Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:06amToday’s Top Stories
1. ISIS executed freelance journalist, Steven Sotloff. Turns out he was a dual US-Israeli citizen. YNet expanded on the Israel angle:
Sotloff made aliyah and studied at the IDC some 10 years ago. After his capture in Syria, it seems any connection to Israel was deleted from his online presence in a bid to prevent the information from reaching his captors . . .
A friend who was with Sotloff in captivity told Ynet’s sister-print publication Yedioth Aharonoth that Sotloff was Jewish – a fact he hid from his captors – and even managed to observe the Yom Kippur fast while in Islamic State captivity.
“He told them he was sick and doesn’t want to eat, even though we were served eggs that day,” the friend said. “He used to pray secretly in the direction of Jerusalem. He would see in which direction (his Muslim captors) were praying and then adjust the angle.”
The 31-year-old Sotloff was abducted in Syria last year; the execution hit especially close to home at papers he was formerly associated with — The Media Line, Jerusalem Post (which owns the Jerusalem Report), and Time. Sotloff was from Miami, which made Miami Herald coverage a bit more poignant. Ilene Prusher reminisces.
3. Fatah is threatening to block the re-opening of the Rafah border crossing. Simply put, the PA won’t deploy forces along the border unless Hamas cedes power in Gaza, according to the Times of Israel. It’s a sticky situation because A) Egypt won’t deal with Hamas at Rafah and B) when Israel-bashers call Gaza the world’s largest open-air prison, it’s not politically correct to shift the blame to Hamas-Fatah sniping.
4. SodaStream CEO: “We Won’t Give in to Terror”: Why is SodaStream contemplating a move to the Negev? Hint: BDS has nothing to do with it.
5. What Really Happened at Wafa Hospital in Gaza? Channel 4 gives the Hamas terrorists’ version of events at Wafa Hospital in Gaza instead of reporting what really happened.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Ahead of expected legal battles over Operation Protective Edge, Haaretz reports that the IDF is expanding it legal corps.
• Operation Protective Edge by the numbers — according to an anonymous IDF intelligence officer’s briefing to the New York Times: 2,500-3,000: Estimated number of remaining rockets in Hamas arsenal. 4,000: Estimated number of rockets fired at Israel. 3,000: Estimated number of rockets destroyed by IDF. 875: Palestinian rockets that errantly landed in Gaza. 341: Hamas operatives known killed. 182: Islamic Jihad operatives known killed. 93: “militants” whose affiliation wasn’t known. 706: Palestinian fatalities identified by Israel as civilian. 805: Palestinian fatalities not yet categorized by Israel as civilian or combatant.
• Turkey’s new PM sees no hope in normalizing ties with Israel as long as Gaza’s blockaded. More at Israel HaYom.
• Israel to sign $15 billion natural gas deal with Jordan. Globes reports that the 15-year agreement will make Israel Jordan’s main supplier for decades.Media Angles
• Worth reading: You may not necessarily agree with Fred Ritchin’s take on Why Violent News Images Matter, but it is food for thought.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Soeren Kern (Why Europe can’t be trusted to monitor Hamas), Adam Levick (Yes, pro-Israel Jews lobby the UK government), Ben Levitas (BDS in South Africa is an abject failure), Yifat Erlich (Arab-Israeli coexistence through Christian IDF draft), Gadi Naaman (‘These 6 million will not go gently into the night’), and Harry’s Place on UK anti-Semitism.Rest O’ the Roundup
• Saudi Arabia announces plans to build its first nuclear reactor. Kingdom insists it’s for “peaceful purposes.”
• Hmmmm. Sudan closes Iran cultural centres, expels diplomats.
Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting, flickr/Shironeko Euro
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