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Today’s Top Stories
1. An Arab human rights group slammed the PA for widespread arbitrary detention, interrogation and torture, plus other forms of harassment. The Jerusalem Post writes:
From June 2007 until the end of 2011, PA security forces detained 13,271 Palestinian citizens and 96 percent were subjected to various methods of torture, the report said. This resulted in the death of six detainees and caused “chronic illness” in others.
It calls on the PA to adhere to international law and conventions, and to declare that a future Palestinian state “must be set up on true bases built on the rights of the Palestinian citizen to life and freedom.” . . .
“AOHR places complete responsibility for these human rights violations on the Palestinian President Abbas.
2. Must read: Hezbollah and Muslim missionaries are making in-roads in Mexico. They’ve teamed up with the drug cartels and arms traffickers based in Chiapas, becoming very real threat to US security. YNet writes:
These cartel contacts smuggle illegal immigrants – including individuals affiliated with Iran, Hezbollah, al-Qaeda and other radical Islamist groups – into Mexico, placing them a virtual stone’s-throw away from the United States.
Western intelligence agencies have been able to gather ample evidence suggesting that the drug cartels in Mexico – which are the de facto rulers of the northern districts bordering the US – are in cahoots with Islamic terror organizations . . .
Furthermore, US intelligence concluded that Hezbollah has established sleeper cells, intelligence infrastructure and training bases in Mexico and other South American countries. The Shiite group is also helping the drug lords build smuggling tunnels under the US-Mexico border and satellite images show that they are nearly identical to the maze of tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border.
3. A former Al Jazeera reporter explained how the Qatari gov’t “is exercising undue influence” on the network’s reporting of the Arab Spring. Aktham Suliman, who recently resigned as the channel’s Berlin correspondent, told Deutsche Welle:
It’s not a good feeling when you have the impression that you’re no longer a journalist, you’re basically just a guard dog responding to your owner’s whistle when he tells you to go after this state or that government. It was really quite extreme: this long silence at the beginning, then the frantic involvement afterwards – and with the Qatari ruler always the one calling the tune.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Memo to The Scotsman and its alarmist fears for Israeli Arab voting rights: Israel Arab MK Haneen Zoabi will run for Knesset in January elections the Supreme Court unanimously Court unanimously overturned an election commission’s decision to ban her.
• PA officials claim the US and Israel pressured Arab FMs not to visit Ramallah. According to the Jerusalem Post:
The accusation came as Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby arrived in Ramallah for talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This was the first visit to the West Bank by an Arab League secretary-general.
Four Arab foreign ministers who were supposed to accompany Elaraby backtracked in the last minute.
They didn’t miss anything exciting. The Secretary General called peace talks a “waste of time” and said the PA would renew its statehood push at the UN Security Council.
• Media reports say that Ambassador Michael Oren is stepping down as Israel’s ambassador to the US. His four-year term’s coming to an end and he’ll be replaced by the prime minister’s advisor, Ron Dermer.
No word yet on what’s next for Oren, a prominent historian.
• Bad news for BDS from YNet: Queen Elizabeth named Israeli professor Penelope Ur an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. Ur, who lives in Moshav Amnon in the Upper Galilee, received the award for her work in teaching and promoting the English language.
Buckingham Palace said that “Prof. Ur’s fingerprints could be found in books, teaching methods and English education institutions all over the world.”
• Elliott Abrams on the Ariel U. upgrade:
But is it not stretching things more than a bit to call an upgrade from “college” to “university” an “obstacle to peace?” If education is an obstacle to peace, how about ignorance, and prejudice?
When the British reach out to criticize not just settlement activity but the change of status of a college to a university, when they insist on condemning improvements in what has been Israel’s largest public college, when they ignore that institutions’s role in educating students who are immigrants, they betray a hostility that itself is an “obstacle to peace.”