Arafat Not Poisoned, Say Russian Scientists

December 26, 2013 14:14 by

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. Benjamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have maintained a secret back channel for years, reports YNet.

There are three goals to back-channel diplomacy: Solving daily problems on the ground; preparing the ground for a major diplomatic breakthrough; and creating an impression among those involved in the secret talks that there is an interest in making political progress while the formal negotiations are deadlocked.

2. Russian scientists say Yasser Arafat did not die of radiation poisoning, buttressing recent French findings.

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3. A Turkish court threw out a compensation lawsuit related to the Mavi Marmara incident. Hurriyet explains why, and you can’t help but smile:

The head judge rejected the trial on the grounds that Israel could not be tried in the Turkish courts.

4. A Year of Biased Reporting: Why the New York Times Won: After bludgeoning Israel all year, the New York Times wins the 2013 Dishonest Reporting Award.

Why the NY Times Won

HonestReporting’s Simon Plosker also discussed the awards with Radio TLV1. Simon joined in the “Politely Rough” show at the 42:30 mark.

5. Sky News Weighs In on the Bedouin Issue: Israel backed away from a controversial plan but nobody told Sky News.

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Israel and the Palestinians

According to media reports, Israel will announce new West Bank housing tenders next week after the third round of Palestinian prisoners are released:

Israeli TV reports said that the plan to be announced by Netanyahu called for 1,000 to 2,000 new settlement homes. Channel 10 said the prime minister was going ahead with the announcement of new settlement building despite the fact that the last such announcement, which coincided with the second phase of prisoner releases, almost caused the collapse of peace talks.

Lady Gaga

Lady Gaga

Quite a few musicians are bucking the BDS movement to perform in Israel. The LA Times rounds up the big names who will have boycotters singing the blues in 2014. The list includes Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, and The Pixies, among others.

Christian Arabs top Israeli matriculation charts.

For more commentary on the ASA boycott, see the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, Newark Star Ledger, and The Hatchet (George Washington U.).

Rest O’ the Roundup

Egyptian security forces arrested a Palestinian planning a car bombing attack on a Sinai security installation. Maan News reports that Jumaa Khamis Breika also claimed to be a member of Hamas, but the terror group denies Breika is one of its own.

The director of Hezbollah’s Al-Manar TV station resigned after a recent brawl with Bahrain. It seems that Abdallah Qasir didn’t quit because of his station’s “coverage” of Bahraini unrest, but because he apologized to Bahrain without consulting Hezbollah’s higher honchos.

Al-Qaeda group targeted UN workers in Syria

Hmmmm. The Jerusalem Post reports that Arab Knesset members have called for Jonathan Pollard’s release too.

(Image of Lady Gaga via Flickr/Jason H. Smith)

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


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