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Today’s Top Stories
1. A Gaza jihadi was killed in an Israeli airstrike. According to Haaetz, Hisham Al-Saedni, was one bad dude:
Hamas said Saedni had headed Tawhid and Jihad (One God and Holy War), a group with an Islamist ideology shared by al-Qaeda, while the Israeli military said he had helped found a kindred militant Salafi movement, the Hashura Council of the Mujahideen.
Saedni had recently been planning an attack that would be carried out in the neighboring Egyptian Sinai, the Israeli military said in a statement.
2. Freedom of press, Palestinian style: Two Palestinian journalists are sitting in PA jails, but one of them ain’t getting my sympathy — Falasteen is a Hamas-run mouthpiece. So I don’t consider Walid Khaled a “journalist.” Judging from this Jerusalem Post snippet, nobody comes out looking good:
One of the journalists, Walid Khaled, has been on hunger strike since his arrest on September 18, the syndicate said. Khaled was arrested by the PA only days after he had been released from Israeli prison.
Khaled works for the Palestinian newspaper Falasteen. Last week a PA judge ordered his release, but the PA has refused to obey the order.
3. In a Times of Israel post, HonestReporting CEO Joe Hyams looks at how intuition helps shape people’s opinions and what it means for Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• In recent months, 50,000 Palestinians from Gaza have received Egyptian citizenship (and passports) because their mothers are Egyptian. One Cairo official told the Jerusalem Post the number of Palestinians obtaining Egyptian citizenship could rise to 100,000:
Until recently, Egypt, like most Arab countries, had refused to grant citizenship to Palestinians in accordance with an Arab League resolution dating back to 1965 . . .
The Arab countries have justified their refusal to grant citizenship to Palestinians by arguing that they wish to protect the Palestinian identity and ensure their return to their original homes inside Israel.
Now that these 50,000 people are rediscovering their Egyptian identity, the next step should be to remove them from the UN’s bloated Palestinian refugee population figures.
• Worth reading: Gaza flotilla activists are on a foolhardy quest
• Private Majdi Halabi received a military funeral after his body was found in the Carmel Forest. The Druse soldier was last seen in his hometown of Daliat al-Carmel in 2005 trying to hitchhike a ride back to his base. The Jerusalem Post says hundreds of people came to pay their last respects and comfort the Halabi family.
Israel’s five other MIAs are Zecharya Baumel, Zvi Feldman and Yehuda Katz, who all disappeared in the battle at Sultan Yakoub in 1982. Ron Arad was captured in 1986 when his aircraft was shot down near Sidon, Lebanon. Guy Hever, was last seen at his army base on the southern Golan Heights in August, 1997.
• NY Times: UNESCO’s desperately slashing its budget and seeking new donors one year after the US cut funds.
However, the listener is left with a clear understanding that all the Jews interviewed were subject to harassment and intimidation, although the persecution is portrayed as tied to the provocation of Israel’s creation.
• BBC‘s Jon Donnison finds that Gaza real estate values are going through the roof. The Palestinians who made their fortune in the tunneling industry have decided that buying land is the safest investment.
• Bernard Avishai (The Daily Beast) and David Myers (LA Times) weigh in on Israeli academic freedom and government scrutiny of the Ben Gurion U. poli-sci dept. and Professor Neve Gordon in particular.
Academic freedom aside, Gordon’s name rings a bell because his calls for for an international boycott of Israel (once and twice) were considered extreme by Professor Stephen Walt and disowned by BGU president Rivka Carmi in an LA Times op-ed. Demonstrating that he’s no one-trick BDS pony, Gordon also accused Israel ethnically cleansing Bedouins.
• I don’t know how significant this may or may not be, but Memri notes that Jordan’s former crown prince Hassan supports bringing the West Bank under some form of Jordanian control. In 1988, King Hussein renounced Jordanian claims on the West Bank.