michael Totten: If Lebanon is freed from the Syria/Hezbollah stranglehold, would it make peace with Israel?

Worth reading: Woman’s work: The twisted reality of an Italian freelancer in Syria:

The truth is that the only job opportunity I have today is staying in Syria, where nobody else wants to stay. And it’s not even Aleppo, to be precise; it’s the frontline. Because the editors back in Italy only ask us for the blood, the bang-bang. I write about the Islamists and their network of social services, the roots of their power—a piece that is definitely more complex to build than a frontline piece. I strive to explain, not just to move, to touch, and I am answered with: “What’s this? Six thousand words and nobody died?

For more commentary/analysis, see Asharq al-Awsat, The Atlantic, and Jerusalem Post.

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

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