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Shelved, Northern Vandals, Voters Exposed

Palestinians Delay Vote at UNSC Against Trump’s Peace Deal

Omri Nahmias, Lahav Harkov & Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post, February 10th2020

Recap:

The Palestinian Authority (PA) delayed a scheduled United Nations Security Council (UNSC) vote on a resolution against the Trump administration’s peace plan due to lack of support.

The Context:

· Last month, President Donald Trump presented his long-awaited Middle East peace plan. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz embraced the plan’s framework while PA President Mahmoud Abbas dismissed the plan as a "conspiracy."

· The original draft resolution cosponsored by Tunisia and Indonesia said Trump's plan violates UNSC demands for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders. After lengthy negotiations and revised drafts, Palestinians decided against putting the draft up for a vote [1] since it lacked the 9 out of 15 votes required for adoption [2]. The US, UK, France, Russia, and China have veto rights in the UNSC. A vetoed resolution would likely pass a UN General Assembly vote although its passage would be largely symbolic [3].

· A US official commented that “the international community has shown a desire to see the two parties negotiate and realizes that now is not the time for resolutions that won’t advance the cause of peace.”

· This week, Israel suspended ties with the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights after the UN body published a list of 112 companies that do business in West Bank settlements. Israeli officials consider the list’s publication the “ultimate surrender” to pressure from countries seeking to delegitimize Israel [4].

Conversation Points:

· Do Palestinians stand to win or lose by making an enemy of America?

· What steps can the UN take to fix its standing with Israel?

· What is wrong with publishing an official database of Israeli companies operating in the West Bank?

170 Cars, Mosque Vandalized in Northern Arab Town, Drawing Rare Netanyahu Rebuke

Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, February 11th 2020

Recap:

Police are investigating a hate crime in the northern Israeli town of Jish, where tires of 170 vehicles were slashed and Hebrew graffiti condemning interfaith coexistence was sprayed on buildings.

The Context:

· Anti-Arab vandalism by Jewish extremists is commonplace in the West Bank but rare inside Israel. Attacks against Palestinians are commonly referred to as “price tag” incidents, with perpetrators claiming retaliation for Palestinian violence. Human rights organizations say price tag investigations rarely yield arrests or indictments.

· Jish has 3,000 residents, half of which are Maronite Christians, while 35% are Muslim and 10% Catholic [5]. One of the phrases spray-painted on the wall of a mosque read, “Jews wake up. Stop assimilating!” Prime Minister Netanyahu issued a rare denunciation, strongly condemning “any attacks on our citizens.” [6]."

· This week, Israel placed a Jewish terror suspect in administrative detention for hurling a rock at a Palestinian man. The measure is rarely used against Jewish suspects and he remains the only Israeli Jew currently in administrative detention. The practice is far more common with Palestinians, with 464 behind bars as of January 2020. Administrative detention allows a suspect to be held indefinitely without trial in six-month renewable increments [7].

Conversation Points:

· Why was Jish targeted for an anti-assimilation attack if it contains almost a completely non-Jewish population?

· What can Israel do to curb extremists in its society?

· Is Israel’s minimal use of administrative detention on Jews indicative of systematic racism against Palestinians?

Personal Data of All 6.5 Million Israeli Voters Is Exposed

Daniel Victor, Sheera Frenkel and Isabel Kershner, New York Times, February 10th2020

Recap:

A software flaw exposed the personal data of every eligible voter in Israel — including full names, addresses and identity card numbers for 6.5 million people — raising concerns about electoral manipulation three weeks before Israelis go to the polls for the third time in under a year [8].

The Context:

· The app, intended to enable political parties to conduct real-time data-crunching on election day, inadvertently allowed anyone to access and copy the Israeli voter registry [9].

· The breach came on the heels of another app failure in the US that made a fiasco of the Democratic presidential caucuses in Iowa.

Conversation Points:

· What are the potential consequences of exposing voter information?

· How can governments ensure the integrity of electoral systems following the latest string of data breaches?

Notes:

1. Palestinians reject reports of pulling UN resolution on US plan, Al Jazeera, February 11th 2020

2. UN vote against peace plan faces delay; Palestinians insist it’s not dead, Times of Israel, February 10th 2020

3. Trump Peace Plan Faces Toned Down UN Security Council Resolution, David Wainer, Bloomberg, February 9th2020

4. Israel freezes ties with UN rights chief after release of settlement blacklist, RAPHAEL AHREN, Times of Israel, February 12th 2020

5. ‘Price tag’ attack uncovered in Arab village in northern Israel, ROSSELLA TERCATIN, JEREMY SHARON, Jerusalem Post, FEBRUARY 11th2020

6. Over 100 Cars Vandalized, Hateful Graffiti Sprayed in Northern Israeli Arab Town, Jack Khoury and Noa Shpigel, Haaretz, February 11th 2020

7. Bennett signs off on rare administrative detention for Jewish terror suspect Jacob Magid, Times of Israel, February 12th 2020

8. Likud app leaks millions of voters' data, Ynetnews, February 10th2020

9. Privacy authority launches probe following vast Likud leak of voter details, Times of Israel, February 11th 2020

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