Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Today’s Top Stories
1. Are the glitzy Gulf states suitable hosts for world class sporting events? At the FINA Swimming World Cup hosted by Dubai and Qatar, the results of races featuring Israeli swimmers weren’t announced, creating confusion for everybody. The discrimination continued with Israel being airbrushed out of graphics while an Israeli flag flying outside one of the venues was taken down. More at SwimVortex, Israel HaYom, and YNet.
2. Israel isn’t currently taking in Syrian refugees, but that could soon change. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israeli Druze leaders are pushing the government to take in Syrian Druze refugees. Meanwhile, Haaretz reports that Druze youth from the Golan are crossing over to Syria to fight for Bashar Assad.
Sources in the Golan Heights told Haaretz that not all those who wish to join the Syrian army or the forces supporting the regime are automatically accepted, and that Syrian intelligence interrogates anyone crossing the border before approving his wish to join the forces.
3. They already snubbed a UN Security Council seat. Now the Saudis are scaling back intelligence cooperation with the US in efforts to arm and train Syrian rebels. The Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) says the Saudis will instead work with other allies to boost the rebels. Are the Saudis going rogue? Or is this part of a regional realignment reacting to American foreign policy in which the Mideast isn’t so important?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israelis went to the polls for municipal elections. Most attention centered on Jerusalem, where Palestinians boycotted the ballots. The NY Times nailed the story, while a staff-ed in The Guardian engaged in a mindless “thought experiment” dancing on the edge of endorsing the one-state solution.
• As this roundup went to press, the Israeli media reported low voter turnout in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, but polls close at 10 pm. See the Times of Israel‘s election primer.
• John Kerry: Peace talks are intense, all issues are on the table, negotiators have held three meetings in the last four days, and — to top it off — Qatar’s kicking in $150 million to the PA for debt relief. More at Reuters.
• Palestinian comedian Ray Hanania devastates the anti-Israel Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign and opponents of normalization:
We, the Palestinians, are not the loudmouthed, but small collective of extremists who spew vicious hatred and promote confrontation and would rather have violence and conflict than peace. We Palestinians want our state. But we also want peace. We want an environment where we can be free to travel, live and respect each other.
If that is what normalization means, then the extremists can call me whatever they want. I just won’t be a loser like them who drags Palestine down to their failed insanity of hatred.
• The Israeli curriculum being used in eastern Jerusalem schools isn’t getting a thumbs up from Palestinian parents, according to NBC News.
- Hamas veto power of the peace process trumps US guarantee against nuclear Iran.
- US sliding towards policy of containing a nuclear Iran?
- Texas A&M to open branch campus in Israel.