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Sundown: State of the Israeli Union

Plus a liver becomes a man, and more

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Prime Minister Netanyahu earlier this week.(Yin Dongxun/AFP/Getty Images)

• It looks like the Netanyahu address to the U.S. Congress will probably happen. Would be the first one from an Israeli prime minister in five years. [John Boehner Press Release]

• An Italian activist for the (extremely) pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement was kidnapped in Gaza by an even more radical jihadist group, which is trying to ransom him off for the release of several prisoners being held by Hamas. [Ma’an News]

• Hamas, the Palestinian Authority, and Israel all come under criticism in a new U.S. State Department human rights report. [Forward]

• A Jewish man who received a liver transplant 13 years ago is … yup. [Healthzone via JustASC]

• Dmitriy Salita picks up another win at his home ring in Brighton Beach. [Kaplan’s Korner]

• Novelist Abraham Rothberg died at 89. [NYT]

Pauline Kael and Woody Allen discuss cinema. Why isn’t television as it was in 1975? At least Jim Lehrer still looks exactly the same.

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What does it say when a rival extremist group in Gaza, seeking to blackmail Hamas in order to secure their captive leader’s release, kidnaps a westerner, rather than a Palestinian? Why go through the trouble when abducting a local would be so much easier?

It says that Hamas is more likely to respond to their demands if the captive in question is not a native Palestinian, but rather, a European or American.

But what does that say?

This ties in to the earlier discussion over the unilateral declaration of statehood. The Palestinians are (successfully) end-running Israel at the UN, and probably will achieve their goal at a quicker pace than otherwise. Netanyahu, after all, can’t even go toe to toe with Justin Bieber, and evidently thinks the Republicans in Congress are going to save him, which they can’t, even if they were so inclined. If Tzipi Livni can’t step up now, she is useless.

But formalities aside, the Palestinians are pretending that only Israel stands in their way, when in fact there is a far more serious existential chasm they’ve yet to cross, namely, the violent and anarchic elements in their society, something they continue to nourish through anti-Israel incitement at the official level, and by looking the other way when it flagrantly rears its head.

Sari Nusseibeh, as described by Adam Kirsch in his recent book review, is correct. Something has seeped into their collective consciousness that is not easily expunged, and which continue to prevent the creation of a truly functional state.

All the U.N. Resolutions in the world won’t save them from it.

The activist was murdered. Just hit Twitter.

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Sundown: State of the Israeli Union

Plus a liver becomes a man, and more

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