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Today’s Top Stories:
1. UNESCO inaugurated a science chair at Gaza’s Islamic University — better known as Hamas U. Haaretz explains why it matters:
The chair is seen as a stamp of approval from the international body, implying recognition in the university’s importance as an academic institution.
The move angered Jerusalem, especially because the university has served for years as a political hub for Hamas support.
A few years ago, Iranian operatives at Hamas U. were caught tutoring Hamas in rocket science.
“Our country is not in a position to allow the media to publish (any) news or analysis which is not compatible with the regime’s and national interests,” said Mohammad Hosseini, the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance, whose ministry oversees the Iranian print media and official news websites.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The Guardian blames Israel’s Gaza blockade for an uptick in mental health and stress disorders. But it’s all cheap speculation — living under the thumb of Hamas would make people batty too. Bromides like this carry enough authority for the paper’s bash-Israel choir:
“Feelings of powerlessness and helplessness are the main causes for depression among Gazans,” says Zeyada. “Men, who in eastern culture are the powerful figures in the family, are particularly affected. After having been able to care for their families, overnight they become nothing. I come across many people looking for ways to finish their lives.” . . .
Schembri believes the mental health crisis in Gaza will remain acute until the blockade is lifted and internal divisions between Palestinians are resolved.
• I hope this AP report indicates the PA’s climbing down from, uh, a limb:
• Manfred Gerstenfeld (YNet) doesn’t think media watchdogs are quick enough!
The model frequently followed by foreign journalists is somewhat different. They write an anti-Israel article that often omits essential data or a reliable Israeli counter-opinion. This requires little time to write. However, it takes a long time for pro-Israel media watch groups such as Camera and Honest Reporting to expose the lies and fallacies.
At the risk of sounding like the IDF Spokesperson’s Dept. — which I sometimes kvetch about for the very same reason — verifying the truth takes time. We have to get the facts right or our credibility goes down the drain. Dr. Gerstenfeld’s right that we’re frequently on the defensive. That reality gives Israel’s critics an edge they know they can exploit.