Today’s Top Stories:
1. Campus activists for Israel take note: the US Dept. of Education is investigating whether the civil rights of Jewish students at U. of California-Berkeley have been violated by a “pervasive hostile environment” against Israel and the Jewish people. An LA Times staff-ed notes:
The department responded to a request from lawyers for two recent Berkeley graduates who earlier had sued the university complaining about a “dangerous anti-Semitic climate” at Berkeley. In their letter, the lawyers alleged that the university’s actions “present a disturbing echo of incitement, intimidation, harassment and violence carried out under the Nazi regime . . . against Jewish students and scholars in the leading universities . . . during the turbulent years leading up to and including the Holocaust.”
Central to the complaint is an annual demonstration known as Apartheid Week . . .
2. Busted! Palestinians caught on video chopping down their own olive trees. Palestinians responded by calling the video a lie. So who wants to break the inconvenient news to Hanan Ashrawi, The Guardian and the Sydney Morning Herald?
3. French diplomat accused of helping Palestinians rewrite history. According to the JTA, France’s consul general in Jerusalem, Frederic Desagneaux, who was giving a speech on archeology:
spoke of “the important archaeological projects that French archaeologists had helped to uncover in Palestine,” including the Qumran Caves.
Desagneaux also praised French archaeologists for “helping to discover Palestine.” An approved copy of his speech mentions, in this context, the Qumran Caves, where archaeologists discovered the collection of biblical texts knows as the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The text does not contain the word “Jewish” and Israel appears in it once, in a sentence about the “Israel-Palestinian conflict.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Times of Israel: Hamas and Fatah are politicizing the haj, much to Saudi dismay.
• Interesting pair of Gaza dispatches in the Christian Science Monitor. Regarding the smuggling tunnels, Kristen Chick reports that Mohammed Morsi’s putting Egyptian interests ahead of expected ideological support for Hamas. And Josh Mitnick notes that the rising Salafist movement is robbing Hamas’ “banner of resistance.” For more on the latter issue, see also the BBC.
• A Washington Post staff-ed hopes for a “reset” in Israeli-US relations.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Reports say 17 Russian intelligence agents were aboard one of the planes recently intercepted by Turkey. Today’s Zaman writes:
Those intelligence officials were headed to Damascus to determine the identities of some 300 Chechen Russian citizens who, according to the FSB, are fighting side by side with opposition forces to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Source material can be found at this site.