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Headlines and Deadlines Blog

The Daily Brief – Today’s News And Views About Israel & The Mideast – April 4

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  • Canada, a second-tier player in cybersecurity, looks to top-tier player Israel for advice on digital strategy, reports PostMedia’s David Akin. According to Akin: “The federal government sought advice and assistance last fall from the Israeli government to toughen Canada’s cybersecurity defences and to find ways Ottawa could encourage private sector investments in cybersecurity, the National Post has learned.”
  • A CBC Analysis by Mark Kwong quotes Mark Petersen, department of public policy at UCLA’s Luskin School of Public Affairs, who says the following about Jared Kushner’s role as Mideast point man for the U.S. administration: “Although Kushner’s family has deep connections to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Peterson questioned the wisdom of trusting a political neophyte to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.”
  • Over at the Ubyssey, the University of British Columbia’s student newspaper, read about the following:
    • Ranil Prasad, a 1st year student, explains why the BDS referendum is a joke: “By hiding their intentions of what will come if the referendum passes, members of the AMS are at risk of unintentionally boycotting hundreds of corporations that have loose ties to Palestinian lands like Intel, Coca-Cola, Lockheed Martin and TEVA Pharmaceuticals — one of the largest pharma companies in the world. Imagine a world in which the AMS had to throw out all of their devices with Intel processors, remove all Coke products from the food outlets in the Nest and had to renegotiate AMS health and dental plans to not cover TEVA products.Admittedly, this could be fear-mongering, but with the lack of specificity in the referendum, literally anything is possible, including a blanket boycott of anything Israeli. Until SPHR or any other relevant group come out with information that clearly states which companies will be boycotted, one should assume the worst and vote NO.”
    • Avi Pick, a third-year student and member of the Progressive Jewish Alliance, explains why “I’m Voting NO to BDS because it doesn’t actually help Palestine”
    • See SPHR’s Emma Russo’s response to an op-ed entitled: “BDS will bring bigotry, hatred and even violence to UBC”
  • Mark Bonokowski at the Toronto Sun writes about the explosion on Monday that tore through a subway train in the Russian city of St. Petersburg, hometown of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin, killing at least 11 people and injuring scores of others. He writes:

“The world has wiggled its way off its axis, which is why the progressives and elites among us see Israel as a greater threat to peace in the Middle East than Hamas or Hezbollah. One wonders if U.S. President Donald Trump put the question to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi when they met in Washington Monday, and whether he will do the same with Jordan’s King Abdullah II when they meet Wednesday to discuss peace strategies regarding Israel and the Palestinians”

  • Donald Trump reunited with his Egyptian counterpart, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, for talks ranging from collaboration against the Islamic State group to bolstering Egypt’s flailing economy. AP coverage at the Globe and Mail.
  • At 680 News and the Winnipeg Free Press, learn about how a joint U.S.-Israeli missile interceptor meant to counter the type of medium-range missiles possessed by Iranian-backed Hezbollah militants became operational Sunday, completing Israel’s multi-layer defence system amid tensions on its frontiers with Syria and Gaza.
  • Barbara Kay at the National Post tells a story about how some years ago Tal Nitzan, a sociology student at Hebrew University and an ardent anti-Zionist, used her Master’s thesis to explore how Israel’s “racist” soldiers use rape as a weapon of terror and intimidation. She writes: “There was only one problem. Once she began her research, she could not find a single documented case of rape by an Israel Defence Forces soldier of a Palestinian woman.Undeterred, Nitzan simply turned her original thesis upside down and came to the exact same conclusion: the soldiers were still racist and still bent on humiliating Palestinian women — by refusing to rape them. Nitzan wrote: “The lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences — just as organized military rape would have done.”It sounds silly, I know, but her thesis won a departmental prize. And I could not help but think of Nitzan’s non-rape-as-rape theory when I read Ashley Csanady’s indictment of American vice-president Mike Pence as a representative of “rape culture.”

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