Today’s Top Stories
1. Washington DC’s Newseum reconsiders its plan to add the names of two Hamas terrorists to a journalist memorial, releasing a press statement:
Serious questions have been raised as to whether two of the individuals included on our initial list of journalists who died covering the news this past year were truly journalists or whether they were engaged in terrorist activities.
We take the concerns raised about these two men seriously and have decided to re-evaluate their inclusion as journalists on our memorial wall pending further investigation.
Terrorism has altered the landscape in many areas, including the rules of war and engagement, law, investigative and interrogation techniques, and the detention of enemy combatants. Journalism is no exception.
2. British Labor Party politician Lord Ahmed has finally resigned from the party following the exposure of an anti-Semitic interview on Pakistani TV where he claimed his imprisonment for dangerous driving was the fault of Jews “who own newspapers and TV channels” and who placed pressure on the courts to punish him for supporting the Palestinians in Gaza. Lord Ahmed remains a member of the House of Lords, however.
3. Israeli government to hand over parts of the West Bank for the construction of a new Palestinian city near Jericho. In order to build the new city Israel’s military authorities plan to transfer large areas of land currently under the jurisdiction of the Jordan Valley settlers’ council.
Considering the amount of media coverage of Israeli demolitions of illegally-built Palestinian structures, why is this piece of news only covered in the Irish Times?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Alan Johnson of BICOM exposes the Jew-hatred of former London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s favorite Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi as he visits Gaza:
In fact, Qaradawi is utterly reactionary. He has sanctioned the murder of pregnant Jewish women to prevent the creation of “Zionist soldiers”, supported female circumcision (“whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world”), urged the throwing of homosexuals from rooftops as a punishment for their sin (“Should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements”), advocated wife-beating (“though only lightly”), and, of course, cheered on suicide bombings (“the martyr operation is the greatest of all sorts of jihad in the cause of Allah.”)
The far-away voices of opposition to Qaradawi’s Gaza trip should help us oppose his kind of bigotry here at home.
• Prominent Israel boycott activists Hilary and Stephen Rose crow in The Guardian over Stephen Hawking’s decision not to attend the President’s Conference, arguing that boycotting Israeli science and technology hits Israel where it hurts.
Demonstrating their ignorance and hatred of Israel, they claim “Israeli home-produced chemical weapons minimally match those of Syria” and then state that the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where they believe the President’s Conference is to be held, is “built on illegally annexed Palestinian land.” In fact, both campuses (Mount Scopus and Givat Ram) are located on land that was Israeli before 1967. The conference is actually being held at the ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center.
• Hamas claims success in crackdown on ‘Israeli collaborators’ in Gaza
• The Australian (accessible through Google News) publishes an excellent op-ed destroying the notion that Israel is an “apartheid state”:
Yet Israel is flogged by the BDS campaigners as an “apartheid” state that deserves to be punished and ostracised by the international community in the way South Africa was. Nothing is heard, of course, about the “apartheid” being enforced by Hamas in Gaza, where strict Islamic law is being imposed, with women barred even from running in a local marathon, while schoolchildren are being segregated and forced to wear Islamic dress. There is also silence on the rank discrimination that is enforced in so much of the Arab world. That South Africa, because of its grotesque system of apartheid, was fair game for the sort of campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions that contributed substantially to the ultimate demise of white rule is hard to argue against.
But comparisons between South Africa then, and Israel now, are neither fair nor sustainable. And they certainly do not accord with reality.
• Turkey eyes retaliation against Syria for bombing.
• Peter Beinart asks why are we debating intervention in Syria but not Afghanistan and Iraq? He says it’s because Americans prefer to clean up the messes of others, rather than their own.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• After 25 years of trying, the Canadian government is deporting Mahmoud Mohammad Issa Mohammad, a former member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, who, together with another man, stormed an Israeli airliner in 1968, killing one passenger.
“We’re sending the message that we will no longer be treated like suckers by terrorists like Mr. Mohammad,” said Immigration Minister Jason Kenney.
• The Israeli cabinet approves a controversial austerity budget.
• A teenage conscientious objector has been jailed by an Israeli military court for the tenth time in six months for refusing to enlist for compulsory military service.
For more, see Monday’s Israel Daily News Stream.