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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 19 Aug 2013, 5:28 pm

HONEST REPORTING
 Israel’s lobbying Washington and Europe to support the Egyptian government. The Jerusalem Post and NY Times explains the effort, as well as Israel’s conundrum in a situation where no matter what you do, you have to hold your nose. The latter explains:

With the European Union planning an urgent review of its relations with Egypt in a meeting Monday, the message, in part, is that concerns about democracy and human rights should take a back seat to stability and security because of Egypt’s size and strategic importance. . . .

Most Israeli experts on Egypt share the government’s support for the Sisi government and view Mr. Morsi’s Islamist Muslim Brotherhood movement as a dangerous threat. But several said Israel’s diplomatic push was risky because it could promote a backlash in Egypt and across the Arab world and hurt Israel’s credibility as a democracy.

Two years ago, US neocons split with Israel over how to approach the nascent Egyptian uprising. It’s essentially the same debate, except everyone’s a little older, and hopefully a little wiser.

By the way, there was some interesting journo chatter on Twitter about Herb Keinon and Jodi Rudoren’s source. Whatever the case, the Wall St. Journal reports that Egypt and the West appear to be on a collision course.

Israel's message on Egypt: Keep Cairo from falling, then worry about democracy 
By HERB KEINON  08/18/2013 23:27
  
Official says army is only actor that can assert authority, if it is dismissed, Egypt to go "way of Syria, Tunisia, Libya." A rally in protest against the recent violence in Egypt, in Istanbul.
Israel’s message to Washington and key European capitals regarding Egypt is that the key issue is simply keeping the country from falling apart.

“The name of the game right now is not democracy,” one official said Sunday, relaying Israel’s position on the Egyptian turmoil. “The name of the game is that there needs to be a functioning state. After you put Egypt back on track, then talk about restarting the democratic process there.”
The official said that in the present reality the only actor that can assert authority in Egypt and keep it from descending into chaos is the military.

“If you dismiss that actor, Egypt goes the way of Syria, Tunisia and Libya,” he said. “Like it or not, no one else can run the country right now.”

The official said that Jerusalem was conveying this message to governments interested in hearing the evaluation of Israel – which, unlike the US or the European countries, neighbors Egypt and will be impacted directly by the developments there.

The official said it was one thing to sit in Washington and Brussels and do “dry” evaluations, and quite another to sit on Egypt’s border and face the prospect of a critically important neighboring country descending into anarchy.

The official’s comments came amid growing calls in the US to cut its $1.5 billion annual aid package to Egypt, 
http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/US-lawmakers-join-the-ranks-urging-suspension-of-aid-to-Egypt-323493
and as the EU announced Sunday it would hold an urgent meeting in the coming days to reevaluate ties with Cairo following the military’s bloody clampdown last week on the Muslim Brotherhood.

Acknowledging that the situation in Egypt was “really bad,” and one that Israel “does not like,” the official said that “you can scold [Gen.

Abdel Fattah el-] Sisi all you wish, but at the end of the day, you want a functional government to rule the country.”

Otherwise, he said, the country would risk falling into an anarchy that would be exploited by local and global jihad forces.

The official said Israel’s message was that the world had to look squarely at the situation in Egypt as it is, and not think of what might have been done differently.

“This is where we are now,” he said. “We are not somewhere in the world of dreams or illusions. And we are in a bad spot. You can argue that two months ago we could have done this or that, but we have to think about how to get out of this bad spot. And if you don’t, it will only get worse.”

The official said Israel’s position was that the military should be supported to help get the country back on track.

Asked what supporting the military meant exactly, he said “not taking things away from them, not harming or threatening them.”

At the same time, he added, the expectation of a reduction in violence should be made known. He pointed out, however, that “dozens” of Egyptian soldiers and policemen have been killed over the past week.

The official denied a New York Times report on Saturday that – citing Western diplomats – claimed Israel was in “heavy communication” with Sisi and was “reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.”

“That is nonsense,” the official.

“Do we control Congress? We have no ability to give reassurances about American aid.”

As evidence of that, the official noted that two staunch supporters of Israel in the Senate, John McCain (R-Arizona) and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), were calling for US President Barack Obama to suspend the aid to Egypt.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 18 Aug 2013, 8:53 pm

Today’s Top Stories
1. Ban Ki-moon admitted that the UN is biased against Israel. YNet was on hand when the Secretary General confirmed what we already knew:

Responding to a student who said Israelis felt their country was discriminated against in the international organization, Ban confirmed that there was a biased attitude towards the Israeli people and Israeli government, stressing that it was “an unfortunate situation.”

2. Did Israel undercut American pressure on Gen. Sisi? That’s what the NY Times reports:

The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

The Israeli government issued a statement late Saturday denying that claim as “baseless and without foundation.”

See Reuters for more on Israel’s view of the turmoil. Meanwhile, Ehud Barak told CNN‘s Fareed Zakaria the world should back Gen. Sisi.

John Kerry

3. After John Kerry encouraged Israel to release 26 Palestinian prisoners last week, the State Dept. gave Israel some grief over it. One of the freed terrorists, Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, murdered an American citizen in1989. Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, a former US Marine, was stabbed to death near Ariel.

Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told The Daily Beast Thursday, “The State Department conveyed the administration’s concerns regarding the release of this prisoner to the government of Israel, while recognizing the victim was a dual national of Israel and the United States.”

Harf said the Israeli side “acknowledged our views, but it was ultimately their decision to determine which prisoners to release. This is a very difficult situation for all involved, and further highlights the importance of making these negotiations successful.”

If Foggy Bottom’s “concerned” by the release of one murderer, how much more so should Israelis be “concerned” about releasing the rest? Or should the State Dept. consider it a US sacrifice for peace?

4. Sympathy for the Devils: Four years ago, The Economist was fire and brimstone against the early release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdelbaset al-Megrahi. None of that outrage was evident when Israel released “only” 26 Palestinian prisoners. Why the turnabout.

------------------------------------------------
UN chief admits bias against Israel
http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4418776,00.html
Speaking during meeting with students in Jerusalem, Ban Ki-moon says Jewish state sometimes discriminated against due to Mideast conflict
Omri Efraim
Published:08.16.13, 20:20 / Israel News

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met with students at the UN headquarters in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, and admitted that his organization was biased against Israel. 
Responding to a student who said Israelis felt their country was discriminated against in the international organization, Ban confirmed that there was a biased attitude towards the Israeli people and Israeli government, stressing that it was "an unfortunate situation."
---------------------------------------------------------------
How American Hopes for a Deal in Egypt Were Undercut
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/world/middleeast/pressure-by-us-failed-to-sway-egypts-leaders.html?_r=1&pagewanted=all&
Hundreds of supporters of the ousted president were injured on Wednesday when Egyptian security forces raided their encampments in Cairo.
By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK, PETER BAKER and MICHAEL R. GORDON
Published: August 17, 2013 
CAIRO — For a moment, at least, American and European diplomats trying to defuse the volatile standoff in Egypt thought they had a breakthrough.
As thousands of Islamist supporters of the ousted president, Mohamed Morsi, braced for a crackdown by the military-imposed government, a senior European diplomat, Bernardino León, told the Islamists of “indications” from the leadership that within hours it would free two imprisoned opposition leaders. In turn, the Islamists had agreed to reduce the size of two protest camps by about half.

An hour passed, and nothing happened. Another hour passed, and still no one had been released.

The Americans heightened the pressure. Two senators visiting Cairo, John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, met with Gen. Abdul-Fattah el-Sisi, the officer who ousted Mr. Morsi and appointed the new government, and the interim prime minister, Hazem el-Beblawi, and pushed for the release of the two prisoners. But the Egyptians brushed them off.

“You could tell people were itching for a fight,” Mr. Graham recalled in an interview. “The prime minister was a disaster. He kept preaching to me: ‘You can’t negotiate with these people. They’ve got to get out of the streets and respect the rule of law.’ I said: ‘Mr. Prime Minister, it’s pretty hard for you to lecture anyone on the rule of law. How many votes did you get? Oh, yeah, you didn’t have an election.’ ”

General Sisi, Mr. Graham said, seemed “a little bit intoxicated by power.”

The senators walked out that day, Aug. 6, gloomy and convinced that a violent showdown was looming. But the diplomats still held out hope, believing they had persuaded Egypt’s government at least not to declare the talks a failure.

The next morning, the government issued a statement declaring that diplomatic efforts had been exhausted and blaming the Islamists for any casualties from the coming crackdown. A week later, Egyptian forces opened a ferocious assault that so far has killed more than 1,000 protesters.

All of the efforts of the United States government, all the cajoling, the veiled threats, the high-level envoys from Washington and the 17 personal phone calls by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, failed to forestall the worst political bloodletting in modern Egyptian history. The generals in Cairo felt free to ignore the Americans first on the prisoner release and then on the statement, in a cold-eyed calculation that they would not pay a significant cost — a conclusion bolstered when President Obama responded by canceling a joint military exercise but not $1.5 billion in annual aid.

The violent crackdown has left Mr. Obama in a no-win position: risk a partnership that has been the bedrock of Middle East peace for 35 years, or stand by while longtime allies try to hold on to power by mowing down opponents. From one side, the Israelis, Saudis and other Arab allies have lobbied him to go easy on the generals in the interest of thwarting what they see as the larger and more insidious Islamist threat. From the other, an unusual mix of conservatives and liberals has urged him to stand more forcefully against the sort of autocracy that has been a staple of Egyptian life for decades.

For now the administration has decided to keep the close relationship with the Egyptian military fundamentally unchanged. But the death toll is climbing, the streets are descending into chaos, and the government and the Islamists are vowing to escalate. It is unclear if the military’s new government can reimpose a version of the old order now that the public believes street protests have toppled two leaders in less than three years, or if, after winning democratic elections, the Islamists will ever again compliantly retreat.

As Mr. Obama acknowledged in a statement on Thursday, the American response turns not only on humanitarian values but also on national interests. A country consumed by civil strife may no longer function as a stabilizing ally in a volatile region.

An Enduring Headache

Mr. Obama has found Egypt’s tumultuous political transition a headache for more than two years. Accused of sticking for too long by President Hosni Mubarak, the longtime ruler in Egypt who was ousted by a popular uprising in 2011, and then criticized when he later abandoned him, Mr. Obama gambled on Mr. Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood leader elected a year ago. He found Mr. Morsi a useful and pragmatic partner in handling issues like a violent flare-up in Gaza. But Mr. Obama became convinced that the Egyptian was not being inclusive enough at home to stabilize his own country.

When Secretary of State John Kerry visited Cairo in the spring, he urged Mr. Morsi to reach out to his opposition. If not, Mr. Kerry warned, Mr. Morsi would set the stage for another uprising, this time against himself. But the implied threat only hardened Mr. Morsi’s resolve not to bend, his aides said.

Mr. Morsi’s failure to incorporate other factions, his habit of demonizing his critics as part of a treasonous conspiracy and a near-calamitous economic crisis combined to fire up opposition to the Islamists, which spilled out in street protests. Hard-liners with the military and intelligence services who always despised the Muslim Brotherhood saw that the group’s experiment in power might have left it more vulnerable than at any time in its eight decades underground.

The Obama administration warned the military against stepping in, noting that a coup would require an aid cutoff under American law. But on July 3 the military moved in, detaining Mr. Morsi and rounding up scores of his allies.

Mr. Obama made no public comments, opting instead for tempered written statements. He skirted the aid law by refusing to determine whether Mr. Morsi’s ouster constituted a coup, while Mr. Kerry and Mr. Hagel pressed the military to restore civilian governance as soon as possible.

Although Mr. Obama agreed not to restrict the aid, he postponed the delivery of four F-16 fighter jets. At the time, officials discussed pulling out of joint military exercises called Bright Star scheduled for September, but the White House opted to wait to see if the generals would follow through on their threat to clear out pro-Morsi protesters.

Western governments took a wait-and-see approach even after the military committed its first mass killing, shooting more than 60 supporters of Mr. Morsi at a sit-in on July 8. Western diplomats did not engage in earnest until July 24, when General Sisi, in dark sunglasses and military regalia, delivered a fiery speech asking the public to turn out for demonstrations giving him a “mandate” to take on the Islamists. Security forces killed 80 more Morsi supporters in their second mass shooting on the day of the demonstration.

The next morning, Morsi aides and Brotherhood leaders say, their phones began ringing with American and European diplomats fearing an imminent blood bath.

The administration enlisted people on opposite sides of the contest unfolding in Egypt. Diplomats from Qatar, a regional patron of the Muslim Brotherhood, agreed to influence the Islamists. The United Arab Emirates, determined opponents of the Islamists, were brought in to help reach out to the new authorities.

But while the Qataris and Emiratis talked about “reconciliation” in front of the Americans, Western diplomats here said they believed the Emiratis were privately urging the Egyptian security forces to crack down.

Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan, the Emirati foreign minister, went to Washington last month and urged the Americans not to cut off aid. The emirates, along with Saudi Arabia, had swiftly supported the military takeover with a pledge of billions of dollars, undermining Western threats to cut off critical loans or aid.

The Israelis, whose military had close ties to General Sisi from his former post as head of military intelligence, were supporting the takeover as well. Western diplomats say that General Sisi and his circle appeared to be in heavy communication with Israeli colleagues, and the diplomats believed the Israelis were also undercutting the Western message by reassuring the Egyptians not to worry about American threats to cut off aid.

Israeli officials deny having reassured Egypt about the aid, but acknowledge having lobbied Washington to protect it.

When Senator Rand Paul, Republican of Kentucky, proposed an amendment halting military aid to Egypt, the influential American Israel Public Affairs Committee sent a letter to senators on July 31 opposing it, saying it “could increase instability in Egypt and undermine important U.S. interests and negatively impact our Israeli ally.” Statements from influential lawmakers echoed the letter, and the Senate defeated the measure, 86 to 13, later that day.

Building Connections

Mr. Hagel tried to forge a connection with General Sisi, the defense minister who has become the country’s de facto leader. Mr. Hagel, a 66-year-old decorated Vietnam War veteran, felt he and General Sisi, a 58-year-old graduate of the United States Army War College in Pennsylvania, “clicked right away” when they met in April, an American official said.

In a series of phone calls, Mr. Hagel pressed General Sisi for a transition back to civilian rule. They talked nearly every other day, usually for an hour or an hour and a half, lengthened by the use of interpreters. But General Sisi complained that the Obama administration did not fully appreciate that the Islamists posed a threat to Egypt and its army. The general asked Mr. Hagel to convey the danger to Mr. Obama, American officials said.

“Their whole sales pitch to us is that the Muslim Brotherhood is a group of terrorists,” said one American officer, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the dialogue.

American and European diplomats hoped to reinforce the few officials in Egypt’s interim cabinet who favored an inclusive approach, led by Mohamed ElBaradei, the vice president and Nobel Peace Prize-winning former diplomat. After the second massacre, on July 26, Mr. ElBaradei wanted to resign, but Mr. Kerry talked him out of it, arguing that he was the most potent, if not the only, voice for restraint in the government.

But General Sisi never trusted Mr. ElBaradei, and on the other side was a small core of military officers close to the general who saw a chance to finally rid Egypt of the Muslim Brotherhood. Among them were Gen. Mohammed al-Tohami, a mentor and father figure to General Sisi and now head of the intelligence service, and Gen. Mahmoud Hegazy, the general’s protégé and chosen successor as head of military intelligence. And with no serious reprisals against Egypt after two mass killings, many analysts here argue that the hard-liners could only feel emboldened.

Mr. Kerry sent his deputy, William J. Burns, to Cairo, where he and a European Union counterpart scrambled to de-escalate the crisis.

Under a plan they worked out, the Muslim Brotherhood would limit demonstrations to two squares, thin out crowds and publicly condemn violence. The government would issue a similar statement, commit to an inclusive political process allowing any party to compete in elections and, as a sign of good faith, release Saad al-Katatni, the Muslim Brotherhood speaker of the dissolved Parliament, and Aboul-Ela Maadi, founder of a more moderate Islamist party. Both faced implausible charges of instigating violence, and Western diplomats felt that before the takeover, Mr. Katatni in particular had proved himself a pragmatic voice for compromise.

But on Aug. 4, the interim government surprised the diplomats by bringing charges for incitement to murder against the Brotherhood’s supreme guide, Mohamed Badie, who was in hiding, and Khairat el-Shater, its most influential leader, who had been detained.

Adding to the shock of the new charges, they came just hours before Mr. Burns and his European partner, Mr. León, were allowed to see Mr. Shater. Mr. Shater embraced the need for dialogue, but did not endorse the proposals.

Still, the diplomats grew hopeful that they had gotten through to the government. On the morning of Aug. 6, Brotherhood leaders and diplomats said, Mr. León called Amr Darrag, an adviser to Mr. Morsi and top negotiator for the Islamist coalition, and told him to expect Mr. Katatni and Mr. Maadi to be released within hours. When nothing happened, Mr. Darrag called Mr. León back, the Brotherhood officials said. Do not worry, Mr. León said, arguing that the new government must have put the release off by a day to avoid the appearance of bowing to American pressure.

Heightened Tensions

Mr. McCain and Mr. Graham arrived in Cairo amid increasing tensions. They went first to see Ambassador Anne W. Patterson. “You could see it on her face, that nobody’s listening,” Mr. Graham said. He said administration officials asked them to press for the release of the two Islamists and to push the Brotherhood to pull people off the street.

When the senators asked government officials to release the Islamist leaders, one woman on the Egyptian side stormed out. The senators warned that the United States would ultimately cut off aid if the military did not set elections and amend the Constitution.

Mr. Graham recalled arguing with General Sisi. “If Morsi had to stand for re-election anytime soon, he’d lose badly,” the senator remembered saying. “Do you agree?”

“Oh, absolutely,” the general answered.

“Then what you’re doing now is making him a martyr,” Mr. Graham said. “It’s no longer about how badly they ruled the country and how they marginalized the democratic institutions. It’s now about you.”

The meeting with the prime minister was even tenser. As they walked out, Mr. Graham said, he told Mr. McCain, “If this guy’s voice is indicative of the attitude, there’s no pulling out of this thing.”

When Egyptian state news media leaked reports of an imminent government statement that diplomacy had failed, the diplomats were stunned, and scrambled to hold it off.

The next day, Mr. León, the European envoy, assured the Islamists that although the prisoner release had fallen through, at least the Egyptians had agreed to pull back the statement, Brotherhood leaders said.

A half-hour later, it was issued nonetheless. “The phase of diplomatic efforts has ended,” it declared, calling the sit-ins “nonpeaceful” and obliquely blaming the Muslim Brotherhood for any coming violence.

The Americans and Europeans were furious, feeling deceived and manipulated. “They were used to justify the violence,” Mr. Darrag said in an interview. “They were just brought in so that the coup government could claim that the negotiations failed, and, in fact, there were no negotiations.”

Mr. Burns left Cairo with a sense of foreboding. Western diplomats in Cairo said that, despite their public statements at the time to the contrary, it was then that they, too, gave up hope.

Mr. Hagel made a last stab at holding off violence. He called General Sisi late on the afternoon of Aug. 9, and they talked for 90 minutes. “Secretary Hagel was strongly urging restraint,” said an American official briefed on the conversation. The secretary recited the same talking points he had been delivering for weeks: avoid violence, respect freedom of assembly and move toward an inclusive political transition.

But within the Egyptian government, the only real debate was about tactics and blame. Mohamed Ibrahim, the interior minister under Mr. Morsi who had kept his job by refusing to protect the Islamists, was convinced that brute force was the only way to break up sit-ins by tens of thousands of Morsi supporters. But diplomats and Egyptian officials said Mr. Ibrahim was worried that if the assaults went badly he might be held up as a scapegoat.

Last Sunday, Interior Ministry officials told journalists that the police would move in at dawn to choke off the sit-ins, cutting off food and water and gradually escalating nonlethal force. But overnight, diplomats said, Mr. Ibrahim reconsidered, worried that a gradual approach would expose the police to Brotherhood retaliation, for which he could be blamed.

Two days later, Mr. Ibrahim and the government told Mr. ElBaradei that they had a new plan to minimize casualties: maximum force to get it over with quickly, the Western diplomats said. And the military had agreed to support the police. But the attack the next morning left more than 600 dead, according to official figures that soon grew. By midday, Mr. ElBaradei had resigned.

As images of Egyptian security forces opening fire flickered across television screens in Washington, Mr. Hagel called General Sisi again and warned him that the violence had put “important elements of our longstanding defense cooperation at risk,” as he put it in a statement afterward. Mr. Kerry made the same points in tandem to the interim foreign minister, Nabil Fahmy.

Mr. Obama announced the cancellation of Bright Star exercises without saying anything about the aid. As of Friday, American officials were still working phone lines to Cairo. Mr. Kerry talked with his Egyptian counterpart, urging the government to appoint an envoy to negotiate directly with the Islamists, United States officials said. But the diplomats and military officers in the two countries seemed to be talking past each other.

“The million-dollar question now,” said one American military officer, “is where is the threshold of violence for cutting ties?”


David D. Kirkpatrick reported from Cairo, and Peter Baker and Michael R. Gordon from Washington. Reporting was contributed by Eric Schmitt, Mark Mazzetti and Thom Shanker from Washington; Mark Landler from Chilmark, Mass.; and Steven Erlanger from London.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Palestinian Prisoner Freed by Israel Has American Blood on His Hands
by Eli Lake Aug 16, 2013 4:45 AM EDT
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/08/16/palestinian-prisoner-freed-by-israel-has-american-blood-on-his-hands.html
At the behest of the State Department, Israel began releasing Palestinian prisoners this week in a deal to get peace talks going. One of them killed an American. Eli Lake reports
For decades, the United States has urged foreign governments not to free prisoners who have killed Americans. But a man who murdered an American was freed this week by Israel in a prisoner-release deal encouraged by Secretary of State John Kerry.  
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (C) holds hands with Palestinian prisoners who were released from Israeli prisons during celebrations in the West Bank city of Ramallah early August 14, 2013. (Mohamad Torokma/Reuters)


Among those released Tuesday as an inducement to the Palestinian Authority to return to peace negotiations was Al-Haaj Othman Amar Mustafa, a Palestinian convicted in 1991 of killing Frederick Steven Rosenfeld, who the Philadelphia Inquirer at the time of his death reported was a former U.S. Marine and U.S. citizen.

Mustafa was sentenced by an Israeli military court to life after he and two other assailants murdered Rosenfeld in 1989, 21 years after the former Marine emigrated to Israel. According to an Associated Press account of Mustafa’s trial before a military court, Mustafa and two others met Rosenfeld as he was hiking near the settlement where he lived in Ariel. At first, the three men befriended Rosenfeld and even posed for a photo. “Minutes after the picture was taken, the three stabbed Rosenfeld and left him for dead, according to their confession,” the AP dispatch said.

Today Mustafa is a free man, one of 26 Palestinians released from Israeli jails on Tuesday, the first group of a total of 104 prisoners Israel has promised to free in exchange for Palestinian participation in a new peace process. The list of prisoners was negotiated with the Palestinian Authority, at the urging of Secretary Kerry.

Marie Harf, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told The Daily Beast Thursday, “The State Department conveyed the administration’s concerns regarding the release of this prisoner to the government of Israel, while recognizing the victim was a dual national of Israel and the United States.”

Harf said the Israeli side “acknowledged our views, but it was ultimately their decision to determine which prisoners to release. This is a very difficult situation for all involved, and further highlights the importance of making these negotiations successful.”

Since 2009, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has refused to negotiate with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government until and unless Israel froze construction in the West Bank as well as east Jerusalem, the city Israel regards as its capital. Abbas had negotiated with Netanyahu’s predecessor even as Israel continued to build housing and other structures in the West Bank and Jerusalem as late as 2008, but he changed his position after President Obama began to publicly demand such a freeze from Netanyahu. Abbas did meet with Israeli negotiators once in 2010 as an Israeli settlement freeze was expiring, but the meeting failed to restart the long-dormant peace process.

Kerry came around to the position that the settlement freeze was an obstacle to peace and began looking for another way to bring Abbas to the negotiations table.
Kerry came around to the position that the settlement freeze was an obstacle to peace and began looking for another way to bring Abbas to the negotiations table. The agreement included Israel’s commitment to release 104 Palestinians detained for crimes committed before the Oslo peace process began in earnest in 1994.

Mustafa was one of those prisoners. Reuters reported on Wednesday that when he arrived back home to the West Bank, he was greeted as a hero. The story also said released prisoners would be receiving a stipend from the Palestinian Authority worth about $1,120 a month.

“As I understand the facts, there are only two possibilities,” said Elliott Abrams, a deputy national security adviser in the George W. Bush administration and a scholar at the Council on Foreign Relations. “It was a very bad screwup by the State Department not to demand that he remain incarcerated or it is a silent change of policy. I believe the policy has always been that we oppose the release of anyone who has committed terrorism against Americans.”

Abrams pointed to U.S. public statements in 2005 after Germany freed Mohammed Ali Hammadi, a member of Hezbollah who participated in the murder of U.S. Navy diver Robert Stethem during the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847. When Hammadi was released in 2005, a State Department spokesman said, “We’re going to make every effort to see that he stands trial in the United States for what he did and face justice.”
Hammadi remains at large. 
Like The Daily Beast on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates all day long.

Eli Lake is the senior national-security correspondent for Newsweek and The Daily Beast. He previously covered national security and intelligence for The Washington Times. Lake has also been a contributing editor at The New Republic since 2008 and covered diplomacy, intelligence, and the military for the late New York Sun. He has lived in Cairo and traveled to war zones in Sudan, Iraq, and Gaza. He is one of the few journalists to report from all three members of President Bush’s axis of evil: Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.
For inquiries, please contact The Daily Beast at editorial@thedailybeast.com.

---------------------------------------------------
Sympathy for the Devils

AUGUST 17, 2013 23:13
BY PESACH BENSON
http://honestreporting.com/sympathy-for-the-devils/
The Economist thinks Israel was stingy with last week’s prisoner release.

As a measure of the seriousness of negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, the number of Palestinian prisoners released on the eve of talks, say pessimists, is a gloomy barometer. When the two sides sat down to negotiate two decades ago, after signing the Oslo accords in 1993, Israel freed 2,000 Palestinians in a single year. For the next couple of years it released, on average, around 1,000 a year. In later years that number slumped to a few hundred. Now, to coincide with the fresh round of talks that started in Jerusalem on August 14th, Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has freed just 26.

Even this has provoked an outcry in Israel.

Surprised  that The Economist is so dismissive of Israeli terror victims’ pain?

Maybe a little. You see, the paper tapped into the very same distress when it condemned Abdelbaset al Megrahi’s release from prison back in 2009. Scottish authorities released the Lockerbie bomber on “compassionate grounds” after being diagnosed with cancer. Megrahi returned to a hero’s welcome in Libya and lived another three years.

Abdelbaset al-Megrahi
Hero’s welcome for Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi.

What The Economist articulated then applies to the 26 murderers now enjoying their ill-deserved freedom:

The reason to leave Mr Megrahi in prison was less practical than symbolic. The atrocity of which he was eventually found guilty in 2001 killed 270 people (189 of them Americans). Terrorism is sometimes fuzzily thought to have a sort of intellectual respectability that more  banal forms of violence lack. But the Lockerbie bombing was cold-blooded mass murder; Mr Megrahi’s crime was worse than that of any other prisoner in Britain. The purpose of jail is to signal society’s disapproval and console victims as well as to rehabilitate and deter; and, on moral grounds, Mr Megrahi should have died in one.

How to explain The Economist’s newfound sympathy for the devils?

It’s clearly easier to support prisoner releases when the terror attacks weren’t in your neighborhood. If you need further proof, look at the outrage sparked when one diplomat compared the Palestinian prisoners to Anders Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway in a 2011 rampage.

Either that, or it’ll take 270 dead Israelis to get The Economist’s attention.
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Post  Admin on Thu 15 Aug 2013, 9:40 pm

HONEST REPORTING
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Iran-seizes-Indian-ship-carrying-oil-from-Iraq/articleshow/21836778.cms
Iran seized an Indian oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. According to the Times of India, the ship, MT Desh Shanti, was detained in international waters and is now being taken to Iran’s Bandar Abbas port. Too early to tell what this will mean for oil prices. Iran has previously threatened to block the Staits of Hormuz if sanctions were imposed. What’s Iran’s official line?

2. Egyptian death toll rises to 525. Interim vice president Mohammed ElBaradei resigned http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-us-egypt-protests-elbaradei-20130814,0,7436743.story
in protest against the crackdown. Due to Egypt’s ongoing turmoil, the Rafah border crossing with Gaza is indefinitely closed in both directions. For more on the unrest, see page 2 of this roundup.

Tehran authorities conveyed to India that the ship was polluting Iranian waters, but this is being seen as flimsy reasoning.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 14 Aug 2013, 9:14 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 08/14/2013
AUGUST 14, 2013 17:14BY [b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; color: blue; font-weight: bold;"]PESACH BENSON[/b]

Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
[b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"]Today’s Top Stories[/b]
1. Peace talks resumed today in Jerusalem. There’s going to be a news blackout, which means there’s going to be a premium on hard info. The blackout means we’ll also see pundits parsing the tea leaves for dubious meaning. The Jerusalem Post explains:
The talks will be held under a complete media blackout, with [b style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline;"]neither the location nor time of the negotiations made public, let   alone any mention of what topics are on the initial agenda[/b].
2. The Israeli Air Force struck a pair of Gaza rocket launching sites after Palestinians fired rockets last night at Israel. Gaza’s Islamic terror groups have a history of trying to spoil peace talks with suicide bombings and rocket fire.
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Post  Admin on Wed 14 Aug 2013, 9:10 pm

The AP and the BBC can't decide if Palestinian prisoners are heroes or terrorists.
The Media’s Moral Ambiguity on Palestinian Prisoners

AUGUST 14, 2013 15:33
BY ALEX MARGOLIN
hero-terrorist-comm02This week’s release of Palestinian prisoners sparked contentious debate in Israel over how high a price Israelis are willing to pay to revive talks with the Palestinians. Many Israelis expressed grief that Palestinians who had killed innocent Israelis, including a Holocaust survivor, should be released from prison merely as a gesture to the Palestinians.

On the Palestinian side, of course, there was much joy and celebration, as long-serving prisoners who had committed vile acts of terror were returning home earlier than expected.

People who get their news from the AP or the BBC, however, may be forgiven if they thought the two perspectives – Israeli and Palestinians – were morally equal. That’s exactly how they were presented by the media giants.

According to the AP,   http://www.ajc.com/news/ap/international/israel-lists-names-of-26-palestinians-to-be-freed/nZLs5/
 thousands of Palestinians have spent time in Israeli prisons for a wide range of violent acts, from stone throwing to murder.

Palestinians tend to view prisoners as heroes, regardless of their acts, arguing they made personal sacrifices in the struggle for independence.

In Israel, many consider those involved in the killings as terrorists, and some of the attacks are engraved in the nation’s collective memory.

In presenting both views as essentially equal in moral weight, the AP is drawing readers to conclude that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter.” That adage was employed by Reuters executive Stephen Jukes at the start of the Second Intifada to explain why Reuters refused to call a Palestinian who blew up innocent people on a bus a terrorist.

The BBC’s coverage of the prisoner release essentially follows the same formula. There are interviews with family members of the terrorists and their victims. One side is ecstatic about the release, and the other is pained by it.

The prisoners are seen as heroes of the Palestinian cause, but on the Israeli side they are simply seen as terrorists, our correspondent says.

Simple enough. It’s only Israelis who consider the acts committed by the released Palestinians, including in one case a murder with an axe, to be terrorism. The message from the AP and the BBC is that morality is subjective – at least when it comes to the Palestinians.

The moral ambiguity shown by these media outlets is part of a larger culture of impunity for the Palestinians. It starts with the insistence that terrorists should be referred to as militants, not terrorists, and eventually the moral scales shift so that they are balanced equally between the terrorists and their victims.

As if to underscore the ubiquity of Palestinian impunity, the BBC article ends with a short reference to an outbreak of violence in Gaza that took place as the prisoners were being released:

In a separate development on Wednesday, the Israeli military said it had carried out air strikes on rocket-launching sites in northern Gaza.

The strikes were launched overnight in response to the firing of two rockets from Gaza towards the Israeli town of Sderot, the military added.

The short interlude is striking for two reasons. First, it only reports the violence after Israel responded, not when the Palestinians attacked. And second, it never mentions the Palestinians by name. There were simply two rockets fired from Gaza.

The media’s desire for balance in reporting on issues related to the launch of peace talks should not result in moral ambiguity. The media has an obligation to report on events as they truly are, and if that means reporting that violent terrorists were released from prison, it should do so without hesitation.

Image: CC BY-SA HonestReporting.com, flickr/DieselDemon.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 12 Aug 2013, 7:23 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 08/12/2013
HONEST REPORTING
AUGUST 12, 2013 13:50
BY PESACH BENSON
Everything you need to know about today’s coverage of Israel and the Mideast. Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.

Today’s Top Stories
1. Let the spin begin: A PA letter obtained by Haaretz http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.540910urges its diplomats to emphasize that prisoners to be released are “freedom fighters” and “political prisoners.” You can guess who the real terrorists are:

The letter, which was distributed by the Palestinian Embassy in Santiago, Chile, a day after the cabinet’s decision on the prisoner release, claimed that Israel is the one terrorizing the Palestinians, and not vice-versa. “A terrorist is someone who forcefully occupies the other’s land, expels him and comes to live in his place,” the letter read, “…not the Palestinian political prisoner, the freedom fighter.”

For more spin games, the London Jewish Chronicle http://www.thejc.com/comment-and-debate/columnists/110175/not-a-scintilla-authenticitydraws attention to statements by PA officials Nabil Abu Rudeinah and Yasser Abed Rabbo that any peace deal would only bind the Palestinians temporarily.

2. Toby Dershowitz http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2013/08/bahrain_blocks_hezbo.phpnotes that Bahrain is now blocking the website of Hezbollah’s Al Manar TV, as well as other sites associated with Al-Qaida. In particular, Hezbollah is accused of using Al-Manar to mobilize Bahrain’s opposition. Is the EU paying attention?
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/07/25/there-is-no-distinct-hezbollah-military-wing-so-why-ban-it.html
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Post  Admin on Tue 06 Aug 2013, 9:28 pm

Note to New York Times: Throwing Stones is an Act of Violence

AUGUST 5, 2013 15:06
BY ALEX MARGOLIN
stone-throwing-NYTLast week’s return of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians has had little impact on the simmering Palestinian violence in the West Bank – or the efforts of some in the media to glorify the violence.

New York Times reporter Jodi Rudoren is the latest apologist to present Palestinian stone throwers as noble defenders of their land and victims of Israeli oppression rather than as violent criminals:

Here in Beit Ommar, a village of 17,000 between Bethlehem and Hebron that is surrounded by Jewish settlements, rock throwing is a rite of passage and an honored act of defiance. The futility of stones bouncing off armored vehicles matters little: confrontation is what counts.

Rudoren focuses much of the story on a 17-year old Palestinian youth who has been arrested four times “for throwing stones at Israeli soldiers and settlers” – not civilians but settlers. Apparently do not merit the standard rights of civilians in Rudoren’s worldview simply because of where they choose to live. At the same time, Rudoren goes to great lengths to build sympathy for the Palestinian youth and his family, noting how his mother made sure to give him a long sleeve shirt for his stay in prison because “they both knew it would be cold in the interrogation room.”

The “settlers” don’t receive nearly the same level of empathy, even when they are the victims of the rocks being thrown. Menuha Shvat, the only Gush Etzion resident quoted in the story, is also the only one who discusses how dangerous rock throwing can be.

“It’s crazy: I’m going to get pizza, and I’m driving through a war zone,” said Ms. Shvat, who knew a man and his 1-year-old son who died when their car flipped in 2011 after being pelted with stones on Road 60. “It’s a game that can kill.”

Although we learn about the cold of the interrogation room and other details of the lives of the Palestinians in the story, Rudoren does not even bother to name the Israeli victims she mentions. In fact, the man’s name is Asher Palmer, and his one-year old son is Yonatan. And they didn’t simply die. They were killed, and the Palestinians who threw the rocks were convicted of murder.

The Palestinians Rudoren interviews never question the moral aspect of throwing stones, and neither does Rudoren. She has a matter-of-fact explanation for why they do it:

They throw because there is little else to do in Beit Ommar — no pool or cinema, no music lessons after school, no part-time jobs other than peddling produce along the road. They do it because their brothers and fathers did.

So long as the victims continue to be “soldiers and settlers,” it might not make much difference to Rudoren.

Rudoren’s piece follows on the heels of an article by Amira Hass in Haaretz in April that defended Palestinian stone throwing. That piece generated heated controversy when it came out. It remains to be seen if Rudoren’s piece gets the same reaction.

To get a sense of what Palestinian stone throwing in Beit Ommar looks like, watch the video below. It was originally posted to YouTube in February, 2012.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=xg1Gv7WjSkM


 To her credit, Rudoren attempts to present the values of the local Palestinians in their own terms. But the moral ambiguity that comes across in the article carries a price. By allowing the glorification of violence to go unchallenged, the article becomes yet another piece that fails to hold the Palestinians to any form of accountability.


Reuters Kills the Mideast Domino Theory
http://honestreporting.com/reuters-kills-the-mideast-domino-theory/
AUGUST 5, 2013 11:11
BY PESACH BENSON
domino effectReuters broke with Big Media’s muddled mantra that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the region’s “core conflict.”

More than 100,000 people have died in the Syrian conflict and violence has flared again in Iraq, with over 1,000 killed there in July alone, many at the hands of al Qaeda. Tensions over Iran’s disputed nuclear program have also risen, while a struggle for power between Islamists and the military is playing out on the streets of predominantly Sunni Egypt.

Arguably, none of these crises will come any closer to being settled should, by some miracle, Israel and the Palestinians finally agree to divide the land where they live . . .

In public, Muslim leaders have traditionally railed against Israel, happy to fan ordinary Arabs’ sincere anger about the plight of the Palestinians – and perhaps deflect criticism of their own failure to make badly needed reforms.

Arab leaders can no longer get away with this.

This “core conflict” idea also gave rise to the Mideast “domino theory” (also known as “linkage”). According to the logic of linkage, if Israel and the Palestinians would make peace, the rest of the region’s conflicts would quickly fall into place as well. Never mind that the region’s seething cauldron of ethnic enmities pre-dated the modern state of Israel by, uh, centuries.

Thanks to the domino theory, Israel could be blamed for problems well beyond its borders. One hysterical example appeared in Christian Science Monitor a few years ago. This was the subhead:

Global stability can no longer be held hostage to the claims of Israeli settlers.

 The dubious domino theory is dead and the wire service finally acknowledges it.

UNITED WITH ISRAEL
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Post  Admin on Wed 31 Jul 2013, 7:59 pm

Hamas is re-establishing ties with Iran and Hezbollah. What does this mean for Israel, the Palestinians, and the peace process? Listen here....
http://honestreporting.podomatic.com/entry/2013-07-29T01_35_44-07_00
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Post  Admin on Wed 31 Jul 2013, 7:56 pm

Photojournalist Stages News for Profit and Ideology
JULY 31, 2013 15:01BY PESACH BENSON
ouri is one of Ramallah’s biggest opponents of normalizing Israeli-Palestinian ties. He’s also a photographer who isn’t interested in separating his professional journalism and political activism.
And that raises questions about his association with the Reuters wire service and China’s Xinhua News Agency. HonestReporting has learned Reuters fired Arouri, apparently over his extra-curricular activities, but the wire service continues to use his work on a free lance basis.
Anti-Normalization Infects The Palestinian Media
The anti-normalization campaign condemns Israeli-Palestinian events whether they are political,business, or academic. Even children’s sporting events are taboo. All such activities, it is argued, “legitimize the Israeli occupation.”
This rejectionism has taken over the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate (PJS). That’s why in recent weeks, Israeli reporters and employees of Israeli news services working in the West Bank have faced increasing hostility. The PJS claims it’s fighting for freedom of movement in Israel.
Freedom of movement for journalists is certainly reasonable — but coming from this crowd, it’s a difficult argument to hear. The same journalists opposed to normalization are demanding Israelitravel permits and Israeli press credentials so they can work inside Israel, and interview the same Israelis they refuse to even let their kids play soccer with.

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
and never miss a thing.
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Post  Admin on Thu 25 Jul 2013, 1:06 pm

HONEST REPORTING
http://honestreporting.com/whose-opinion-matters-part-3-the-los-angeles-times/
Whose Opinion Matters? Part 3: The Los Angeles Times
JULY 24, 2013 10:21
BY YARDEN FRANKL
LATimes-opinionPartIII This is the third part of our series looking at how the opinion pages of the biggest newspapers in the United States cover Israel. In our previous studies, we concluded that the New York Times demonstrated a clear and consistent anti-Israel bias in both quantity and content of their opinion pages. We also saw that despite problems that we have documented in the coverage of Israel in the Washington Post, its opinion pages were much more balanced when it came to Israel and op-eds and editorials reflecting the Israeli position were frequently published.

UK rejects meningitis B vaccine
By James Gallagher
Health and science reporter, BBC News
Tilly Lockey
Tilly Lockey lost her hands after contracting meningitis B
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories

Putting a price on saving lives
Meningitis jab gets Europe licence
Meningitis jab set for UK licence
The only vaccine to protect against a deadly form of meningitis should not be introduced in the UK, the body that advises governments on immunisation says.

About 1,870 people contract meningitis B each year and one in 10 dies.

The Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) said the vaccine, Bexsero, was not cost-effective and should not yet be adopted by the NHS.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23422973
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Post  Admin on Thu 18 Jul 2013, 8:30 pm

HONEST REPORTING
Success: Monster Cartoon – German Newspaper Apologizes
German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung backs down following outrage over an anti-Semitic cartoon that portrayed Israel as Moloch, the ravenous monster. 
http://honestreporting.com/success-monster-cartoon-german-newspaper-apologizes/
German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung’s anti-Semitic cartoon that portrayed Israel as a ravenous monster rightly caused outrage. Many of you wrote to the newspaper to express your anger.

As a result of the pressure and publicity generated by HonestReporting and a number of other concerned organizations (HR is cited in this Jerusalem Post report), Süddeutsche Zeitung has backed down and apologized. Here is a rough translation from the original German:

There was significant criticism and outrage at the illustration on the “The Political Book” page on July 2. As we have already written in the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Süddeutsche.de, we deplore the use of this illustration. It was an unsuccessful attempt to represent by means of caricature, how the State of Israel is seen by her enemies.

This intention was not clear. The drawing of a horned monster with a knife and fork did not make the connection to the symbolism of anti-Israel clichés. On the contrary: The illustration allows for the conclusion that we are depicting Israel as a monster. It was a cliché used to denounce stereotypes, and that did not work, even though the caption attempted the explanation.

We are very sorry we have made this mistake. And we ask those we have hurt or annoyed to excuse it. This also includes the illustrator Ernst Kahl, whose drawing was used in this context, although it was actually made for a cooking column. We will be very careful that such an error is not repeated.

In light of the newspaper’s previous denials that the cartoon had been nothing more than a “misunderstanding,” it is significant that it has now recognized exactly why the publication of this cartoon was so patently unacceptable.
-------

VIDEO: Children Taught to Hate on Palestinian Television - Where's the Coverage?
When Palestinian Television broadcasts viciously anti-Israel incitement, the media ignores the story. 
View the video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Nn2X8PzIZf0


Success: Times Decapitalizes Tel Aviv
A complaint from HonestReporting prompts a correction from The Times of London after an inference that Tel Aviv is the capital of Israel. Read more...
http://honestreporting.com/success-times-decapitalizes-tel-aviv/
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Post  Admin on Sat 13 Jul 2013, 3:35 pm

The Untold Truth: 150 Million Europeans Hate Israel – Part 2
Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld posits that today, well over 150 million Europeans believe that Israel is exterminating the Palestinians. In the second part of our exclusive interview, he talks further about the contents of his new book. Read more...
http://honestreporting.com/the-untold-truth-150-million-europeans-hate-israel-part-2/


Add Your Name to Our Petition Against Photo Exhibit Glorifying Terrorism
Hundreds of you have already signed our petition calling on a Paris museum to remove a photo exhibit glorifying Palestinian terrorists as "martyrs." It's not too late to add your name. 
Join the Protest Against Photo Exhibit Glorifying Terrorism
JULY 3, 2013 9:00
BY SIMON PLOSKER
monalisaterroristLast month HonestReporting condemned the Jeu de Paume museum of contemporary art in Paris for displaying a photographic exhibit that glorifies Palestinian terrorists. This “art” exhibit refers to Israel as a “colonial power” and Palestinian terrorists as “fighters” and “victims of the Israeli military.” Suicide bombers are referred to as “militants” who heroically set out to “assassinate Israelis.”
Read more and sign...
http://honestreporting.com/join-the-protest-against-photo-exhibit-glorifying-terrorism/
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 30 Jun 2013, 10:55 pm

[b style="font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Geneva, Swiss; color: rgb(0, 0, 0); font-size: medium;"]HONEST REPORTING[/b]
World War Z: Paramount thinks Turks afraid of Israel, not Zombies
Published on 30 Jun 2013
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J-Vj7yaqf1c


2 MIN VIDEO
Paramount pictures thinks that Islamic audiences in Turkey can handle a movie in which flesh eating zombies take over the world. But they were afraid that mentioning the word "Israel" might really horrify them. So they took the word out of the movie and replaced it with the words "Middle East."


Go to Paramount's Facebook page and leave a comment that Israel in Turkish is translated as "Israel" not "Middle East." https://www.facebook.com/Paramount


When the West is afraid of irrational anti-Israel sentiment, they end up giving it credibility.


If you can handle a zombie movie, you can handle the word "Israel."
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Post  Admin on Sun 02 Jun 2013, 7:26 pm

I have an important message for you. It will only take a minute.
As always, thanks for working with us to fight anti-Israel media bias.
Sincerely,
Joe Hyams
CEO, Honest Reporting.
https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/weblink.aspx?name=honest&id=20&campin=620131a
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Post  Admin on Thu 30 May 2013, 9:29 pm

How Does the Media Relate to Anti-Semitism?
MAY 30, 2013 15:06
BY SIMON PLOSKER
This opinion piece by HR Managing Editor Simon Plosker is republished from The Times of Israel.
Simon Plosker presents at the Global Forum

During the 4th International Conference of the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism, which has been taking place this week in Jerusalem, I was asked to give a short presentation to the Working Group on Anti-Semitism on the Internet and in the Media.
http://mfa.gov.il/MFA/AboutTheMinistry/Conferences-Seminars/Pages/GFCA_4th_International_Conference_May_2013.aspx

HonestReporting’s primary brief is to deal with anti-Israel media bias. Clearly not all criticism of Israel is illegitimate even if we sometimes may not like what our critics have to say.

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail
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As the criticism has moved into areas of delegitimisation and demonization, so the boundaries of acceptable discourse have also shifted and, with it, we have increasingly witnessed the appearance of anti-Semitism in the mainstream media.

If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck. And for most Jews they know anti-Semitism when they see it. Arguably, however, one of the problems of contemporary anti-Semitism is the failure of the Jewish people to collectively define and codify what it is. Today there exists the European Union Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia (EUMC) Working Definition of Anti-Semitism that also includes a section outlining where criticism of Israel could be construed as anti-Semitic.
http://www.european-forum-on-antisemitism.org/working-definition-of-antisemitism/

But this Working Definition, created in 2004, is clearly not referred to by the mainstream media and in the absence of any other codified definition accepted by a body as large and credible as the European Union, it’s the best there is at this time.

Anti-Semitism is a serious charge and throwing that accusation against a media outlet or an individual journalist or cartoonist should not be taken lightly.

And herein lies the problem. In the past, the anti-Semitism of a hate sheet such as the Nazi Der Sturmer was clear-cut. In the present, the disgusting incitement and Jew hatred so common in so much of the Arab media is also blatant (yet still brushed under the carpet by Western politicians and media).

It goes without saying that no Western mainstream media outlet is going to openly declare itself to be proudly anti-Semitic and any newspaper or individual judged to hold such beliefs would find themselves out in the cold.

I would argue, however, that many media outlets are either unwilling or incapable of recognizing anti-Semitic tropes, particularly when it comes to the treatment of Israel.

A recent case study that I noted at the Global Forum was that of the grotesque Sunday Times cartoon by Gerald Scarfe that depicted Israeli PM Netanyahu building a wall on the bodies of Palestinians using blood for the mortar.
http://honestreporting.com/cementing-hate-on-holocaust-memorial-day/

The cartoon screamed “blood libel” to many of us. The initial reaction of the Sunday Times was…
This article is continued on Page 2
http://honestreporting.com/how-does-the-media-relate-to-anti-semitism/2/
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Post  Admin on Mon 13 May 2013, 9:45 pm

HONEST REPORTING
Al-Dura Wasn’t Even Hurt: Truth Set to be Revealed
An Israeli government report is set to be released promising to finally expose the real story behind one of the most significant anti-Israel media libels. Read more...
http://honestreporting.com/al-dura-wasnt-even-hurt-truth-set-to-be-revealed/
In what could be a significant turn of events the Jerusalem Post reports:

Not only was 12-year-old Gazan Muhammad al-Dura not killed by IDF fire in 2000 – he was not even hurt.

That was the preliminary finding of a special commit- tee formed several years ago by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and headed by Brig.- Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, the former head of the Research and Analysis Division of the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, and the current director-general of the Strategic Affairs Ministry.
In the meantime, 13 years have passed, during which various and sundry conspiracy theories have been suggest- ed, including claims that the boy was never even injured.

A few days ago, MK Nachman Shai met with Ya’alon to give him a copy of his new book, Media War Reaching for Hearts and Minds , which deals with the role of media in current military conflicts, including the Dura affair. Ya’alon then surprised Shai by saying that an investigation carried out by Israel shows that Dura was never hurt.

This theory has been circulating on the Internet for a few years already, but this was the first time that an Israeli defense minister was stating so publicly.

Today, Dura should be about 25-years-old, alive and kicking somewhere (unless he was killed later in a separate incident).

Kuperwasser confirmed the committee’s conclusion that that Dura had not been hurt at all and that the video clip, which was filmed by France 2 TV and aired around the world, had indeed been staged. This means that the France 2 TV channel report was erroneous, perhaps even knowingly.

Kuperwasser added that the full results of the investigation would be ready in the near future, and that most of the work had already been completed.

To recall, Al-Dura was the “poster boy” of the so-called Second Intifada and the libel of Israeli responsibility for his death and the iconic imagery of the incident have had a major impact on subsequent events and Israel’s image in the media.

We believe that we must never give up trying to find out the truth, even 13 years after the incident, and the same applies to all of those times when Israel has been falsely accused in the media.

We look forward to seeing the full report in the near future and to see if the mainstream media and France 2 in particular, will finally acknowledge their part in propagating a libel.

For more on the Al-Dura case and other media libels, view our interactive Big Lies presentation.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 13 May 2013, 9:41 pm

HONEST REPORTING
Media Museum to Honor Hamas Terrorists
Washington DC's Newseum can't tell the difference between terrorists and genuine news reporters as it prepares to honor two Hamas "journalists." Register your protest now.
http://honestreporting.com/media-museum-to-honor-hamas-terrorists/
The Washington DC-based Newseum, a museum dedicated to the media, will be holding a ceremony to honor those journalists who have been killed in the last year in the course of covering the news.

Included in this list of 84 names are Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama.

Back in November 2012 during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF targeted Mahmoud Al-Kumi and Hussam Salama.

The IDF Blog explains that they were:
http://www.idfblog.com/2012/11/29/how-hamas-and-islamic-jihad-
use-journalism-as-a-cover-for-terrorism/
Hamas operatives and cameramen for Hamas’ Al-Aqsa television network, which regularly features programming that encourages and praises attacks on Israeli civilians. … Palestinian media reported that the two men were indeed Hamas operatives.

Faced with serious accusations of Al-Aqsa TV’s connections to terrorism, the head of the network, Mohammad Thouraya, denied that Al-Aqsa was the voice of Hamas — a hard fact to deny, since the channel is financed and controlled by Hamas — but he did admit that his employees were “all part of the resistance.”

Being “part of the resistance”, in other words, could mean that those carrying a camera during the day could be carrying rockets at night.
Despite heavy criticism, the Newseum is sticking to its guns and has issued a statement which included the following:

Hussam Salama and Mahmoud Al-Kumi were cameramen in a car clearly marked “TV.” The Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Without Borders and The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers all consider these men journalists killed in the line duty.
As many commentators have pointed out, both Hamas and Al-Aqsa TV are considered to be terrorist entities by the US government. Why should terrorists be protected by virtue of marking “TV” on a car or carrying a camera? A real journalist reports on a conflict and does not actively take part in it. And can a Hamas propaganda outfit that promotes anti-Semitism and violence towards Jews and Israelis really be considered a legitimate media outfit?

HR CEO Joe Hyams commented:

Honoring these two terrorists is an insult to the real journalists who have tragically lost their lives in the cause of news gathering. It is profoundly disturbing that a respected U.S. institution dedicated to documenting the media cannot tell the difference between a genuine journalist and a terrorist.

The Newseum should be ashamed to refer to Hamas’s Al-Aqsa TV as a credible media outlet and has set the bar so low as to render the term “media” almost meaningless.

If you agree, send your complaint to the Newseum and let it know that there is a difference between honoring journalists and terrorists - info@newseum.org
Read more and take action...
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 09 May 2013, 9:56 pm

SUCCESS: BBC Corrects Syrian Propaganda Headline

In response to your complaints, the BBC updates and issues a correction to a headline that parrotted Syrian propaganda associating Israel with terrorists.
We pointed out that the headline was taking Syrian propaganda at face value, making it appear as if Israel was associated with terrorists. The BBC has responded with a new headline and a correction:

Correction (7 May 2013): The headline of this report has been amended to make clear that the claim that Israeli air strikes had been co-ordinated with the rebels was made by Syrian officials.
Read more...
http://honestreporting.com/success-bbc-corrects-syrian-propaganda-headline/
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 09 May 2013, 9:52 pm

Stephen Hawking’s Media Mess
http://honestreporting.com/stephen-hawkings-media-mess/
MAY 9, 2013 14:51
BY SIMON PLOSKER
This opinion piece by HR Managing Editor, Simon Plosker, is reproduced from The Times of Israel.

Professor Stephen Hawking’s decision to boycott Israel’s President’s Conference left a nasty taste in the mouth. It wasn’t only the fact that the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement was able to claim a significant victory in their campaign to delegitimize Israel. It was also the way in which the story developed throughout the day in such a way as to snatch what looked like a slam dunk exposé of both the BDS movement and The Guardian.

For an Israel advocate, the contradictory information flying around the Internet appeared to present an opportunity to expose anti-Israel bias and misinformation. Thanks to a University of Cambridge statement claiming that Hawking had canceled his trip due to health reasons and not due to political motivations, both The Guardian, which had published the story first, and the boycott movement appeared to be promoting disinformation.

Here was a perfect opportunity to hit back at Israel’s detractors. Indeed, some people were quick off the mark to publish a take-down of those involved in what looked like a false anti-Israel slur.

However, only a few hours later, it was our side that was backing down following the retraction of the University of Cambridge’s original statement and a confirmation that Hawking was, in fact, a boycotter.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 01 May 2013, 12:01 am

http://honestreporting.com/why-did-the-bbc-pull-jerusalem-documentary/
Why Did the BBC Pull Jerusalem Documentary?
APRIL 30, 2013 15:21
BY SIMON PLOSKER
The Times of Israel reports on a storm that has erupted following the BBC’s last-minute decision to drop a documentary that questions the extent of the Jewish exile after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE. According to TOI:

The film “Exile: A Myth Unearthed,” which theorizes that many modern-day Palestinians could be partially descended from Jews who never left the region, was due to be shown in modified form by the BBC last week, but was pulled from the schedule at the last moment.

Explaining how the film had been re-titled “Jerusalem: an Archaeological Mystery Story,” filmmaker Ilan Ziv alleged BBC sources had said a freelance editor hired to re-cut the film called it “propaganda.”

Ziv has criticized the BBC’s decision on his own blog but I was able to procure a copy of the original film, which is available from the National Film Board of Canada, in order to make my own judgment. This, particularly in light of some accusations that the BBC had succumbed to “unnamed pressure groups,” which is usually a thinly veiled reference to “Jews” or “Zionists.”

Four observations, having watch the full unedited version:

The challenge to the Jewish historical and theological narrative of an exile after the destruction of the Second Temple does not negate the fact that a continuous and uninterrupted Jewish presence existed in the Land of Israel from that period to the present day. If anything, it confirms it.
Questioning the Jewish or Israeli narrative has never been an issue for the BBC (or anyone else for that matter) in the past. What makes this particular documentary too controversial for the BBC?
The thesis that some Palestinians may actually be the descendants of Jews who lived in what is today Israel and converted to Islam centuries ago may be controversial and unappealing to both Jews and Palestinians but it is not the first time that this has been suggested.
Indeed, could such a theory be more damaging to a Palestinian national movement that has consistently sought to deny Jewish history and claims to the land?
Was the BBC, in fact, more concerned at upsetting anti-Israel elements by showing a film with such a heavy concentration on Jewish history in the Land of Israel?

The BBC does not have a history of pulling content due to the concerns of Israel or the UK’s Jewish community. Quite the opposite in fact. This particular documentary also focuses on Israel’s War of Independence and paints a picture of Palestinian villages erased from the map by Israel as a result of the war. While this may not be comfortable viewing for supporters of Israel, it is certainly no worse than other critical pieces that have appeared on the BBC.

One suspects that the outcry that is taking place is not only a result of the BBC’s incompetence but also driven by people who have not viewed the film but have rather, already jumped to conclusions as to what it contains and those who are already assuming that “Zionists” are responsible for getting it pulled.

A look at the comments section of the Radio Times (the BBC’s listings magazine) gives some examples:

Perhaps the film will be shown eventually in a re-edited form. In the meantime, we await a credible response from the BBC as to why it did not appear last week when originally scheduled.

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

Post  Admin on Tue 30 Apr 2013, 11:58 pm

BBC Terminology: Mitigating Terror
APRIL 30, 2013 11:06
BY SIMON PLOSKER
This morning, an Israeli was stabbed to death by a Palestinian terrorist at the Tapuah junction in the West Bank. As reported by The Times of Israel:

The attacker stabbed the Israeli, grabbed his weapon, and according to some accounts shot him at close range. He then fired at nearby border police, who returned fire and succeeded in subduing him. The victim, who was said to be about 30 years old, was declared dead at the scene after MDA paramedics’ resuscitation efforts failed. The attacker was evacuated to Beilinson hospital in Petah Tikva in moderate condition.

Now look at how the BBC reports on the attack:
The opening paragraph:

An Israeli settler has been killed by a Palestinian at a bus stop in the northern West Bank, police say.

Notice how the Israeli victim is described as a “settler” in both the headline and the article. If the BBC is prepared to use politicized terminology to describe an Israeli civilian then presumably, shouldn’t it also describe the Palestinian in similar terms for consistency?
.
While the BBC should refer to the Palestinian as a terrorist, it is noteworthy that the attacker is not even referred to as a “militant” or “activist.” He is simply a Palestinian. Yet, by referring to the Israeli as a “settler,” the BBC is already acknowledging that the Palestinian must have been motivated to carry out the attack for nationalist rather than criminal reasons.

Evidently, murdering someone for nationalistic reasons is not an act of terrorism, extremism or militancy.

The BBC’s indifference to Israeli victims of terror who happen to live in the West Bank reached its nadir in March 2011 when a mother, father and three of their children, including a three-month old baby, were stabbed to death by Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank settlement of Itamar.

Looks like nothing has changed at the BBC then.
WHERE’S THE CONSISTENCY?
Contrast the above with another piece of breaking news covered by the BBC at exactly the same time:
http://honestreporting.com/bbc-terminology-mitigating-terror/
This article is continued on Page 2

BBC Terminology: Mitigating Terror
APRIL 30, 2013 11:06
BY SIMON PLOSKER
Contrast the above with another piece of breaking news covered by the BBC at exactly the same time:
The report states:
A Palestinian militant has been killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza City.

Officials from Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, said the victim was Haytham al-Misshal, a member of a Salafist jihadist group.

So while the BBC is prepared to acknowledge that membership of a jihadist group is sufficient to be referred to as a “militant,” the act of actually murdering an Israeli in a politically motivated attack is not.

Take action now and demand that the BBC acknowledges terror and treat all Israeli victims of terror as human beings. Send your complaints through the BBC Complaints website – www.bbc.co.uk/complaints. For detailed instructions on how to navigate the BBC Complaints website, click here.

Please Tweet, Like or link to this article on your blog or website. This article is only effective if it reaches a large readership, especially through the Google search engine. Creating a link to this page with the text “BBC Tapuah Terror Attack” helps this article reach the first page search results for the term.


Like what you just read? Sign up to get more:
http://honestreporting.com/bbc-terminology-mitigating-terror/2/

VIDEO: Boston Marathon Bombers Were Terrorists. And So Are Those Who Launch Bombs at Israelis
The media felt no hesitation to label the Boston Marathon bombers as terrorists. They were correct to do so.

So when Palestinians launch rockets at civilian targets in Israel, why does the media refuse to call them terrorists?
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sat 27 Apr 2013, 8:23 pm

Media Overplays Airport Security Issue
The sanctioning of Israeli security officials checking the emails of suspicious passengers at Ben-Gurion Airport is given a sinister spin in some of the media.
Just this week, en route to Israel through a British airport, I observed a young family being held up at security. Despite the fact that he had a newborn infant strapped to his chest in a baby carrier and was accompanying his wife and young daughter, the young man was subjected to multiple pat downs.

Struggling to hand over the baby while juggling with items of clothing and luggage, this was clearly an inconvenient and unpleasant experience being meted out to a family that should not have raised any security concerns. Finally it was discovered that metallic buttons on the baby carrier had set off the security scanner alarm.

I mention this as just one example of how, in a post-9/11 world, all of us have been affected by the increasing levels of security checks at airports.
But it seems that Israel’s airport security procedures are the only ones that can induce almost righteous indignation in the media.

As the Associated Press reported: “Israel’s attorney general on Wednesday upheld a practice to allow security personnel to read people’s email accounts when they arrive at the airport, arguing it prevents militants from entering the country.”

Cue dramatic headlines that overstated the story to the point of being misleading as well as adding a sinister backdrop to the story. For example, this headline in The Australian:
http://honestreporting.com/media-overplays-airport-security-issue/
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 17 Apr 2013, 12:12 am

HONEST REPORTING
If there were more honest reporting about Israel, you would know about these accomplishments. Watch the slideshow...
http://www.slideshare.net/HonestReporting/israels-independence-day-2012


Student Group Visits HR International Headquarters
Students from New Jersey’s Golda Och Academy learned the basics of anti-Israel media bias
and how to counter it. Read more...
http://honestreporting.com/student-group-visits-hr-international-headquarters/
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 11 Apr 2013, 11:11 pm

Why Are Only Jews Referred to as Terrorists in the Media?
APRIL 10, 2013 14:17
http://honestreporting.com/why-are-only-jews-referred-to-as-terrorists-in-the-media/
BY SIMON PLOSKER
HonestReporting has long campaigned for the international media to call terrorism exactly what it is instead of using judgment-neutral terminology, such as “militants”,”extremists”, “fighters” or “gunmen.”

Yaakov “Jack” Teitel, a US-born Israeli resident of the West Bank was sentenced on Tuesday to two consecutive life terms in prison for murdering a Palestinian taxi driver in Jerusalem and a Palestinian shepherd near Hebron. He was also sentenced for other attacks including against a left-wing Israeli professor and messianic Jews. He also attacked a police station during a gay pride parade. These are only a few of Teitel’s terrorist and criminal activities.

Sign up to HonestReporting now and never miss our breaking news alerts!

The Israeli media, including the JPost, YNet, and Times of Israel had no problem referring to him as a “Jewish terrorist” showing an impressive consistency in the use of language. They recognized that Teitel’s hate-filled ideologically and politically motivated ideology fits the definition of terrorism. This demonstrates that the use of the word “terrorism” or “terrorist” or “terror” does not have to be a loaded term applied only to Palestinians murdering Jews for religious or political motivations.

It’s just that the example of Teitel is, thankfully, extremely rare and certainly in contrast to the Palestinian side.

So having avoided referring to Palestinian terrorists as just that, how did the international media cover the story?
Video: Anti-Israel Activists Fake Another Photo

It's easy to make an anti-Israel photograph. Just take a picture of a person being mistreated. Then add a caption saying that the picture is of a Palestinian with cancer who died in an Israeli jail. Watch the video...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fzVhW2FNHw
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 11 Mar 2013, 10:22 am

The media, so quick to judge Israel as the brutal killer of Palestinian children, have not bothered to correct an error when it turns out that Hamas is responsible for the killing.
http://honestreporting.com/gaza-child-death-israel-exonerated-by-un-media-ignores/
UN Exonerates Israel in Gaza Child Death, Media Ignores
MARCH 10, 2013 17:37
BY SIMON PLOSKER
Screenshot: Jihad Misharawi holds the body of his dead son during an interview with BBC Arabic
Referring to the impact of Israeli air strikes on Gaza during November 2012′s Operation Pillar of Defense the BBC’s Wyre Davis wrote:
In the BBC Gaza office, that feeling was most tangibly felt on the first day of this conflict when Omar, the 11-month-old son of our cameraman Jihad Misharawi, was killed when a missile hit his home. It was a pointless, terrible tragedy that deeply affected Jihad’s colleagues who live and work here in these testing conditions.
Indeed, the BBC in its coverage, claimed Omar almost as one of its own, making sure to mention him in dispatches as the victim of an Israeli attack without even considering any other possibility:
UN Verified that Hamas Rocket Responsible in Tragic Death of BBC Journalist’s Child
unitedwithisrael.org
According to the UN Human Rights Council, the eleven-month-old child of Jihad Misharawi was killed by a Hamas rocket, not Israel during Israel’s Operation Pillar of Defense. Western media outlets claimed Israel was responsible for the tragic death of the BBC bureau chief’s infant son.
http://unitedwithisrael.org/un-verified-that-hamas-rocket-responsible-in-tragic-death-of-bbc-journalists-child/
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