1) Although the BBC News website finally got round last week to making a fourteen word mention of the fact that municipal elections are scheduled to take place in the PA controlled territories and the Gaza Strip next month, audiences have yet to see any serious reporting on that topic. Writing at the Times of Israel, Avi Issacharoff takes the electoral pulse in Hebron.
“Yet although the public in Hebron seems somewhat indifferent to the elections, for the Fatah party, tensions are as high as the stakes.
These are the first elections in more than a decade in which voting is taking place at the same time in both Gaza and the West Bank, and Hamas and Fatah are going head-to-head.
Whatever the result, it will affect not only the status of these organizations but also of their leaders, and could even seep into the relationship between the Palestinians and Israel. While these elections are local, and won’t directly change anything politically or security-related between Israel and the Palestinian, a sweeping win by the hardline Islamist movement Hamas is still liable to ramp up the amount of suspicion and lack of trust between the two peoples.
As in the other cities in the West Bank, the trouble in Hebron is that because there are so many secular slates of candidates, there is a reasonable chance that the more moderate camp of Fatah and groups of its ilk will split the secular vote, paving the way for victory by Hamas candidates.”
2) At the Jewish News, Yiftah Curiel documents the connections between two British websites and Hamas.
“MEMO is populated by bloggers and activists and directed by Daoud Abdullah, a senior researcher at the London-based Palestinian Return Centre – an organisation outlawed in Israel for its connections with Hamas and acting as the terror group’s de-facto arm across Europe.
When you read stories on the site directed by Mr Abdullah, you’re reading material edited by senior editor Ibrahim Hewitt, who is also director of Interpal, a British Muslim charity designated as a terror-supporting group in Israel. The charity is also a longstanding member of the United States Treasury’s list of specially designated terrorist organisations.”
3) MEMO was also the topic of a 2014 article by Petra Marquardt Bigman which is worth revisiting.
“While the US government may designate Hamas and its funders as terrorist organizations and entities, some academics from elite US universities apparently don’t mind lending their prestige to a publishing enterprise that promotes the ideology of Hamas and is led by its supporters, who undoubtedly cherish the opportunity to gain legitimacy by bestowing their awards not only on professional anti-Israel activists but also on willing members of America’s academic elite.”