Today’s Top Stories
1. Mahmoud Abbas and Khaled Meshaal have agreed to launch a 3rd intifada against Israel. This one’s going to be “popular.” Khaled Abu Toameh explains:
Abbas and Mashaal are aware, the sources noted, that the Palestinians are now not ready for another military confrontation with Israel — neither in the West Bank nor in the Gaza Strip.
That is why the two men agreed that the best and only option facing the Palestinians these days is a “popular intifada” that would see Palestinian youths engage in daily confrontations with Israeli soldiers and settlers, especially in the West Bank.
Abbas and Mashaal want an uprising similar to the first intifada, which erupted in 1987, when Palestinians mainly used stones and firebombs against soldiers and settlers, and refrained from launching terror attacks inside Israel.
2. Yesterday alone, the UN passed nine resolutions bashing Israel and zero criticizing Syria. That’s sure to comfort the thousands of Palestinians forced to flee the Yarmouk refugee camp, which was attacked by Syrian war planes this week. Even Hamas condemned Syria, calling those responsible, “war criminals.”
(Via Elder of Ziyon)
Israel and the Palestinians
• The US and UK are outraged with Israel’s latest building plans for eastern Jerusalem. The world says the houses are on the wrong side of the Green Line, and Israel says the capital city is growing and it’s not a settlement. Jerusalem Post/Reuters coverage.
• Worth watching: Ambassador Michael Oren discussed a variety of issues with Jake Tapper of ABC News. Nothing touchy: mostly settlements and Netanyahu-Obama relations.
Now how is it that three such glaring errors are made in one Times story? After all, a simple glance at the map would show for example that from Ma’ale Adumim to the Dead Sea is 15 kilometers, and that the proposed construction would not cut the West Bank in two or make contiguity impossible. It is just plain extraordinary that the Jerusalem bureau chief of The New York Times knows so little about the geography of the Jerusalem area that she could write such things.
Here’s my theory: that just about everyone she knows –all her friends– believe these things, indeed know that they are true. Settlements are bad, the right-wing Israeli government is bad, new construction makes peace impossible and cuts the West Bank in half and destroys contiguity and means a Palestinian state is impossible. They just know it, it’s obvious, so why would you have to refer to a map, or talk to people who would tell you it’s all wrong? This was precisely what was feared when Ms. Rudoren was named the Times’s bureau chief: that she would move solely in a certain political and social milieu, the rough Israeli equivalent of the Upper West Side of Manhattan.
• Jonathan Tobin gives a thumbs up to the Israeli embassy in Dublin’s Christmas Facebook “gaffe.”
As much as it might have been wiser for anyone connected to the Israeli government to avoid any mention of the holy family or Christmas, their “offensive” post was primarily guilty of doing the one thing that diplomats are generally urged to avoid: telling the truth . . .
In raising the subject, the embassy did the unthinkable and told the truth about Palestinian violence and prejudice. While that might have been considered undiplomatic, that is something that more Israeli diplomats as well as members of the media ought to be doing more often.
• Christa Case Bryant of the Christian Science Monitor visited Shilo to get a feel for the religious settlers movement.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Worth reading at : New Yorker: Richard Engel’s Return and the Risks of Reporting in Syria.
• Sanity prevails as Human Rights Watch dumps Richard Falk from its board of directors.
• A trashy story from the trashy channel. Nuff said.
• 2012 was the deadliest year for journos since Reporters Without Borders started keeping track of the numbers. Israel wasn’t mentioned at all in report addressing the five countries with the highest murder and imprisonment rates of journos.
Source material can be found at this site.