HONESTREPORTING.COM Top Stories:
1. Confusion reigns as Airbnb releases a statement saying that its settlement boycott “would not be implemented in practice,” but then appears to backtrack. The initial good news arrived in an Israeli Tourism Ministry statement welcoming Airbnb’s about-turn. This was based on a press release put out in Hebrew by Airbnb’s Israeli representatives.
But then came an English-language press release from Airbnb’s HQ appearing to deny that the company had changed its mind. So what’s going on? Judging from the English statement, it appears that the only things stopping Airbnb from following through with its boycott are technical.
Oh, and that Airbnb’s press office and public relations team are utterly inept.
2. The smug look on Roger Waters’ face will have disappeared when he learns that ten days after canceling their upcoming tour of Israel, the UK Pink Floyd Experience, unlike Airbnb, have done a complete u-turn and will now be performing as planned. The Jerusalem Post reports:
“It was a terrible situation, their lives were threatened, they were very scared, they deleted their Facebook page” said Ziv Rubinstein, an Israeli musician and one of the producers from EGoeast. “But we know the people who are in the band, and we know they are people who love Israel, who have appeared here in the past – we talked to them and spoke to their heart.”
Rubinstein told The Jerusalem Post Tuesday that “we tried to explain to them that at the end of the day, we’re talking about art, and we’re talking about music, and they have a big fan base here.” He said the band took “a brave step” in rescheduling the shows, knowing that “they will face attacks again.”
3. Israel’s efforts to locate and destroy terror tunnels in Operation Northern Shield are being closely monitored on the Lebanese side of the border, says the IDF. So far four tunnels have been publicly exposed, and the IDF says it has discovered more subterranean passages dug into Israeli territory from the North by terrorist organization Hezbollah.
The Israel Defense Forces released video footage of one of the four tunnels it has so far exposed as part of its operation to find and destroy them. Israel is understood to have been operating on its side of the border alone, but said in a statement that “an attempt to seal off the passage can be seen, which we understand was carried out by operatives of the Hezbollah terror group in recent days.”
This comes a day after armed Israeli and Lebanese soldiers were drawn into an argument after the Israeli troops laid down barbed wire along the border, prompting angry protestations and gun-pointing from their Lebanese counterparts. The situation was resolved after soldiers communicated via peacekeepers, ending with both sides leaving the site safely and avoiding any further escalation.