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HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 30 Mar 2015, 5:13 pm

Former PM Olmert Convicted in Retrial
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
Ehud Olmert
1. Former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert has been convicted of fraud and breach of trust in the so-called Talansky case. While he was cleared two years ago of the same corruption charges, a retrial was ordered after incriminating recordings made by his former assistant Shula Zaken were allowed to be submitted as evidence.
2. As Iranian nuclear talks appear to be leading up to an agreement, Israeli PM Netanyahu has released a statement:
The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary – that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded. The moderate and responsible countries in the region, especially Israel and also many other countries, will be the first to be hurt by this agreement. One cannot understand that when forces supported by Iran continue to conquer more ground in Yemen, in Lausanne they are closing their eyes to this aggression. But we are not closing our eyes and we will continue to act against every threat in every generation, certainly in this generation.
See below for more commentary on the Iran talks.

3. Hilary Clinton tells Conference of Presidents that she wants better relations with Israel. The implication here is that Israel is a wedge issue even within the Democratic party.
4. UK Columnist: ‘Israel Now More Wicked and Dangerous Than Hamas’ - The Independent’s Yasmin Alibhai-Brown claims that Israel is “now more wicked and dangerous than Hamas” and praises anti-Zionist Jews who demonize Israel.
5. HR’s Yarden Frankl joins VOI’s Josh Hasten in-studio to discuss this week’s media coverage of Israel: A reporter writes that he “didn’t have the time” to examine the evidence of Hamas war crimes in Israel; and a columnist for the Independent with a history of anti-Israel bias writes that Israel is “more wicked and dangerous than Hamas.”
LISTEN VOICE OF ISRAEL

Israel and the Palestinians
• Politico reports that the White House is now working to cool down the rhetoric and public tension currently afflicting relations with Israel. “We’ve made our point. The message has clearly been received,” a White House official said. “The next move is theirs, presumably after the new government has been formed.”

• Hamas and Islamic Jihad are furious at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for urging an Arab intervention in the Gaza Strip akin to the Saudi-led assault on Yemen, the Anadolu press agency reports.
• Hamas engineer Dirar Abu Sissi was convicted and sentenced to 21 years in jail, four years after Israel nabbed the infamous rocket maker who was involved in increasing the range of Kassam rockets from six kilometers to 22 kilometers.
• The Virginia Bar Association responds to complaints about their sudden decision to cancel a meeting in Israel.
• Members of a Hungarian punk rock band said they would ignore pleas and anti-Semitic comments from fans who want the band to cancel its upcoming concert in Israel.
• Two U.S. Senators have introduced anti-BDS legislation. “The pair take issue with the way Israel, America’s “greatest ally in the Middle East”, is targeted, while serious rights offenders around the world are given a free pass by activists.”
• Outgoing UN special coordinator says he’s witnessed “end of era”, referring to the Oslo process.
• The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency on Sunday described President Obama’s Middle East policy as one of “willful ignorance,” saying the administration needs a clearer strategy for dealing with conflicts emerging across the region.
“At the end of the day, we have just this incredible policy confusion — never mind what our strategy is to execute that policy,” Flynn said. “We have to stop what we’re doing and take a hard look at everything going on the Middle East because it’s not going in the right direction.”
• Vladimir Putin has said Russia will fight for an independent Palestinian state, and called for the issues of the Middle East to be resolved through peaceful means.
Commentary/Analysis
• The Times of London (pay-wall) suspects a bad Iran deal is in the making:

If a deal on Iran’s nuclear programme is clinched in the coming days, it will be hailed as a diplomatic breakthrough. It will be nothing of the kind. Judging by leaks from the negotiating table, Tehran has not done enough to allay suspicions that it intends eventually to produce nuclear weapons.
 
Worse, if the framework agreement is signed on the basis of current drafts it will contribute to a reckless recasting of the US position in the Middle East. Iran would be upgraded to the status of regional ally, while Israel, whose fears have been largely ignored during a year of diplomacy, would be awarded the status of regional irritant. …
 
The agreement taking shape in Lausanne is based on the most generous possible reading of Iranian intentions, namely that the regime will make genuine concessions because it is desperate to be readmitted to the club of rational, benign states who crave nothing but peace in the Middle East. That is naive. Instead of containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions, this deal may simply give Tehran carte blanche to plan a future with its own bomb.
• Jackson Diehl addresses the possibility of a U.S. sponsored UN Security Council resolution aimed at resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

The U.S. draft probably would have one element that would please Netanyahu and infuriate Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, however: a stipulation that Israel would remain the homeland of the Jewish people. Abbas’s categorical rejection of that principle helped to cause the breakdown of Kerry’s diplomacy, and it would almost certainly mean that the Palestinians would join Israelis in rejecting the resolution.
 
Why go forward with a text that both sides would spurn? Obama’s hope would be that his initiative could win unanimous support from the Security Council and thus set the terms of reference for a future settlement, presumably under different Israeli and Palestinian leaders. He could eventually become the grandfather of Middle East peace; at a minimum, diplomats who now talk of the “Clinton parameters” from 2000 would henceforth speak of the “Obama framework.”
• Jeffrey Goldberg addresses what to worry about in an Iran nuclear deal:

The largest question in my mind concerns the matter of break-out time—how long it would take for Iran, once it made a decision to violate the terms of a deal and go for full nuclearization, to actually make a deliverable weapon. The goal of the Obama administration is to make sure that it would take Iran at least a year to cross the threshold. The assumption is that a year would give the West time to devise a response—including, if necessary, a military response. This will be among the issues of greatest controversy because this is an easily misunderstood and distorted matter, one that is both devilishly complicated and, in many ways, theoretical. On this issue, as on others, I will be listening to experts I respect. There are several, but three of the people I will be listening to carefully on this issue in particular are Gary Samore, formerly President Obama’s point man on the Iran nuclear file; David Albright, of the Institute for Science and International Security, and Olli Heinonen, a former deputy director general of the IAEA. If these three, and a handful of others, seem nervous about the details of a framework deal, should one be reached, then I’m going to be nervous as well.
• Jonah Goldberg asks whether Jewish Americans can support both Democrats and Israel.

• New York Times columnist Ross Douthat implies Tel Aviv is Israel’s capital, writing, “Tehran can gradually join Riyadh, Cairo and Tel Aviv in a multipolar order.” Otherwise, important reading about US foreign policy strategy in the Middle East.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 29 Mar 2015, 8:26 pm

U.S. to Put Pressure on Israel Through Support for French UN Measure?
Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN Security Council is setting a deadline for a negotiated settlement of the conflict and the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, possibly within two years according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

The U.S. appears to be putting pressure on Israel by leaving the possibility open that it will support the French initiative. More in the Wall St. Journal.
Jimmy Carter
2. The Washington Post gives op-ed space to former U.S. president Jimmy Carter who calls for the rebuilding of Gaza and concludes:
Ultimately, only a peace agreement that grants freedom to self-governed Palestinians can bring the security that both the Israeli and Palestinian people deserve. As long as Palestinians remain divided, it will be difficult for any leader to sell to the Palestinian people a peace agreement with Israel. Absent such an agreement, lifting the closure and jump-starting Gaza’s reconstruction can do much to avert the next war.
Removing Hamas weapons and rockets might also do a lot to avert the next war but that appears to be too obvious for Carter, a serial offender when it comes to treating Palestinian terrorists with kid gloves.

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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3. Arab leaders at a summit in Egypt announced Sunday the formation of a unified military force to counter growing security threats from Yemen to Libya, as regional heavyweights Saudi Arabia and Iran engage in sectarian proxy wars. The summit’s final communique called for “coordination, efforts and steps to establish an unified Arab force” to intervene in countries such as Yemen.

IDNS-fundr2015Q1mar-B

Israel and the Palestinians
• While Newsweek is unable to provide any evidence that Benjamin Netanyahu openly supports xenophobic, populist right-wing European political parties, it still claims that they are in an “unholy alliance” simply by virtue of pro-Israel statements from these European politicians.

Commentary/Analysis
• Benjamin Netanyahu condemned on Sunday the framework Iranian nuclear agreement being sought by international negotiators, saying it was even worse than his country had feared: “This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.”

• Saree Makdisi takes issue with the LA Times, arguing that the paper “continues to use the generic term “Arabs” or “Israeli Arabs” to refer to the Palestinians who live inside Israel, falsely distinguishing them from the Palestinians who live in the territories occupied by Israel in 1967 or those who were driven into exile during the destruction of Palestine in 1948.”
• Father Gabriel Naddaf says Christians around the world should understand that a Jewish Israel has been a responsible steward for its Christians:
The assertion of Israel as a so-called “apartheid state” is complete nonsense. My successes and challenges speak loudly as to where the real problems lie for my fellow Christians.
 
It pains me to say this, but it must be said. The incitement against me, my campaign, and all those Christians who have sought to integrate into Israeli society has been led by Arab leaders from Israel and abroad, and even by some Arab members of Israel’s Knesset legislature. MK Hanin Zoabi wrote to me on official Knesset letterhead and accused me of “helping the enemy of the Palestinian people” and “collaboration with occupying forces.” She pressured me “to fight against the loyalists of the regime.” Of course, all this creates an atmosphere of incitement against me and anyone who is interested in integrating the Christian minority into the national service frameworks in Israel.
• Daniel Ben-Ami argues that President Obama’s attitude towards Israeli PM Netanyahu is part of a wider discourse as, following Western interventions in Middle East states over recent years,

Israel has long since ceased to play its role as a strategic asset for the West in the Middle East. On the contrary, in the days of the Islamic State and civil wars across much of the region, the Israeli state is typically viewed by the West more as a liability than an asset. The West is increasingly keen to distance itself from Israel rather than to befriend it.
 
This is the broader context that explains Obama’s falling-out with Netanyahu. It is far more than just a personal matter. In the decades that followed the Second World War, both of the main US political parties could be relied upon to give Israel broad support. However, in recent years Israel has become particularly estranged from a large section of the Democratic Party, including the current president. It is true that, for the time being at least, Israel still has generally warm relations with the Republicans. But the fallout with the Democrats represents an important shift in relations between Israel and the US. It is also one that is likely to persist after Obama leaves office in January 2017.
• Michael Sheridan in the Sunday Times (paywall) gives his impressions from an Israeli election meeting with Yair Lapid and a Palestinian literary event:

Later on I read the book and looked in vain for a broader sense of the abuse of language. What of the bile spewed out about Jews, Christians, infidels and apostates from the media in Muslim countries? How about the racist propaganda in Europe against outsiders, itself eliding seamlessly into anti-semitism? How does the internet popularise hate? Surely this is the context for a contemporary discussion of language and politics.
But no. Just as the nice, civilised Israelis at Lapid’s meeting inhabit a distinct world, so do the nice, civilised Palestinian intellectuals of the West Bank, both trapped in the exclusivity of their own perpetual quarrel.
• CNN gives space to a particularly virulent op-ed by Rula Jebreal who claims that Netanyahu’s victory “means it is open season for anti-Arab racism in the Knesset and in the streets.”

Rest of the Roundup
• Newsweek examines the plight of Christians in the Middle East, which includes Palestinian Christians despite the incomparably appalling conditions faced by their co-religionists in neighboring states such as Syria and Iraq. See Father Gabriel Nadaff‘s opinion piece above for an entirely different perspective of Christians in Israel.

• A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West. Amir Hossein Motaghi said:
There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels. My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.
• HonestReporting has locked horns on numerous occasions with the Irish Times. Israel’s ambassador to Ireland brought eight separate complaints about the Irish Times’s coverage of Israel, all of which have been rejected by the press ombudsman. More in the Sunday Times (paywall).

[Ambassador] Modai alleged reporting and commentary about Israeli activity in Gaza and its treatment of Israeli-Palestinian relations breached several principles of the press code of conduct, including reporting truthfully and accurately, distinguishing fact and comment, and reporting with fairness and honesty.
 
None of the complaints was resolved during a conciliation process between The Irish Times and Modai initiated by the press ombudsman’s office. During this process Kevin O’Sullivan, editor of The Irish Times, offered to meet Modai, but the ambassador declined, saying he had met the editor before but there had been “no improvement” in coverage of Israeli affairs.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Mar 2015, 12:06 pm

Saudis Launch Airstrikes on Houthis in Yemen
Today’s Top Stories
1. Saudi Arabia launched air strikes on Houthi positions in Yemen. The US confirmed it’s providing logistical and intelligence support for Operation Decisive Storm. Iran demanded an immediate halt to the attacks. More at Al-Arabiya. Meanwhile, Israeli officials are trying to keep tabs on the safety of Yemen’s remaining 100 or so Jews.

The Jews living in Yemen – most of whom had the opportunity to leave for Israel or another country, but refused – face an approaching danger from the advancing rebel forces, who have repeatedly made statements against Israel.
mouth2. The nuclear deal with Iran may end up being a verbal understanding with nothing written down, according to the New York Times. What could possibly go wrong?

Should that position hold — one of the many unknowns of the coming days — the United States and its five negotiating partners may find themselves in the uncomfortable position of describing the accord as they understand it while the Iranians go home to offer their own version.
Another stumbling block: Iran’s refusal to cooperate with a UN probe trying to ascertain whether Tehran ever tried building a nuclear weapon in the past.
3. Amnesty International released a report on Palestinian war crimes during Operation Protective Edge. As the Jerusalem Post points out, “This is the first report by the London-based human rights group that specifically focuses on Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza.” Amnesty’s executive summary and full report are online. AP picked up on this, as did the New York Times.
4. The Independent: Excusing Hamas War Crimes: One newspaper just can’t accept an Amnesty International report on Hamas war crimes.
Israel and the Palestinians
• An EU document leaked to YNet includes 40 recommendations for how Europe can pressure Israel to resume peace talks. Suggestions sure to endear Israelis to Europe include strengthening PLO activities in eastern Jerusalem, labeling settlement products shipped to Europe, and having EU officials present at home demolitions.

• A French firm pulled out of a $31 million Jerusalem cable project after receiving warnings from government officials in Paris and complaints from the PA. Haaretz coverage.
• Palestinians talking to AFP had unusually harsh criticism of Mahmoud Abbas:
“Today we are moving towards a totalitarian regime run by Abbas,” said Khreishe.
 
Abbas, he said, does not take anyone into account “and is not accountable” to any institution.
 
In the absence of a functioning parliament, the only legislative decision-making body is the PLO Central Council. But its policy decisions can only be activated by the PLO’s Executive Council — which answers to Abbas.

• Cool stuff, but smart war is getting too smart for me.
Sheera Frenkel
• How thoughtful. Hamas has dug tunnels up to — but not across — the Israeli border.
• Terror attack thwarted after soldiers find bomb near Hebron’s Tomb of the Patriarchs.
Commentary/Analysis
• As US lets Yemen fall, Israeli ire pales next to Arab fury

Firstly, an Iranian takeover of the strategic Bab el Mandeb Strait and the possibility of a Israeli ships coming under fire with no one officially taking responsibility for such attacks would not bode well for the Jewish state . . .
 
The outcome of the Saudi military operation may not be decisive, but reflects much Saudi, Jordanian and Egyptian frustration. The anger of these regimes is not directed at Iran, which is more or less engaged in the kind of hostile activity expected of it, but mainly at Washington.
 
It is slightly hard to believe, but at a time when the White House is intensively negotiating with Iran in an attempt to reach an agreement on the nation’s nuclear program withing the next five days, the Shiites in Tehran have helped topple a majority Sunni regime and made significant territorial advances. Yemen is a state with a long and unmanned border with Saudi Arabia, Iran’s number one regional rival. Yet Washington remains silent.
See also Ron Ben-Yishai and Reuven Berko‘s takes on Yemen.

• Tweet of the day from Herb Keinon:
Herb Keinon
• More thoughts on the Israel-US situation.
- Aaron David Miller: No end in sight to the Bibi-Obama soap opera
- Max Boot: Obama’s Mideast realignment (via Google News)
- Gary Rosenblatt: Sharing the blame as fault lines deepen
- Abraham Ben-Zvi: Obama: When rage replaces policy

• Omri Ceren discussed Obama and Israel with the Wall St. Journal.
VIDEO

• Likud’s potential coalition partners are all negotiating with for control of government ministries and Knesset committees, and commitments to advance (or roll back) legislation. Haviv Rettig Gur looks at how the sausage is made.
• For more commentary/analysis, see John Bolton (To stop Iran’s bomb, bomb Iran).
Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Robbi Robbins via flickr with modifications by HonestReporting; mouth CC BY flickr/db Photography
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 26 Mar 2015, 9:29 am

Saudi Military to Intervene in Yemen?
Today’s Top Stories
1. The Saudis are beefing up their military presence along their border with Yemen. US officials told Reuters the deployment looks defensive, but YNet says the signs point to a Saudi offensive. Will the Saudis intervene in the civil war?

2. YNet: Israel freezing construction in Har Homa; 1,500 housing units on hold due to political sensitivities.

3. Qatar has been quietly trying to broker a long-term Hamas-Israel cease-fire so Gaza can rebuild. Israeli officials only told the Times of Israel they’re not ruling it out.

The Qatari proposal works around similar principles as the UN-backed initiative: a long-term ceasefire, ending the blockade of Gaza, inviting Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his government back into the Strip and giving him control of the border crossings, rehabilitating Gaza, and constructing a seaport and an airport.
 
Some drafts of the deal do not mention demands for an airport and a harbor.
4. No Place For Ignorance in Political Cartoons: Chicago Tribune cartoonists are entitled to their opinions, but they still have to be grounded in true facts.

Israel and the Palestinians
• President Obama discussed his thoughts on the peace process and Benyamin Netanyahu with reporters. Take your pick of AP, Reuters, Washington Post coverage. Meanwhile, the New York Times looks at Ambassador Ron Dermer’s fence-mending efforts.

Meanwhile, The Daily Beast and Foreign Policy report that Congress doesn’t really give a hooey about alleged Israeli spying on the nuclear talks.
• Once again, Palestinians are to reassess security cooperation with Israel this week.
• From the Washington Free Beacon:
• A Hamasnik captured during a failed ambush of IDF soldiers during Operation Protective Edge was sentenced to 15 years in prison. AFP coverage.

• The Times of London reports that Hamas is training an increasing number of women for female battalions.
Om Adam said that the women fighters had become increasingly important because they could move more freely, passing on weapons, food and information to the men, who might spend weeks almost entirely underground in Gaza’s intricate network of tunnels. “We act as the eyes and ears on the ground for the fighters, checking the streets before they move.”
 
Some were engaged in direct combat, said Om Khadija, 24, a female fighter who manned an RPG and several rocket launchers during the two months of fighting last summer. All the women recruits were trained to use and fix weapons, including sniper rifles, AK-47s, RPGs and M16s.
With more Hamas women in combat than we thought, Elder of Ziyon raises this important point:

Even if they weren’t active combatants, it seems likely that some of the women killed in Gaza who are regarded as civilian were actually part of the terror infrastructure.
• Talk about giving terrorists the royal treatment. You “have an audience” with people like Pope Francis or Queen Elizabeth. The Independent‘s Kim Sengupta had an audience with Khaled al-Batsh the leader of Islamic Jihad.
• The new chairwoman of the UN Human Rights Council’s probe of Operation Protective Edge made a special point of telling council members her inquiry’s mandate includes (alleged) human rights violations committed by the Palestinians. More at the Jerusalem Post.

• Palestinians demonstrate after Egypt cuts power supply to Gaza.
Egyptian media said the government resorted to that measure as a result of outstanding payments owed by a Palestinian utility company.
Mideast Matters
• The Saudi Arabian foreign minister channeled his inner Netanyahu in comments about the Iranian nuclear talks.

• It’s official: Russia and Jordan signed a $10 billion deal to build the Hashemite Kingdom’s first nuclear power plant. According to Reuters, the 2,000 megawatt facility to be built in northern Jordan will be complete in 2022.
• The Mideast nuclear race is underway. Time rounds up the latest developments from the nuclear programs of Egypt, Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.
Suspicion rises with every new announcement partly because the Middle East is bucking a global trend. Worldwide, the number of nuclear plants has declined since the meltdown at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant in 2011.
• The EU is re-imposing sanctions on 40 Iranian shipping companies.

• For the umpteenth time, International Atomic Energy Agency Director General Yukiya Amano reminded the world that he cannot conclude all nuclear material in Iran peaceful.
• Worth readingMcClatchy News (you’ll need to click via Twitter) looks at Iran’s expanding influence in the region and what it means for Israel.
• Despite well-known Islamic taboos and criticism, Iran is producing a film “portraying” Mohammed. AP coverage.
• Imagine the outrage if Israel did this:
ISIS in Tattooine: Star Wars filming set in Tunisia now battle area
Around the World
• An Israeli citizen, Eyal Baum, was confirmed as one of the victims of the Germanwings airplane crash over the French Alps. All 150 passengers and crew aboard were killed. Baum, a businessman from Hod HaSharon and living in Germany, was 39.

• South African Jews urge “yarmulke protest” against anti-Semitism after three Jewish teens were assaulted in Johannesburg.
“We therefore call on South Africans, Jewish or not, to attend a film-screening at a cinema of your choice this Saturday night (28 March), wearing a kippah [yarmulke] or hat,” the statement continued. “In this way we will demonstrate our commitment to fight against any form of prejudice and intimidation.
Commentary/Analysis
Thomas Friedman

• Memo to Tom Friedman: I understand American weariness with being the global policeman. As an Israeli, I have to respond when you write the following:
But, given the disarray in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, do we really care if Iran tries to play policeman there and is embroiled in endless struggles with Sunni militias? For 10 years, it was America that was overstretched across Iraq and Afghanistan. Now it will be Iran’s turn. I feel terrible for the people who have to live in these places, and we certainly should use American air power to help prevent the chaos from spreading to islands of decency like Jordan, Lebanon and Kurdistan in Iraq. But managing the decline of the Arab state system is not a problem we should own. We’ve amply proved that we don’t know how.
 
So before you make up your mind on the Iran deal, ask how it affects Israel, the country most threatened by Iran. But also ask how it fits into a wider U.S. strategy aimed at quelling tensions in the Middle East with the least U.S. involvement necessary and the lowest oil prices possible.
It’s your right to comfortably sit in an energy-independent fortress America if you can pull that off. But by removing yourself from the Mideast, you make yourself irrelevant. Why should Israelis like me (or Egyptians, Jordanians, and Saudis, for that matter) care about all the umbrage from the White House, the New York Times’ editorial board, or your own columns anymore?

• This Los Angeles Times staff-ed seems to think Benyamin Netanyahu sought to disenfranchise Israeli-Arab voters. There’s a big difference between galvanizing one constituency to vote (even if expressed in a tacky way) and actively suppressing another constituency’s participation.
• Everyone’s still talking about the train-wreck of Israeli-US relations.
- Yossi Kuperwasser: No prospect for genuine Israeli-Palestinian peace
- Elliot Abrams: Obama trying to invent any excuse to break with Israel
- Max Boot: Spies who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones
- Herb Keinon: Obama should take heed of the failing legacy of Mideast ‘reassessment’
- Chemi Shalev: Obama vs. Bibi: genuine outrage or cynical strategy?
- Nahum Barnea: PM apologizes but damage has been done
- Yaakov Amidror: American chutzpah
- Raphael Ahren: Without US cover at UN, Israel could face diplomatic avalanche.

Syndicated cartoonist Gary McCoy weighs in.
- Haviv Rettig Gur: Pyrrhic victories for Netanyahu and Obama
- Emmanuel Navon: Seven years of Obama hubris must end
- Boaz Bismuth: Obama’s personal vengeance campaign
- Dimi Reider: Why Netanyahu may accept an Iran deal
- AP: Netanyahu, Putin on same ‘businesslike’ level with Obama
- Sydney Morning Herald (staff-ed): Netanyahu wrong to dash peace hopes
- Wall St. Journal staff-ed: Obama’s Israel tantrum (click via Google News)

• I’m giving last word on the matter (for now) to Bassam Tawil:
In short, Obama’s anti-Israel stance is the best gift the Americans could have given to Islamist terrorists and radical Arabs. For the first time ever, the Obama Administration has created hope among Israel’s enemies that the U.S. will at last give them his wholehearted support, just as he has been doing with Iran.
• I see Noga Gur-Arieh‘s fed up with the UN’s unfair treatment of Israel.

• Worth reading Hanin Ghaddar explains why a pact with Iran throws Arab liberals under the bus.
Featured image: CC BY-SA Carly Lesser & Art Drauglis via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Amano CC BY-SA flickr/Cancillería del Ecuador
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Mar 2015, 7:13 pm

Spying Allegations Stoke Israel-US Tensions
Israel Daily News Stream3 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Biggest story of the day is a Wall St. Journal report (click via Google News), that Israel managed to eavesdrop on the nuclear talks and then used the info to undermine US diplomacy by sharing its findings with US Congressmen. It’s all based on anonymous sources, and whenever you come across them, you must ask yourself the following questions:

Who is the source?
Is he really in a position to know what he claims? Has the reporter provided enough background info on the source to help us make our own judgment?
Why can’t he be identified for the story? Are readers given a plausible explanation?
What are the source’s possible motives for speaking to the reporter?
Is he fudging anything?
Could the info have been obtained on the record from somewhere else?
In any event, the US outrage is a bit misplaced. They say they learned of the alleged snooping from their own snooping on Israel.


The White House discovered the operation, in fact, when U.S. intelligence agencies spying on Israel intercepted communications among Israeli officials that carried details the U.S. believed could have come only from access to the confidential talks, officials briefed on the matter said.
 
Israeli officials denied spying directly on U.S. negotiators and said they received their information through other means, including close surveillance of Iranian leaders receiving the latest U.S. and European offers. European officials, particularly the French, also have been more transparent with Israel about the closed-door discussions than the Americans, Israeli and U.S. officials said.

Shimrit Meir
2. The Obama administration continued bearing down on Israel. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough told J Street the occupation must end, and the US offered a mixed reaction to Netanyahu’s apology (to Israeli Arabs, not to the US)
On the Israeli side, two former Israeli envoys, ambassadors Danny Ayalon and Michael Oren, said Obama’s “childish” attacks on Israel cause “strategic harm,” and another Israeli government official (anonymous, sigh) told the Times of Israel that the White House was directly involved in efforts to oust Netanyahu.

3. Houthi advances in Yemen could put Iran in de facto control of the Bab el-Mandeb strait, which links the Indian Ocean to the Red Sea, and from there, to both Israel and the Suez Canal. A little more than one-third of international maritime trade passes through the strait. AFP picked up on international concerns.

4. AP Questions Israeli Democracy: Wire service questions Israeli democracy, failing to mention that Palestinians have been denied the vote by their own leaders.

5. Who’s Dashing Palestinian Hopes?: Who is really responsible for the collapse of the peace process?

6. HR Radio: When the “Media Poodles” Attack: Yarden Frankl discusses Charles Krauthammer’s column about “media poodles” bemoaning the re-election of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and a MarketWatch report claiming that Israel times its military operations around sporting events and other events that the world is “distracted” by. Click below to hear the interview on Voice of Israel.

Israel and the Palestinians
• British Prime Minister David Cameron leaned on Netanyahu to pursue the two-state solution.

• Jerusalem Post: The IDF’s training elite troops for tunnel combat.
• Armed with new website, Hamas resumes info war.
• Hamas continues brainwashing and training kids to fight Israel. CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen learned that the latest cannon fodder graduates are only getting a week of training because the Gaza blockade has limited Hamas’s supply of arms.

• There’s no smoking gun, just circumstantial evidence in this Foreign Policy report digging up old allegations that Israel may have diverted uranium from the US. Either that, or the uranium was buried in the ground in the 60s and 70s, is poisoning the people of Apollo, Pennsylvania, and making for a complicated cleanup.


Commentary/Analysis
• Ron Ben-Yishai on why the espionage allegations are coming up now.

In addition, the government is trying to influence the political platform of the next Israeli government. The administration wants it to be explicitly stated in the government’s basic guidelines that Israel adheres to a two-state solution and will do everything possible to bring it to fruition now, rather than in the distant future.
 
Washington would also prefer to see a unity government in Israel, and is exerting pressure to achieve this end. The US government is also trying to pressure Netanyahu to end a freeze on the transfer of tax revenues that Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority.
 
This is what the US means when it says it is interested in deeds rather than words from Israel.
• Bret Stephens‘s advice to Israel on how to deal with Obama (via Google News): Go rogue.

• Michael Ramirez of Investors Business Daily weighs in.
Investors Business Daily
• For more commentary/analysis see
- Boaz Bismuth: White House intervention has gone too far
- David Bernstein: Don’t believe Obama’s faux outrage at Netanyahu
- Mario Loyola: Obama, not Netanyahu, killed the two-state solution
- Luke Baker: Israelis fret about risk of isolation but concern may be overdone
- The Daily Iowan (staff-ed): Troubling signs for a two-state solution

• Got some emails about a sick Joe Fournier cartoon published in today’s Chicago Tribune print edition. I assume it’ll be online in a few hours; Fournier tweeted it.
Joe Fournier

• In an important Washington Post op-ed, Michael Hayden, Olli Heinonen and Ray Takeyh debunk the idea that a one-year breakout time is sufficient to detect and reverse and Iranian violations of a nuclear deal.
In a nutshell, they point out that once there’s reason to believe Iran cheated, it would take months to confirm it, months for the IAEA to dicker with Iran for access and info, an unknown amount of time for the US to convince the UN Security Council to take action, and months for Iran to feel the effects of reimposed sanctions.

And the reality is that any cheating by Iran would always be incremental and never egregious. Throughout the duration of an agreement, there would be occasional reports of Iran enriching to unacceptably high levels and revelations of unreported nuclear installations and experimentation in weapon designs. Iran’s habit of lulling the world with a cascade of small infractions is an ingenious way to advance its program without provoking a crisis. In the end, a year simply may not be enough time to build an international consensus on measures to redress Iranian violations.
• For more commentary/analysis, see David Brooks (How to fight anti-Semitism).
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 23 Mar 2015, 11:18 pm

Israel and US Boycott UN Human Rights Meeting
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
IDNSfeat
Today’s Top Stories
1. Israel and the US boycotted today’s session of the UN Human Rights Council. Hillel Neuer explains in a nutshell council that the council debated seven reports (see ‘em all at links 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7) targeting Israel. By the end of this week, the council will also adopt four resolutions against Israel.

Reuters initially reported that the US was going to leave Israel to fend for itself at council, but the Israeli media reports said the US joined Israel’s boycott of the session.
2. Haaretz: An Israeli delegation is traveling to France in a last ditch effort to influence the outcome of the Iranian nuclear talks. France is taking a tougher line than the US on the Iranian talks, and apparently succeeding. The Jerusalem Post examines why. Take for example, this tweet, by the French ambassador to Washington.
Gerard Araud

3. Moscow and Amman will sign a $10 billion agreement for Russia to build two nuclear reactors in Jordan. The Jerusalem Post picked up on Jordanian press reports.

4. Aussie Theater Rejects Jewish Group for “Colonialism”: Does incessant demonization of Israel lead to discrimination against Jews?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Ambassador Ron Dermer was on the firing line explaining to Meet the Press that Benyamin Netanyahu is committed to a two-state solution (video/transcript of full show). Here’s the key point.


• Israeli officials say US anger aims to distract world from Iranian deal, Washington knows it was the Palestinians who sank peace efforts. More at the Times of Israel.

• The Jerusalem Post takes a closer look at the new info revealed by the IDF’s third report on Operation Protective Edge.
Cutting through the fog of war, the report reveals that the IDF may have strong arguments to close cases on some of the thorniest war crimes allegations incidents, including a Shejaiya incident in which 31 Palestinians were killed, including 28 civilians and three Hamas fighters.
 
Next, the IDF reveals that in the incident its units came under coordinated anti-tank missile and massive coordinated gunfire from as many as five different positions on July 30.
 
The descriptions are nearly minute by minute.
• As expected, President Rivlin said he’ll task Benyamin Netanyahu with forming the next government. The next step in the game is the horse-trading that comes with doling out cabinet ministries, committee chairmanships, and political concessions in a way that satisfies nobody everybody. See YNet and Jerusalem Post coverage.

Rivlin will likely officially nominate Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday.
 
The Likud leader will then have until May 7 to form a coalition.
Around the World
• A Sydney theater apologized to Australian Jewish activists for refusing to let the local Hillel book their venue for a series of events about Holocaust survivors. The Australian (click via Google News), Daily Mail, and the Times of Israel all picked up on the story. So why did The Red Rattler’s management turn down the request?

‘Our policy does not support colonialism/Zionism. Therefore we do not host groups that support the colonisation and occupation of Palestine,’ the Marrickville Theatre group responded curtly.
• South African police arrested 21 BDS activists who violently raided a store selling made-in-Israel products.

• Jewish graves vandalized, human remains scattered in Hungary.
Commentary/Analysis
• Bob Schieffer weighed in on the US-Israel tensions on Face the Nation. It’s time for both leaders to put their differences aside, he said.

• What makes Netanyahu’s re-election so convenient for Arab leaders?
The Egyptian, Jordanian, Saudi and Gulf state rulers trust Israel’s re-elected prime minister to handle the Iranian issue, and the Americans to pressure him on the Palestinian issue.
• Commentary on the election aftermath looks like its petering out.
- Adi Schwartz: Netanyahu should appoint Shimon Peres as his FM
- Melanie Phillips: Netanyahu, the Jew among world leaders
- Mort Zuckerman: The myth of the Netanyahu flip-flop
- Robert Satloff: Bibi and Obama must rebuild burnt bridges
- Yossi Beilin: Netanyahu’s victory: the bright side

• President Obama recently cited Ayatollah Khamenei’s alleged nuclear fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. Show me the fatwa, says Thomas Joscelyn.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Dean Sherr (Why does the left downplay antisemitism? All forms of racism should be abhorred), Toni Kamins (Europe’s anti-Semitism is literally carved in stone), and Abdulrahman Al-Rashed (Iran’s creeping conquest of Iraq).

Image: CC BY flickr/Arend
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Mar 2015, 8:15 pm

Post-Election Israeli-US Tensions Continue
Israel Daily News Stream5 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Post-elections tensions between Washington and Jerusalem continued. Here’s Benyamin Netanyahu’s full interview with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News explaining his pre-election comments that had the White House and Big Media up in arms. The prime minister also talked to NPR and Fox News. (NPR got a followup response from Saeb Erekat.)
But President Obama took to Huffington Post to say he doesn’t believe the prime minister’s genuinely interested in a two-state solution.

“We take him at his word when he said that it wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” the president said in an interview with The Huffington Post on Friday.
 
Though he pledged to keep working with the Israeli government on military and intelligence operations, Obama declined to say whether the United States would continue to block Palestinian efforts to secure statehood through the United Nations.
It was left to the US ambassador, Dan Shapiro, to smooth things out; he told Israeli media that Washington has made no decisions yet on any changes in policy. A lot of today’s commentary addressed what was said, what was meant, and everyone’s motives. Judge for yourself when you see below.

2. An EU document leaked to The Guardian outlines possible new sanctions against Israel over “settlement activity in Jerusalem.”
3. Israel was the only country condemned for its treatment of women. AP fills in more details — it’s about “the occupation” and the old Israel Made Me Beat My Wife syndrome.
Israel and the Palestinians
• IDF issues third report on Gaza war investigations

The army announced six new criminal investigations, the most notable of which involved a July 30, 2014, strike on an UNRWA facility in which 20 Palestinians were killed. The report said that there was a reasonable basis to thin that the rules of engagement were not properly followed.
• Israelis and Palestinians might best know Katherine Viner as the author of the controversial play, My Name is Rachel Corrie. Viner was appointed editor in chief of The Guardian.

• Israeli security busted a Hamas terror cell in the West Bank planning bombing attacks.
• Memo to MarketWatch and the pseudo-experts: I only wish Israel was as smart as you think, knowing how to plan military operations around unexpected disasters. Even when airplanes aren’t going down, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are always in the news. Are they part of Israel’s media conspiracy too?
MarketWatch
The researchers looked at Israel’s military interventions in Palestine over an 11-year period, from 2000 to 2011, and then compared them to what was going on in the news at the time. That included looking at whether there was big other news, and whether that other news was scheduled — such as, say, the Super Bowl — or unscheduled, such as an earthquake or tsunami or plane crash somewhere in the world.
Election Aftermath
• Jerusalem Post: President Reuven Rivlin began consultations with party leaders about who should be tasked with forming the next coalition.

• The Palestinians insist that Netanyahu’s re-election boosts their statehood strategy to pursue unilateral actions and isolate Israel diplomatically.
• The Joint Arab List’s success is giving heart to Israeli Arabs. The Guardian visited Jaffa to get a sense of the mood.
• Labor confirmed that Netanyahu sought unity government, but Likud denied it.
• Several Syrian rebel groups sent messages of congratulations to Benyamin Netanyahu on his re-election through a Druze go-between. Jerusalem Post coverage.
Mideast Matters
• When to lift the sanctions on Iran? That’s proving to be a big stumbling block in the nuclear talks, according to the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).

Tehran’s negotiators in Switzerland, according to these diplomats, have hardened their position that United Nations sanctions on their country be repealed at the front end of any deal reached this month with the U.S. and other global powers.
 
The U.S. and its European allies are demanding the U.N.’s sanctions be suspended or terminated in a phased time-frame over years.
 
They believe sanctions relief should only come after Iran addresses concerns about its past nuclear work and is given a clean bill of health by the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
The number of centrifuges is another hurdle, according to the New York Times.

• One of Hezbollah’s leading newspapers shut down, putting the organization’s fading finances back in the spotlight. Its war chest remains unaffected.
• Israel’s gotta be keeping an eye on this. Iran’s keen to expand its presence to the Red Sea; some of these goodies could make their way to Gaza.
Iranian ship unloads 185 tons of weapons, military equipment for Houthis in Yemen
Bab_el_Mandeb-HR-map
Around the World
• Southampton University is moving forward with plans for an academic conference questioning Israel’s right to exist. But the blowback could prove costly. According to the Daily Telegraph, several of the school’s donors have voiced their displeasure, at least one alumni returned his degree in protest, and one prominent lawyer said he would “think twice” before hiring someone from the university.

• Swastikas and Hitler imagery posted around the University of Cape Town have Jewish students on edge. It all has to do with black students seeking to remove a contentious statue of Cecil John Rhodes, a British-born magnate and politician who ardently supported British colonialism in Africa in the late 1800s. According to South African media reports:
For the rest of the week, the group would continue putting up symbols of Adolf Hitler, the Ku Klux Klan, the Confederation Flag, and the Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging.
• A Toronto police report on hate crime says Jews were the city’s most victimized group in 2014.

Commentary/Analysis
• Dore Gold jousted with CNN‘s Erin Burnett on how the prime minister’s pre-election comments were interpreted


• If there’s no Mideast peace in our time, it won’t be because of Netanyahu’s election victory, argues Charles Krauthammer:

• If the next two years are the worst two years in the history of US-Israel relations, it could be “just what Obama wants,” argues Max Boot.
• A confused Fareed Zakaria claims that Ayatollah Khamenei’s calls for Israel’s destruction is far more nuanced than we think. “Death to Israel” really refers to a referendum. He forgets that Palestinians vote in PA elections — their last national election was in 2005; voting scheduled for 2009 hasn’t happened yet.

• A former cadre of both Hamas and Fatah praises Israeli democracy in a column translated by MEMRI.

• Enough post-election commentary this weekend to make your eyes pop out.
- David Horovitz: Ashamed of Netanyahu, infuriated with Obama
- Jennifer Rubin: The accusation of racism against Netanyahu
- Avi Issacharoff: Palestinians weigh next steps after Bibi’s re-election
- Howard LaFranchi: Why US-Israel relations are not likely to worsen
- Khaled Abu Toameh: Abbas paves way to turn West Bank into an Islamist state
- Doyle McManus: Time for US tough love and damage control?
- David Weinberg: Rethinking the peace process

• Jeff Darcy weighed in at the Cleveland Plain-Dealer.
- Dana Milbank: Can Israel remain a democracy?
- Patrick Martin: One misstep closer to a Palestinian state
- Aron Taxy: Don’t count out the Israeli left
- Leon Hadar: Could Bibi and Obama kiss and make up?
- James Rubin: Bibi won the election and lost a friend in the Oval Office
- Jonathan Freedland: Bibi sank into the gutter – and will face consequences
- Afif Emile Safieh: Still time for Obama to remake the Mideast
- Boaz Bismuth: Obama can relax, there is democracy in Israel
- Ari Shavit: Is Israel losing its soul?

• Patrick Chappatte’s poison pen weighed in at the New York Times.
Patrick Chappatte
• Staff-eds weighed in over the weekend:
- Bloomberg News: Now for Netanyahu the statesman, please
- Boston Herald: Netanyahu 1, Obama 0
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Netanyahu’s win is likely to chill U.S. relations
- Miami Herald: Keep U.S.-Israel relationship strong
- Pittsburgh Tribune-Review: Netanyahu wins: The message sent
- Richmond Times-Dispatch: Contention with Obama helped Bibi change focus and win
- Toledo Blade: Netanyahu’s dangerous game
- USA Today: Netanyahu’s tactics leave peace as roadkill
- Baltimore Sun: Bibi’s costly victory
- Globe & Mail: What Israel lost with Netanyahu’s victory
- Providence Journal: Landslide in Israel
• UN claims Israel is world’s worst violator of human rights

• What’s the world’s diplomatic “break out” time for stopping an Iranian bomb? asks Claudia Rosett.
• For more commmentary/analysis, see Efraim Inbar (Did Israel weaken Hamas?), Angela Epstein (Better to lay low than wear a star of David),

Featured image: CC BY Christian Cable with modifications by HonestReporting; map CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 19 Mar 2015, 10:38 pm

US to “Re-Evaluate” Mideast Peace Strategy
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Wall St. Journal: US to re-evaluate its Mideast peace strategy. Click via Google News. Meanwhile, anonymous US officials told the New York Times that the White House may back a UN resolution on Palestine, or at least withhold a veto. When dealing with anonymous sources, news consumers must handle with care.

Although the principles are United States policy, until now officials would never have endorsed them in the United Nations because the action would have been seen as too antagonistic to Israel.
 
“The premise of our position internationally has been to support direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” a senior White House official said. “We are now in a reality where the Israeli government no longer supports direct negotiations. Therefore we clearly have to factor that into our decisions going forward.”
More follow up at Foreign Policy.

2. In his first post-election interview, Isaac Herzog ruled out joining a national unity government.
3. Big Media weighs in on the election. See below for all the commentary/analysis.
4. ABC News Hands Jerusalem Bureau Keys to an Advocacy Journalist: Sophie McNeill has a history of pro-Palestinian advocacy journalism.
5. No Palestinian Elections? So Delegitimize Israeli Democracy: A Palestinian attacks Israeli democracy, ignoring that Palestinians are denied the vote by their own leaders.
6. A New York Times Editorial Bashes Israeli Democracy: The New York Times describes the Israeli election as “ugly” following Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory.
7. The Pathetic Whine Over an Israeli Food Ad: BDS supporters claim Israeli food ad designed “to distract the public from its military occupation.”
Election Aftermath
• In his first post-election interview (with Andrea Mitchell of NBC News), Prime Minister Netanyahu backed off his opposition to a Palestinian state and reiterated that he meant no disrespect to President Obama with his Congress speech. The full interview was due to be aired after this roundup went to press.

• There were a changes in the final Knesset numbers after the absentee ballots were counted. Here’s a by the numbers look at the 2015 election based on YNet.
5,878,362: Israelis eligible to vote
4,253,336: ballots cast
72.3 percent: voter participation
43,869: disqualified votes
3.25 percent: minimum votes needed for a party to make the Knesset
136,808: the actual number of votes needed to make the above threshold
191,577: votes for parties that didn’t make the threshold
33,482: number of votes equaling one Knesset seat
4: seats assigned to parties based on vote sharing agreements

• In case anyone still cares about it, John Kerry congratulated Netanyahu on his re-election. And State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made a point of telling reporters that Netanyahu’s win will have no impact on the Iranian talks.
• I liked YNet‘s easy to understand piece on how a government is formed the next steps in coalition-building process. President Reuven Rivlin is scheduled to meet with party representatives on Sunday.
• James Taranto nails New York Times’s election coverage. See the Wall St. Journal via Google News.
• Who really won Israel’s elections? It might well have been Israeli Arabs
• Does this mean no congratulatory phone call from Erdogan?
Zaman

Israel and the Palestinians
• Court upholds Seattle Metro’s ban on bus ads about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Municipalities faced with the prospect of having to accept virtually all political speech if they accept any — regardless of the level of disruption caused — will simply close the forum to political speech altogether,” said Watford, an appointee of President Obama’s.
• Palestinian college exhibition glorifies terror, as intended.

The exhibition, which ran for a week and was put together by students, included 25 pieces. Among them, there were pieces glorifying vehicular attacks on Israelis (similar to the attacks that actually took place in October and November), pictures of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, and a poster of Israeli activist Yitzchak Glick as a shooting target . . .
 
According to the official Facebook page of the Hamas Student Association, “the message of the exhibition is to justify all attacks as a reaction from Hamas supporters and followers against settlers in Jerusalem ensuring that if Israel keeps to the same policy of neglect and racism against Muslims in Jerusalem, Hamas fighters will be ready to act.”
Around the World
• Iran jealously protects its home-field advantage with “mass arrests.”

NOW Lebanon
• Jeffrey Goldberg sparked a heckuva conversation with a massive piece in The Atlantic asking if it’s time for Jews to leave Europe. More than 5,600 comments posted.
• The University of Kent banned an extremist preacher who expressed anti-Semitic and homophobic views.
• Josh Glancy describes Manchester’s anti-Semitism and “new Jewish ghetto” at Tablet.
• The Vanderbilt University community and fraternities condemned swastika graffiti on campus.
Commentary/Analysis
• Eli Lake: Bibi’s pre-elections comments didn’t bait out of the peace process. The context of what he said is being overlooked.

Asked in an interview with the right-leaning website NRG if there was any chance for a Palestinian state under another Netanyahu government, he declared there was none.
 
Lots of journalists and analysts saw it as a reversal of the prime minister’s speech in 2009 at Bar Ilan University, in which he laid out his vision for a demilitarized Palestinian nation. But the context here is important. Netanyahu prefaced his answer by stating something very obvious: “I think that anyone who is going to establish a Palestinian state today and evacuate lands is giving attack grounds to the radical Islam against the state of Israel.”
 
This was not fear-mongering. It was something Israelis have been grappling with for a decade.
For anyone who wants to watch the original interview in Hebrew, here ya go.

• Israel will be in for a lot of diplomatic pressure, but Raphael Ahren predicts the sky won’t fall.
• What do the election results mean for Jewish communities abroad? Sam Sokol wonders if tensions among US Jews will be exacerbated. Louise Scodie worries that some people in the UK will see the results as an excuse for anti-Semitism. Last but not least, Peter Beinart wants to remind us all that Diaspora Jews have a right to resist the new government.
• What about the Palestinian vote? Evelyn Gordon nails it:
And anyone who actually cares about the peace process ought to be far more worried by the Palestinian election that didn’t happen than by the outcome of the Israeli one that did.
• How do you understand this take by the Charlotte Observer‘s Kevin Siers?

Charlotte Observer
• Lot more post-election commentary/analysis.
- Jonathan Tobin: US should “re-evaluate” peace process
- Amos Harel: Results prove security is the issue on Election Day
- Elliott Abrams: Obama buries the hatchet — in Netanyahu’s head
- Haviv Rettig Gur: After electoral trouncing, what future for the Israeli left?
- Spengler: Israeli election a referendum on two-state solution
- Bernard Avishai: Netanyahu’s compromised victory
- Eitan Haber: Israeli left is living in a bubble
- Dan Perry: Why Israelis chose Netanyahu; not just nationalism
- Tom Friedman: Bibi, father of the one-state solution
- Danny Rubinstein: The new Palestinian hope
- Dov Zakheim: Why pundits got the Israeli election so wrong
- Rebecca Shimoni Stoil: After Netanyahu win, Obama takes off the gloves
- Frida Ghitis: How Obama handed Netanyahu victory

• Steve Sack of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune weighed in.
Minneapolis Star-Tribune
• Quite a few papers weighed in with staff-eds:
- Washington Post: Who loses as Netanyahu wins?
- Times of London: Myopia in Israel
- The Guardian: A risky path for Israel
- Irish Times: Israel steps back to the future
- Wall St. Journal: Netanyahu’s victory (click via Google News).
- Financial Times: Bibi’s triumph, and the challenge for Obama (click via Google News)

• And how are Palestinians and their supporters spinning the election results? Daoud Kuttab, Yousef Munayyer, Hussein ibish, and Sir Vincent Fean weigh in.
• Last word on the election aftermath goes to the Columbus Dispatch‘s Nate Beeler.
Columbus Dispatch
• For more commentary/analysis on other issues, see John Bolton (UN vote irrelevant to Iran deal), and David Goldman (White House missteps crown Iran as regional hegemon).
Featured image: CC BY Pedro Ribeiro Simo?es via flickr with modifications by HonestReporting; Obama via White House web site; numbers CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Heather aka Molly;
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Mar 2015, 8:59 pm

Israel Re-Elects Netanyahu
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Benyamin Netanyahu and Likud won yesterday’s elections. See below for what happened, what’s next, and what it means.

2. Oops, he did it again. John Kerry plugged Ayatollah Khamenei’s non-existent nuclear fatwa.
3. Brazilian media reports are backing Alberto Nisman’s claims of an Argentina-Iran conspiracy, with allegations are bigger than we thought. The JTA writes:
Iran financed the 2007 campaign of Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner in exchange for impunity for Iranians in the AMIA bombing, a Brazilian magazine reported.
 

According to Veja on Saturday, the deal brokered by Venezuela’s president, Hugo Chavez, also provided the Iranians with nuclear know-how.
4. HR Radio: When Do the Palestinians Get to Vote?: Yarden Frankl discusses the lack of democratic rights for Palestinians, a Hollywood celebrity takes to the LA Times to fight anti-Semitism, and your chance to ask the terrorist group Hamas any question as they try to present a new, less bloody image to the world. Click below to hear the interview on Voice of Israel.
Israeli Elections
• Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu was re-elected, as Likud beat Yitzhak Herzog and the Zionist Union by an unexpectedly wide six-seat margin. Judging from the breakdown of seats, the most likely scenario is for Netanyahu to form a center-right coalition. But President Reuven “Ruby” Rivlin may prod party leaders for a national unity government.

Here’s the breakdown of the next Knesset’s 120 seats.
SEE PAGE
• Meet the new Knesset – if diversity’s your thing, there’s a record number of female and Arab MKs.

• You’re going to hear a lot about Moshe Kahlon, of the Kulanu Party. AP profiles the new kingmaker of Libyan descent who many are pegging for Minister of Finance. Globes is already asking if the banks are right to be afraid of him.
• The big story of this election is the emergence of the Arab vote. Three factions united, sparking higher Arab turnout. Now the Joint Arab List is the Knesset’s third largest party. The New York Times was in Nazareth as Arabs celebrated the results.
• Worth reading: Alberto Nardelli explains why last night’s Israeli exit polls were wrong, while Reuters quoted red-faced pollsters on their flawed methods.
• The Palestinians are going to press on at the ICC because Netanyahu won, says Saeb Erekat.
• World leaders like David Cameron, Stephen Harper, and Narendra Modi offered congratulations to Netanyahu. But it’s raising eyebrows that  it was left to a White House aide to congratulate “the Israeli people” without mentioning Netanyahu’s name.
TWEET SEE PAGE

Israel and the Palestinians
• The cash-strapped PA adopted an emergency budget.

• Academic boycotters strengthened their hold on the American Studies Association, as William Jacobson explains in detail.
One ASA subplot here is its president-elect, Professor Robert Warrior. He’s a Native American who peddles the theory of Israeli “redwashing,” which claims that Israel uses Native Americans to promote Jewish indigenous ties to Israel at the expense of the Palestinians. (“Redwashing” is to Israel and Native Americans as “pinkwashing” is to Israel and the gay/lesbian community.) Fortunately, Native Americans like Ryan Bellerose are speaking out against Palestinians hijacking the First Nations.
• French experts conclude that Yasser Arafat did not die of poisoning.

• Pro-Palestinian activists in the UK launched a food fight with the Waitrose Supermarket chain. The chain publishes a monthly magazine, and its February edition included a glossy 32-page supplement called “Taste of Israel,” complete with a recipes, a restaurant guide, a glossary of Israeli dishes and ingredients, and more. The story only now caught  the attention of The Independent and  Daily Mail.
Mideast Matters
• According to media reports, Israel’s now providing medical treatment to injured Nusra Front and Al-Qaeda fighters.

• US intel report scrapped Iran from list of terror threats. Is it a deliberate whitewash?
The unclassified version of the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the US Intelligence Communities, dated February 26, 2015 (PDF), noted Iran’s efforts to combat Sunni extremists, including those of the ultra-radical Islamic State group, who were perceived to constitute the preeminent terrorist threat to American interests worldwide.
• A UN official blasted the human rights situation in Iran, especially the fact that the number of executions has risen since Hassan Rouhani became Prime Minister. New York Times coverage of that. Meanwhile, Newsweek reports that Iran currently averages two executions each day.

• Iran ordered Hezbollah to send hundreds of fighters to Iraq to liberate the city of Mosul. According to Arab reports, some 800 men will be deployed over the next two or three weeks. More at Ya Libnan.
• Iraqi Kurds say ISIS is using chlorine gas.
• Amman’s concerned about the rising influence of Iran and its proxies along the Syria-Jordan border, according to Algemeiner.
• How does the Rouhani Meter fact-check Iran’s president from 6,000 miles away? The Duke Reporters Lab explains:
Fact-checkers aren’t welcome in Iran, so Farhad Souzanchi and the Rouhani Meter team work from Canada.
• Maan News: Egypt demolished another thousand homes to expand its Sinai-Gaza buffer zone — and there are another 200 slated for razing.

Commentary/Analysis
NYTicon• You can feel the palpable grumpiness at the New York Times as Tom Friedman, Roger Cohen, Isabel Kershner, and a staff-ed weigh in. Whether you view some of Netanyahu’s comments as demagoguery or not, I think the heavy attention given by the Times was disproportionate.

• Memo to Yara Hawari: The “disenfranchised” Palestinians — all 4.5 million of ‘em — are supposed to vote in Palestinian elections. I know PA elections are years overdue, but best is to take it up with Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh.
• So what do the election results mean, and what happens next?
- Anshel Pfeffer: How did Netanyahu score such a decisive election victory?
- Allison Kaplan Sommer: The 6 big surprises of the 2015 election
- Herb Keinon: Israeli nods to Bibi, who now needs to nod to Obama
- Jonathan Tobin: Why did Bibi win? Realism, not racism
- Stephen Pollard: Clear victory shows Bibi’s so-called ‘scaremongering’ campaign was right all along
- Jonathan Alter: Bibi’s ugly win will harm Israel
- Los Angeles Times staff-ed: Netanyahu’s cynical campaign
TWEET
• What could the US learn from the Israeli electoral system? The Washington Post and Los Angeles Times compare the two with some interesting observations.

• Richard Kemp addresses the boycotters who disrupted his appearance at the U. of Sydney. And Aussie activist Glenn Falkenstein says Professor Jake Lynch’s anti-Semitic behavior went too far.
• For more commentary analysis, see Jackson Diehl (Iranian talk are about the future of the Mideast), Amir Taheri (We’re letting Iran and ISIS carve up Iraq), and Aaron David Miller (The risks of negotiating with Assad).
 
Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA xeeliz with modifications by HonestReporting; Native American CC BY flickr/Fort Rucker;
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Mar 2015, 3:33 pm

Israel Election Campaign Draws to a Close
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. It’s only hours before the polling booths open and Israelis elect a new government. Election Day on Tuesday is a national holiday to encourage people to exercise their democratic rights. HonestReporting’s Israel staff will be doing just that but before we do, here are some facts and figures to help you get your head around it all.

List of parties running for the 20th Knesset with their symbols.
Haaretz goes through the numbers (click on the link to find out more about what these numbers mean):
25 – The number of party tickets in the running
1,280 – The total number of people on the tickets
5.8 million – The number of Israelis who can cast their vote
10,372 – The number of regular polling stations
98 – The cities where (some) Israelis can vote around the world
3.25 – The minimum proportion of votes a party needs to get into the Knesset
241.7 million shekels – What all this is costing
But once the votes are in, how are they counted and how are the seats distributed? With a complicated proportional representation system to deal with, YNet News offers a guide for the perplexed.
Here’s one HR staffer’s taken on what Israeli democracy in action looks like.
The polls close at 10pm Israel time on Tuesday night when Israeli media will then release their exit polls and we may have a clearer idea as to who the winners and losers of this election will be.
 
2. Former UK PM Tony Blair to step back from his Middle East peacemaker role? According to the Financial Times (access through Google News):
After nearly eight years as an envoy for the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators, the former British prime minister has recognised that a frontline role is no longer tenable, according to several insiders. Mr Blair’s move comes amid deep unease in parts of Washington and Brussels over his poor relations with senior Palestinian Authority figures and sprawling business interests.
The Daily Telegraph adds:

Tony Blair had “no credibility” left with the parties in the Middle East peace process, a former US government official who was closely involved with trying to revive the talks last year has told The Telegraph.
 
“Frankly all sides just rolled their eyes at the mention of his name,” the official said as it was reported that Mr Blair was being “eased out” of his role as head of so-called Quartet.
3. Iran faces economic ruin if it fails to reach a nuclear deal with the West, according to an internal report commissioned by the regime in Tehran. The Times of London (subscription-only) reports:

The country’s oil and gas sector needs investments of more than $200 billion over the next five years, the report found. Some 60 per cent of Iran’s small and medium-sized businesses have gone bankrupt in the past four years under the West’s sanctions and the recent slump in oil prices promises further misery.
 
Two weeks before the deadline for a framework deal, the report has persuaded many hardliners in Iran to drop their opposition to negotiations with the West. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, has used it to strong-arm officials into backing the talks.
 
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Israel and the Palestinians
• NPR takes a ride on Jerusalem’s Light Rail, whose trains have been the target of Palestinian stone throwers since last summer.

Around the World
• A senior member of the Saudi royal family has told the BBC that a deal on Iran’s nuclear program will prompt Saudi Arabia and other states to pursue nuclear programs of their own:

Prince Turki al-Faisal told the BBC that Saudi Arabia would then seek the same right, as would other nations.
 
Six world powers are negotiating an agreement aimed at limiting Iran’s nuclear activity but not ending it.
 
Critics have argued this would trigger a nuclear arms race in the region spurred on by Saudi-Iran rivalry.
 
“I’ve always said whatever comes out of these talks, we will want the same,” said the prince, Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief.
 
“So if Iran has the ability to enrich uranium to whatever level, it’s not just Saudi Arabia that’s going to ask for that.
 
“The whole world will be an open door to go that route without any inhibition, and that’s my main objection to this P5+1 [the six world powers] process.”
 

Commentary/Analysis
• What do Israelis care about on Election Day? Jonathan Rynhold tells CNN:

The Palestinian issue dominates international news coverage of Israel, with images of missiles, terror tunnels and failed peace negotiations frequently splashed across TV screens and newspapers. So you would think that security would be the central issue in Tuesday’s Israeli elections, right?
 
The short answer is no.
 
Poll after poll in Israel has confirmed that the public views the high cost of living as the top issue for voters in this election. Indeed, even a majority of Israel’s Arab citizens within the pre-1967 borders — most of whom identify with the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza — view socioeconomic issues as the priority for Tuesday’s parliamentary poll, rather than advancing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
 
What explains this apparent indifference?
 
First, despite what the polls suggest, peace and security actually remain the most important underlying issue in Israeli politics. The main parties recognize that they need to cross the credibility threshold on this issue, and they therefore include former high-ranking army officers and diplomats among their ranks.
 
Whatever they may say to pollsters, many voters continue to vote primarily on this issue. However, because most such voters are staunch supporters of the right or the left and have already made up their minds, they are unlikely to shift their vote between these two blocs, so their votes are not in play in these elections.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 16 Mar 2015, 10:15 am

Hamas’s #AskHamas Twitter Campaign Mocked
1. Promising responses from the terror organization’s leadership, Hamas launched its #AskHamas Twitter campaign aimed at improving its global image. Things haven’t gone so well for Hamas, however.

 According to AP:
According to the social media analytics website Topsy, the AskHamas hashtag generated 36,000 tweets in a single day.
 
Some tweeters asked Hamas about their use of suicide bombers in buses, cafes and other civilian areas during the Palestinian Intifada.
 
Journalist Jeffery Goldberg asked “Why did you murder 30 civilians, including 20 people over the age of 70, at a Passover Seder in Netanya in 2002?”
 
Pictures of Palestinian children at rallies where gunmen wore suicide bomber vests and waved guns were posted.
 
Some users made a point of mentioning how senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal spent the recent Gaza war in his hotel room in Doha. One wrote: “Are your brave billionaire ‘leaders’ still urging you and your children to martyrdom from the luxury of a 5-star hotel in Qatar?”
 
Others tweeters chose to take things in a humorous direction. An image of a gunman in a white face mask with militant headband was posted with the caption: “What happens if he sneezes?”
 
Another wrote: “When is the Gaza City gay pride parade this year?” Homosexuality is taboo in Hamas-ruled Gaza.
 
Another asked: “Will you be publicly executing the person that came up with the idea to #AskHamas?”
 
Most of the questions went unanswered.

2. YNet News publishes video footage purported showing Hamas preparing for the next round of fighting against Israel by building fortifications near the Israel-Gaza border.
 YNet Video
3. Anti-Semitism becomes personal for Hollywood superstar Michael Douglas in the LA Times:

Michael Douglas
Last summer our family went to Southern Europe on holiday. During our stay at a hotel, our son Dylan went to the swimming pool. A short time later he came running back to the room, upset. A man at the pool had started hurling insults at him.
 
My first instinct was to ask, “Were you misbehaving?”
 
“No,” Dylan told me through his tears.
 
I stared at him. And suddenly I had an awful realization of what might have caused the man’s outrage: Dylan was wearing a Star of David.
 
After calming him down, I went to the pool and asked the attendants to point out the man who had yelled at him. We talked. It was not a pleasant discussion. Afterward, I sat down with my son and said: “Dylan, you just had your first taste of anti-Semitism.”

Israel and the Palestinians
• Khaled Abu Toameh reports on grassroots Palestinian calls for elections of their own:

“We say all these bad things about Israel, but at least the people there have the right to vote and enjoy democracy,” remarked a veteran Palestinian journalist from Ramallah. “We really envy the Israelis. Our leaders don’t want elections. They want to remain in office forever.”
• The Wall Street Journal (access through Google News) reports from the Golan Heights on how the complexities of the Syrian war raging in the plains below are increasingly straining Israel’s ties with the U.S.:
To the south of this overlook, from which United Nations and Israeli officers observe the fighting, are the positions of the Nusra Front, the Syrian branch of al Qaeda that the U.S. has targeted with airstrikes.
 
Nusra Front, however, hasn’t bothered Israel since seizing the border area last summer—and some of its severely wounded fighters are regularly taken across the frontier fence to receive treatment in Israeli hospitals.
 
To the north of Mount Bental are the positions of the Syrian government forces and the pro-Iranian Shiite militias such as Hezbollah, along with Iranian advisers. Iran and these militias are indirectly allied with Washington in the fight against Islamic State in Iraq. But here in the Golan, they have been the target of a recent Israeli airstrike. Israel in recent months also shot down a Syrian warplane and attacked weapons convoys heading through Syria to Hezbollah.
 
It would be a stretch to say that the U.S. and Israel are backing different sides in this war. But there is clearly a growing divergence in U.S. and Israeli approaches over who represents the biggest danger—and who should be seen, if not as an ally, at least as a lesser evil in the regional crisis sparked by the dual implosion of Syria and Iraq.
• The Lebanese Daily Star also reports that Iran and Hezbollah are gaining a foothold on the Syrian side of the Golan Heights.

• Time Magazine claims Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to cancel a January briefing for U.S. Senators by his nation’s intelligence service that warned Congress could damage talks aimed at constraining Iran’s nuclear program.
• Amit Lang, director general of the Israeli Ministry of the Economy, tells the International Business Times that major investments by US billionaire Warren Buffett and tech giants Intel and IBM show the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign is not persuading investors to shun Israel or Israeli companies.
It is making a lot of noise, it is in the media a lot – it is sexy. But at the end of the day if you have a good product, businessmen want to make money… I have not seen a deal that was [abandoned] because of the BDS. I see the numbers and they speak for themselves.
The Irish Times looks at the voting intentions of the French Israeli immigrant community, including recent newcomers fleeing anti-Semitism in France.

Around the World
• Reuters claims an exclusive, reporting that major world powers have begun talks about a United Nations Security Council resolution to lift U.N. sanctions on Iran if a nuclear agreement is struck with Tehran, a step that could make it harder for the U.S. Congress to undo a deal.

• Retired British military officer Colonel Richard Kemp’s lecture on the ethics of armed conflict at Sydney University was disrupted by anti-Israel protesters. Video footage can be seen here:
BDS PROTEST AT UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY 11/3/15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auwjiq6gt64#t=46
The Australian Jewish News reports that Professor Jake Lynch, the director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (CPACS) at the university, shouted in the faces of students and screamed that attempts to remove the protesters was a violent attack on freedom of speech by security guards. He was also seen holding money to the face of a Jewish student and filmed students in attendance without their consent. Prof Lynch later explained to The AJN that a woman behind the student not visible in the frame was physically attacking him and he held out the money to illustrate that he would sue her if she did not stop.

Col. Kemp, in a letter to the university’s vice-chancellor, took another view:
At one point I observed Associate Professor Lynch waving money in the face of a Jewish student, a clearly aggressive and insulting act that seemed to invoke the stereotype of the ‘greedy Jew’. Although not Jewish myself, I found Associate Professor Lynch’s behaviour deeply shocking and offensive.
Commentary/Analysis
• Writing in the Washington Post, Joshua Muravchik asks what if force is the only way to block Iran from getting nuclear weapons:

Were Iran, which is already embroiled in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Gaza, further emboldened by becoming a “nuclear threshold state,” it would probably overreach, kindling bigger wars — with Israel, Arab states or both. The United States would probably be drawn in, just as we have been in many other wars from which we had hoped to remain aloof.
 
Yes, there are risks to military action. But Iran’s nuclear program and vaunting ambitions have made the world a more dangerous place. Its achievement of a bomb would magnify that danger manyfold. Alas, sanctions and deals will not prevent this.

Featured image: CC BY Frank Black Noir via flickr with modifications by HonestReporting
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Fri 13 Mar 2015, 9:36 am

http://honestreporting.com/idns-03112015-hamas-drones/
Hamas Drones Over Egypt?
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas drones over Egyptian airspace? Say it ain’t so!

Egyptian radar picked up three drones flying out of the southern Gaza Strip on numerous occasions, the Egyptian Al Osboa newspaper reported. The unmanned aerial vehicles penetrated as far as El Arish and Sheikh Zuweid, some 50 kilometers from the Egypt-Gaza border.
 
Border forces opened fire on the drones but couldn’t hit them because they were flying at an altitude of 750 meters (2,2250 feet), the report said. Under the terms of the 1979 peace deal with Israel, Egypt is not allowed to station any anti-aircraft weapons in the Sinai region, so its forces have been unable to prevent the Hamas activities.
Cairo may not appreciate the timing of this incident. The government appealed a recent court ruling designating Hamas a “terror organization.”

2. Israel demolished several illegal Bedouin structures in eastern Jerusalem. What made this unusual was that the structures were funded by the European Union and even displayed EU flags. The funding violates international law. One particular report, by AFP, even made this fantastical dig:

Activists say Israel is deliberately displacing the Bedouin in order to build settlements in the area of the West Bank just outside east Jerusalem.
 
That effective annexation of a corridor running through the middle of the West Bank would make the creation of a contiguous Palestinian state impossible.
Not true. Despite the hype, E1 doesn’t cut the West Bank in two any more than Israel’s narrowest point.

westBank-E1

 

3. The Washington Post reports that a Justice Dept. investigation of who leaked info about reported Israeli-US cyber warfare against Iran has hit a brick wall: Investigators suspect that Gen. James “Hoss” Cartwright was the source of a 2012 New York Times report exposing “Operation Olympic Games.”

The problem is this: The Obama administration never officially acknowledged the covert program; awkward revelations now would complicate Iranian nuclear talks, and potentially create more US-Israel friction. The general denies being the Times’s source.

4. How AP Botched Investigation of Gaza Civilian Deaths: A pair of investigative reporters dissect an AP investigation of civilian deaths during last year’s Gaza war.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Qatar says it began a project to rebuild 1,000 Gaza homes. See also The Media Line for a more general update on the reconstruction.

• Globes: Because of delays caused by Israeli regulators, the Palestinians cancelled a $1.2 billion Leviathan gas deal.

• The West Bank community of Ariel is attracting journalists. NPR and the Irish Times paid visits.

• Times of Israel: The eastern Jerusalem family of Muhammad Musallam, who was executed by ISIS, insist the 19-year-old was not a Mossad spy. The father said his son was executed because he wanted to leave and was forced to make a phony confession on video.

Musallam’s father, Said, who has not seen the video due to his poor health, told Army Radio Wednesday that his son had joined the Islamic State of his own volition, but quickly regretted the decision. The allegations of his being a Mossad agent were simply a fabrication, he said.
Around the World
• Europe’s undercover yarmulke journalists, we get the point.

Sending a yarmulke-wearing man out with a hidden video camera to document anti-Semitism on the streets of Europe, particularly in Muslim neighborhoods, is quickly becoming a journalistic trope.
• France’s media regulatory agency formally reprimanded Jean-Jacques Bourdin for asking politician Roland Dumas if the Prime Minister was “under Jewish influence.” They were referring to Prime Minister Manuel Valls, whose wife, Anne Gravoin, is Jewish. The relevant outtake from the interview’s on YouTube, but, je suis decu, it’s not translated.

The council said that Bourdin’s question “served to banalize and advertise discriminatory behaviors,” Le Figaro reported. It put BFMTV, RMC and Bourdin on notice, but did not impose any fines.


Commentary/Analysis
• Worth reading: Eliora Katz, an undergraduate studying at the University of Chicago weighs in on campus anti-Semitism.

Nonetheless, this incident shows how the vehemently anti-Israel sentiment on college campuses has bled into anti-Jewish sentiment. Israel, which was supposed to answer “the Jewish question” by helping Jews escape anti-Semitism, has today become the pretext for it.
• Today’s best snippet comes from a Los Angeles Daily News staff-ed on UCLA and campus anti-Semitism.

Young people, bless their hearts, get passionate about issues they are just discovering. But the young people at UCLA need to stop conflating the fact of being Jewish or being active in Jewish organizations with the messy Israeli politics they are just discovering. Until they do, they are complicit in a common prejudice so evil it has led to the deaths of millions of people and nearly destroyed the Western world. Stop the hate talk, UCLA student leaders; open your hearts and minds.
See also Professor Barry Kosmin’s take at CNN.

UCLA

• Can Israel survive without the Palestinian Authority?

Thousands of Israel Defense Forces soldiers would likely be deployed in the event of a Palestinian security dissolution, and their long-term presence in former Palestinian Authority-controlled areas would likely cost billions of dollars to Israeli taxpayers. The Palestinian Authority’s 2014 budget was $4.2 billion, roughly half of which was funded by international donors that would not be willing to foot such a bill if the costs were borne by Israel.
• Quite a bit of commentary on Israel, Iran and the US.
- Herbert London: When Iran and Israel, words matter
- Herb Keinon: Obama’s “lame duck” status looms over nuke talks
- Boaz Bismuth: Obama’s twilight zone
- Dennis MacEoin: What the White House might not see about Iran
- Michael Totten: Nuclear deal risks pushing Sunnis into an alliance with ISIS
- Douglas Feith: The fatal flaw in Obama’s dealings with Iran (Wall St. Journal via Google News)

• For more commentary/analysis, see Ben-Dror Yemini (The propaganda agents for Hamas), Harry Majin (Why university conference on Israel’s legitimacy cannot go ahead), and Sir Mark Walport (What boycott?).

Featured image: CC BY Teteria Sonnna via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; UCLA via Wikimedia Commons/Alton

--------------------
http://honestreporting.com/idns-03122015-saudi-nuclear/
Saudis Sign Nuclear Cooperation Deal With South Korea
Today’s Top Stories
1. A high-level Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander boasted of indoctrinating Syrian youth:

“The IRGC has begun to establish new religious groups in Syria called ‘Kashab’ among young Alawites, Sunnis, Christians and Ismailis,” Al-Arabiya on Tuesday cited Hussein Hamdani as saying.
 
These groups aim to carry out what Hamdani called “ideological education” for the “recruitment of teenagers in Syria to fight in militias under [the command] of the IRGC.”
atom2. Saudi Arabia signed a nuclear cooperation deal with South Korea, which has US officials concerned about a possible arms race. But as the Wall St. Journal notes, (click via Google News) the writing was on the wall.

Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, a member of the royal family, has publicly warned in recent months that Riyadh will seek to match the nuclear capabilities Iran is allowed to maintain as part of any final agreement reached with world powers. This could include the ability to enrich uranium and to harvest the weapons-grade plutonium discharged in a nuclear reactor’s spent fuel.
3. PA officials have determined that at least 59 Palestinians were aboard a migrant boat that capsized near Sicily. According to Maan News:

Around 180 migrants were believed to be aboard the boat when it left Libya.
 
Nine of the estimated 59 Palestinians were from Gaza, while the other 50 were Palestinians from refugee camps in Lebanon and Syria.
If you want a better sense of why they’re fleeing, Maan also reports that the first humanitarian aid convoy in three months reached the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, where 18,000 Palestinians remain.

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Israel and the Palestinians
• Haaretz: Hamas rejected a 5-year truce in exchange for a lifting of the Gaza blockade, said Musa Abu Marzook.

• The Palestinian decision to end security cooperation is unlikely to be implemented. The Media Line reports that the question was kicked over to a different PLO body.

• While protesting Palestinians burnt Israeli ice cream (and we’re not talking about baked Alaska), a visiting Syrian expressed a completely different view.

Haaretz

 

• Things that make me go hmmmmm: Despite years of Turkish bluster and lawfare over the Mavi Marmara incident, no Interpol red notices have been requested for Israeli officers, and the judges involved in previous rulings have seen their careers shunted aside. Is the ruling AK Party reluctant to go all the way? Are bureaucrats waging some kind of resistance? Today’s Zaman lays out the what, but not the why:

Although 10 months have passed since the court requested that the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of Justice seek an Interpol Red Notice, government officials have not taken single step to do so. This reveals a clear contradiction between the AK Party government’s discourse on the Mavi Marmara issue and its policies. The judges who ruled for the arrest of the Israeli commanders were also re-assigned to other judicial posts in different provinces, and the chief judge in the case was demoted.
Around the World
• The White House announced that existing sanctions on Iran are being extended for another year.

• Fredrick Pleitgen of CNN (video or transcript) visited the Jewish community of Isfahan. The Jewish community says they have no problems with the government and are unfazed by Iranian-Israeli tensions. I do think Pleitgen should have acknowledged the possibility that people he talked to might not feel they can talk freely.



• Jews in the Baltic states fear “creeping anti-Semitism.”

Across the countries of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia, Jewish leaders say their communities are feeling increasingly uncomfortable as anti-Semitism once again appears to be on the rise. An Estonian museum exhibition mocking the Holocaust, a stage musical celebrating the life of a notorious Latvian Nazi mass murderer and the repatriation of the remains of a Lithuanian leader long linked to Nazis have all contributed to a climate of hate that has Jews on edge.
• EU foreign policy chief supports task force on anti-Semitism

• Anti-Semitic stickers were placed around a heavily Jewish neighborhood of Amsterdam.

• A translator who defected out of ISIS explained to Sky News the mind-games that are played on prisoners so that they stay calm during their filmed executions.

Commentary/Analysis
• From the poison pen of Columbus Dispatch cartoonist Nate Beeler:

Nate Beeler

• For more commentary/analysis, see Avi Issacharoff (Angry Egypt feels the squeeze from jihadis, US, and Hamas) Jonathan Tobin (Obama gives Sisi the Bibi treatment), and Yakub Halabi (Nuclear free Mideast the only solution to the Iranian threat).

Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Patrick White via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; atom CC BY-SA Deviant Art/deejaywill
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 11 Mar 2015, 12:12 am

Australian Click-Bait: How to Abuse Israel to Attract Readers
One story, two headlines.

Media coverage of Israel's conflict with Palestine turned Jake Bilardi to Islamic State
http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/media-coverage-of-israels-conflict-with-palestine-turned-jake-bilardi-to-islamic-state-20150310-140epo.html

Mum’s death set Melbourne teen Jake Bilardi on path to Islamic State
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/mums-death-set-melbourne-teen-jake-bilardi-on-path-to-islamic-state/story-fni0fit3-1227255870987

So what radicalized an Australian teenager to become an Islamic State jihadi?
The headline from the Sydney Morning Herald is pretty explicit in its attribution to media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Yet this is the only mention of Israel in the SMH article:
He was particularly upset by Israel’s campaigns in Gaza.
 
“He did express strong thoughts on what was really happening compared to what they showed us in the media,” the friend said.
 
Mr Bilardi believed of the western media: “They lie. Twist words. Don’t say what is actually happening”.
And what of the Herald Sun, whose headline focused on the death of Jake Bilardi’s mother? There is no mention of media coverage of Israel whatsoever in that paper’s story.

Considering that Bilardi converted to Islam and then headed for Iraq (not Israel), what are we to make of the Sydney Morning Herald’s headline?
It looks like it isn’t Jihadi Jake who has an obsession with Israel. Someone at the Sydney Morning Herald has figured that an Israel angle to the story, even a circumstantial one, makes it far more attractive to an audience that has already been fed a steady diet of negative stories about Israel.
We are left with an inappropriate headline, the only purpose of which is click-bait to entice the readers.
And if media coverage of Israel is responsible for anything, it’s not the creation of Islamic State jihadis but instead the appalling rise in anti-Semitism currently sweeping the globe.
Featured image: CC BY Photosteve101 via flickr with modifications by HonestReporting


UN Report on Gaza “War Crimes” to Be Deferred
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. The UN team investigating war crimes during Operation Protection Edge wants to defer its report to June. A statement released by the Schabas commission said it needed more time to consider evidence received from Israelis and Palestinians.

The team’s report was originally scheduled to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council on March 23. UN Watch gives the deferral a thumbs up:
“Moreover,” said Neuer, “the resignation of William Schabas under a cloud of bias accusations requires a complete rewriting of the report.”
2. While Palestinians in the West Bank boycott Israeli products, Gazans are happily purchasing Israeli foods, drinks, dairy, and snacks. Xinhua notes that the strip’s factories are unable to produce necessities, and Hamas can’t rely on the old tunnel economy anymore. West Bank activists aren’t happy.

Abdul Fattah Zrei’e, one of the directors in the ministry of economy, told Xinhua in Gaza that importing Israeli-made products was “temporary,” and didn’t mean that “we encourage the Israeli products or we look for replacing Israeli products to our products.”
 
But this policy was slammed by officials and activists in the West Bank.
SOAS3. In a school-wide referendum, students of the London School of Oriental and African Studies voted to boycott Israel academics. But don’t be fooled into thinking this was a victory for the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions movement. Colin Shindler unspins the vote:

Yet it was not the governing body, not the administration, not even formally the lecturers’ union, but an invented “SOAS community” that participated. Anyone could vote who wanted to – including the SOAS cleaners, catering staff and security guards.
 
A total of 1,283 students supported the BDS motion – three-quarters of all students who voted. Yet there are some 5,000 students at SOAS plus another 3,600 engaged in distance-learning. Some 86 percent did not vote for BDS. Despite all the self-congratulatory self-deception, this was not exactly a resounding success for a weeklong referendum.

4. Australian Click-Bait: How to Misuse Israel to Attract Readers: Did an Australian teen really join ISIS because of media coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict?
5. Heartbreak in Gaza: a Lesson in Non-Investigative Journalism: In a guest post, an award-winning Canadian journalist takes New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof to task for lazy reporting from Gaza.
6. HR Radio: Hating Jews at UCLA, the Holocaust Card and a ‘Twitter-Fried’ Jim Clancy: Yarden Frankl discusses the good, the bad and the ugly from Big Media. Click below to hear the interview on Voice of Israel.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman discussed the Iranian nuclear issue, ISIS, and Russia with former CIA chief and retired army general David Petraeus.

• Critics of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress accuse him of attributing a fabricated quote to Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah. Thumbs up to Yair Rosenberg for “walking the cat back” (with an assist from Tony Badran). You can now hear Nasrallah in his own voice from his 2002 speech:
“But I’ll tell you. Among the signs […] and signals which guide us, in the Islamic prophecies and not only in the Jewish prophecies, is that this State [of Israel] will be established, and that the Jews will gather from all parts of the world into occupied Palestine, not in order to bring about the anti-Christ and the end of the world, but rather that Allah the Glorified and Most High wants to save you from having to go to the ends of the world, for they have gathered in one place–they have gathered in one place–and there the final and decisive battle will take place.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Both Israel and Hamas denied reports that Hamas offered a long-term truce in exchange for a lifting of the Gaza blockade.

• The Times of Israel picked up on a British university holding a three-day conference questioning the legitimacy of Israel’s right to exist. The contact person, Southampton University’s Professor Oren Ben-Dor, certainly has a background for this kind of gig. The hate-fest kicks off April 17.
Around the World
•  French Jews are rattled after soldiers guarding Toulouse’s Otzer HaTorah school spotted an unauthorized drone flying overhead. This is same school where Mohammed Merah went on a rampage, killing Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, two of his sons, and an eight-year-old girl three years ago.

The school will mark the anniversary of the Toulouse massacre on March 19. Police are investigating who sent the drone.
Toulouse massacre
Rabbi Yonatan Sandler, his sons Gabriel and Aryeh, and Miriam Monsonego, all killed in the 2012 Toulouse massacre

• At Israel trade event in South Africa BDS supporters threaten to “kill Jews”
• A Swedish TV station stopped airing reruns of the Israeli episode of popular cooking show after it referred to Jerusalem as “Israel’s heart.”
TV4, a commercial channel, stopped airing reruns of the Israel episode of celebrity chef Tina Nordstrom’s “Tina Visiting” last month following viewers’ complaints over her characterization of Jerusalem, the news website varldenidag.se reported last week.
 
A spokesperson for TV4 said the footage was pulled to avoid having the show deal with political issues.
 
“Only under the most hateful of interpretations can this be deemed offensive,” Isaac Bachman, Israel’s ambassador to Stockholm wrote in an open letter.
• Houthis are receiving Syrian training and are fighting for Bashar Assad too. Can they do that?

Media Matters
• A Lebanese TV presenter cut off an interview when a long-winded sheikh became disrespectful. Kudos to Rima Karaki for keeping her cool and keeping control of the interview despite being told to “shut up” and “it’s beneath me to be interviewed by you. You are a woman . . .”. Nice spot by MEMRI.

• The problem with World Press Photo’s contest
There are certain things photojournalists are never supposed to do if they want to remain credible visual communicators.
• It’s all in the wrist: Smart watches have publishers strategizing how to present news on a screen that’s, say, 50 x 40 millimeters. What does this new “arms race” mean for the way we consume news? Jack Riley raises the questions.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Mar 2015, 3:42 pm

Hamas Offers Long Term Calm
Israel Daily News Stream 43 mins ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. PA security forces have arrested more than 100 Hamas members in the last two weeks. YNet reports:

The operations reached a climax on Sunday night when – in an unusual step – the forces arrested 40 Hamas members, including released detainees, academics, and students in a coordinated effort conducted in multiple cities across the West Bank.
You see, the PA wants to avoid any flare up of violence ahead of the Israeli elections.

2. With Egyptian constantly raising the heat, I sense desperation behind this Hamas offer.
Times of Israel
3. What kind of signal are the Iranians trying to send? Tehran unveiled the Soumar, a made-in-Iran cruise missile. The Revolutionary Guards wouldn’t do something like that without Ayatollah Khamenei’s approval:
Inbar says that “it’s much easier to hide a cruise missile. They are smaller and more mobile [and] you can launch them from a variety of platforms on land, from submarines, bombers and even disguised merchant ships.
Amichai Stein

4. Campus Anti-Semitism Becomes a Mainstream Issue: The mainstream is finally recognizing the surge in hostility towards Jews on campus.
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• This is very unusual: Republican senators sent an open letter (pdf format) to the Iranian leadership warning them that any nuclear deal signed with President Obama lacking Congressional input could be nullified by a future president. More at Bloomberg News.

• In a briefing for Israeli reporters, a US official (anonymous – big sigh) said that aspects of the nuclear deal will last more than 10 years, and that the US would indeed know if Iran tries to make a breakout. Haaretz and YNet coverage:
• Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed his speech and the Iran issue with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation. Why is the Prime Minister disturbed by reports of the US offering a nuclear umbrella to the Gulf states? (Skip to the 3:48 point).
I don’t know [if the report is true], but if it’s true, it raises two troubling questions. The first is it means that Iran has a nuclear weapons program — otherwise, why offer, presumably the Gulf States, why offer them nuclear protection? The second is, if it’s true, it signals a shift in U.S. policy from preventing a nuclear Iran to containing one, and that’s not good.
CBS NEWS VIDEO  
Meanwhile, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer discussed the Netanyahu speech and Iran with CNN.
• France: Iran’s nuclear commitments don’t go far enough.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Iron Dome so ruined Hamas’s war plans during Operation Protective Edge, they’re shifting from long-range to short-range rockets. Times of Israel coverage.

• In Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah practiced attacking IDF positions.
• Poor George Galloway. Days after demanding thousands of pounds from Twitter users calling him an anti-Semite, it looks like the MP will be stuck with a £70,000 legal bill. And Galloway’s legal team is facing legal scrutiny of its own. According to the Times of London:
Mr Lewis, of Seddons solicitors, told the police there “appears to be a strong prima facie case” that Chambers committed blackmail and fraud by making “false representations that costs of £6,000 had actually been incurred by Mr Galloway”. He also asserts that there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Mr Galloway committed “offences of conspiracy to blackmail and conspiracy to commit fraud.”
Around the World
• Is the EU’s working definition of anti-Semitism being salami-sliced to nothing? I can’t decide what to make of this:

JPost
• YNet: An Israeli held hostage in Nigeria for five days was freed after the company he worked for paid an undisclosed ransom.
• Mohammed Emwazi, a.k.a. “Jihadi John” apologized to his family in Britain for bringing shame on them, but not for killing several Western hostages in a series of ISIS videos. A few papers picked up on the Times of London‘s scoop:
Emwazi’s apology to his family is partly self-serving because under Islam it is believed that those who disobey or disrespect their parents are more likely to go to hell. A message of regret could arguably allow him to fulfil his “religious obligations”.
• Lesley Stahl and a 60 Minutes crew traveled to Argentina to uncover the mystery of Alberto Nisman’s death (see video or transcript).


Meanwhile, the journalist who first broke the story of Nisman’s death filed a lawsuit against Argentina’s state-owned news service and airline. When Damian Pachter fled Argentina for his own safety, the Telam news service released his Aerolineas flight details.
Commentary/Analysis
• Worth reading: Obama, Netanyahu’s speech, and American leadership

The controversy isn’t just about Iran. It’s also about America’s role in the world.
• What is stopping the Arab world from understanding that Israel is a viable ally against a common enemy – Iran? Yaron Friedman asks.

• Is the PLO threat to end security cooperation an empty threat?
• Are the Palestinians really ready for peace talks after the Israeli elections? asks Khaled Abu Toameh:
When Aloul and other Palestinian officials talk about preparations for another “confrontation” with Israel, they are referring to the Palestinian Authority’s efforts to promote boycotts of Israel in the local and international arenas, as well as filing “war crimes” charges against Israelis at the International Criminal Court.
 
So while some Israelis, Americans and Europeans are talking about the need to revive the peace process after the March 17 elections in Israel, the Palestinians are clearly moving in a different direction.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Robert Satloff (The most overlooked line in Netanyahu’s address), Daniel Siryoti (Palestinians no longer an Arab priority), Jeffrey Goldberg (The Iranian regime on Israel’s right to exist), Victor Davis Hanson (Israel, Jews and Obama), Nicholas Blanford (Iran-backed advance in southern Syria rattles Israel), and a Times of London staff-ed (Israel must end years of inertia and find a path to peace with the Palestinians).


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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 09 Mar 2015, 12:16 am

Did PA End Security Coordination With Israel?
Israel Daily News Stream8 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Iranian Foreign Minister to Ann Curry of NBC News: The Netanyahu regime “should be annihilated”

Curry: The supreme leader seven months ago tweeted: “This barbaric wolf-like and infanticidal regime of Israel which spares no crime, has no cure but to be annihilated.”
 
Zarif: “Because this is a regime – we’re talking about Mr. Netanyahu . . . . It should be annihilated. That this regime is a threat . . . . He has a record full of infanticide.”
UCLA2. UCLA looks like a case study in anti-Semitic biases rearing their ugly head in the ivory tower. The Atlantic and New York Times pick up on what should have been a routine student appointment in mid-February became something much more simply because sophomore Rachel Beyda was Jewish.

But in the weeks since, that uncomfortable debate has upended this campus of 29,600 students that has long been central to the identity of Los Angeles. It has set off an anguished discussion of how Jews are treated, particularly in comparison with other groups that are more typically viewed as victims of discrimination, such as African-Americans and gays and lesbians.
Indeed, the NYT article generated so many reader comments at the article and on Facebook that paper devoted a separate article to the conversation.

3. Despite the PLO’s recommendation, Mahmoud Abbas will not cut security ties with Israel. (Israel reports business as usual.)
Iranian Atomic Urgency
• Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes discussed the Iran talks and Bibi’s speech with Jeffrey Goldberg.

• Netanyahu’s speech gained tacit Saudi support.
• BBC reporter Jeremy Bowen is under attack for belittling the Holocaust as Netanyahu’s “card to play.” Bowen denies his tweet was anti-Semitic.
Jeremy Bowen
• Israel, Iran locked in escalating cyber war
• Worth reading: a New York Times analysis looks at the questions Tehran has answered and ducked about nuclear weaponization suspicions.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Haaretz: The EU called on the PA to step up on Gaza reconstruction. The diplomats even praised Israel.

During the meeting, which took place at the Foreign Ministry office in Jerusalem, the European representatives surprisingly praised Israel’s actions over the past few months to promote reconstruction in Gaza and ease the humanitarian crisis in the Strip.
• Sorry AFP and Washington Post, but when someone deliberately runs over pedestrians, then jumps out of a car holding a meat cleaver, that person isn’t in the news for merely being a “driver.”

AFP
Washington Post
Six Border Policewomen and a cyclist were injured and the terrorist was hospitalized after being shot. More at Israel HaYom.
• Robert Malley a former Camp David II negotiator, was tapped by the White House to head the Mideast desk of the National Security Council. The appointment raises some eyebrows in Jerusalem. He once served as one of President Obama’s foreign policy advisers, but was fired in 2008 for meeting Hamas officials without authorization.
• Gaza’s only electricity plant shut down on Thursday because of those nasty Israelis a tax dispute between the PA and Hamas.
• According to Israeli media reports, Benyamin Netanyahu agreed to “drastic concessions” with the PA during his previous term as prime minister, including agreeing to base talks on the ’67 borders, land swaps, dividing Jerusalem, and a limited right of return. Besides a rejection from Netanyahu’s office, US envoy Dennis Ross denied the report too. But Avi Issacharoff believes this came from White House
• Jim Clancy left CNN after a bizarre post-Charlie Hebdo Twitter rant about Israeli “hasbara.” If you had any lingering doubts about Clancy’s views, check out what he had to say about media bias during a presentation in Beirut. The Daily Star was on hand:
“In my case I’d rather be Twitter-fried for telling the truth than held out for lying, saying I was somewhere I wasn’t or claiming I saw people murdered who weren’t,” Clancy told The Daily Star.
Jim Clancy

• Los Angeles Times: Pro-Palestinian groups are unhappy with the USA Network, which premiered Dig, a 10-part miniseries.
Because “Dig” was produced with the assistance of a grant from the Israeli government and the pilot includes scenes filmed in East Jerusalem, the group claims that USA is complicit “in whitewashing Israel’s military occupation and illegal colonization of East Jerusalem.”
 
USA declined to comment.
• A Jewish mother and her daughter made aliyah from Syria. The Jerusalem Post adds:

According to the Jewish Agency, there are about 20 Jews living in the Syrian capital of Damascus who, thus far, don’t want to leave.
Around the World
• Is being Jewish a political liability in America’s heartland?

• Daily Mail reporter Jonathan Kalmus donned a skullcap and walked the streets of Britain to see for himself the degree of anti-Semitism Jews face. He faced 10 anti-Semitic taunts in one hour.
• Over at the BBC Magazine, author and broadcaster Michael Goldfarb shares his experiences and thoughts on 50 years of anti-Semitism.
• CNN‘s Nic Robertson gauges the mood of Copenhagen’s Jewish community. Do they feel secure? Do they want to leave? And when will the city’s Radio Shalom resume broadcasting?
• Say it ain’t so!
Vatican’s on high alert for ISIS attack on Pope Francis
Media Matters
• James King describes at Gawker his year of “ripping off the web with the Daily Mail Online.”

Commentary/Analysis
• A few people I know are irritated with Nicholas Kristof’s latest New York Times column — a dispatch from Gaza. (An Irish Times dispatch from Gaza’s Shejaia district was far more nuanced.)

But I’m judging from Kristof’s man on the street comments, Israel has re-established a good degree of deterrence. I view these rubble stories through the lens of Victor Davis Hanson’s observations on the IDF stealing a page from Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Feel free to disagree . . .
• Armin Rosen points out:
It’s much easier for a country to reactivate existing nuclear infrastructure than it is for its rivals to build an international consensus toward doing something about it. The deal Rhodes defended against Netanyahu’s objections may leave Iran with the option of ramping up its program once the agreement expires — and the US with few options for stopping Tehran if it ever needed to.
• IDF Brig. Gen (res.) Israel Ziv accuses the US and West of shutting their eyes to the “Iranization” of the Syrian Golan, a strategic threat which Israel cannot ignore.

The US is in fact supporting the transfer of control over Damascus to the Iranians for a shaky nuclear agreement, for a bargain price: Two (Damascus plus Yemen) for the price of one.
• For more commentary on the Iranian atomic issue, see
- Dennis Ross: Obama needs to answer Netanyahu
- Spengler: World bows to Iranian hegemony
- Philipp Mißfelder: Why Bibi is right
- Charles Krauthammer: Netanyahu’s Churchillian warning
- Martin Kramer: Netanyahu and Churchill: Analogy and error
- Emily Landau: The gaping holes in Obama’s Iran deal
- John Podhoretz: American people don’t like terms of Iranian deal
- Amir Taheri: Iran’s suspect deal in the making

Odd tweet, but David Rothkopf ‘s take is interesting.
Foreign Policy
- Peter Baker Bibi’s shift on centrifuges
- James Jeffrey: Dealing with a bad deal
- David Blair: How nuclear deal would transform Mideast power balance
- Fareed Zakaria: Netanyahu enters never-never land
- Eugene Robinson: Netanyahu goes beyond bluster on Iran
- Roger Cohen: Netanyahu’s Iran thing
- Yaroslav Trofimov: U.S. Arab allies fear nuclear deal (via Google News)
- The Australian (staff-ed): Netanyahu’s focus too narrow (via Google News)
- David Grossman: Netanyahu is right on Iran (original interview at La Repubblica)

•  Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, took to The Guardian‘s op-ed section to explain why blaming Israel for Gaza’s slow pace of reconstruction is “willful ignorance.” The ambassador explains how donors not following through on pledges, and disagreements between Hamas and Fatah are the real obstacles.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Irwin Cotler (We are witnessing a new, sophisticated, virulent, and even lethal anti-Semitism),  John Bell (Is the Israel-Palestine conflict relevant anymore?), Jonathan Tobin (Bibi was ready for peace, Abbas wasn’t), Burak Bekdil (Hamas in Turkey: humanitarian activity”), Amos Oz (For its own survival, Israel must abandon the one-state option), Abdulhamit Bilici (Who is pro-Israel?) and Tony Badran (Exporting the Iranian revolution).
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 05 Mar 2015, 12:51 am

Netanyahu’s Iran Speech: The Fallout and Spin
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on the Iranian nuclear threat. If you haven’t seen it, here’s the video and transcript. See below for more fallout and commentary.

2. Argentina wants to revive a joint “truth commission” with Iran to get to the bottom of bury the 1994 bombing of the Buenos Aires Jewish community headquarters. More on this at Reuters. And the Buenos Aires Herald picks up on a related war of words between Israel and Argentina.
3. Britain’s Advertising Standards Authority banned a tourism ad which might have duped people into thinking that Jerusalem’s Old City is part of Jerusalem. See AFP coverage and the ASA ruling.
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Iranian Atomic Urgency
• CNN: Did Netanyahu change any minds in Congress?

• After the speech, CNN’s Christiane Amanpour discussed Iran with Yuval Steinitz. My antennae twitched at 5:22 when Amanpour said to Steinitz that the speech didn’t say anything new. Steinitz’s response:
First, you know, it’s quite paradoxical on the one hand to ask the Prime Minister not to reveal anything from the ongoing negotiations and then to say it didn’t expose anything new.

• Obama on speech: Netanyahu said nothing new.

• CNN: Did Netanyahu change any minds in Congress?
• Reuters picked on a UN report deploring Iran’s human rights record.
The report from the office of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to the U.N. Human Rights Council cataloged U.N. concerns about rights violations in Iran against women, religious minorities, journalists and activists . . .
 
Iran was believed to have executed at least 500 people between January and November 2014 and possibly many more, the report said. Most victims did not get a fair trial and over 80 percent of those executed were drug offenders, it said.
Israel and the Palestinians
• The PLO is holding a powwow in Ramallah to discuss the future of Israeli-Palestinian ties. According to the Jerusalem Post:

The sources said that the PLO representatives would discuss the possibility of suspending or cutting security, economic and political ties with Israel.
• Reuters: In his first report to the UN Human Rights Council, special rapporteur Makarim Wibsono called on Israel to investigate the deaths of Palestinian civilians during Operation Protective Edge.  A former Indonesian ambassador, Wibisono replaced Richard Falk last year.

• Surprise, surprise: The Palestinians are faulting Kerry for backing Israel at the UN Human Rights Council.
• Did a court ruling change the status of Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount?
Around the World
• To get a better understanding of anti-Semitism, the daily Berliner Morgenpost invited Israeli ambassador Yakov Hadas-Handelsman to read some of the embassy’s daily blitz of hate mail in this video (with English subtitles).


• French Jewish leader Roger Cukierman discussed the country’s climate for Jews with NPR (audio/transcript).
Commentary/Analysis
Lots of commentary from local papers who waited to hear what Netanyahu had to say before weighing in. I sprinkled a few cartoons and tweets that caught my eye.

The Israeli reactions:
- Haviv Rettig Gur: Speech gave voice to Arab concerns
- Dr. Kobi Michael — Time for an Israel-Sunni alliance
- Herb Keinon: After the speech, life goes on
- Raphael Ahren: Amid criticism, Bibi signals some readiness to compromise
- David Horovitz: A devastating, irrevocable indictment of Obama
- Chemi Shalev: Netanyahu’s splendid speech and the carnage in its wakern

The American reactions:
- Josh Rogin: Netanyahu’s careful, clever speech to Congress
- Gil Troy: The American-Israel friendship will survive
- Anne Gearan: Bibi makes his case, but audience has limited leverage
- Tom Friedman: What Bibi didn’t say
- Nicholas Gallagher: Bibi speaks for the Sunnis
- Elliott Abrams: Bad arguments about a bad deal with Iran

David Hazony
- Dana Milbank: Congress declares war at Netanyahu’s request
- Elise Labott: 10 questions about Netanyahu’s speech
- William Galston: A forecful, but misguided address (click via Google News)
- Jeremy Ben-Ami: What Netanyahu’s speech left out
- David Ignatius: Netanyahu’s zero-sum game on Iran

Michael Crowley
The Iranian reactions:
- Ambassador Gholamali Khoshroo: Netanyahu’s nuclear deceptions

The media reactions:
- AP: Fact check: Did Netanyahu go too far in US speech?
- Washington Post staff-ed: Obama needs to provide real answers to Netanyahu’s arguments
- Los Angeles Times staff-ed: A strong warning to Congress — and Obama
- New York Times staff-ed: Mr. Netanyahu’s unconvincing speech to Congress

Michael Granoff
- Wall St. Journal staff-ed: Netanyahu’s challenge (click via Google News)
- Daily Telegraph staff-ed: This is no time for a rift in the West over Israel
- Boston Herald staff-ed: “A very bad deal”
- Pittsburgh Tribune staff-ed: “Netanyahu’s call was clarion”
- USA Today staff-ed: Netanyahu comforts hardliners everywhere
- Houston Chronicle staff-ed: Bibi’s bad form but right message
- Denver Post staff-ed: Netanyahu falls short on options
- Toronto Star staff-ed: Tough line rings hollow
- Detroit News staff-ed: Netanyahu issues fair warning to U.S., world

Cartoonists weighing in include the Detroit Free-Press‘s Mike Thompson, Dutch cartoonist Joep Bertrams (this is sick), and the Arizona Republic‘s Steve Benson (no relation to me). There’s a lot of ways to look at the latter’s cartoon. How do you see it?
Steve Benson
• For commentary that’s not related to Iran see Beth Kissileff (Inside the artistic boycott movement),
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 03 Mar 2015, 10:27 pm

Iran Rejects Nuclear Freeze
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
Prime Minister Netanyahu was due to begin his address to Congress after this roundup was published.

1. Iran rejected any temporary freeze on its nuclear activities.Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif was responding to President Obama’s Reuters interview (see summary or  full transcript). The president confirmed the much-talked-about sunset clause.
2. International Atomic Energy Agency chief Yukiya Amano: Iran’s still dragging its feet on inspections. Reuters writes:
The Islamic Republic has yet to address two outstanding issues relating to alleged explosives tests and other measures that might have been used for nuclear bomb research which it should have explained away by last August.
3. The Palestinians plan to file the first war crimes claim in the International Criminal Court on April 1. How appropriate: that’s April Fools Day. Jerusalem Post coverage.


4. HR Radio: Irish Tweets and Slamming Settlers: On the Voice of Israel, Yarden Frankl discusses an Irish Times reporter’s twitter rant, New York Times columnist Nick Kristof’s one-sided view of West Bank life, and Robert Fisk’s latest Israel-bashing diatribe. Click below to listen.

Iranian Atomic Urgency
• The State Dept. gave a veiled warning to Netanyahu not to reveal details of the unfolding nuclear deal. Spokesperson Marie Harf said doing so would be a “betrayal.” Eli Lake elaborates on what the prime minister might disclose, while Professor Zaki Shalom argues that only new information will justify the speech. Will Bibi spill secrets?

Meanwhile, Israeli media reports claimed the White House cut intelligence coordination with Israel on the talks. Times of Israel coverage.
• National Security Advisor Susan Rice addressed AIPAC yesterday as part of the administration’s “prebuttal” strategy.
John Podhoretz
• A lot of adjectives come to mind when thinking about the personal Bibi-Bam relationship (I think frenemy is most apt). I think AFP’s description is over the top.
Obama on Monday lashed out at his nemesis, pointing to Netanyahu’s attacks on a previous interim US-Iran deal that paved the way for this week’s ongoing talks in Switzerland.
• Tickets to the Netanyahu speech were hot. How hot were they?

Even Democrats, some of whom are not attending the speech in order to express their frustration over what they say is the politicization of Mr. Netanyahu’s address, are hanging on to their tickets, distributing them as if they were a form of valuable currency.
 
Several dozen House Democrats, for instance, were recently sitting around a table, debating whether to attend the speech. Most said they planned to boycott it to make a political point. But then, according to one lawmaker, each of them asked, “But do you have any extra guest tickets?”
Commentary/Analysis
USA Today• Professor DeWayne Wickham argues that the Netanyahu speech is an insult to all black people simply because Ppresident  Obama is black.

I don’t buy the logic, but — like it or not — the views expressed in this USA Today op-ed are part of the black conversation that Jews would do well to be aware of.
By agreeing to sidestep normal diplomatic channels to address Congress, Netanyahu has become an instrument of a Republican Party that has shown an unbridled, personal disrespect for Obama, his wife and children since this black family moved into the building many Republicans apparently think is literally a white house.
• Bret Stephens is on my mind (Wall St. Journal via Google News):

The administration is now trying to dodge all this by waging an unprecedented campaign of personal vilification against Benjamin Netanyahu (of a sort they would never dream of waging against, say, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan ), accusing him of seeking political gain for himself in the U.S. at Mr. Obama’s expense.
 
Yet the calendar chiefly dictating the timing of Mr. Netanyahu’s speech was set by John Kerry , not John Boehner , when the secretary of state decided that the U.S. and Iran would have to conclude a framework deal by the end of this month. Mr. Netanyahu is only guilty of wanting to speak to Congress before it is handed a diplomatic fait accompli that amounts to a serial betrayal of every promise Mr. Obama ever made to Israel.
• Former Iranian negotiator Seyed Hossein Mousavian got op-ed space in the Daily Telegraph to lay out five options for what happens if the talks fail. Every scenario takes for granted that the nuclear program not only remains but grows.

• Another overdose of commentary. I’m being more selective with what makes today’s roundup. I’ll start with the Congressmen.
- Sen. Orrin Hatch: Standing with Israel in a dangerous world
- Rep. Darrell Issa: Obama’s shameful “snub” of Netanyahu
- Rep. Steve Israel: Netanyahu speech is political stunt, but I must back our ally
- Rep. Charles Rangel: Speech hurts friendship between U.S., Israel
- Rep. Chris Stewart: In what way is Iran a reliable negotiating partner? (Wall St. Journal via Google News)

Jennifer Rubin
- Richard Cohen: Israel’s moral argument is on the line
- Faisal Abbas: President Obama, listen to Netanyahu on Iran
- Azriel Bermant: Netanyahu might be upsetting people, but he is right
- Stephen Walt: Bibi blows up the special relationship (and that’s a good thing)
- Boaz Bismuth: A friendly reminder of good vs. bad

See also staff-eds in the Times of London (Israel is right to urge caution), Orlando Sun-Sentinel (Politics aside, the speech is important), Buffalo News (Speech creates friction between allies),  The Guardian (Netanyahu in Washington: collision or collusion?), New York Daily News (Bibi speaks because he must), and New York Post (To Bibi or not to Bibi).
• Cartoonists weighing in include Dutch cartoonist Arend van Dam, the Columbus Dispatch‘s Nate Beeler, Hartford Courant‘s Bob Englehart, Arizona Daily Star‘s David Fitzsimmons, and Miami Herald‘s Jim Morin.
Boris Nemtsov
• Will Israel join any anti-Russian boycotts and endanger ties with Moscow over the mysterious death of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov?. Ariel Cohen wonders, while reminiscing about his slain friend.
See also the JTA‘s Cnaan Liphshiz on the vulnerability of Russia’s Jews.
To many Russian Jews, the murder of Nemtsov — a physicist turned liberal politician, born to a Jewish mother but baptized in the Orthodox Church — is a troubling reminder of vulnerability as members of a relatively affluent minority with a history of being scapegoated, strong ties to the West and a deep attachment to cosmopolitan values and human rights.
Amid student protests and heavy security, Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, spoke at the University of Glasgow. A Scotland Herald staff-ed defended the visit but published a lengthy letter signed by a number of lecturers.

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 01 Mar 2015, 11:01 pm

Netanyahu Leaves For Washington
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. An Egyptian court designated Hamas a terror organization. If I understand YNet correctly, yesterday’s ruling was a wider designation making no distinction between the terror group’s military and political “wings.”

The decision was reached for Hamas role in terror attacks on Egyptian soil. While the January decision against> Hamas targeted only the armed wing, Saturday’s broader ruling could have greater consequences for the already strained relations between Cairo and Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip along Egypt’s border.
Already, Hamas fears Egypt will launch military strikes on Gaza like in Libya, according to Yoni Ben Menachem (Hebrew).

Hamas also has reported on Egyptian aircraft flying above the border and photographing areas in Rafiah and Khan Yunis, possibly to prepare targets.
2. Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu left for Washington, where Congress, communication, and controversy, are the key words for this week. The Washington Post previews what’s in store, and CNN asks 6 questions about Bibi’s visit. See below for lots of commentary.

US Capitol
3. Israel and the PA agreed on a deal to (hopefully) resolve the $882 million Palestinian electricity debt. And the new Palestinian city, Rawabi, was hooked up for water too.
The PA agreed to allocate NIS 300 million in tax funds collected by Israel on its behalf to the IEC to cover the last few months’ debt to the electric company, and the IEC agreed to stop power cuts to Nablus and Jenin.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Kerry asks Abbas to bar anti-Israel measures in Fatah conference (until after Israel’s elections).

• I’m impressed that AFP debunked Palestinian dam claims — and its own coverage.
But an examination of the facts on the Israeli side tells another story, shattering a long-held Palestinian myth . . .
 
AFP reported these allegations on Sunday February 22, in the form of a video and photos showing the flooding in the village of Al-Mughraqa in central Gaza.
 
The script of the video and the photo captions said Israel had opened the sluice gates of a dam. And the video included interviews with residents openly accusing the Jewish state.
 
But no such dam exists in Israel that could control the flow of water into Gaza, according to a team of AFP reporters on the ground as well as interviews with Israeli and international experts.
See also AFP’s followup video.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4mT9VhjMkk
The Toronto-based Queers Against Israeli Apartheid disbanded.

“It’s quite obvious that they would lose momentum,” Benlolo said.” With extremist massacres in Syria, ISIS going around cutting people’s heads off, Iran executing gays … why would anybody be going after Israel with its pride parades in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem?”
• Islamic Jihad took BBC reporter Quentin Sommerville on a tour of one its tunnels.

• If you call George Galloway an anti-Semite on Twitter, you’ll get a letter from his lawyers threatening legal action and demanding £5,000. I liked Tim Marshall‘s take.
• AP looks at the BDS push on US campuses.
• Globe & Mail public editor: Editors should have disclosed that dance critic Martha Schabas (related?) has “previously stated views” on Israel (for example this) in her critical review of an Israeli dance troupe.
In this case, I believe the writer should temper her comments now that she works for The Globe, and she and her editors should be aware of potential conflicts down the road.
Martha Schabas

• Gaza smuggling tunnel collapses, killing a senior Egyptian military officer inspecting it. See Associated Press coverage.
• The European Parliament addressed anti-Semitism for the very first time.
• Ambassador Ron Prosor discussed Israel’s view on the latest Mideast developments in a UN speech (video/transcript)
Commentary/Analysis
• The New York Times is entitled to its views on the Netanyahu speech, as are the authors and cartoonist here. But I can’t ignore the imbalance of anti-speech viewpoints. What should I conclude?

Isaac Herzog: Dividing the US on Israel
Roger Cohen: Did Israel put money ahead of justice?
Patrick Chappatte: Mr. Netanyahu goes to Washington
Also piling on Israel was NYT columnist is Nick Kristof, who continues his visit. Today, Kristof abuses the Bedouin issue as a means of portraying a “dark side” of Israel that he claims is represented by Bibi.

• Why is the left silent on anti-Semitism, wonders Nick Dyrenfurth.
• Montreal hateful acts call for a show of solidarity
• Lots of broken quills and spilled ink on the Israel-US-Iran triangle and Bibi’s speech on Tuesday. All I can do is list ‘em.
- Charles Krauthammer: The fatal flaw in the Iran deal
- David Brooks: Converting the ayatollahs
- Alex Fishman: Nuclear deal will be decided by Khamenei
- Dore Gold: The world moves towards a bad deal
- Yossi Kuperwasser: The struggle over the Iranian nuclear program
- Khaled Abu Toameh: Arabs: Why is Obama siding with supporters of terror?
- David Horovitz Bibi so wrong in confronting Obama, so right on Iran
- Boaz Bismuth: An impossible reality for us
- Jeff Jacoby: Spat over speech won’t change US-Israel relations
- Gerald Seib: Rift’s over the deal, not the speech (Wall St. Journal via Google News)
- William Booth: The most important speech of Netanyahu’s life

• For more critical takes on the speech, see Robert Kagan, Jeffrey Goldberg (one and two), and Mitch Potter.
See also staff-eds in the Los Angeles Times (Congress should hear out Netanyahu), Washington Post (Going nuclear over Iran) and Boston Globe (Netanyahu hurts Israel by wading into US politics).
• Last but not least, see cartoons by the Augusta Chronicle‘s Rick McKee, the Charlotte Observer‘s Kevin Siers, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune‘s Steve Sack, and syndicated cartoonist Steve Kelley.
Steve Kelley
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (If European Jews must live in fear, why is Netanyahu wrong?), Michael Totten (ISIS’ next target), and Brendan O’Neill (MI5 didn’t make Jihadi John; he made himself).
Image: CC BY-NC flickr/Russell Davies; US Capitol CC BY flickr/Phil Roeder
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream and join the IDNS on Facebook
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Fri 27 Feb 2015, 12:10 am

4911.1596 in reply to 4911.1595 
Jihadi John Unmasked
Israel Daily News Stream9 hours ago
IDNS-MenOnBench-770x400
Today’s Top Stories
1. Fleeing ISIS, the first Iraqi Christian refugee reached Israel for medical treatment. Maryam’s an 18-month-old Chaldean born with a hole in her heart.
Miles said he expects to see more Iraqi Christians receiving treatment in Israeli hospitals. He has already received requests from other families.
 
And other minorities may follow suit.
 
“Israel is more and more coming to be seen as the last refuge of sanity in the region, particularly by other embattled minorities,” said Miles.
Jihadi John
Mohammed Emwazi a.k.a. Jihadi John
2. “Jihadi John,” the masked man who beheaded hostages in several ISIS videos, has finally been identified. Everybody’s citing the Washington Post for the scoop.
But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.
3. Pass the popcorn: The Syria-Hezbollah offensive against Al-Qaida-affiliated goons in the Syrian Golan is gaining nothing.
A couple of thousand Syrian army soldiers along with a few hundred Hezbollah fighters indeed did take control of individual villages and several outposts, yet the Syrian opposition — both secular factions and members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front — also managed to capture several villages and outposts.
 
The situation in the Syrian Golan Heights, in essence, has not changed at all following the operation.
4. More Irish Times Hate: ‘Zionism and Anti-Semitism Overlap’ Columnist Eamonn McCann demonstrates his deep and utterly pathological hatred of Israel and Zionism.
Israel and the Palestinians
• After Operation Protective Edge, Mahmoud Abbas rejected a Western push to restore PA rule over Gaza, the Jerusalem Post reports. What was he thinking?
Western governments sought to advance a United Nations Security Council resolution that would confer upon the Ramallah administration a mandate to rule Gaza, which is currently in the hands of Abbas’ arch rival, Hamas.
 
After they were presented with a draft of the resolution, the Palestinian Authority rejected the document out of hand.
• PLO: We don’t have the money to pay out the $655 million verdict.
• Al Jazeera retracted its flood libel coverage and replaced the entire article with an impressive editor’s note.
• YNet reporter Elior Levy followed a literal mob of PA boycott-enforcers visiting Ramallah shops to make sure banned Israeli products were removed from the shelves.
• Israel and Jordan signed a water-sharing deal:
According to Thursday’s agreement, Jordan and Israel will share the potable water produced by a future desalination plant in Aqaba, from which salty brines will be piped to the Dead Sea. In return for its portion of the desalinated water in the South, Israel will be doubling its sales of Lake Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) water to Jordan on the countries’ northern border.
Dead Sea
Dead Sea
• The Guardian and Al-Jazeera dish out the latest “accusations” against the Mossad, based on leaked South African intelligence cables. First, Al Jazeera dishes out that the Mossad threatened to launch cyber attacks on South Africa if the government didn’t crack down on BDS activity.
And The Guardian? Israel considered drying up the Nile River and even developed a plant capable of absorbing large amounts of water. At least The Guardian had the sensibility to add this disclaimer that applies to the entire collection of cables:
The reality is often bureaucratic and banal, the information unreliable, uncheckable or available in open sources and their judgments frequently politicised and self-serving. All of those elements can be found throughout the spy cables leaked to al-Jazeera and the Guardian.
In other words, there’s no way to verify if these cables reflect reality. So what the heck are we supposed to do with these so-called disclosures other than dutifully retweet them and feign interest?
On a related note, Emanuele Ottolenghi unpacks the thin evidence The Guardian presents in its “dodgy dossier on Iran’s bomb project.”
• Iran’s Press TV asked people to tweet questions to George Galloway under the hashtag, #AskGalloway. Oh, did he get an earful.
Michael C Moynihan
Around the World
• German Jewish leader: Don’t wear yarmulkes in certain areas.
“The question is whether it makes sense to be recognizable as Jews in certain areas . . . by wearing a yarmulka, or whether it’s better to wear a different head covering. This is indeed a development that I didn’t see five years ago and that is a little frightening.”
• UN experts say Yemen’s ousted president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, amassed a personal ill-gotten fortune of $30-$62 billion during his three decades in power. More at the BBC.
• ISIS holds 150 Assyrian Christians hostage.
• British MPs want to scale down the publicly-funded BBC. A House of Commons select committee issued a report on the Beeb’s future, and it proposes some drastic changes. We’re talking about reforming and decriminalizing the license fee system to follow Germany’s model, greater transparency in the way the Beeb spends public money, abolishing the BBC Trust, and more. See coverage at The Guardian and Daily Mail.
“At best [the BBC Trust] appeared a critical friend, but to many it has seemed to be an apologist for the BBC . . . too protective of the BBC as an institution, rather than acting as an effective and objective regulator.”
• French police arrested three Al Jazeera journalists for illegally flying a drone over Paris.
Commentary/Analysis
atom• Why is Israel fighting Obama’s Iran deal? Michael Crowley says it comes down to one word: Sunset.
One person who talks regularly with members of Congress about Iran says that until recently, many were unaware a nuclear deal would have any sunset clause at all.
 
But no one close to the talks has ever denied that a comprehensive agreement which extends a temporary deal now in effect will also be of finite duration . . .
 
Iran is “a system permeated by ideology, so Khamenei dying tomorrow is not likely to change the system dramatically.”
• Blame the Israel for Palestinian terror, are you, Nicholas Kristof? In the middle of a New York Times column smearing settlers, he writes:
The violence, of course, cuts both ways, and some Israeli settlers have been murdered by Palestinians. I just as easily could have talked to settler children traumatized by Palestinian violence. But that’s the point: As long as Israel maintains these settlements, illegal in the eyes of most of the world, both sides will suffer.
• The Wall St. Journal‘s Bret Stephens discusses the Iranian nuclear talks. Is the US caving in to Tehran?
• Eli Lake and Josh Rogin tag-teamed on a Los Angeles Times op-ed on President Obama lowering the bar on an Iranian nuclear deal.
• A Daily Telegraph staff-ed doesn’t like the idea of a nuclear deal with Iran coming at any price.
Fashionable Western opinion might revolt against the idea, but we should not discount the possibility that Mr Netanyahu might have a point this time. If the West lifts sanctions and allows Iran’s leaders to fill their coffers with oil revenues, in return for graciously agreeing to defer their ambition to be a nuclear threshold state until somewhere between 2025 and 2030, then that would not be good enough. The whole point of this immense diplomatic effort was to remove the threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iran for the foreseeable future. Simply deferring that possibility by a decade or so – and then leaving the future leaders of the West to deal with the consequences – would be cowardly and unconscionable.
• Worth reading: Julius Kairey, a junior at Cornell University, examines The 4 Causes of Anti-Israelism.
• Over at i24 News, Emmanuel Navon and Yakub Halabi duke out the likelihood of the Palestinian Authority financially collapsing.
• I don’t think apologists for Palestinian terror are going to like this Jimmy Margulies cartoon.
Jimmy Margulies
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jonathan Tobin (Why the fake story about the Mossad contradicting Netanyahu?), Professor Abraham Ben-Zvi (More than just centrifuges), Robert Einhorn (Deterring an Iranian nuclear breakout), and Alex Ryvchin (Can the Jews of Europe be saved?).
 
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 25 Feb 2015, 7:21 pm

Hamas Trains Terrorists In Turkey
Israel Daily News Stream4 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Hamas isn’t only using Turkey as a political base. The terror group now doing military training on Turkish soil too. YNet reports:

The students undergo initial screening in Jordan and Turkey; and since Jordan does not allow Hamas activists to undergo military training on its soil, the recruits are sent to the headquarters in Istanbul, where they receive security clearances and are sent for military training just outside the city – under the watchful eye of Turkish intelligence officials.
 
The recruits, hundreds every year, are trained in the use of light weapons, bomb-making and covert operations, and are then sent for additional training in Syria. From there, they go the West Bank to engage in terror activities and establish clandestine terror cells.
Can’t Turkey get kicked out of NATO for this?

2. The Saudis are willing to allow Israel to overfly the kingdom to strike Iran. But, according to Israeli media reports, there’s a catch.
Cooperation with Saudi Arabia would not come free, however. According to the report, the Saudi officials said they would need to see progress between Israelis and Palestinians before having enough legitimacy to allow Israel to use their air space.
Salil Shetty
Amnesty International’s Secretary General, Salil Shetty

3. An Amnesty International report called on the world to put the brakes on war crimes and mass atrocities by halting arms shipments to bad guys such as Israel. The Jerusalem Post writes:
The report gave the impression that Israel’s actions were akin to the other atrocities that occurred in the Middle East, by listing it with countries such as Syria and Iraq.
 
Amnesty mentioned briefly that Hamas had committed war crimes for indiscriminately firing rockets at Israel. But in its five page section on Israel and the territories it rarely referenced the actions of Hamas or the Palestinian Authority. It focused almost exclusively on Israeli actions particularly during the conflict with Hamas in the summer of 2014.
And the New York Times gave Amnesty’s top dog, Salil Shetty, op-ed space to reiterate the message, and urge the permanent members of the UN Security Council to give up their veto power in cases of war crimes and atrocities.

Weapons have been allowed to flood into countries where they are used for grave abuses by states and armed groups with huge arms shipments delivered to Iraq, Israel, Russia, South Sudan and Syria last year alone.

4. Irish Times Journalist “Not Interacting With Zionists Anymore” How will the Irish Times respond to a reporter’s inappropriate tweet?
5. Responding to Rudoren: New York Times Jerusalem bureau chief Jodi Rudoren says media watchdog groups such as HonestReporting don’t base their criticisms on objective standards of journalism, but rather by an agenda. We disagree.
6. HR Radio: Dam Lies and Agendas: Press reports blame Israel for flooding Gaza by opening non-existent dams. And a response to New York Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren, who claims that groups like HonestReporting criticize her because of a political “agenda.” Click below to hear Yarden Frankl’s interview with the Voice of Israel.
Israel and the Palestinians
• An official PA boycott of products from five major Israeli companies went into effect today. But Ramallah vendors were unmoved.

“People aren’t convinced by the boycott,” he explained. “Most see it as a foolish game, a ploy to placate the public; not as a genuine patriotic move. If the PA sincerely wanted to boycott, it would have blocked the trucks from entering [the Palestinian territories] at the crossings.”
• The Arab boycott of tourism in Israel took another hit, as Turkey added Jerusalem to an official itinerary of Mideast pilgrimage sites. Hurriyet explains:

The Diyanet said they had included the al-Aqsa Mosque into the Umrah trip due to the huge demand they received from citizens
 
While the applications for the new program started on Feb. 24, the first group to visit al-Aqsa under the Umrah trip will fly from Istanbul. The citizens will stay three days in Jerusalem, four days in Medina and seven days in Mecca.
 
Officials from Diyanet said Israeli officials responded positively about the al-Aqsa visit, saying that as long as the Turkish citizens who want to visit al-Aqsa within the concept of Umrah receive a visa from Israel, they would be able to go.
I think this stems from a wider Arab debate about the wisdom of boycotting Jerusalem.

Temple Mount
• For today’s most prejudiced lede sentence, get a load of what Gregg Carlstrom wrote in the Times of London.
Israel set a ten-year record for construction in illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank last year, with the pace quickening under Binyamin Netanyahu, a report has disclosed.
Adjectives like disputed or controversial are reasonable, but as Eugene Kontorovich, Mitchell Bard, Eugene Rostow, Jeffrey Helmreich, and Moshe Dann (among others) all make clear, it’s a stretch to say settlements are illegal.

• Heh: William Jacobson traces the story of an academic boycotter who doesn’t like being boycotted.
Mideast Matters
• The White House denied that the US is pursuing a 10-year nuclear freeze with Iran. White House spokesman Josh Earnest was asked about reports in the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News) and Associated Press.

• Iran opposition unveils “secret” nuclear site in Tehran’s northeastern suburbs.
Gen. Khalifa Haftar
• The Jerusalem Post picked up on Arab reports that Libyan Gen. Khalifa Haftar plans to meet Israeli officials in Amman.
Haftar is described — for better or for worse — as the Libyan version of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and is also reportedly receiving weapons from Egypt for his battle against ISIS.
• Reuters: Egypt is aggressively bolstering Libya’s government:
Egypt is forcing Libyan airliners flying between Turkey and Jordan and the capital Tripoli to stop in eastern Libya to allow the country’s internationally recognized government to screen out potential Islamist fighters, officials said.
• Iran staged a naval drill in the Strait of Hormuz. According to AP, it featured swarming speedboats and deadly missiles attacking a mock US aircraft carrier.

• Fresh reports of Bashar Assad’s army using chemical weapons against Syrian civilians. According to the Times of London, all the attacks mention barrel bombs dropped from helicopters, noxious chemicals, and “symptoms consistent with the effects of a choking agent.”
Around the World
• Columbia U. leads list of America’s top 10 colleges “with worst anti-Semitic activity.”

According to the Center, Columbia University is listed first because it is home to the “most well-known antisemitic professors in the nation such as Rashid Khalidi and Joseph Massad, who has been accused of harassing Jewish students on multiple occasions. In addition, it is home to a highly active SJP chapter that has recently brought BDS founder Omar Barghouti and disgraced antisemitic professor Steven Salaita to campus.” . . .
 
Cornell University came in second place followed by George Mason University, Loyola University Chicago, Portland State University, San Diego State University and San Francisco State University. Rounding off the list was Temple University, University of California Los Angeles and Vassar College.
Commentary/Analysis
• Interesting discussion about the Palestinian terror trial at the New York Times Room for Debate section. Jonathan Schanzer, Matthew Levitt, and others offer their takes. See also Wall St. Journal editor Jessica Kasmer-Jacobs’s take.

• Anne Herzberg wonders: Why have non-governmental organizations and humanitarian organizations gone radio silent on the PLO terror verdict?
• If you want to insist that Benyamin Netanyahu’s “crying wolf” over Iran — as Richard Dalton does — I don’t think the leaked Mossad South Africa State Security Agency cables prove anything. Yossi Melman and Mitch Ginsburg explain why the leaks ballyhooed leaks didn’t come close to meeting expectations.
• For more commentary/analysis, see David Ignatius (A compelling argument on Iran), Michael Weiss (The cost of US-Iran rapprochement), Eyal Zisser (A US-Iran convergence), Benny Avni (Obama’s Iran deal has few fans), Yifat Erlich (Americans have understood: PA=terror), Petra Marquardt Bigman (Israeli Apartheid Week: anti-Semitism 101), Khaled Abu Toameh (Empowering women, Palestinian-style). See also staff-eds in the New York Daily News (Comeuppance for bad guys)
Featured image: CC BY-SA S. Carter via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Shetty CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Amnistia Internacional Espana; Temple Mount CC BY-NC-ND flickr/J. Griffin Stewart; Haftar via YouTube/baz
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 24 Feb 2015, 9:27 pm

Landmark Verdict for Terror Victims
Israel Daily News Stream6 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. American victims of Palestinian terror won a historic lawsuit. A jury in New York City found the PA and PLO were liable for their supporting role in six terror attacks during the Second Intifada in which 33 people were killed and 390 others injured

The victims were, awarded $218 million; under US anti-terror laws, those damages are automatically tripled. The PA said it will appeal. The Jerusalem Post writes:
The wrongful death civil damages trial could have massive diplomatic and financial implications for the PA, as it teeters, according to some dangerously, near collapse and as it tries to rally international support for its push for the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israeli soldiers and officials for alleged war crimes related to the summer Gaza war.
The Times of Israel has more background on the terror attacks and victims at the heart of the trial.

justice

2. Al-Jazeera and The Guardian released leaked “Mossad cables” that supposedly tell the inside story of differences between Bibi and the Mossad on the severity of Iran’s nuclear threat.
Yossi Melman says the cables are second-hand assessments of Mossad thinking, while Mitch Ginsburg says the cables hardly contradict the prime minister. Calling this “The Mossad Cables” is a stretch, but it’s sexier than “The South Africa State Security Agency Cables.”
As expected, Al Jazeera did not obtain an original and authentic document from the Mossad, Israel’s foreign espionage agency.
 
What they published was a South Africa State Security Agency (SSA) document that is based on a briefing given to them by the Mossad. The document from 2013 contains no secrets and any reader, or follower of public reports on Iran’s nuclear program, especially the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is familiar with the facts written in that document.
3. A secret memo reveals that Jonathan Pollard’s life-sentence was based on a sham. Sections of Caspar Weinberger’s 49-page memorandum — which was the basis for the US government to renege on a plea bargain — were recently declassified. Aaron Klein got a look-see.

4. Dam Busted Pt. 2: More Dam Lies: HonestReporting secured a correction when the Daily Mail, the world’s most-read newspaper, tried to “balance out” truth and falsehood.
Israel and the Palestinians
• As a warning to the PA about unpaid power bills, the Israel Electric Corporation cut off electricity to Nablus and Jenin for 45 minutes yesterday. The Palestinians owe the $492 million. Reuters coverage.

kiwi crossing• Resolving a months-long diplomatic impasse, New Zealand agreed to appoint separate envoys to Israel and the PA. Haaretz reports that Jonathan Curr will become the next ambassador to Israel, while former UN ambassador John McLay will serve as special envoy to the PA.
New Zealand just joined the UN Security Council, which apparently catalyzed Jerusalem and Wellington to quickly work out a solution.
• The British government announced that the next UK ambassador to Israel will be David Quarrey. He’ll replace Ambassador Matthew Gould in July.
Around the World
• The JTA picked up on an academic study (pdf format) which found rising rates of anti-Semitic activity on US campuses. The study was done last spring, before the Gaza war, so it’s a good bet the number of incidents has risen even more.

Some 54 percent of Jewish college students participating in the survey released Monday by the Louis D. Brandeis Center and Trinity College said they had experienced or witnessed anti-Semitism within the past academic year.
• According to Reuters, Iran managed to skirt international sanctions by smuggling $1 billion in US bank notes.

Commentary/Analysis
• Yonah Bob explains how the terror trial verdict could be game-changer with the ICC:

Until now, PA President Mahmoud Abbas had no personal risk going to the ICC, as the Gaza war at most, put Israel and Hamas at risk.
 
Investigating the second intifada could put him and his inner circle at legal risk – producing a situation where the ICC would be reliant on Abbas providing evidence against Israel, which in turn could present equally damaging testimony against him.
• David Horovitz: Now we know who to believe on Iran

The Obama administration claimed Israel was misrepresenting its deal with the ayatollahs. Reports from Geneva indicate Israel’s concerns were all too accurate.
Wesleyan University• Students take on Israel Apartheid Week at Wesleyan U.

No country that feels threatened, both by its allies and its enemies, will willingly make concessions at the expense of its own security. Since any ceded land could potentially fall into the hands of terrorist organizations like Hamas, we must recognize that Israel will only make territorial concessions when it feels its allies, particularly the United States, would support it under attack.
• For more commentary/analysis of the Iranian situation, see Boaz Bismuth (Crying “wolf” for a reason), Jonathan Tobin (Iran talks continue US nuclear retreat), Dr. Haim Shine (Israel must only rely on itself), Myriam Miedzian (Danish ambassador to Israel exposes Mideast double standard), and PunditFact (Why Obama won’t label ISIS “Islamic extremists”).


Featured image: CC BY-NC-SA Emiliano via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; gavel CC BY-NC-SA flickr/Rosario Esquivel;
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Post  Admin on Mon 23 Feb 2015, 8:46 pm

Phased Iranian Nuclear Deal Reportedly in the Works
Israel Daily News Stream7 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. John Kerry and Mohammad Javad Zarif met in Geneva yesterday. According to AP, a “phased” deal is taking shape.

The United States and Iran are shaping the contours of a deal that would initially freeze Tehran’s nuclear program but would allow it to slowly ramp up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms over the last years of the agreement’s duration . . .
 
The idea would be to reward Iran for good behavior over the last years of any agreement, by gradually lifting constraints on its uranium enrichment program imposed as part of a deal that would also would slowly ease sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Meanwhile, leaked documents due to be published in the coming days supposedly highlight disagreements between the Mossad and the Prime Minister’s office regarding the Iranian nuclear threat. Stay tuned.

2. Mayor Nir Barkat became an instant hero online when he and his bodyguard subdued a Palestinian who stabbed a Jewish man near city hall yesterday. The CCTV footage is all over the internet. The victim, Avraham Goldschmidt, is expected to be released from the hospital today.
Hizzoner shared his thoughts on the attack in today’s Israel HaYom. The attack came 11 years to the day after Barkat saved the life of a teenager from a bus bombing. (See this 2004 Washington Post report.)
Mitch Ginsburg
3. Israeli officials hit back at accusations that Jerusalem’s causing the collapse of the Palestinian Authority by freezing tax transfers. The Jerusalem Post writes:
One Israeli official said Jerusalem, which has held up two monthly payments and the transfer of some $200 million since the beginning of the year in response to the PA joining the International Criminal Court and initiating proceedings against Israel, has done an assessment and concluded that while “there is pressure on the PA,” there is “time” and the PA is not on the verge of collapse.
 
“We believe that people should focus on what brought about this situation, which is the PA breaking fundamental commitments to the peace process by going to the UN Security Council and the ICC,” the official said. He added that Israel could not be expected to sit idly by as the PA wages “diplomatic warfare “ against it.
 
According to the official, Israel’s response has so far been “very measured,” adding that the funds are being held in escrow and not being used to pay the PA’s large water and electricity bills, a move that would be “irreversible.”
The Palestinians, meanwhile, threatened (once again) to end security ties with Israel. (Here’s why they won’t.)

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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4. Dam Busted: Palestinian Lie Exposed: Reports circulating online that Israel flooded Gaza by opening dams don’t hold water. You see, there are no dams in southern Israel.
dam busted
Israel and the Palestinians
• A Hamas terror cell in Hebron planning suicide bombings and other terror attacks was busted.

• Kristin Landow, a senior vice president at Moody’s, told Forbes that the boycott movement against Israel only hurts the Palestinian economy. Forbes concludes:
Such trade flow asymmetry shows Palestine needs Israel, economically speaking. Yet the BDS crowd would impair economic ties between these areas, despite evidence that trade between peoples lessens outbreak of war. BDS-ers want to obliterate the vast trade surplus Israel extends to Palestine and offer nothing in its place.
• Arab League Secretary General Nabil Elaraby blamed Israel Hamas-Fatah bickering for the sorry state of reconstruction in Gaza.

• Israel to purchase 14 advanced stealth F-35 fighter jets (a.k.a. Joint Strike Fighters) from the US for $3 billion. AP reports:
The recent signing with Lockheed Martin Corp. includes an option for 17 more in the future. The first such planes are to arrive in Israel in late 2016.
F-35
An F-35 in action at a test range in 2013.

Around the World
• Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo discussed French anti-Semitism and the battle against Islamic terror in a Washington Post Q+A.

• Danish police shot down a proposal by Muslims to form a ring of peace around the Copenhagen Synagogue. The idea was inspired by Norwegian Muslims who formed a protective ring around the Oslo synagogue in a show of solidarity with the Jewish community. The Times of Israel writes:
“We have chosen to say no because of a specific security assessment of the situation we have here right now,” Copenhagen police spokesman Mads Jensen told TV 2.
• Reuters picked up on Russian reports that Moscow has offered Iran Antey-2500 missiles that could be used to defend nuclear sites from possible future air strikes.

Commentary/Analysis
• Must read: Widen the Israel discussion on campus

Contrary to what many may think, the real challenge on campus is not necessarily on the quads. The main challenge is in the academic realm. Tragically, and not without our own contribution, the academic discussion about Israel has been almost solely confined to Israel’s geopolitical hardships.
 
In the classroom, students are often exposed to Israel as a political issue usually within the context of the Israeli-Palestinian/Arab conflict. The powerfully positive and optimistic narrative of Zionism, one of the most successful national liberation movements in history, has been reduced to a narrow, one-dimensional, discussion of the conflict. Sadly, many of Israel’s well-wishers have contributed to this reduction.
How to address the challenges? Read the whole piece.

campus
• Joseph Lieberman urges Democrats to “hear out Israel’s leader.”
• For more commentary/analysis, see Walter Reich (Obama must be clear: War on extremism is a war on violent Islamism), Dani Garavelli (Growing anti-Semitism in Scotland),
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 22 Feb 2015, 6:50 pm

The Politics and Rage of Israeli Tax Transfers to the PA
Israel Daily News Stream2 hours ago

Today’s Top Stories
*** BREAKING NEWS: *** Shortly after this roundup was published, a Palestinian stabbed a Jewish man in central Jerusalem. YNet reports that the 27-year-old victim was taken to Shaare Tzedek Hospital with moderate wounds. The assailant — identified only as an 18-year-old male from Ramallah — was apprehended by Mayor Nir Barkat and his body guard, who chanced upon the attack.

1. AP reports that Palestinian officials are sweating over the New York terror trial brought against the PA by victims of Palestinian terror during the second intifada. Why?
Although the cases are not directly linked, a ruling against the Palestinian Authority in New York federal court threatens to undermine Palestinian efforts to rally international support for a brewing battle at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. With American plaintiffs seeking billions of dollars in damages, it could also deliver a tough financial blow to the cash-strapped Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the West Bank.
Lawyers for both sides made their closing arguments.

2. The US fears that the PA will collapse without more cash. And Avi Issacharoff warns that “politics” and “rage” are coming to a head over Israel’s decision to freeze PA tax transfers. Which brings us to the tweet of the day, courtesy Gregg Carlstrom. The tweeted Maan News link is in Arabic, but you can read what Saeb Erekat had to say in English at Xinhua.
Gregg Carlstrom
3. Libyan militias have captured chemical weapons from Col. Gaddafi’s stockpiles. Libyan sources told Asharq al-Awsat:

The military official warned that the caches, which contain deadly chemicals such as mustard gas and the nerve agent Sarin, may fall into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
 
The quantity of chemical weapons taken is not known.

4. BBC Rejects Tim Willcox Complaints: The BBC responds with a whitewash to HonestReporting’s complaint concerning Tim Willcox’s appalling reporting from the Paris terror attacks.
5. The Irish Independent Gets Careless With the Facts: Ireland’s largest daily erroneously states that Gaza is “surrounded by Israel” and the West Bank is “surrounded by a huge wall.”
6. The Daily Beast Lets its BDS Support Show: Taylor Swift, queen of the Zionists? The Daily Beast plays a part in a cynical BDS publicity tactic.
Taylor Swift
Israel and the Palestinians
• If anyone’s interested, Col. Richard Kemp, the former top UK commander in Afghanistan, submitted to UN investigators his views on Operation Protective Edge.

• Why is Rawabi, the first planned Palestinian city, waterless? Depends on why you ask.
• Christian Science Monitor: The Israeli cabinet approved plans to establish a “cyberdefense authority”
The authority will require the government to set higher standards of cyberdefense for its own ministries, encourage private companies to do the same, and establish a national Cyber Event Readiness Team (CERT), a sort of 911 center for responding to cyberattacks on the civilian sector.
 
Many countries such as the US already have national centers or programs designed to bridge the gap between the government and privacy sector to help improve cybersecurity. But Israeli cybersecurity experts says because of the broad powers of the new authority, Israel is taking a pioneering step and in effect leap-frogging other top cyber powers in the world.
binary

Mideast Matters
• According to the latest document leaked by the NSA’s Edward Snowden, Israeli intelligence cooperated with US and UK counterparts to electronically snoop on Iranian leaders. Haaretz explains the leaked cable du jour.

• Arab nations are deeply disturbed by the emerging Iranian nuclear deal, reports the Wall St. Journal (click via Google News).
“At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal,” said an Arab official who has discussed Iran with the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia in recent weeks.
• Israel demands UN condemn Iran’s Holocaust-themed cartoon contest.

• Iran flexes muscle in Indian Ocean
• Egypt’s largest state-owned paper accused Hamas of plotting a Cairo coup. It’s a very titillating allegation, but you have to take Egyptian media claims with a heavy dose of skepticism. This weekend, two Egyptian papers published cartoons blaming Israel and the US for ISIS.
Around the World
• More than 1,000 Muslims showed up at the Oslo Synagogue to form a protective “ring of peace” and show solidarity with the Jewish community.

• Will Nisman row hurt Israel-Argentina relations?
Miriam Margolyes
• It’s hard to imagine the Daily Telegraph finding a more twisted viewpoint on European anti-Semitism: The actress, serial Israel-hater and BDS supporter, Miriam Margolyes:
“People understandably and correctly associate Israel with Jews and Jews are killing people. Innocent people,” the 73 year-old star of Harry Potter and Dickens’ Women says. “And the Jewish community thinks it’s OK because they say that the Palestinians want to destroy Israel. And some of them do, that’s quite true, so they feel it’s alright to treat them in the way that they’re being treated. But I don’t think it is. I just can’t bear to see it.”
Commentary/Analysis
• Must read: David Ignatius discusses with Yuval Steinitz why Israel and the US are at odds over the Iranian nuclear talks. Ignatius gives Steinitz a fair and frank hearing.

People who think that a nuclear deal with Iran is desirable, as I do, need to be able to answer Steinitz’s critique.
• At what point would Israel push back against Iran-Hezbollah activity in the Syrian Golan? And how much would Israeli activity in Syria ruffle already strained Jerusalem-Washington ties? Tony Badran points out:

While the White House now sees Iran as a de facto partner against ISIS, Israel continues to see Iran as an existential threat. In order to deter Iran, Israel may well decide to go after Assad. That will also mean going against Washington, which stands on the opposite side in Syria.
• Israel’s per capita GNP made a huge leap in the past decade, jumping from $15,600 in 2003 to $40,620 by the end of December, 2014. This puts the Israeli economy and quality of life on par with France, Germany, and the UK. Guy Bechor explains the significance.

• Jan Fleischhauer nails it:
Israel is the first democracy to have extensive experience with Islamist terrorism. Before recent attacks on our own soil, Europeans loved nothing better than scorning the Jewish state’s efforts to address terror. In the future, we may need to turn to the Israelis for advice.
Chris Gunness
UNRWA director Chris Gunness

• UNRWA director Chris Gunness plugs for Gaza in The Guardian. The word “Hamas” appears absolutely nowhere in this piece. I wonder why . . .
Gaza is not a natural disaster. It is man-made, the result of deliberate political choices . . .
 
People in Gaza need urgent change: they need all parties to the conflict to abide by their obligations under international law; the removal by Israel of all obstacles to the enjoyment of human rights; and the immediate lifting of the blockade, allowing imports and exports, a necessary step to enabling economic recovery.
 
The rockets fired from Gaza must cease.
• An awful lot of commentary/analysis, on Europe, the Jews, and Israel. See Rod Liddle (It’s not Netanyahu’s fault that European Jews are afraid), Seth Frantzman (Using Netanyahu to distract from anti-Semitism), Ben-Dror Yemini (The intellectual terrorism of Roger Waters and BDS), Bernard Avishai (Why Netanyahu can’t lure a mass migration of European Jews to Israel), The Economist (European anti-Semitism: fear of a new darkness), Stephen Pollard (“You never know when they’ll turn on the Jews”), Marc Goldberg (I don’t care that Muslims are standing in front of a synagogue), Lawrence Solomon (Jewish (capital) flight from Europe), and Rick Salutin (Anti-Semitism won’t stand still).

• For more commentary/analysis on Iran, see Yaakov Amidror (An American about face, into the arms of Iran), Gary Gambill (Seven problems with John Kerry’s Iranian nuclear clock), Victor Davis Hanson (Our dangerous historical moment), and a New York Post staff-ed (Iran’s Israel intentions).

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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 18 Feb 2015, 4:00 pm

EU: Israel Not Fully Briefed on Iran Talks
Israel Daily News Streamabout 1 hour ago

Today’s Top Stories
1. Adele Biton who was injured in a 2013 stone-throwing attack, died Tuesday evening. Hundreds attended as the four-year-old girl was laid to rest this afternoon. I hope New York Times coverage is a sign, however small, that bureau chief Jodi Rudoren is moving away from her previous spin that stone-throwing’s an understandable “rite of passage and an honored act of defiance.”

“This serves as a reminder to everyone in Israel that rocks can kill,” Gershon Mesika, a leader of the West Bank settlers’ movement, said on Israeli television.
And where are you, Amira Hass?



2. Egypt and Jordan are seeking natural gas elsewhere while Israel regulators hash out the future of the Leviathan offshore gas field. Globes coverage.

“Egypt and Jordan are in great need of natural gas, but there is other natural gas in the region besides Israeli gas. The world won’t sit still and wait for Leviathan,” says Energy, Financial & Strategic Consulting CEO Amit Mor.
3. European officials confirmed to the New York Times that the US isn’t exactly keeping Israel fully up-to-date on the Iranian nuclear talks. This despite Washington’s denials to the contrary.

But European officials say that the Israeli reports, while overblown, are not entirely based on fiction. One recalled a recent call from Wendy Sherman, the No. 3 State Department official and lead American negotiator with Iran, saying she had cautioned against telling the Israelis too much because the details could be twisted to undermine a deal

Israel and the Palestinians
Tony Blair speaking in Gaza this week.

• Hamas isn’t pleased with Quartet envoy Tony Blair’s latest visit to Gaza. They claim he imposed new preconditions on international aid for Gaza’s rebuilding. Maan News writes:
Blair’s five new preconditions, says Abu Marzouk, include Palestinian reconciliation, a Palestinian political program based on a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders, and confirmation that Hamas is a Palestinian movement seeking to achieve Palestinian goals rather than being part of an Islamic movement with regional dimensions.
 
He also says Blair wants approval that the two-state solution is a final solution to the conflict and a reassuring message to Egypt that Hamas won’t be a base for “terrorism in Sinai” and that it would hold talks with the Egyptian government to “prevent terrorism.”
• Next time Palestinian youths in Israeli prisons becomes an issue, keep in mind that a lot of the kids want to be behind the bars. And its the New York Times that reports this.

Ibrahim is one of an increasing number of young Palestinians from Gaza who have been caught trying to cross into Israel in the nearly six months since the latest conflagration subsided. . .
 
Some are shot in the process. Some are harassed upon their return by Hamas, the Islamist faction that dominates Gaza, as suspected collaborators with Israel. Still, many fantasize about finding work in Israel and see even the all-but-inevitable time behind bars as worth it, given that it comes with a monthly stipend the Palestinian Authority pays all its prisoners.
 
Compared with Gaza, “the prison in Israel is like a five-star hotel,” said Youssef Abbas, 21, who did stints there after crossing the border in 2010 and 2008. He said he headed toward the fence twice more in September but was turned back, once by Gaza security forces and once by a call from his fiancée.
Around the World
Oslo synagogue

• Norwegian Muslims are planning a protective human “peace ring” around Oslo’s synagogue, reports The Local, According to the organizers’ Facebook page, 760 (so far) will come to the  synagogue on Saturday to show solidarity. An estimated 1,400 Jews live in Norway, mostly in Oslo and Trondheim.
Hajrad Arshad, the event’s 17-year-old organiser, told Norway’s state broadcaster NRK that the group aimed to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims”.
 
“We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening,” she said.
• Sweden’s public broadcaster apologized after journalist Helena Groll asked the Israeli ambassador an ugly question about anti-Semitism. The interview has been removed from the web site. (YouTube link via Elder of Ziyon.)

On Tuesday, a journalist for Sveriges Radio (SR) asked ambassador Isaac Bachman on air: “Are Jews themselves responsible for the progression of anti-Semitism?”
 
The ambassador appeared shocked by the suggestion, and replied: “I purely and simply reject the question.”


• The Times of London obtained transcripts of messages sent by Preston town council member defending their decision to fly a Palestinian flag from town hall last year during the Gaza war. The main takeaway: Council leader Peter Rankin blamed Israel for anti-Semitism.

Mr Rankin, whose wife and two children are Jewish, wrote identical responses to both those objectors, saying: “I agree antisemitism is increasing and . . . you need to think why this antisemitism is getting worse. It’s because of the actions of the IDF [Israeli defence forces] shelling schools and hospitals and killing and maiming thousands of men, women and children.”
• A British teacher was fined and could lose his job after he posted a photo of Adolf Hitler on Facebook along with an anti-Semitic message. Daily Telegraph coverage.

• French president Francois Hollande‘s question of the day:
“Must we put soldiers in front of cemeteries?”
• Reuters: Italy is deploying 4,800 soldiers around the country to augment security against possible terror attacks. Italy fears an ISIS invasion from Libya. On a related note, Michael Ledeen explains in a Wall St. Journal op-ed (click via Google News) how Italy can distinguish itself by fighting anti-Semitism and Islamic terror.

Rome
Rome’s Piazza Venezia

• Is ISIS harvesting organs?
Ambassador Mohamed Alhakim told reporters that in the past few weeks, bodies with surgical incisions and missing kidneys or other body parts have been found in shallow mass graves.
 
“We have bodies. Come and examine them,” he said. “It is clear they are missing certain parts.”
• Argentina is bracing for a massive protest march against the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman.

Commentary/Analysis
Europe• Must-read: Deutsche Welle editor-in-chief Alexander Kudascheff minces no words on European anti-Semitism.

Europeans must give Jews in their countries the feeling that as a matter of course, they stand by their side. It’s a scandal that many people appear to have got used to police protection for Jewish kindergartens, schools and synagogues.
 
Politically, it is more than alarming that criticism of Israel (for instance in the Gaza war) often turns out to be nothing but veiled anti-Semitism.
 
But Europe, and every single European, must stand united against rampant anti-Semitism.
• Martin Indyk suggests the US offer Israel a “nuclear guarantee” to ease fears of Iran. But experts who talked to the Times of Israel say an American atomic umbrella would also constrain Israel’s ability to respond to possible threats.

• For more commentary/analysis, see Khaled Abu Toameh (Hamas’s new army of children) and Dr. Reuven Berko (Iran and Hamas publicly outed).

Featured image: CC BY Jon S via flickr with additions by HonestReporting; Blair via YouTube/i24News; Rome CC BY-NC-ND flickr/Giampaolo Macorig; synagogue CC BY Wikimedia Commons/ Grzegorz Wysocki; Europe via Wikimedia Commons
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Post  Admin on Tue 17 Feb 2015, 11:34 pm

Copenhagen terror: They just don’t get it
SIMON PLOSKER February 16, 2015, 4:26 pm 50
BLOGGERSimon Plosker
Simon Plosker is the Managing Editor of HonestReporting
Follow or contact:TwitterRSSWebsiteBLOGS EDITOR

About those unsubstantiated allegations“Three young Jewish settlers”Irish journalist abuses Holocaust to attack IsraelSeeing SodaStream for myselfMazal tov New York Times!
Metro is a free newspaper handed out on major UK transport networks and other outlets. It has a readership of millions. This is its front page today:

metro160115Once again, a European Jewish community has been targeted by Islamist terrorism, this time in the Danish capital Copenhagen. For Metro, however, the story isn’t about 37-year-old Dan Uzan, murdered as he stood guard outside a synagogue.
No, it’s all about Benjamin Netanyahu and the opportunity to turn his call for European Jews to make Aliyah into the issue of the day. And splashed all over the front page no less.
And what about The Guardian? Simon Tisdall is the assistant editor and a foreign affairs columnist. His reaction to the Copenhagen terror attack reveals so much about the current trend of thought that still blames the victims for the terror.
Some choice excerpts:
The Copenhagen gunman may turn out to have a similar background [to those of the Paris terrorists], and likewise to have been a lone loose cannon. No terrorist group has claimed responsibility. But the febrile backdrop against which this individual’s crime took place is only too evident: a shooting war with Islamists across large swaths of the Muslim world, growing Islamophobia in western Europe, ever greater polarisation over Israel-Palestine – especially since last year’s Gaza conflict – and a linked rise in antisemitism.
In The Guardian’s universe, it is western actions and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that are the motivators for young Muslims in Europe to seek out Jews to kill along with cartoonists and media that they disagree with. No responsibility whatsoever lies with the perverted and fascistic ideology of Islamism that has been propagated through radical preachers and promoted with Saudi and Qatari cash.

To further buttress his willful blindness, Tisdall writes:
David Cameron and Barack Obama lined up on Sunday to defend these values [freedom of speech and religion]. They might be more usefully employed in acknowledging that many current problems can be traced back to the Anglo-American destabilisation of post-2003 Iraq and to the west’s connivance in the suppression of Arab spring pro-democracy uprisings.
But perhaps most insultingly, Tisdall concludes:

In the short term, calls for increased security for frightened Jewish communities, including in Britain, are wholly understandable. Muslim communities deserve similar consideration.
Both Jews and Muslims deserve to live their lives in Europe. But only Jews are being murdered on the streets of European capitals simply for being Jewish. That The Guardian and Simon Tisdall believe that there is some false equivalence between Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe demonstrates just how warped their ideologically inspired view of this serious situation is.

Both Metro and The Guardian just don’t get it.
Read more: Copenhagen terror: They just don't get it | Simon Plosker | The Blogs | The Times of Israel http://blogs.timesofisrael.com/copenhagen-terror-they-just-dont-get-it/#ixzz3S2zyYAss 
Follow us: @timesofisrael on Twitter | timesofisrael on Facebook


Copenhagen’s Jewish Radio Silenced for Security Reasons
Israel Daily News Stream 9 hours ago
Today’s Top Stories
1. Copenhagen’s Jewish community radio station went off the air for security reasons. Radio host Abraham Kopenhagen turned down an offer of police protection for Radio Shalom.

“We must do as instructed, but we will not have police standing outside the door,” he said. “We would rather close down until it is quiet again. I do not know how long that will take.”
Erdogan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

2. This is truly bizarre. According to Turkish opposition figures, the ruling AK Party “spent $65.4 million up until 2013 on efforts to portray itself as a pro-Israeli administration while pretending to its voter base that it is one of Israel’s staunchest critics.”
He said that the AK Party government is exploiting the sensitivities of Turkish people to the Palestine-Israel conflict in order to solidify its support among its conservative voter base.
 
“On the one hand they portray themselves to the Turkish people as being in a constant fight with the Israel while on the other hand they worked hard to make the Jewish lobby in the US believe that the AK Party is a pro-Israeli administration and paid millions of dollars to that end. This is completely hypocritical,” said Erdogdu.

3. For the first time, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged the open secret that Hezbollah’s fighting ISIS in Iraq. The Washington Post writes:
He described Hezbollah’s presence as small and “in its earliest stages.”
 
He also said new volunteers are welcome.
4. Hey BDSers! Let’s Get Serious! Elijah Granet, the winner of HonestReporting’s Blankfeld Award, congratulates student BDS activists for openly demonstrating the idiocy of anti-Israel divestment campaigns on campus.

5. NBC News: Can You Shoot Your Gun for Us? Victims of Palestinian terror describe how Brian Williams dishonestly manipulated an interview, leaving a grieving Israeli family sucker-punched.

Israel and the Palestinians
• Two senior Fatah officials survived assassination attempts, reports the Jerusalem Post.

• Terrorist or activist? You be the judge. Rasmieh Odeh was convicted of placing a bomb inside a Jerusalem supermarket that killed two people and injured nine others and for planting another bomb outside the British consulate, which only damaged the building. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine took credit for the 1969 attacks.
Odeh would go on to spend the next 10 years in an Israeli prison before being released in a 1980 prisoner swap. She is now about to be deported from the US for lying to immigration officials about her involvement in the attack and has apparently run out of legal appeals.
This Associated Press headline calls Odeh an activist. Of course, activism isn’t what killed Edward Joffe and his best friend Leon Kanner . . .
Associated Press
• Shimon Peres sat down with the Los Angeles Times for a Q+A touching on Israeli-US relations, Iran, the Palestinians, and ISIS.
Around the World
• Details about the Copenhagen terrorist, Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein, are coming to light. He’s a Danish national of Palestinian descent. He was imprisoned for stabbing a man and police are looking into the possibility that he was radicalized behind bars.

And in a Facebook post, not long before the attacks, Hussein pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. More at CNN, The Guardian, and Reuters.
• Egypt wants UN-backed coalition against Libya
• Egypt and France signed a deal to purchase advanced war planes. AP notes:
The deal for 24 of Dassault Aviation’s multi-role Rafale aircraft as well as a frigate and munitions, underlines how many are willing to overlook Egypt’s poor human rights record when it comes to weapons sales as Cairo emerges as a key player in the fight against the Islamic State group.
• Police in Madison, Wisconsin, are investigating an outbreak of anti-Semitic vandalism. According to WKOW, around 30 homes and cars were defaced with hate messages and symbols.

• If you’re wondering why the PA wants a role in the FBI’s investigation of the shooting of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, the JTA explains:
The three murder victims — sisters Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, and Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor’s husband, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23 — were of Palestinian descent.
Chapel Hill murders
Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha

Commentary/Analysis
• I think the term, “a perfect storm” is over-used, but as David Ignatius points out, it’s an apt description for the confluence of a lot of key dates in March. Mark your calendars — you’ve been warned . . .

The Iran issue will come to a head next month. Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is scheduled for March 3. Israeli elections, in which Netanyahu is running against a coalition of more moderate Israeli politicians, will take place March 17. The deadline for reaching a framework deal in the Iran negotiations is March 24. It’s a month that could shape the future of the Middle East, not to mention the U.S.-Israeli relationship, for years to come.
money• Over at Spiked, Brendan O’Neill rips British artists who shun Israeli “blood money” but accept Britain’s.

It would not be surprising to discover that the vast majority of creatives on this Israel-shunning list had, at some point, received money from the public purse in Britain, because that’s what creatives do these days.
 
So, that question again: why is it bad to have anything to do with institutions linked to the Israeli government because of that whole Gaza thing but fine and dandy to take money from institutions linked to the British government despite the Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya thing? Are Israel’s wars somehow worse than Britain’s? Is being killed by a solider from the Jewish State somehow worse than being killed by a soldier of the British state? Is Israel more evil than Britain? Is Israel’s money bloodier than British money?
 
Come on. Give us answers.
 
You criticise those who say that any protest or boycott against Israel is anti-Semitic, and I agree with you that there’s sometimes a kneejerk tendency to interpret every political protest against Israel’s actions as anti-Jewish in sentiment. But that might be because there’s such a glaring double standard in how Israel is judged and treated by radical Westerners, including you, in comparison to how the British government is judged and treated, or the French government, or the American government, none of which you are actively boycotting.
 
So, help to offset this search for the ‘real reason’ for boycotts of Israel by giving us a straight answer to one of the great moral conundrums of our time: why are artists so allergic to working with a government whose army killed 2,000 people in Gaza last year yet will demand the right to spend the cash of a government whose army killed 150,000 people in Iraq?
• For more commentary/analysis, see Ralph Ellis (Anti-Semitism in Europe: Will it cause Jews to leave?),Keith Kahn-Harris (If British Jews are attacked, respect our dignity — and keep your agenda to yourself), Dr. Dov Levitan (Denmark will grieve, then forget), Wes Pruden (As anti-Semitism makes a comeback, Obama remains ignorant),and  Zvi Barel (In joining war on ISIS, Egypt is now a target).

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