Top news stories from Israel/Palestine: March 14, 2018

What We’re Reading

BDS and Settlement boycotts

Politicians campaign on free speech while voting to penalize boycotts of Israel,

Politicians around the country are seizing upon highly publicized episodes of conservatives faced with harassment and heckling on college campuses by responding with a wave of legislation supposedly aimed at preserving free speech rights for campus speakers. But that commitment, while draped in the mantle of a principled defense of the First Amendment, does not always extend to speakers who criticize Israel and its policies.

Palestinian politics

Abbas condemns ‘murderous terror attack’ on PA convoy,

Referring to Hamas, Abbas said that the “de facto” government in the Gaza Strip was responsible for the assassination attempt.

The Hatred and Mistrust That’s Killing Palestinian Unity,

Tuesday’s unprecedented attack on Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in Gaza reflects the continued enmity between Hamas and the PA, even if the attack was the work of disgruntled Hamas security personnel acting independently.

Occupation/Human rights

Fact Checker: Does the Palestinian Authority pay $350 million a year to ‘terrorists and their families’?,

“Nethayahu goes too far to claim that all of the payments are related to terrorism,” writes Glenn Kessler.

Israeli politics

The New Israel Fund Spokesman: Netanyahu,

“Israel’s prime minister is two people: abroad, it’s progressive Prime Minister Netanyahu; In Israel, it’s corrupt King Bibi. The dissonance is clear- and disturbing,” writes Mickey Gitzin.

US-Israeli/Palestinian relations

Americans Remain Staunchly in Israel's Corner,

As the Trump administration prepares to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and is reportedly finalizing its broader Middle East peace plan, Americans’ stance on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is as strongly pro-Israel as at any time in Gallup’s three-decade trend.

U.S., Israeli troops train together in mock Mideast village,

The Israeli military hosted U.S. Marines this week for an urban combat drill in a mock-up of a generic Middle East village, sharing know-how and signaling the allies’ shared interests as their leaders close ranks on a host of regional issues.

Gaza aid conference convenes at White House with Israel, without Palestinian Authority,

The human suffering in the Gaza Strip has grown over the past year, top U.S. Middle East negotiator Jason Greenblatt told a conference to discuss aid for the coastal strip that did not include the Palestinian Authority.