The Daily Brief – Thursday January 6, 2011

By Mike Fegelman

January 6, 2011

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6, 2011
Toronto Star: Gil Yaron: "Secret agent plot? Saudi Arabia claims bird working as Israel spy" (6/1/2011)
"Barely one week after Iran hanged Ali Aqbar Siadat for allegedly collaborating with Israel’s spy agency Mossad, Saudi Arabia claims to have uncovered its own Israeli infiltrator."
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Vancouverite: Yehonathan Tommer: "Saudis mistake Israeli vulture for Mossad spy" (6/1/2011)
"A vulture whose leg was ringed by Tel Aviv University scientists strayed across the Red Sea into Saudi Arabia and was promptly arrested on suspicion of being a Mossad spy, Israeli and Saudi media reported on Tuesday."
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Ottawa Citizen: James Hider: "Saudi Arabian officials ‘arrest’ Israeli vulture for spying" (6/1/2011)
"First there was the killer shark that Egypt said Mossad had dropped in its coastal waters to scare off tourists from its Red Sea resorts. Now Saudi Arabia has “arrested” a vulture on suspicion of spying for the Israeli intelligence agency."
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Reuters Canada: Staff: "Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinians on Gaza border" (6/1/2011)
"Israeli troops killed two Palestinians near the Gaza Strip border, Palestinian medics said on Thursday. A military spokesman said Israeli forces had opened fire on a group of Palestinians who attempted to cross Israel’s border fence on Wednesday night."

Toronto Star: Linda Diebel: "Tories’ focus on GTA puts pressure on Liberals" (6/1/2011)
"For that reason, analysts put Ruby Dhalla in Brampton-Springdale and Andrew Kania in Brampton-West on the endangered list. Meanwhile, in Toronto, there’s growing evidence the Harper government’s strong pro-Israel policy has chipped away at Jewish Liberal votes, making Joe Volpe’s Eglinton-Lawrence and Ken Dryden’s Toronto Centre ridings to watch."
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Globe and Mail: Gary Mason: "Handled carefully, merit pay for teachers might work" (6/1/2011)
"Israel’s Department of Education instituted a pay-for-performance system in underperforming schools. An economist who was appointed to investigate whether the program worked found that students who were exposed to teachers paid on merit did better than those who weren’t"
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Submit online comment (blog): Staff: "Pride Toronto Advisory Panel releases list of groups" (6/1/2011)
"The list of groups and individuals requesting targeted consultations with the Pride Toronto (PT) Community Advisory Panel (CAP) has been posted publicly… There are 36 groups and organizations on the list. Some come as no surprise: Queers Against Israeli Apartheid (QuAIA), Pride Toronto staff, Church Wellesley Business Improvement Area (BIA) and Ward 27 councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam."
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Today’s News and Views About Israel & Mideast

CBC Radio: Lisa Mullins/Tim Marshall (Sky News) "Saudis capture "Israeli Mossad vulture spy" (6/1/2011)
"In the Middle East it often seems like nothing escapes controversy not even a lonely vulture a rare griffin culture was captured recently in a rural part of Saudi Arabia the bird had a tracking device attached to it the tracking device had the words proper written on it in English well the captors turn the bird over to security officials allegedly because they suspected the vulture was part of an Israeli spy plot Israel’s dismissing that claim as absurd and researchers say they’re actually worried the bird might be harmed by the Saudis Tim marshall is foreign affairs editor for sky news in London he is written about this story now before we talk about anything else is there any indication at all Tim that the claims at the vulture was spying on behalf of Israel could be real well a parlour the voters seem like a bird but , you know I really different things…"
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National Post: Barbara Kay: "Gaza’s self-perpetuating misery" (6/1/2011)
"Norway’s Aftenposten newspaper has cited three cables, amongst the 250,000 WikiLeaks U.S. cables the newspaper has in its possession, that show Israel kept the U.S. informed in 2008 of its intentions and strategies during the strictly observed three-year blockade of Gaza, now significantly eased."
Submit online comment (blog): "Violent right-wing group invited to rally in Toronto next week" (6/1/2011)
"The English Defence League, a UK-based group responsible for violent anti-Muslim protests and whose members include football hooligans, has been invited to hold a “support rally” in Toronto next Tuesday. The EDL’s leader, Stephen Lennon, was charged with assaulting a police officer last November, but will speak to the rally remotely via the web.
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National Post: Michael Coren: "Killing Christians, in the name of the Prophet" (6/1/2011)
"The bomb that killed at least 21 Egyptian Christians on New Year’s morning was packed with sharpened metal, iron balls and razor wire. Many of those that the device didn’t rip to death will never see, walk or function properly ever again. With terrorist bombs, euphemisms such as "wounded" and "traumatized" are hideously misplaced."
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National Post: Father Raymond J. de Souza: "Christians may need to start fighting back" (6/1/2011)
"The new year was only a few hours old when the question of Islamist fanaticism and violence literally exploded anew, this time in Alexandria, Egypt. Violence by jihadist radicals has become the dominant issue of this young century. The massacre in Baghdad just 10 weeks ago reminded the world about the killing of Christians by Muslims — as catalogued by my colleague Michael Coren. What is to be done about it?"
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Edmonton Journal: Jonathan Manthorpe: "Middle East bombings mark dwindling religious tolerance" (6/1/2011)
"Before his death in 2004, Yasser Arafat, the leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, used to make a point of attending the Christian midnight mass service at St. Catherine’s Church in Bethlehem on Christmas Eve."
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National Post: AFP: "Iran arrests American for having ‘spying equipment in her teeth’: report" (6/1/2011)
"Iranian officials have arrested an American woman on spying charges after she tried to enter the country from Armenia “with spying equipment in her teeth,” Fars news agency reported on Thursday."
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Metro News: Phil Brown: "Promoting peace one life at a time" (6/1/2011)
"Precious Life is a powerful new documentary that has garnered international acclaim for its depiction of a hospital in Israel where prejudices are set aside for Israeli doctors to save the life of a Palestinian infant."

NOW Toronto: Susan G. Cole: "Precious Life" (6/1/2011)
"This story of Mohammad, a Gaza infant given life-saving treatment in an Israeli hospital, is full of profound paradoxes."
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NOW Toronto: Susan G. Cole: "Q&A Raz Somech" (6/1/2011)
"When director Shlomi Eldar asked Israeli physician Raz Somech if he could film his attempts to treat a Palestinian child for a deadly immune deficiency, Somech was quick to sign up. The result is Precious Life, an exceptional documentary (on the Oscar long list for best feature doc) about love, hate, a doctor’s commitment and Mideast tensions. Somech, who loves Toronto – he studied immunology at Sick Kids – spoke to NOW about the film, the politics and the struggle for peace."
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Eye Weekly: Jason Anderson: "Precious Life" (6/1/2011)
"A film by Israeli TV journalist Shlomi Eldar that recently made the Academy Awards’ documentary short list, Precious Life is unusually compelling both as a real-life medical drama and as a frank and nuanced consideration of the quagmire faced by Israelis and Palestinians alike. At the heart of it is the story of Mohammad, a Palestinian baby with an immunity disorder that has already killed two of his sisters. His parents have managed to bring him from Gaza to a hospital in Tel Aviv…"
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  Toronto Star: Josef Federman: "WikiLeaks: Israeli officials sought bribes for US access to Gaza" (6/1/2011)
"A U.S. diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks on Thursday quoted American officials as saying a key Israeli cargo crossing for goods entering the Gaza Strip was rife with corruption."
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National Post: Terry Glavin: "Iran continues its crackdown on journalists and workers" (6/1/2011)
"Coming upon this especially gruesome eruption of boss journalism at Press TV, which blames the Jews (conventionally and variously described for purposes of plausible deniability as the Zionists, or Israel, or the Zionist Entity) for the New Year’s Day slaughter of 21 Coptic Christians who were innocently celebrating Mass at Alexandria, one is informed of several interesting things."
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Vancouver Sun (editorial @ Calgary Herald): "Church bombing a clear indication Egypt is ripe for change" (6/1/2011)
"Neighbouring Israel offers a clear lesson in the benefits of an open society. As a true democracy, it remains a venue where, uniquely in the Middle East, Christians and other religious minorities may worship freely without the threat of death."
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