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Fri. February 27, 2015 EDITOR'S PICKS :  
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Issue: Israel's Jewish Identity. What Does it Mean?
MidEast Week
PA: Made "Generous" Offer; Israel: "Bring it to the Table"
More Arabs Join Israel's National Service
Jews Killed in Paris Attack Buried in Israel
Islamic State Continues to Gain Ground in Syria
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Netanyahu's Planned Speech to Congress Sparks Controversy
Egypt Intensifies Crackdown on Islamists
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Hizbullah Threatens Revenge After Israeli Attack
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Morsi Declares State of Emergency in Port Said, Ismailia and Suez

Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi on Sunday declared a month-long state of emergency in the cities of Ismailia, Port Said and Suez, after rioting entered a fourth day. The trigger for the violent demonstrations was death sentences handed down to 21 defendants charged in the 2011 soccer stadium riots that left 31 dead. On Sunday, new violence broke out at the funerals of some of the 49 Egyptians who were killed by government troops since last Thursday: at least seven more protestors were shot dead by Morsi’s forces. At the funerals, crowds chanted anti-Morsi slogans and threatened to bring down the new government as they did the government of former President Hosni Mubarak. Officials in Port Said report at least 38 victims of gunshot wounds were treated at local hospitals. The demonstrators charge that Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood backers are working against democratic reforms.

Netanyahu Warns of Impending Iranian Holocaust

In his Holocaust Memorial Day remarks, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned of Iran’s plans for “another Holocaust: the destruction of the state of Israel.” Speaking before the start of the weekly cabinet meeting, he vowed not to underestimate the threat posed by Iran. Netanyahu said the first and foremost mission of the Jewish state was to prevent Iran from going nuclear. The Israeli premier also warned of the risk of Syria’s chemical weapons falling into the hands of Hizbullah terrorists based in Lebanon as the Damascus regime continues to be battered by opposition forces in a two-year old civil war that has left more than 60,000 Syrians dead. Netanyahu’s remarks were not without political overtones in the immediate aftermath of the national election that saw his Likud party fare much more poorly than predicted. Now in the process of cobbling together a coalition broad enough to withstand the traditional threats by coalition partners to leave and “bring down” the government when decisions do not go their way, Netanyahu is stressing the external threats to the country as impetus for parties to the left of his own to enter the government.

Jerusalem Soccer Teamís Intent to Sign Muslims Triggers Fan Protests

Fans of Jerusalem’s famed Beitar soccer team are protesting plans by its Russian-Israeli owner to sign two Muslim players from a Chechnyan Russian Premier League team. At Sunday’s game in Jerusalem, police made three arrests after fans rioted in protest of the announced plans to bring in a midfielder and striker from Russia. Club officials report a barrage of phone calls from angry supporters in addition to the on-field demonstrations and signs held by fans in the stands that were the subject of a complaint filed with the league charging racism. The Israel Football Federation is expected to hold a disciplinary hearing on the issue of the signs.

Fatah West Bank Government Condemns Gazaís Hamas Government Dress Code

In a stand-off between the more secular West Bank government headed by the Fatah faction and the Hamas-run, more Islamist government in the Gaza Strip, the Education Minister of the Palestinian Authority (West Bank) has condemned a dress code described as “Islamic” that is being implemented by Hamas authorities for the coming semester at Al-Aqsa University. PA Education Minister Ali Jarwabi told the Ma’an news agency that Palestinian Basic Law guarantees personal freedoms, thus overruling the decision of the university’s board. But in its defense, Al-Aqsa University President Salam Al-Agha denied anyone would be expelled for violating the dress code which he said does not mandate Islamic dress, but only “dress befitting the university.” According to Ma’an, President Al-Agha said the code will be implemented “by persuasion,” including lectures about appropriate dress delivered by university staff members. Also on Sunday, the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate called on Hamas leaders in the Gaza Strip to release six journalists arrested there last week. The detained journalists were arrested at their homes during a two-day crackdown last week.










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