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Today’s Top Stories
1. Arab couple attacked in Jerusalem – because they looked Jewish.
In a case of mistaken identity, an Arab couple traveling on a road in Jerusalem came under a vicious attack by Palestinians – because the attackers thought the victims were Jews. The attack took place on the same road where two-year old Avigail Ben Zion was injured by stone throwers this week.
“They tried to pull us out of the car and hit us, it seemed they were intent on lynching us. They tried opening the doors and my wife begged them to leave us alone. She spoke to them in Arabic and only then did they understand that we ourselves are Arabs, and left us alone. I hit the gas and drove away as fast as possible.”
According to him, the youth clearly mistook them for Jews: “Me and my wife look Jewish, even the police officer who arrived said ‘at first sight I was sure you were Jews.’ He told us that these types of things happen all the time.”
2. The Washington Post brandishes a soft euphemism for terrorism – “political violence.” At least they admit it’s political in nature:
This year’s attacks have claimed the lives of three Israeli soldiers and a retired colonel, each in a separate incident. During the same period, 24 Palestinians have died at the hands of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. In each Palestinian death, Israeli officials say, security forces were responding to a potential threat.
By comparison, in the first 11 months of 2012, nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank. No Israelis died in political violence in the West Bank that year, for the first time since 1973, according to statistics compiled by Israel’s Shin Bet domestic intelligence agency.
They also adopt the phrase “Intifada of Individuals,” borrowed directly from Haaretz, to describe how the current wave of violence is different from a popular intifada.
3. Daily Beast writer Lloyd Green offers some advice to Netanyahu: leave the Iran issue alone and focus on building military technology to fight off asymmetrical attacks from the likes of Hezbollah.
4. Jihadist Terrorists Killed; Times Omits the Facts – Another case of journalists believing less-than-reliable Palestinian sources.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• With the way the New York Times has been covering Israel in recent months, this headline might count as positive these days: “Israel’s Foreign Minister Returns, but Abrasive Style Appears Absent.”
Gone, for now at least, is the abrasive, blunt gadfly who was shunned by the White House and clashed publicly with former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton over Jewish settlements in the West Bank. In his place is a conciliatory diplomat urging calmer conversation with Washington over Iran’s nuclear program: Mr. Lieberman made a point of seeing the American ambassador to Israel the day he returned to his post and expects to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry next weekend.
• The Foreign Press Association accused Israel of deliberately targeting journalists covering skirmishes between the IDF and Palestinian rioters in the Qalqilya area. IDF said the journalists were close to the rioters when the army attempted to disperse the crowd with stun grenades and rubber bullets, one of which hit an Italian photographer and broke his camera.
Meanwhile, there is no Foreign Press Association operating in Palestinian territories and no one fighting for the rights of Palestinian journalists who are attacked.
• Guardian commentary views Israel’s saber-rattling on Iran to serve as a pressure tactic that could push Iran to make a better final agreement with world powers.
Faced with possible additional sanctions and a credible military option, Iran is more likely to concede without the need for military action. In both respects, Israel has the potential to play an active role. It could encourage additional sanctions in the US Congress conditional on Iran’s behaviour, while also making clear that its own military option is on the table.
• Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to make first visit to Israel next month.
Calling Israel a “light of freedom and democracy in what is otherwise a region of darkness,” Mr. Harper made the announcement Sunday evening in Toronto, where the Jewish National Fund honoured him at its Negev Dinner.
• Radio-Canada’s ombudsman admitted its coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict required re-examination. “There were, this year again, very real problems in the coverage of the Israeli-Arab disagreement with regards to the Palestinian question,” he wrote.
• Hamas opts not to hold celebrations marking its anniversary because of the dire economic situation in the Gaza Strip. Last year’s rally, marking the terror group’s 25th year, was attended by half a million people and featured “leader in exile” Khaled Meshal.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.