Nasrallah vows revenge against Israel over killing

The leader of the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah says he is confident that Israel was behind this month’s Beirut assassination of a senior Hezbollah commander. Sheik Hassan Nasrallah vowed in a speech Friday to exact revenge. Hassan al-Laqis was gunned down in the garage of his nearby apartment building on December 4. Israel denied involvement, but Nasrallah, whose fighters are assisting Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces in the civil war in Syria and has no shortage of enemies, insisted that Israel was to blame. He said the killers would be hunted down and “they will be killed sooner or later.” Nasrallah described Laqis as a “brother and friend since we were teenagers.” (AP)

Brandeis cuts off academic group over boycott

Brandeis University has cut ties with the American Studies Association, days after the group voted to boycott Israeli universities. Brandeis joins Penn State University at Harrisburg, which announced its withdrawal from the organization that on Monday voted for the academic boycott. Brandeis’ American Studies Program says that the vote is “politicization of the discipline and a rebuke of the kind of open inquiry that a scholarly association should foster.” Brandeis says it cannot support the organization it says has rejected two core American principles of freedom of association and expression. Simon Bronner of Penn State University at Harrisburg said Thursday that his school’s withdrawal is intended to protect students, staff and faculty and express a concern that the American Studies Association in its recent actions has compromised the scholarly integrity of the field. (AP)

Oscar hopeful ‘Bethlehem’ misses shortlist

The critically-acclaimed Israeli film “Bethlehem” failed to make the Oscars shortlist for best foreign language film. Director Yuval Adler’s debut film won several prizes and distribution deals, and was seen by many as Israel’s strongest contender for the Oscars in years. The film’s plot focuses on the relationship between a Shin Bet officer and a Palestinian youth who is the younger brother of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade commander in the city. The youth sees the Shin Bet man as a father figure and tries to maneuver between the Israeli’s expectations of him and his loyalty to his brother; as a result, he lives a double life, lying to both of them. (Haaretz and DPA)