The Daily Brief – Tuesday May 17, 2011

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May 17,

Toronto Star: Gil Yaron: "Analysis: Border violence rattles Israel" (17/5/2011)
"To many Israelis, the Golan Heights are the local version of the Swiss Alps. The mountains are lush. The climate is so cool even in the sizzling Mediterranean summer, vines and cherries flourish next to pastures where cows graze."
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Halifax Herald: AP: "Netanyahu talks tough before trip to Washington" (17/5/2011)
"Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday took a tough line toward an emerging Palestinian government ahead of a high-profile trip to Washington, saying "those that want to destroy us are not partners in peace."
Send letter to editor  See also: Hamilton Spectator (send letter to editor)

Montreal Gazette: Reuters: "Palestinian unity government can’t be ‘peace partner’: Israel" (17/5/2011)
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, setting the stage for a high-profile U.S. visit, said on Monday a Palestinian unity government that includes Hamas Islamists could not be Israel’s peace partner."
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See also: National Post
(send letter to editor)

National Post: Reuters/AFP: "Syria trying to distract from crackdown: U.S." (17/5/2011)
"Syrian villagers pulled 13 bodies from a mass grave near the southern city of Deraa on Monday and thousands of protesters joined a night-time march in a Damascus suburb demanding the government’s overthrow."
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Edmonton Journal: Thomas Friedman (NYT): "Will Arab Spring take root or wither?; Damage done by dictators might be too severe to allow democracy to flourish" (17/5/2011)
"Watching the Arab uprisings these days leaves me with a smile on my face and a pit in my stomach. The smile comes from witnessing a whole swath of humanity losing its fear and regaining its dignity. The pit comes from a rising worry that the Arab Spring may have been both inevitable and too late. If you are not feeling both these impulses, you’re not paying attention.
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Today’s News and Views About Israel & Mideast

Toronto Star: Editorial: "Israel’s Arab awakening" (17/5/2011)
"The Arab Awakening that Israelis hoped would pass them by is now on their doorstep. That’s the take-away message from the clashes on Sunday between thousands of Palestinian civilians and Israeli troops along the heavily defended borders with Syria, Lebanon, the West Bank and Gaza. The success of democratic reformers in Egypt and Tunisia has emboldened Palestinians to press for statehood."
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Edmonton Journal: AFP: "Youths rush minefield"
"Salman Fakhreddine watched in astonishment Sunday as Syrian protesters mourning the creation of the state of Israel ran across the heavily-mined border with the Golan Heights."
Send letter to editor  See also: Windsor Star (not online)

Ottawa Citizen: AFP: "Clashes outside Israeli embassy in Cairo" (17/5/2011 – not online)
"An unidentified protester attempts to use a bucket to cover a smoking tear gas canister that was fired by riot police during clashes in front of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo early Monday morning. More than 350 people were injured in the protest, which was held to mark the displacement of Palestinians at the time of the 1948 creation of Israel. The Egyptian army detained 186 people after the confrontation and at least 24 were injured in the clashes, the MENA news agency reported."

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Montreal Gazette: By Sherif Emil: "Still waiting for an Egyptian revolution" (17/5/2011)
"As the western media turned their eyes away, a fundamentalist Islamic state began taking root."

Send letter to editor "Iran says B.C. journalist committed violations" (17/5/2011)
"A missing British Columbia journalist is alleged to have committed several violations, a spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry said Tuesday."
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National Post: Samira Kanji And Azeezah Kanji: "Geert Wilders cannot define Islam" (17/5/2011)
"We were stunned to read Jonathan Kay’s column describing Geert Wilders’ extreme polemics against Islam and Muslims ("Geert Wilders’ problem with Islam," May 9). It contained unsupported hyperbole from the Dutch politician, such as "if you would strip the Koran of all the negative, hateful, anti-Semitic material, you would end up with a tiny [booklet]." While Mr. Wilders may have travelled to "dozens of Muslim countries," this is not a sufficient basis to accord him the status of an intellectual whose proclamations can be taken as true without the support of evidence. It is necessary to prove such bold and extravagant claims by providing all the relevant Koranic references, and to show balance and fairness by holding these up against the full complement of similarly problematic verses in, for instance, the Old and New Testaments, to support the exclusive excoriation of the Koran."
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Toronto Star: Wire Services: "Mass grave reported in Syria" (17/5/2011)
"Syrian villagers pulled 13 bodies from a mass grave near the southern city of Daraa on Monday, residents said, and tanks pushed into a rural border area in the latest crackdown on protests against President Bashar Assad."
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Windsor Star: Star News Services: "Facebook inspires baby named Like" (17/5/2011)
"Stumped for an original name for their newborn daughter, an Israeli couple took inspiration from social networking site Facebook and named her "Like," Israeli daily Maariv reported on Monday."


Globe and Mail: Amnon Zohar (letter to editor) "Israel’s doorstep" (17/5/2011)
"Whoever coined the phrase “Arab Spring” intended it to project a romantic and hopeful vision of reform and democracy taking hold in the Arab world; a grassroots movement to topple dictatorial regimes and reclaim rights to freedom and liberty. What took place on four different fronts in Israel on Sunday had nothing to do with “Spring.” Hence, your choice of headline – Arab Spring Arrives On Israel’s Doorstep (May 16) – is misleading and damaging. It is not “Spring” when a mob rises against another sovereign government aided by their own government and army to breach the political borders of a declared enemy state – Israel. This is a war conducted by unarmed combatants acting as human shields designed to provoke legitimate defence from Israel and subsequent sympathy from the world community."

Globe and Mail: Rafeh Hulays (letter to editor) "Israel’s doorstep" (17/5/2011)
"Israeli officials criticize the Syrian government for killing civilians demonstrating for democracy and human rights. Syria condemns Israel’s killing of Palestinian refugees demonstrating to return to what is now Israel. Both Israel and Syria’s governments claim to be defending their country’s sovereignty against extremists and terrorists while killing unarmed civilians. Indeed, hypocrisy knows no bounds."
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National Post: Gerald Langlois (letter to editor) "’Protest’ was really an invasion" (17/5/2011)
"The liberal and leftist howlers are out in force over the so-called "protest" at the Israeli borders with Syria and Lebanon. The question rarely asked is who organized the civilian mobs into attempting to crash the border of Israel? To suggest it was spontaneous is simple nonsense. If they were organized by either neighbouring state, then the effort is tantamount to a premeditated act of war. Israel has every right to control and protect its borders against an invasion under the guise of "protest," notwithstanding the useless cries of outrage from the UN and Arab states."

These articles are provided as a public service and don’t necessarily reflect the position(s) of HonestReporting Canada.
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