Mourning Mandela, Mideast Style

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Today’s Top Stories

1. The Mideast mourns Mandela while Palestinians politicize his passing. More below.

2. Ireland’s Near FM radio station suspended news presenter Peter Kearney. The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) already ruled he was out of line for calling Gaza “an open-air prison.”

3. Egypt began revoking the citizenship of Hamas leaders. Some 50,000 Palestinians acquired Egyptian citizenship under a Morsi law granting it to any Palestinian with an Egyptian mother:

The paper quoted an Egyptian source as saying that the latest measure targeted Palestinians who are “affiliated with certain Palestinian political parties or those who are connected to outlawed groups in Egypt.”

The source pointed out that Egyptian law prohibits those who obtain Egyptian citizenship from engaging in political activities or membership in political parties in the first five years.

Fight the Demonization of Israel

4. What Boycott? Major Musicians Rock Israel: Plenty of stars perform in Israel despite calls for a boycott.

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Mideast Mourns Mandela

AFP: Palestinians are already politicizing the death of Nelson Mandela.

 The US Consulate in Jerusalem paid tribute to Mandela on Facebook, getting the attention of Maan News. By the way, Marwan Barghouti, the so-called “Palestinian Mandela,” seized on the same quote. Contrary to what you may see in the mainstream media, Barghouti is no Mandela.

I think it’s a silly question, but one BBC piece on Nelson Mandela’s death wonders: Do Israelis or Palestinians have a greater claim to the “blessings” of Mandela’s legacy? Spoiler alert:

At the time of his passing everyone will do what they can to claim something of his legacy – the Palestinians much more plausibly than the Israelis.

Kerry urges Israel, Palestinians to make peace like Mandela.

See also Israeli-South African journalist Benjamin Pogrund‘s reminiscence.

Israel and the Palestinians

Former US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski discussed Israel and other issues with Politico. “Zbig” followed up with this tweet. See Jeffrey Goldberg‘s response:

The willingness of esteemed foreign-policy thinkers such as Brzezinski to scapegoat the Jewish state for problems it did not cause is myopic and dangerous.

Reporter Alex Renton of The Observer spent a day with Gaza fishermen trying to dodge Israeli patrol boats. His 3,372-word dispatch (a whopping 84 column inches) breaks out the violins and never mentions the issue of maritime weapons smuggling.

Renton’s expertise is in food and hunger issues, so he’ll probably get a light slap on the wrist for violating The Guardian’s style guide on the word terror.

Israel is under constant threat from terrorist attack. But it is hard to see what good the harassment of the Gaza fisherfolk can serve.

 Mordechai Kedar weighs in on the Bedouin issue.

Irish shamrock Is Ireland Obsessed With Israel?

This begs the question: why are we as a nation so obsessed with a land over 4000 km away, with which we have no historical ties?

• For commentary/analysis on the Mideast peace talks, see Dan Margalit, Ron Ben-Yishai, and Jonathan Tobin. Last but not least, Professor Mark Rice lays out why he’s opposed to an academic boycott of Israel.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Pew study found American public support for global engagement is declining. The poll also found a majority of Americans criticizing Barack Obama’s handling of foreign policy and mistrust of Iranian intentions.

• Jordan was officially elected to take the Saudi seat on UN Security Council. Reuters coverage.

 For more commentary/analysis on the Iranian nuclear diplomacy, see Dore Gold, Ephraim Sneh, Martin Kramer, David Horovitz, Charles Krauthammer, and George Will.

Arab Spring Winter

 Syrians detonated a roadside bomb Friday night as an IDF vehicle patrolled the border. No injuries reported, though the vehicle was damaged. The bomb had been placed on Syria’s side of the fence. More at the Times of Israel. Meanwhile, The Age discovered terror.

The Age

Israel is Happy Hezbollah Commander Died, But Says It Did Not Kill Him

 Hezbollah’s openly training for another round of war with Israel, reports the Christian Science Monitor‘s Nicholas Blanford. In a separate dispatch, Blanford elaborates on what Hezbollah’s learning in Syria and what it means for Israel:

The construction of simple urban warfare facilities may indicate that Hezbollah fighters plan to launch guerrilla-style raids into northern Israel in the event of another war.

 A Druze resident of the Golan is accused of passing info on Israeli troop movements to Syria. According to the Times of Israel, Rafat Halabi, 28, crossed into Syria and spent three months fighting for the Assad regime. Halabi was arrested when he returned to Israel.

When was the last time Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV apologized for anything?

Al Manar

Worth reading: Israel’s Kill List: Inside the Mossad’s Campaign to off its most dangerous foes one by one.

Time: Hezbollah has openly declared war on the Saudis.

Rest O’ the Roundup

On a lighter note (via CJR):

What If a Women’s Magazine Editor Edited a BBC News Story About Syria?

(Image of Mandela via YouTube/BBCWorldNewsWatch, Irish clover via Wikimedia Commons)

For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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