The Daily Brief – Monday March 21, 2011

By Mike Fegelman

March 21, 2011

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March 21,
Windsor Star: PostMedia News: “Palestinians find bodies of Gazans” (21/3/2011)
“`Palestinian medical officials said on Sunday they had found two bodies southeast of Gaza City, apparently shot by Israeli troops. The two were identified as Salah Abu Attwa and Imad Faraj, both 17, whom family members said had been trying to sneak into Israel to look for jobs. They were both buried later on Sunday. An Israeli military spokeswoman said Saturday night the army had fired upon two men spotted moving suspiciously toward a frontier "no-go" zone.“
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Edmonton Journal: Staff: “Israel, Hamas trade shells, injuring 7” (20/3/2011)
Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip wounded five Hamas security officers and a boy on Saturday after militants launched mortar bombs into Israel, lightly injuring two people, Gaza medics and the army said.”
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Ottawa Citizen: Reuters: "Israel retaliates against Hamas mortar attacks; Five hurt in Gaza Strip in strikes made after militant barrages on border community" (20/3/2011)
“Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip wounded five Hamas security officers and a boy on Saturday after militants launched mortar bombs into Israel, lightly injuring two people, Gaza medics and the army said.”
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Edmonton Sun: Reuters: "Israel kills two in Gaza" (21/3/2011)
“Two Palestinians were killed by Israeli gunfire on Saturday near Gaza’s border with Israel, medical officials said after their bodies were recovered on Sunday, as militants continued firing rockets at Israel.”
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Kingston Whig-Standard: Staff: "Israel holding missing Palestinian engineer" (21/3/2011)
“Israel acknowledged on Sunday it was holding and investigating a Gaza engineer but banned details of the Palestinian’s arrest, which his relatives said was carried out as an abduction last month in Ukraine. Relatives of Dirar Abu Sisi, a manager of the Gaza Strip’s main power plant, say he was abducted from a train in Ukraine.”
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Vancouverite: Yehonathan Tommer: “Israel admits to arresting Gazan engineer in the Ukraine“ (21/3/2011)
“Israel has admitted to arresting and detaining a Palestinian engineer Dirar Abu Sisi,42, who is a deputy director of Gaza’s electric power plant and a Hamas loyalist during a visit last month in the Ukraine where he is applying for Ukrainian citizenship.”
Submit online comment AP: “Israel says Hamas fired more rockets from Gaza Strip” (20/3/2011)
"The Israeli military says a rocket was fired from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip into southern Israel, just a day after the heaviest Palestinian assault on Israel since the 2009 Gaza war." AP: “Hamas fires rockets at Israel; airstrikes respond” (20/3/2011)
“Palestinian militants in Gaza fired more than 50 mortar shells into Israel on Saturday, the heaviest barrage in two years, Israeli officials said, raising the prospect of a new Mideast flare up.” AP/CP: “Syrian protesters torch buildings, cars” (19/3/2011)
“Thousands of Syrians rallied Sunday for a third consecutive day in a tense southern city where security forces have killed at least five protesters”
See also: Toronto Star

Montreal Gazette: Khaled Yacoub Oweis: “Crowds set ruling party’s HQ ablaze” (21/3/2011)
“Assad, who has strengthened Syria’s ties with Shiite Iran as he sought to improve relations with the United States and strike a peace deal with Israel to return the Golan Heights, is facing the biggest challenge to his rule since he succeeded his late father, Hafez al-Assad, 11 years ago”
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Edmonton Journal: Staff: “Bahrain slams Hezbollah” (21/3/2011)
“Bahrain on Sunday slammed comments made by Lebanon’s Hezbollah chief about unrest in the Gulf kingdom as "blatant interference," warning this could harm Lebanon’s interests in the Gulf”
Send letter to editor AP: “Egyptians approve constitutional change” (19/3/2011)
“Egypt’s elections commission chief says constitutional changes were approved in the North African country’s landmark referendum, with 77 per cent of the vote in favor according to final results.”

Toronto Sun: AP: “Sarah Palin visits Israel” (21/3/2011)
“Leading U.S. Republican Sarah Palin began a private visit to Israel on Sunday, her first to the Jewish state, and planned to meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and tour holy sites.”
See also: Toronto Star, Halifax Herald, Vancouver Province
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CHCH: Anchor: “Palin visits Israel” (21/2/2011)“Former U.S Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin toured Israel. She arrived at the Western Wall to a mob of photographers. She spent the day touring ancient tunnels in Jerusalem. She’s expected to meet Benjamin Netanyahu. This is the politician’s and reality show star’s first visit to Israel.”
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Winnipeg Free Press: Joan Bryden: “Oda cleared of contempt charge – not” (20/3/2011)
“Immigration Minister Jason Kenney initially told an Israeli audience the group had been cut off due to its anti-Israel stance — an assertion Kairos said was patently untrue. Oda contradicted Kenney, saying the group simply no longer met the criteria for CIDA’s foreign aid priorities.”
Send letter to editor Laura Payton: “MPs to return Monday on contempt debate” (18/3/2011)
“NDP MP Pat Martin pointed to a speech made by Kenney shortly after Oda decided not to fund Kairos. Kenney told an audience in Jerusalem in December 2009 that the government stopped funding Kairos because the group is anti-Semitic”
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Hill Times: Tim Naumetz: “Oda takes 14 weeks to answer one question, NDP likens it to pulling teeth …” (21/3/2011)
“Central to the controversy was a claim made by Immigration and Citizenship Minister Jason Kenney (Calgary Southeast, Alta.), two weeks after the funding rejection in 2009, that Kairos had been de-funded because it led a boycott against Israel. His statement later turned out to be incorrect”
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Today’s News and Views About Israel & Mideast

Toronto Sun: Michael Coren: “Slaughter of innocents” (19/3/2011)
“Last week I wrote of how proud I was of being a Zionist, and how much I admired and respected the flawed but still remarkable state of Israel. The vomit of abuse was predictable — sent to me privately but also on display in the comment section of this newspaper.”
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Toronto Sun: Howard C. Tenenbaum (letter to the editor) “Ignoring real abuses” (19/3/2011)
Re “Israel stands alone” (March 12): Michael Coren is spot on in his observations relating to the horrific terrors being wrought on people of the Middle East by their own governments (run by Muammar Gadhafi and others), while those who hate Israel continue to castigate it for committing abuses it has not committed. Israel is an abuser of human rights? The boycotters of Israel and planners of Israel Apartheid Week are now exposed for what they are: Anti-Semites. They criticize the world’s only Jewish state for human rights transgressions of which it is not guilty, while giving a pass to true monsters like Gadhafi and his ilk, and this is no mere coincidence. The world’s sole Jewish state is being discriminated against in the most hateful and vigorous ways because, well, it is the world’s only Jewish state. The only viable explanation for this behaviour is those who have been accusing Israel falsely of human rights abuses are anti-Semites. So I congratulate Coren on his excellent observations, but also offer an explanation that helps us understand, at least in part, the behaviour of the anti-Israel rabble as they demonstrate their hatred of Israel with that obscenity known as IAW, while ignoring true abuses of human rights.”Toronto Sun note: (This year’s version of the so-called Israeli Apartheid Week couldn’t have suffered from worse timing, given all the Arabs and Muslims protesting the brutality of their own governments)”

Toronto Sun: Sue Anne Levy: "Paying price for Pride" (20/3/2011)
"The battle lines have clearly been drawn. On one side is Rev. Brent Hawkes, his left-leaning Community Advisory Panel (CAP), newbie city councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam and her lefty mouthpiece Xtra, who for all intents and purposes are doing everything they can to ensure the controversial Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA) group continue to march in this year’s Pride parade."
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National Post: Temima Cohen: (letter to the editor) “No flotilla for Israeli victims” (19/3/2011)
“So I am just wondering how many flotillas are being sent to help the people of Itamar? And how many university campuses are setting up for Palestinian Brutality Week? Why isn’t the UN Human Rights Council demanding an investigation into such acts of inhumanity? Both Gunter and Stephens are correct. The Palestinians, who have been known to ch


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