Israel and the Palestinians
• The Israeli press was all over yesterday’s conference on justice for Jewish refugees from Arab countries. A Jerusalem Post staff-ed commented:
But the time has come to raise consciousness – not, as Columbia University’s Edward Said professor of Arab studies Rashid Khalidi has claimed, as a part of an “insidious” plot to “cancel out the debt of Israel toward Palestinian refugees.”
Rather, recognition of certain historical facts and the scrapping of distorted narratives can be a form of therapy, a way of attaining true reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians. Only when the Palestinian people acknowledge their own and the Arab nations’ complicity in their own displacement, as well as the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jewish refugees, will true, lasting peace be attainable.
• On the anniversary of the Gaza withdrawal Daniel Levy argues that Israeli leaders weren’t interested in peace, and that compromises were based on sinister motives. The narrative’s more befitting, say, Game of Thrones, but the NY Times gave it an op-ed soapbox anyway.
• R.I.P. One-State Solution. (And long live the three-state solution?)
• Worth reading: Dr. Steve Caplan, of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, takes to The Guardian to debunk academic boycotts of Israel.
• As protests continued, some nervously sweating Fatah officials blame their problems on Israel, the US and foreign NGOs. The Jerusalem Post writes:
Jamal Nazzal, a Fatah spokesman and member of its revolutionary council, accused the US Administration of driving Palestinians toward chaos by imposing a “financial blockade” on the PA leadership. He also accused unmade non-governmental organizations [NGO’s] of inciting Palestinians to carry out acts of chaos and vandalism in the West Bank.
Another Fatah spokesman, Osama Kawassmeh, said he saw a direct link between Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s recent attack on Abbas and the current crisis. He claimed that Israel was exerting pressure on Abbas and the PA leadership to foil the Palestinian struggle for independence and freedom.
Blame Israel and the West for popular Arab protests? We’ve seen that dance before . . .
• Haaretz: Israel to transfer NIS 250 million to PA.
• Experts who talked to the Times of Israel were pessimistic about the PA’s ability to contain public anger.
• Bloomberg News assesses the Syrian army. The conclusion ain’t good: it’s undermanned, forced to use heavier weapons, and unable to use all its hardware.
• Don’t worry Syria, Hugo Chavez wants to resolve your crisis.
• Where did the Arab Spring go wrong? asks a Christian Science Monitor staff-ed. Interesting answer:
One reason is that those who ignited the protests have since learned it is far easier to unite against tyranny than unite in favor of democratic values, such as respect for the opinions of others. Opposition leaders have too often split over egos, the role of Islam, the use of violence, or differing views of what democracy means.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Worth reading: Douglas Murray (Wall Street Journal) deconstructs the EU’s notion that Hezbollah has distinct political and armed “wings.”
The EU is one of the few organizations in the world that still recognizes a difference between the “political” and “armed” wings of Hezbollah. This difference is not recognized in the U.S. or Canada, it is not recognized in Lebanon and it is certainly not recognized by Hezbollah itself.
The EU’s wall of separation is not only its own invention, it is a fiction with which European countries have some first-hand experience, and something they have suffered from in the past.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the Conservative government in Britain had the long and painful task of trying to explain the unified nature of another terrorist group. When Irish Republican Army units were targeting British civilians and military personnel, numerous organizations were raising money for the IRA in the U.S. and elsewhere, in the same way that Hezbollah uses Europe as a support-base today. Certain charities were notorious for their claim that they were merely fundraising for a “political” as opposed to a “military” struggle. But in clear and specific cases the claim was false.
• King Abdullah to AFP: Israel’s trying to block Jordanian nuclear development. Israeli officials deny it.
• In the UK, a private screening of a separate Channel 4 film examining the historical record on Mohammed’s existence was cancelled amid threates of violence. More on that at the Daily Telegraph.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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