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Today’s Top Stories
1. Ban Ki-moon admitted that the UN is biased against Israel. YNet was on hand when the Secretary General confirmed what we already knew:
Responding to a student who said Israelis felt their country was discriminated against in the international organization, Ban confirmed that there was a biased attitude towards the Israeli people and Israeli government, stressing that it was “an unfortunate situation.”
2. Did Israel undercut American pressure on Gen. Sisi? That’s what the NY Times reports:
The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.
The Israeli government issued a statement late Saturday denying that claim as “baseless and without foundation.”
3. After John Kerry encouraged Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners last week, the State Dept. gave Israel some grief over it. One of the freed terrorists, Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, murdered an American citizen in1989. Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a former US Marine, was stabbed to death near Ariel.
Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told The Daily Beast Thursday, “The State Department conveyed the administration’s concerns regarding the release of this prisoner to the government of Israel, while recognizing the victim was a dual national of Israel and the United States.”
Harf said the Israeli side “acknowledged our views, but it was ultimately their decision to determine which prisoners to release. This is a very difficult situation for all involved, and further highlights the importance of making these negotiations successful.”
If Foggy Bottom’s “concerned” by the release of one murderer, how much more so should Israelis be “concerned” about releasing the rest? Or should the State Dept. consider it a US sacrifice for peace?
4. Sympathy for the Devils: Four years ago, The Economist was fire and brimstone against the early release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. None of that outrage was evident when Israel released “only” 26 Palestinian prisoners. Why the turnabout?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Worth reading: AP discovered that there are a lot of “normal” settlers.
While religious Jews, attracted to the West Bank because of its biblical significance, pioneered the settler movement four decades ago, the settlements today have expanded into a more accurate reflection of Israeli society. The profile of a settler can vary from a suburban Jerusalemite to a non-partisan ultra-Orthodox seminary student to a commuting high-tech executive to a socialist farmer in the Jordan Valley.
• According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, the number of Palestinians working in Israel and settlements is increasing. The EU’s acting more Palestinian than the Palestinians. The West Bank unemployment rate is currently 16.8 percent. Keep that in mind as you read this Jerusalem Post snippet:
The survey also found that the number of Palestinians employed in Israel and settlements increased from 93,000 in the first quarter of this year to 96,000 in the second quarter . . .
The number of Palestinian workers employed in settlements increased from 16,000 in the first quarter of this year to 20,000 in the second quarter . . .
Palestinians working in Israel and the settlements are paid more than twice the salary than what they receive from Palestinian employers.
• The BBC is going to censor some “Israeli apartheid” comments that violinist Nigel Kennedy made at The Proms. The Beeb’s broadcasting the music festival next week. Al-Arabiya broke the story.
• The new US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, tweeted her displeasure with Hezbollah apologist Jean Ziegler being considered for a key position at the UN Human Rights Council. More at the Jerusalem Post.
- Despite the official rhetoric, nobody believes Israel was responsible for deadly Beirut car bomb.
- More Golan Druze students seek Israeli citizenship. What does this mean for Israel?
- “Pandemonium at the upper echelons of the Murdoch media empire.”