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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 Wed 19 Feb 2014, 10:14 pm

Why is Iran Supporting Al-Qaida in Syria?
FEBRUARY 18, 2014 16:57
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. Christians should take note of a brewing controversy in the PA. Mahmoud Abbas wants to remove religious affiliation from Palestinian identity cards, but he’s getting resistance from Hamas and others. Khaled Abu Toameh explains why it matters:
The row that erupted shows that among Palestinians, opposition to recognition of Israel as a Jewish state remains widespread. It also shows what awaits non-Muslims in a future Palestinian state controlled by Sharia Law.
Regardless of Abbas’s motives, it is clear that Hamas and other Palestinians continue to seek and Islamic state where non-Muslims would be subjected to Sharia and enjoy fewer rights. Those who think that any Christian or Jew would be welcomed under an Islamic regime are living in a delusion.
2. In Vienna, Iranian negotiators kicking off final status talks to resolve the nuclear issue. Iran’s negotiating with United States, France, Britain, China, Russia, and Germany, who are collectively known as the P5+1. Today’s face time only lasted 45 minutes and Iranian officials said dismantling nuclear facilities is not an option.
I saw some confusing search results referring to the same six countries as the E3+3. Confused? Josh Keating explained it all back in 2009. In any event, Iran’s talks with the Fab 5+France are expected to take a year, and reports like the NY TimesTimes of Israel, and BBC showed little optimism.
Geneva talks
Top diplomats from the P5+1 and Iran meeting in Geneva last November.

3. US Treasury documents clearly say the Iranian ayatollahs are backing Assad and Al-Qaida. (I did a double take too.) The Washington Post picked up on the story, but Majid Rafizadeh explains more clearly:
Several reports indicated that Assad, in fact, released many Al-Qaeda members from prisonwith Iran assisting their network, in order to buttress the argument that the Assad regime was being attacked by Al-Qaeda. Reportedly, the Al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, Jabhat al-Nusra and ISIS have even been selling oil to the Assad regime in exchange for money and recruits with the assistance of Tehran.
In addition, the Islamic Republic can use Al-Qaeda’s Iran-based network to thwart US foreign policy objectives in the region and tip the regional balance of power in favor of Iran and against other regional powers such as Israel.
Iran is also looking for alternatives in case Assad’s apparatuses collapse in Syria. In other words, the Islamic Republic will support its ally as long as Assad can retain his power.
4. Joe Hyams to Students: BDS is Most Pressing Media Challenge Today: “Unlike traditional forms of media bias from the mainstream press, which stands to lose credibility when it is shown to be violating principles of journalism, BDS thrives on media exposure.”
5. Simon Plosker discussed his visit to the SodaStream factory with Tamar Yonah of Arutz Sheva. Take your pick of listening to Simon’s segment or the full show. (Simon’s article, which Tamar refers to during the interview, was published in the Times of Israel.)

Israel and the Palestinians
• Check out The Apartheid Smear, an excellent booklet (pdf format) produced by Professor Alan Johnson and BICOM debunking the Israel apartheid allegation and explaining how it hurts the peace process. More articles and videos at HonestReporting’s resource page, The Apartheid State Libel.
• Germany’s largest bank has decided that investing in Bank HaPoalim is “morally questionable.” Haaretz writes:
Estimates in Israel, the report adds, are that Hapoalim was targeted because of its activity in the settlements.
Haifa port
• Two European companies withdrew lucrative bids to build seaports in Haifa and Ashdod. Haaretz suggests that the winds of BDS are increasingly making business with Israel politically incorrect:
Sources in the transportation sector said that Israel traditionally had trouble luring global infrastructure companies to participate in major infrastructure projects because so many have major contracts with Saudi Arabia or the Gulf states.
However, they said that some of the companies dropping out for the ports tender have no business interests in the Arab world and acted at a relatively late stage in the bidding process, well after top management had given the go-ahead to compete.
Those developments suggest that political pressure from their home countries were at work in the decision, the sources said.
On the next page
Hamas sent message to Bibi asking for restraint.
Who are the Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis?
Moderate rebels fire commander, leaving US without point man.
Continued on page 2    
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 9:52 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 02/17/2014
FEBRUARY 17, 2014 14:50
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. An imprisoned Palestinian terrorist admitted to Israeli authorities that he faked plans for a second attack in order to obtain a nicer pension from the PA. Palestinian Media Watch obtained a copy of Husni Najjar’s confession to Israeli authorities. There’s a lot of US and UK aid subsidizing terror pensions.
2. A Jordanian Palestinian who writes for the Jerusalem Post was sentenced by Jordan to life with hard labor. Mudar Zahran was tried in absentia after obtaining British asylum.
Mahmoud Abbas
3. Several   Israeli   news   services were on hand as Mahmoud Abbas hosted a group of visiting Israeli students and shared his thoughts on the peace process.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed on Sunday not to return to violence if the US-brokered talks with Israel broke down, but he would not rule out an international campaign to delegitimize Israel in that event.
4. To Err is Human, But Algorithms Can Be Screwy Too: A mad mix of keywords and computers makes for an LA Times photo flub.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Palestinians are worried that Israel will unilaterally assert sovereignty over the Temple Mount as a Knesset discussion on the matter is on the agenda this week. Jerusalem Post coverage.
• Maan News: West Bank gas stations no longer provide fuel to PA vehicles. The PA hasn’t paid its gas bill for six months, accumulating a debt of $15.7 million. Two months ago, the PA also asked Israel to forgive half of its 1.1 billion shekel debt for electricity with a repayment plan for the rest spread out over 20 years.
• For more commentary/analysis, see the Times of Israel and Jerusalem Post on yesterday’s Taba bus bombing, Spengler (European attitudes towards Israel), Seth Siegel (water issues), Uri Dromi (Kerry’s diplomacy),
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Will Israel bomb Iran? Bret Stephens of the Wall St. Journal discusses the possibility.
• Love, jihad style:
Jihadist groupies flocking to Syria with marriage in mind
ISIS forcing Syrian women to wed its fighters, say activists
• Do “Syria,” “Lebanon,” and “Iraq” Still Exist? asks Jonathan Speyer.

• With Arizona Governor Jan Brewer due to visit Israel, a staff-ed in the Arizona Republic gives the governor’s trip a thumbs up.
(Image of Abbas via Jerusalem Post video)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 17 Feb 2014, 12:22 am

Israel Daily News Stream 02/16/2014
FEBRUARY 16, 2014 16:00
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
*** Breaking news *** Shortly before this roundup was published, there were reports of a bus explosion in Taba, just inside the Egyptian side of the border. Early reports say a number of Korean tourists and the Egyptian driver were killed and at least another dozen people were injured. Israeli officials say no Israelis were among the injured. More on the unfolding story at the Times of Israel and YNet.
1. Israelis should be buoyed to know that Western aid to Syrian rebels may indeed be bearing modest fruit in areas closest to the border. Now Lebanon‘s Michael Weiss explains:
An ongoing military operation, known evocatively as the Battle of Geneva Houran, has yielded a series of tactical rebel victories in the last fortnight as U.S.-financed and Saudi-purchased weapons have begun pouring across the Jordanian-Syrian border. Based on sources involved in the battle, the most that can be expected from it is a secure buffer zone that stretches from Deraa to Quneitra to parts of the southern Damascus countryside – a zone in which not only the regime’s military presence is minimized, but jihadist and Al-Qaeda elements are deterred.
DAESH2. An Al Qaida affiliate announced that it’s officially open for business in Gaza. The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (referred to by its Arabic acronym, DAESH) posted a video. According to Khaled Abu Toameh, Palestinians are panicked, but Hamas is skeptical.
Now that Al-Qaeda has begun operating in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas needs to consider the possibility that Palestinian unity would pave the way for the DAESH terrorists to move into the West Bank – an outcome U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his team need to take into consideration when they talk about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem on the pre-1967 lines.
3. Egypt’s reportedly launching a new offensive against Gaza’s smuggling tunnels. According to Maan News, the Egyptian army has already destroyed 10 tunnels and seven Rafah homes with the aim of creating a buffer zone.
The zone would potentially threaten dozens of homes in the city, which has been divided by the international border since the 1982 Camp David peace accord. Thousands were displaced in the early 2000s when Israel demolished homes to build a buffer zone on the Palestinian side.
More on the story at the Times of Israel. And the Christian Science Monitor looked at the impact of the tunnel closures on the Gaza economy, with a lot of numbers on the strip’s rising prices and unemployment rates.
4. Mideast Narratives Done In By Camels: I’m still wiping Andrew Brown’s oozing condescension off my computer.
5. Orthodox Jew? Hate Israel? The New York Times Wants To Interview You.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Fashion photographer John Rankin Waddell (better known as simply Rankin), apologized for anti-Semitic statements made in a recent interview about Scarlett Johansson and the Oxfam controversy.
•  UNESCO’s considering a Palestinian request to designate Battir’s ancient agricultural terraces as a World Heritage Site. The PA request came despite a commitment not to take unilateral moves in the UN during John Kerry’s peace push. The Jerusalem Post writes:
It is one of 41 worldwide sites the World Heritage Committee is expected to review and vote on when it meets in Doha, Qatar, from June 15 to 25 . . .
Separately, the World Heritage Committee is also expected to vote in June on an Israeli application to register the Beit Guvrin caves, located between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as a World Heritage Site.
Battir
Battir

• The Economist looks at the issue of compensating Jewish refugees from Arab countries. See also Ben Barber‘s take.
• I’m glad BBC discovered terror. You can almost imagine a trembling editor casting anxious glances around the newsroom as he typed out this misspelled headline:
BBC
• I liked Colin Rubenstein’s measured response to John Lyons’ report of Palestinian kids in Israeli custody. See The Australian (via Google News).
• Palestinian insiders told The Media Line that national reconcilation efforts are going nowhere, and that last week’s meeting between Hamas and Fatah personalities didn’t even address rapprochement.
• Hamas objects to human rights instruction in UN classrooms.
• Sounds like Jedis for Israel:
Washington Times
• It says a lot about the Arab mindset that even an influential Saudi prince like Turki Bin Faisal has to explain his “contact” with Israelis at a recent international conference.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Robert Fulford (Israeli views on war and peace), Reuven Berko (European calls for Israeli “proportionality”), the Washington Post (Jordanian views of the peace process), Lisa Main and a Toronto Star staff-ed (both on Kerry’s framework agreement).
Arab Spring Winter
• Revealed: how Syrian rebels seek medical help from an unlikely source in Israel
Tammam Salam
• Lebanon’s 10-month political gridlock came to a merciful end with the formation of a new cabinet headed by Prime Minister Tammam Salam. Reuters explains:
A caretaker government has run the country since former Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned in March as parties aligned with the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement and a Sunni-led rival bloc pursued a power struggle exacerbated by their support for opposing sides in Syria’s almost three-year-old civil war . . .
[Salam] said he hoped the new government would allow Lebanon to hold presidential elections before President Michel Suleiman’s mandate expires in May and finally conduct parliamentary polls that were postponed last year due to the political impasse.
More at the Daily Star and NY Times.
• This time, Al Qaida, not Israel, is the Grinch who stole Hezbollah’s martyrs’ day:
Hezbollah will not hold a rally to mark commander’s assassination
Rest O’ the Roundup
 Cool photo of a massive flock of starlings flying over Israel.

(Image of Battir via YouTube/Pal Experiment, Salam via YouTube/euronews)

For more, see Thursday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 11:11 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 02/13/2014
FEBRUARY 13, 2014 14:53
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. The PA has detained some 40 Palestinians accused of having fought with radical Islamic groups in Syria. The PA fears that the returning radicals will target both Israel and the PA for terror attacks. The Times of Israel writes:
Israel’s Shin Bet security service has warned that the civil war in Syria, a magnet for aspiring jihadists throughout the Middle East, has deepened the roots of al-Qaeda and like-minded organizations in the region. Those groups, it said, were increasingly striving to link up with willing Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in order to strike Israel and Western targets.
2. If you’re into reading Iranian tea leaves, Haaretz picked up on an intriguiging spot by Meir Javedanfar:
Haaretz
3. A special thank you from Scarlett Johansson. The actress thanks everyone for supportng her through the SodaStream controversy.
Really Blacklist Celeb Photographer? An interview in The Independent promotes the trope of Jewish power in the American entertainment industry.

4. Will US “Jewish Zealots” Really Blacklist Celeb Photographer? An interview in The Independent promotes the trope of Jewish power in the American entertainment industry.


5. Israel Provides Cancer Treatment to Palestinian Children From Gaza: A tussle over stationery or principles?
6. If you haven’t already done so, visit and “Like” our new Facebook page, Fighting BDS, for everything you need to know about fighting the assault on Israel’s legitimacy.
Fighting BDS
Israel and the Palestinians
 Deutsche Welle picked up on the fracas over Martin Schulz’s address to the Knesset. Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, criticized Israel’s West Bank water policies — based on flawed numbers — but he insisted that his speech was pro-Israel. Last year, a study emerged documenting exactly how Palestinians use water as a weapon against Israel.
David Cameron
• British Prime Minister David Cameron cancelled his Mideast trip because of his country’s flood crisis. eThe Jewish Chronicle adds:
The trip is likely to be rescheduled but could now take months to come to fruition.
• Settlement products face boycotts from Israeli businesses, reports AP.
Along with other West Bank wineries, Berg recently went public with news that dozens of Tel Aviv restaurants were boycotting their wines in hopes of shaming them into reversing course.
The Associated Press contacted more than a dozen Tel Aviv restaurants, including some named by settlers. All refused to discuss the subject.
It wasn’t just the fear of alienating clients that likely deterred them from speaking but also a 2011 law in Israel that could expose them to lawsuits if a boycott became official. The law did not make a boycott call a criminal offense, but rather a civil issue that could trigger financial compensation. There is no actual precedent of this happening yet.
• The PA is going to ask FIFA (Federation Internationale de Football Association) to expel Israel.
• Where in the world is Hamas’s spokesman?
gavel• Worth reading: It’s not illegal for Israeli companies to operate beyond the Green Line. Emmanuel Navon explains why, and then makes a conclusion that should make Europe sweat.
The actions brought against Israeli companies that operate beyond the 1949 Armistice Line are therefore legally groundless, even according to the disputable opinion that Israel’s presence beyond that line is illegal. However, were other European courts to vindicate anti-Israeli boycotters in the future, then hundreds of European companies would be exposed to lawsuits because of their activities and investments in countries that occupy territories or that control disputed ones. The list includes, among others, China (over Tibet), Russia (over Abkhazia), Turkey (over Cyprus), and Morocco (over Western Sahara).
Although BDS activists do not have a case, they are potentially exposing hundreds of European companies operating in the above countries to liability. I say bring it on and give Europe a taste of its own medicine.
• About that 10,000-year history in Jericho, Mr. Erekat
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Yes, it’s a depressing app. Now let’s see Lebanon develop an app that lets terrorists take credit for bombings they had nothing to do with.
Time
• Egypt’s battle against the Muslim Brotherhood is getting hotter. The latest arrest was an Egyptian national who works for the US embassy in Cairo. Details at the LA Times:
The jailed staffer was identified as Ahmed Eleiba. Associates said his work involved monitoring developments concerning political Islam in Egypt — a sensitive subject in the wake of the popularly supported military coup that deposed Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July.
The incident reflected an increasingly aggressive stance by the Egyptian police and judiciary toward anyone suspected of even a tangential connection with the Muslim Brotherhood or any other Islamist group.
• Israeli skaters end Cinderella run in Sochi
(Image of Cameron via YouTube/The Telegraph, gavel via Wikimedia Commons/Jonathunder)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 10:42 pm

Telegraph Multiplies Palestinian Refugees
FEBRUARY 12, 2014 11:28
BY SIMON PLOSKER

TelegraphA Daily Telegraph story on John Kerry’s peace plan contains the following:

Mr Kerry’s acceptance of Israel’s demand to be recognised as a Jewish state is a blow to Mr Abbas, who argues that it would compromise the position of the country’s 1.5 million Arab citizens. The Palestinians say it would also mean surrendering on the demand of a “right of return” for five million refugees and their descendants who fled their homes at the time of Israel’s 1948 war of independence.
It appears that journalist Robert Tait has got his figures mixed up. The sentence above implies that 5 million Palestinian refugees were created around 1948. As the Jewish Virtual Library notes:
Many Arabs claim that 800,000 to 1,000,000 Palestinians became refugees in 1947–49. The last census taken by the British in 1945 found approximately 1.2 million permanent Arab residents in all of Palestine. A 1949 census conducted by the government of Israel counted 160,000 Arabs living in the new state after the war. In 1947, a total of 809,100 Arabs lived in the same area. This meant no more than 650,000 Palestinian Arabs could have become refugees. A report by the UN Mediator on Palestine arrived at an even lower refugee figure—472,000.
A request for a correction has been sent to the Daily Telegraph. Watch this space.
UPDATE
The Telegraph story has also been republished in the Irish Independent. We are now also seeking a correction from this media outlet.
UPDATE 2
successThe Telegraph has amended its story, which now reads:
The Palestinians say it would also mean surrendering on the demand of a “right of return” for five million refugees who include those who fled their homes at the time of Israel’s 1948 war of independence as well as their descendants.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 5:17 pm

Will US “Jewish Zealots” Really Blacklist Celeb Photographer?

FEBRUARY 13, 2014 12:04
BY SIMON PLOSKER

hollywoodThe Independent interviews English portrait and fashion photographer Rankin (also known as John Rankin Waddell) who gives his views on why Scarlett Johansson put SodaStream ahead of Oxfam:

“I think the reason that she has not backed down is because in America, the Jewish zealots are so powerful. Especially in the entertainment industry… What they could do to her career,” he added, admitting he had “negative views” on SodaStream’s West Bank operation.
“The main problem for me in all this is that kind of extreme Judaism. That extreme belief that this is their homeland and those people are worthless to them. That’s very powerful in America. They will blacklist you. It’s worse than McCarthyism. Are you pro-Palestinian? Forget it.
 So according to Rankin, powerful Jewish “zealots” dominate Hollywood while the belief in a Jewish homeland is “extreme Judaism.”
Why don’t you tell us what you really think, Rankin?
While acknowledging that Rankin’s comments could “stoke controversy,” The Independent’s article then virtually gives Rankin’s comments an endorsement by talking about the “hugely powerful” AIPAC and the attendance of prominent Hollywood executives at pro-Israel functions.
This from the newspaper that denied demonizing Israel and in doing so, demonizing the broader Jewish community.
It doesn’t need an all-powerful Jewish lobby to point out how appalling Rankin’s comments are. There shouldn’t be any need for an organized “blacklisting” of Rankin as he claims he is at risk of. Hollywood stars and other celebrities can read this interview and should come to their own conclusions before posing in front of Rankin’s camera.
Rankin and The Independent would do well to read the EUMC Working Definition of Anti-Semitism, which includes the following:
Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as collective — such as, especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
In response, HR’s CEO Joe Hyams said:
Were Rankin to focus his camera lens on himself rather than the “Jewish zealots” in his imagination, he’d see a very ugly and prejudiced image. That The Independent appears to see no problem with these outrageous comments is further evidence of that newspaper’s warped sensibilities when it comes to Israel and the Jews. 
You can send your considered comments to The Independent - letters@independent.co.uk -remembering to include your name, postal address and daytime telephone number to stand a chance of being published.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 13 Feb 2014, 4:43 pm


How Well Do PA Forces Control West Bank?

FEBRUARY 12, 2014 17:49
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1.  According to the Times of Israel, Hamas has significantly boosted its stockpile of rockets capable of reaching Jerusalem:
This means that the next round of conflict with Gaza will be focused on central Israel, with the Israeli military braced to defend the heart of the country against unprecedented salvos of M-75s directed at Tel Aviv, the rest of central Israel, and Jerusalem.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
2. Just when it seemed that Israeli-Turkey ties appeared back on track, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked the rapprochement to Gaza. The Jerusalem Post writes:
“The compensation talks on behalf of the victims of the Mavi Marmara, which are taking place between Ankara and Jerusalem, have not concluded,” Erdogan said. “In the final stages, there will be a need to include a clause in the protocol that calls for the lifting of the siege on Gaza.”
The premier’s statements were all the more surprising given that just two days ago his foreign minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, was quoted as saying that Turkey and Israel are as close as they have been yet to ending the long-running saga over the Mavi Marmara incident.
Israeli officials said the demand is out of the question.
3. PA forces are struggling to maintain security in the West Bank, especially in the refugee camps, according to the Washington Times.
4. Daily Telegraph Multiplies Palestinian Refugees: Accuracy prevailed in the end after the Daily Telegraph initially flubbed some figures.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Israel ranks at 96 in Reporters Without Borders’ annual Press Freedom Index. It’s actually an improvement because last year’s index threw the book at Israel for killing Palestinian “journalists” associated with Hamas.
• Israel improved its standing in the UN Human Rights Council, and also got observer status in Latin America’s Pacific Alliance. Details at the Jerusalem Post. The Wall St. Journal adds that the Latin American push is to  reduce Israel’s dependence on European trade and “avoid the political baggage over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and concerns about economic boycotts against Jewish settlements.”
• I hope this puts Cruella de Vil on notice:
Disney drops Arabic Donald Duck over anti-Israel tweet
Donald Duck
• NY Times bureau chief Jodi Rudoren takes a nice big-picture look at the BDS issue.
• Quiet stories of Israeli-Palestinian co-existence tend to fly under Big Media radar, so the BBC‘s Israeli-Palestinian cancer support group knocks down walls is a welcome reminder of normalcy in the Mideast.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Al-Quds U. Professor Muhammad Al-Dajani Al-Daoudi (Palestinians need to moderate negotiating positions), Abdel Bioud (why an Algerian Muslim supports Israel), Forbes (Jordanian anxieties over the two-state solution), and Tom Friedman (the peace process).
Rest O’ the Roundup
 Syrian crisis overshadows aid to the Palestinians
• Imagine the outrage if Israel did this:
Wall St. Journal
(Image of Erdogan via YouTube/Cihan Haber Ajansi, Donald Duck via YouTube/Scenes on Screen)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 11 Feb 2014, 8:32 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 02/11/2014
FEBRUARY 11, 2014 15:05
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. An Israeli Arab from Taibeh was sentenced to 18 months in prison for trying to join up with radical Islamists in Syria. According to Haaretz:
Altogether, about 15 Israeli Arabs are thought to be fighting in Syria against the regime, with a few more having joined Assad’s side. Their parents say some would like to return, but that once someone is accepted into a militia, he isn’t allowed to leave.
2. Palestinian Authority Human Rights Violations Ignored by Media, West
The report, which has been ignored by mainstream media and human rights organizations in the West, reveals that 10 Palestinians died in January 2014 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of anarchy, lawlessness and misuse of weapons.
The report also lists cases of torture and mistreatment in PA and Hamas prisons. ICHR pointed to an increase in the number of torture cases in prisons belonging to the PA’s much-feared Preventive Security Service in the West Bank . . . .
As far as the PA is concerned, Israel alone is responsible for human rights violations and assaults on freedom of expression and the media.
Evidently, most Western journalists, governments and human rights groups have chosen to endorse the Palestinian Authority’s stance that the only evil-doers are the Israelis. And that is precisely why the ICHR report about the anarchy, lawlessness and human rights violations by the PA and Hamas will be completely ignored in the West.
human rights
3. Big Media (in this case, Reuters) finally discovered the story of the ancient Greek statue found by a Gaza fisherman. The bronze Apollo — actually discovered last year — is estimated to be at least 2,000 years old. Hamas has an art wing too, which might explain why they seized the statue.
4. Hate Your Job? Really??? Can you believe quotes that appear in newspapers, or is there more to the story?

Israel and the Palestinians

• Expanding on the SodaStream issue, the NY Times looks at Palestinians working for Israelis in the West Bank.
Diana Buttu, a lawyer who has been studying West Bank work conditions, and other boycott supporters acknowledged that the settlement industry provided important economic opportunities for Palestinians even as it challenged their national aspirations. The deeper problem, she said, was that the Palestinian minimum wage was $410 a month, compared with Israel’s $1,217, and most Palestinian workers lacked pensions, vacation days and disability insurance — factors she and others say are the fault of the Palestinian Authority as well as Israel.
• Aussie reactions to Stone Cold Justice range from a staff-ed in The Australian to the Zionist Federation of Australia, to foreign minister Julie Bishop.
• British MP Yasmin Qureshi apologized for comparing the situation in Gaza to the Holocaust.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal via Google News — why Scarlett Johansson has more backbone than John Kerry), Yaakov Ahimeir (compensating Jewish refugees), Robert Satloff (assessing US peace efforts), and Lawrence Grossman (boycotting Israeli products), and Binghamton U. sophomore Justin Hayet (ASA boycott).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Elliott Abrams debunks Cold War analogies applied to today’s Iranian situation.
• Tweet of the day:

• Marwan Bishara (of Al Jazeera) deplores Egypt’s war on journalism Al Jazeera, but Michael Rubin points out that Al Jazeera’s hands aren’t so clean either.

• Elliott Abrams debunks Cold War analogies applied to today’s Iranian situation.
• I wonder if his last words were “I’m only going to demonstrate this once.”
Iraqi terror instructor accidentally blows up 21 recruits
• The Global Post visited the Hula Valley Nature Reserve, where half a billion birds find peace in the Mideast.
Pacific Alliance• Nice to see Israel and Latin America reaching out to each other. The Jerusalem Post reports that:
Israel is hosting Peru’s visiting president, Ollanta Moises Humala next week.
Benyamin Netanyahu is organizing an April trip to Mexico and Colombia.
Israel is expected to be offered observer status in the Pacific Alliance free-trade bloc.
The Post adds that it’s not all about free trade either:

The Pacific Alliance countries are also important as a wedge in Latin America against Iranian influence. In December, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said during a meeting with visiting Guatemalan President Otto Fernando Perez Molina that Iran had terrorist bases in Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 10 Feb 2014, 12:22 am

Rock Solid Reporting Down Under?
FEBRUARY 9, 2014 16:28
BY SIMON PLOSKER
stonethrowingIn advance of an Australian Broadcasting Corporation program to be aired on February 10, The Australian’s John Lyons has produced two articles and an accompanying video interview on the subject of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children in the West Bank.

The Australian articles most likely offer a preview as to what will be seen on the television.
To our Australian readers – please tune in on February 10, 8.30pm to Four Corners on ABC1 and see whether this topic is handled fairly and appropriately.
Central to Lyons’ report is the following:
At the heart of the issue is that Israel enforces two legal systems in the West Bank, one for Jews and one for Palestinians. About 2.5 million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation in the West Bank – also known as the Palestinian Territories – which Israel has occupied since 1967.
Palestinian children appear before the military court, while Jewish children face a civil court with full legal protections.
Contrary to Lyons’ statement, the two legal systems in operation are divided between Israeli citizens (which, of course, includes both Jews and Arabs) and non-citizens. This is not a division based on race, ethnicity or religion but on the legal status of the disputed territories. The reason why Palestinians, both children and adults, are not subject to Israeli civil law is that Israel has never annexed the West Bank and therefore, Israeli law does not apply to the area. Instead, military law is applied.
It’s safe to say that Lyons would not advocate Israel’s annexation of the West Bank and it’s also safe to assume that were Israeli law to be administered in the disputed territories, there would be an international outcry and accusations of breaching so-called international law.
So it’s hardly surprising that Jewish children face a civil court. After all, how many Jewish children would find themselves in front of a military court charged with throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli cars or IDF soldiers?
In addition, contrary to Lyons’ statement that “2.5 million Palestinians live under Israeli occupation,” needs clarification, especially when discussing the legal rights of the Palestinians. Some 2.4 million Palestinians live under Palestinian Authority rule and are subject to the PA’s domestic laws.
To Lyons’ credit, he interviews Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor who refutes the charge that Israeli policy is designed to make life intolerable for the Palestinians:
Let me say this very clearly. There is no such policy. A policy to create fear? There is no such thing. The only policy is to maintain law and order, that’s all. If there’s no violence, there’s no law enforcement.
But who exactly are the Palestinian “children” that Lyons refers to? These aren’t 8 year olds but Palestinian youths, perhaps 17 years old who are engaged in the same terror activities as Palestinians who are legally considered to be adults. Israel does not arbitrarily arrest minors for the sake of it. It isn’t “only” stone throwing that Palestinian minors are involved in.
In response to a Guardian article on the same subject, the spokesperson for the Israeli Embassy in London wrote in January 2012:
But you omit the horrific nature of the atrocities that minors, some as young as 12, can be arrested for.
Hakim Awad, 17, is a minor. Last March [2011] he and his 18-year-old cousin, Amjad, brutally murdered the Fogel family while they slept. No mercy was shown to three-month-old Hadas, her two brothers (aged four and 11) and their parents. The scene of the crime, including the severed head of a toddler, left even the most experienced of police officers devastated. The duo proudly confessed to their killings, and they have shown no subsequent remorse.
Between 2000-04, 292 minors took part in terrorist activities. Shocking images of Palestinian infants dressed in explosive vests are only the tip of the hate industry that Palestinian children are exposed to. Ismail Tsabaj, 12, Azi Mostafa, 13, and Yousuf Basam, 14, were sent by Hamas on a mission chillingly similar to the one involving the Fogels, aiming to penetrate a Jewish home at night and slaughter a family in their beds. In this case, the IDF fortunately stopped them in time. …
In the face of ever younger minors committing ever greater numbers of crimes, its efforts to maintain and even increase legal protections are impressive. When a minor involved in terrorist activity is arrested, the law is clear: no torture or humiliation is permitted, nor is solitary confinement in order to induce a confession. …
Furthermore, a special juvenile court has been established to guarantee professional care for minors in detention. The above and other measures have succeeded in making legal proceedings easier for minors, and have almost halved their duration. …
It would be our wish that no minor would ever find themselves in Israeli custody. Unfortunately, we have to deal with the reality, not our dreams.
Much criticism is made of Israeli arrest operations of children in the middle of the night. Lyons may wish to consider the probable outcome of an arrest operation carried out during daylight hours. This would most likely result in violence as Palestinians in the immediate vicinity engage IDF soldiers leading to injuries or worse on both sides. Is the arrest of children during nighttime hours unpleasant? Certainly. But it still preferable to the alternative.
Lyons also states in his video interview that the Israeli authorities have been very receptive to the criticisms of the treatment of Palestinian children. Israel recognizes that improvements need to be made to the system and are continuously striving for this.
The discussion is undoubtedly a sensitive and emotive one. Nonetheless, it should be carried out in an accurate manner that avoids demonizing Israel.
To our Australian readers – please tune in on February 10, 8.30pm to Four Corners on ABC1 and see whether this topic is handled fairly and appropriately.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 10:26 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 02/09/2014
FEBRUARY 9, 2014 15:39
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. Rockets hit the Negev, and then Israel struck back. Don’t be surprised if we see reports along the lines that It All Started When Israel Fired Back.
2. Confidence building measures, Tehran style: Iran state TV airs simulated attacks on Israeli and US targets. Backstory at the Jerusalem Post. Oh yeah, Iranian warships now heading towards the Atlantic Ocean will sail to the US maritime border as part of of a mission to make illicit deliveries with Cuba and/or Venezuela “send a message.”

3. With no clear line of political succession, who are the Palestinians jockeying to take over the PLO “after Abbas?” The Times of Israel looks at the behind-the-scenes contenders.
4. Rock Solid Reporting Down Under? Australian media investigates Israeli treatment of Palestinian children. But is the subject being treated fairly?
Israel and the Palestinians
• A Washington Post interview with John Kerry is getting some media attention because the Secretary of State said Israelis and Palestinians will be able to express their reservations about US-drafted parameters. Ooooh.
• President Obama’s approval ratings are plummeting among Israelis. Time looks at why.
• Britain’s high court rules against Ahava boycotters
• The PA cracked down on the radical pan-Islamic group, Hizb ut-Tahir after it issued a leaflet slamming Mahmoud Abbas for proposing a NATO involvement in security arrangements. More at the Jerusalem Post.
On the next page:
Inside the Israeli-made security system at Sochi.
Why is Spain granting Jews a “right of return?”
Ex-CIA chief: Anti-Semitism a factor in Jonathan Pollard’s continued imprisonment.

Continued on page 2
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 09 Feb 2014, 12:57 am

• Is Israel squandering Jewish refugees' chances for restitution?
• John Kerry to retire in 2016. What does it mean for peace efforts?
• Is Gen. Al-Sisi teasing Egyptians with his ambition?
Today’s Top Stories

1. Compensation for Jewish refugees who fled Arab countries is one of the most-overlooked issues of peace talks. Now Israel’s state comptroller says the government is squandering the opportunity to obtain billions of dollars in restitution.  Haaretz explains why:
In 2010, a law was passed stating that compensation for the lost property would be included in any future Arab-Israeli peace agreement. But the report shows that even if peace were to break out tomorrow morning, Israel would be hard-pressed to present a solid claim because the state does not know what property is at issue. The possible reasons for this are many and absurd . . .
John Kerry
John Kerry flying to Davos.

2.  John Kerry will retire from politics at the end of Barack Obama’s presidential term. Not sure what this means for his Mideast and Iranian diplomacy, but here’s what he told CNN‘s Jake Tapper towards the end of a wide-ranging Q&A:
KERRY:  One of – one of the joys of this job is I’m out of politics.
TAPPER:  Forever?
KERRY:  I’m out of politics.  I have no plans whatsoever.  This is my last stop.  I’m going to serve the country in the extraordinarily privileged position the president has given me, the great challenges that I have and move on.
3.  The Egyptian army denies Arab media reports trickling back to the West that military chief Abdul Fattah al-Sisi has decided to bow to the people’s wishes and run for president. Is al-Sisi teasing Egyptians with his ambition?
Read the full roundup here
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 11:01 am

Israel-Bashers Eyeing UN Job
FEBRUARY 5, 2014 17:08
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. This week’s withdrawal and confused redeployment of Hamas squads along the Gaza border to prevent rocket fire was the result of a rift within Hamas, according to documents obtained by YNet.
2. The UN’s resident Israel-basher and 9/11 truther, Richard Falk, is nearing the end of his term as the Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on human rights in the Palestinian territories. Hillel Neuer previews “the rogues gallery of anti-Israel activists and academics” clamoring for the job.
The UNHRC’s rules are clear: only Israel gets investigated, only Israel gets condemned.
Richard Falk
Richard Falk briefing journalists in 2012.

3. Mohammed Javad Zarif’s having a rough day. Just follow the bouncing ball:
Iranian Foreign Minister Lays Out Condition for Iranian Recognition of Israel.
Iranian FM in hot water for taking softer tone on Israel
Iranian FM denies reports hinting at recognition of Israel if conflict with Palestinians settled

News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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4. Comments and the Roar of the Crowd: How to thank Scarlett Johansson? And what the heck does BDS stand for anyway?
5. NY Times’ Tom Friedman Calls BDS the Third Intifada: Is a peaceful two-state solution really the endgame of the boycott movement’s activities?
6. What’s Behind the Recent Success of the Dutch BDS Movement? A guest post by Yochanan Visser explaining Dutch divestment decisions.
7. HR Reader Gets NY Times Letter Published: Jason Levinson is on a roll.
Israel and the Palestinians
• SodaStream CEO David Birnbaum went toe to toe with Oxfam’s Ben Phillips on BBC Newsnight. Oxfam did not look good because when Jeremy Paxman pressed him on the issue, Phillips wouldn’t straight up say that it would be better for the factory to be gone and the plant’s Palestinians unemployed.
VIDEO PLEASE CLICK HERE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cd9ioQrTqoY

• PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah presented a draft budget of $4.2 billion, with a deficit of $1.3 billion. If the PA wants to cut its deficit, it could stop paying civil servants to do nothing in Gaza, end stipends for terrorists, and tackle corruption.

• Israel busted a Palestinian terror cell planning to open fire on guests in a Jerusalem wedding hall.

• Gotta like PassNotes‘ funny take on Roger Waters and Scarlett Johansson.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Khaled Abu Toameh (why Jordan’s resisting Kerry’s peace proposals), Jonathan Schanzer (Israel’s qualitative military edge ain’t what you think), Investor’s Business Daily (Kerry’s diplomacy), Jake Wallis Simons (Oxfam funding BDS), Joe Klein (American Studies Association boycott) and a NY Post staff-ed’s withering take on US peacemaking efforts.
On the next page:
Just how deeply has Erdogan’s anti-Semitism penetrated Turkey?
When Europe speed-dates Iran, sanctions are just an afterthought.
Foreign press in Egypt is running scared.

Continued on page 2
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 10:42 am

EXTRACT Please click link HERE for more
Seeing SodaStream For Myself
FEBRUARY 4, 2014 12:56
BY SIMON PLOSKER

This opinion piece by HR’s Managing Editor Simon Plosker is republished from The Times of Israel
SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum (r) with Simon Plosker
I’d given up all carbonated drinks over a decade ago (sorry Coke and Pepsi… and SodaStream) so I have no brand loyalty when it comes to SodaStream or any other sparkling beverage. But thanks to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and Oxfam, SodaStream has become the latest flash-point in the demonization campaign against Israel.
So, despite the fact that Scarlett Johansson was not going to be there, I jumped at the opportunity to visit SodaStream’s factory in Mishor Adumim, some ten minutes outside Jerusalem.
I joined a group of some 40 journalists representing media outlets from across the globe, all of them drawn to a story that has received a remarkable amount of attention in recent days.
It has it all – the glamorous movie star, a dispute with a major “human rights” organization, controversy over Israeli “settlements,” an international boycott campaign, a Super Bowl ad. What more could you want from a story involving Israelis and Palestinians?
Here is a company that was not only promoting less sugary beverages and environmentalism, but also promotes peace between peoples by creating workplace coexistence.

Read more at above link
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 10:29 am

 Kerry: Obama’s Syria Policy is Collapsing
FEBRUARY 4, 2014 17:43
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. US officials to the Jerusalem Post: Mideast peace talks will need more time than we thought.
Kerry and his team have suggested publishing a framework for negotiations going forward that the parties would collectively roll out before the April 29 deadline. But the Americans now view the hard date they originally set to be “artificial” and suggest that even the framework might need more time, given some important gaps that still remain.
2. Kerry Tells Senators That Obama’s Syria Policy is Collapsing
3. The same Danish bank, Danske Bank, which won’t do business with Israel’s Bank HaPoalim for “legal and ethical grounds,”  didn’t have qualms when it helped finance a North Korean company that sold ballistic missiles to Iran. So much Danske Bank’s self-righteousness. Spengler connects the dots from Wikileaks.
Danske Bank
4. The Case Against “Generic” News Images: Is photo bias having a cumulative effect on the world’s perception of the Palestinians?
5. A Correction Obscuring Real BDS Goals: Why is The Guardian correcting information that was reported correctly in the original text?
6. HonestReporting Coming to Limmud Winnipeg: Don’t miss Gary Kenzer in “The Peg.”
Israel and the Palestinians
• Jordan’s foreign minister says Amman won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state because the Hashemite kingdom fears becoming defined as a Palestinian state. The Times of Israel writes:
Now, official Jordan is concerned that defining Israel as a Jewish state may eventually lead to the forced deportation of Palestinians eastward across the Jordan river.
• BDS Movement Not Illegal, Says Israeli Official
• New Zealand’s foreign minister confirmed to Haaretz that the Batsheva Dance Company will receive visas to perform at a Wellington arts festival, despite BDS opposition.
• USA Today discussed the peace process with Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer.
• For more commentary/analysis on the peace process, see David Weinberg (Kerry’s not an equal opportunity threatener), Ron Ben-Yishai (what Abbas didn’t tell the NY Times), Max Boot (the PLO’s NATO gambit’s a non-starter), Uri Dromi (Israel as the UN’s punching bag), and Dan Margalit (recognizing Israel as a Jewish state). Weighing in on Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions issues are Matthew Kalman, Bernard Avishai, Oliver Kamm, the Albuquerque Journal, plus staff-eds in the Globe & Mail and NY Daily News.
word cloud
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Hassan Rouhani’s still moderate, right? Amir Taheri reports that Hashem Shaabani and Hadi Rashedi were hanged in an Iranian prison after Rouhani green-lighted their execution. Another 12 people convicted with Shaabani and Rashedi await their executions. What did they do to earn the regime’s wrath?
There, last July, an Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal with a single judge, Ayatollah Muhammad-Baqer Mussavi, sentenced the 14 to death on charges of “waging war on God” and “spreading corruption on earth” and “questioning the principle ofvelayat-e faqih” (the guardianship of the jurist).
• Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel is trying to get a foothold in Canada, and Jewish activists are concerned, reports the National Post:
“The primary concern of the Jewish community is that Al Jazeera Arabic is fairly notorious for broadcasting anti-Semitic comments,” he said. “Al Jazeera English is a much different channel — the content is different, the tone is different.”
“We would have no problem with Al Jazeera Arabic, provided that there would be some guarantee that anti-Semitic content would not be broadcast and I don’t think they can make that guarantee,” Mr. Sampson added.
• Another suicide bombing in Beirut. This Christian Science Monitor headline sums it all up:
 Christian Science Monitor
• Bret Stephens (Wall St. Journal via Google News) and Gabriel Schoenfeld don’t believe the West will ever detect an Iranian break-out.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Post  Admin on Thu 06 Feb 2014, 10:21 am

NATO To Patrol De-Militarized Palestinian State?
FEBRUARY 3, 2014 16:03
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.
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Israel-Daily-News-Stream/182588885185478

Today’s Top Stories
1. According to news reports in both Israel and Turkey, the two countries are close to finalizing a $20 million compensation deal for the families of nine Turkish nationals killed aboard the Mavi Marmara.
Jerusalem, however, does not expect any agreement to be reached before the Turkish local elections on March 30, since Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is said to fear that an agreement with Israel and a compromise on the compensation will hurt him politically.
2. SodaStream CEO David Birnbaum accused Oxfam of funding the BDS movement that’s been targeting his West Bank factory. The Jerusalem Post writes:
“Unsurprisingly, Oxfam has joined the BDS in this movement [to close down the West Bank factory],” SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum said. “I’m saying ‘unsurprisingly’ because we found out that some of the Oxfam branches have been donating funds to the BDS, and this money is used to demonize and attack Israel.” . . .
Birnbaum spoke out Sunday against Oxfam after the Israeli nonprofit group NGO Monitor posted information on its website claiming that in 2013, the charity’s Dutch affiliate Oxfam Novib had transferred NIS 406,300 to the Coalition of Women for Peace, which was involved in the BDS campaign against Israel.
Oxfam immediately responded, denying the claim.
BDS
3. Mahmoud Abbas to the NY Times: A US-led NATO force could indefinitely patrol a de-militarized Palestinian state to allay Israeli security concerns:

Mr. Abbas said in an interview with The New York Times at his headquarters here over the weekend that Israeli soldiers could remain in the West Bank for up to five years — not three, as he previously stated — and that Jewish settlements should be phased out of the new Palestinian state along a similar timetable. Palestine, he said, would not have its own army, only a police force, so the NATO mission would be responsible for preventing the weapons smuggling and terrorism that Israel fears.
(And Tom Friedman gives it a thumbs up.)
4. Seeing SodaStream For Myself: HR’s managing editor visits the SodaStream factory to see what all the fuss and fizz is about.
5. Shock and Horror as Israeli Embassy Supports . . . Israel! This is what The Guardian considers news?
6. Watchdog of the Week: RTE Makes On-Air Apology for Ariel Sharon Slur: Irish broadcaster corrects the record thanks to action taken by three of our UK readers.
7. Join HonestReporting’s Spring Mission: Meet the newsmakers, the journalists, and the insiders to find out the story behind the headlines. Join HonestReporting’s Spring, 2014 mission to Israel (May 20-26). Book now and qualify for our early bird special. Click for details.
HonestReporting Mission to Israel
Israel and the Palestinians
• Thumbs up to AP reporter David Mac Dougall. His dispatch on Israel returning the bodies of Palestinian suicide bombers is nicely balanced out by the impact its  having on Israeli victims of terror. This snippet speaks volumes about the burden the survivors still carry, while adding a frank and welcome transparency to his reporting:
On Sunday at the Supersol, a security guard stood in Smadar’s old spot. A plaque on the wall commemorated him and Rachel Levy, a 17-year-old Israeli also killed in the blast.
Levy’s parents declined to comment. Almagor said the Levys were upset to learn in the media about the body of their daughter’s killer being returned to the West Bank.
A Supersol cashier on the job Sunday morning was also working the day of the attack. She started to cry when an Associated Press journalist tried to talk to her about the blast. Sunday’s body transfer awakened raw memories, and her manager asked AP to leave.
terror victims
Haim Smadar and Rachel Levy, killed in a 2002 suicide bombing at a Jerusalem supermarket.

• Fatah wants John Kerry hauled to the International Criminal Court for threatening Mahmoud Abbas. Kerry was making a point to Abbas about the PLO chief’s legacy, but see the Jerusalem Post for the laughable spin Fatah’s putting on it.
• The Danish ambassador to Israel stressed that his government has nothing to do with Danske Bank — Denmark’s largest — boycotting Israel’s Bank HaPoalim. According to the Times of Israel:
“Indeed, the embassy has an account at Bank Hapoalim, and we have no plans at this stage to change that,” Ambassador Jesper Vahr was quoted by Hebrew news site Walla as saying. “It is a private decision of the bank, and the government of Denmark has no connection to it. The bank makes these decisions independently.”
• Haaretz‘s Ilene Prusher looked at a bunch of Palestinian mashup images criticizing Scarlett Johansson’s SodaStream commercial. Unfortunately, the paper’s tweet of Prusher’s piece overshadowed the link to her article with an image (one of several that illustrate the article).
Haaretz is taking flak for appearing to support BDS (and rightly so), but the offense strikes me as unintentional and certainly avoidable. What do you think? (Shortly after publishing this roundup, Haaretz tweeted a clarification.) Here’s the original tweet.
Haaretz
• The SodaStream factory hosted a scrum of reporters on Super Bowl Sunday. Among the journos there were USA Today’s Kate Shuttleworth, Bloomberg News, Daily Mail, and the Financial Times (via Google News).
• For more commentary, see YNet and Yaacov Lozowick (SodaStream), Steve Rosen (what happens when one million Palestinian refugees return to the West Bank?), and Roger Cohen (the peace process).
Rest O’the Roundup
• Iran received $500 million in frozen assets. It’s the first installment of $4.2 billion due to be unblocked as part of the Iran’s interim nuclear deal with international negotiators. AFP coverage.
• Is Israel taking secret steps to block Al-Qaida from gaining a foothold in southern Syria, asks the Jerusalem Post.
• French comedian Dieudonne banned from entering Britain. (Authorities must still feel burnt by Abu Qatada and Sheikh Raed Salah).
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Post  Admin on Thu 30 Jan 2014, 4:02 pm

JANUARY 30, 2014 15:21
BY PESACH BENSON
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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. Scarlett Johansson cut ties with Oxfam over her SodaStream endorsement. In the process, the actress slammed the BDS movement. AP writes:
“Scarlett Johansson has respectfully decided to end her ambassador role with Oxfam after eight years,” the statement said. “She and Oxfam have a fundamental difference of opinion in regards to the boycott, divestment and sanctions movement.”
I’m giving the last word to Alex Ryvchin.

For more on the bitter bubble beverage battle, see today’s edition of Fighting BDS.

2. Hezbollah is expanding its drone use. YNet reports the UAVs patrol the Lebanese-Syrian border, and spend time over the homes of rival Lebanese politicians (!?).
Hezbollah is believed to possess close to 200 Iranian-made drones, and some are, of course, destined for Israel. A proportion of those planes are set aside for one-way missions on strategic sites inside Israel, or IAF bases in the next conflagration. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s drone collection includes a variety of models, among them “suicide” model aircraft that can fly at very low altitudes, evading Israel’s radar systems.
3. An IDF officer putting Hezbollah on notice gives us Reuters‘ bungled headline of the day:
Reuters
You have to read the article to find out Major-General Amir Eshel was talking about Hezbollah’s human shields.
Israel accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah guerrillas on Wednesday of putting “thousands” of bases in residential buildings and said it would destroy these in a future conflict, even at the cost of civilian lives . . .
“Above and below live civilians whom we have nothing against – a kind of human shield,” he told the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies, a think-tank near Tel Aviv.
“And that is where the war will be. That is where we will have to fight in order to stop it and win. Whoever stays in these bases will simply be hit and will risk their lives. And whoever goes out will live.”
More on Eshel’s address at Jerusalem Post.
4. Anti-Normalization Absurdities: A Palestinian photographer with a history of hounding Israeli journalists out of Ramallah gets permission to enter the Jewish state.
Israel and the Palestinians
• 170,000 rockets pointed at Israel. Can we call that disproportionate?
• Gaza’s water woes are getting desperate, reports The Media Line:
“In Gaza, the first desalination plant built by the World Bank was completed in October of last year,” Bromberg said. “But the tragedy is that it has no electricity to run it . . .”
Gen. Nguyen Giap
• Worth reading: Kerry, the Palestinians, and the Vietnam model:
Giap not only taught Arafat the wonders of propaganda in the age of modern media. He also introduced him to the idea of “phased strategy.” What the Communist Vietnamese meant by “two-state solution” was the conquest of the south in phases: first sign a “two-state” agreement with the US, and then repeal it unilaterally by invading the south after the withdrawal of US forces.
Mahmoud Abbas and other PLO leaders never pronounce the phrase “two states for two peoples.” They only use the expression “two-state solution.” What they mean by this “solution,” however, is not the end of the conflict after the establishment of two distinct nation-states, but a “two-state solution” Vietnam-style. This is why Abbas refuses to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, this is why he insists on invading Israel with the descendants of the 1948 Arab refugees, and this is why he flatly rejects the idea of a Jewish minority in a Palestinian state.
• For commentary/analysis, see David Ignatius (Kerry’s interim deal-style diplomacy with both Israel and Iran), and Professor Kenneth Lasson (demolishing the academic boycott of Israel). Last but not least, the Chicago Tribune gave George Bisharat an op-ed soapbox to plug the academic boycott.
Rest O’the Roundup
• The NY Times visited Syrians in the Western Galilee Hospital. One man, grateful for the care his five-year-old granddaughter is receiving, told correspondent Isabel Kershner:
“When there is peace, I will raise an Israeli flag on the roof of my house,” he said.
• Syria has demolished thousands of homes during the civil war. BBC picked up on this Human Rights Watch report. Can you imagine the outrage if Israel did this?
Government officials told HRW that the demolitions were carried out in order to remove illegally constructed buildings.
However, the New York-based group found that there had been no similar demolitions in pro-government districts.
• Turkish troops fire on Al Qaeda-affiliated militants in Syria
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 28 Jan 2014, 8:20 pm

Did Israel Attack Syria?
JANUARY 27, 2014 15:00
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. Media reports suggest (Israeli jets?) attacked (missile launchers?) in Syria (a base?) in the area of Latakia. Nothing’s confirmed, so take your pick of YNet or Jerusalem Post coverage and draw your own conclusions. As this roundup goes to to press, this JPost is snippet is about the only one I feel comfortable quoting with confidence:
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which collates reports from opposition activists, said there had been an explosion at a Syrian air defense base near Jableh, in the Mediterranean coastal province of Latakia.
2. Great moments in political trial balloons? An anonymous official in the Prime Minister’s office told the Times of Israel that Benjamin Netanyahu will insist on West Bank settlers being allowed to choose to live in their homes under Palestinian rule.
The PA rejected the idea; some settlers told YNet they’re open to it, and AP called it’s “a novel approach to one of the stickiest issues in Mideast peace talks.”
al-Sisi
Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Sisi

3. Egypt to hold presidential elections in April. A previously agreed upon timetable  had the vote to be held in July, after separate parliamentary elections. As Reuters aptly puts it:
Critics have campaigned for a change of the roadmap, saying the country needs an elected leader to direct government at a time of economic and political crisis and to forge a political alliance before a potentially divisive parliamentary election.
Opponents say it risks creating a president with unchecked power. Were that Sisi, who is widely tipped to win, it would put the army back in a post controlled by military men until Mursi was propelled to office by the Muslim Brotherhood.
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4. Time Magazine’s Derogatory Headline: Less than politically correct language used as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son’s love life piques media interest.
5. Watchdog of the Week: Jason Levinson’s Letter in the Irish Times: It’s not often you see a letter from as far afield as Texas in the letters page of the Irish Times.
6. Come to Israel This Spring With HonestReporting: Discover the beauty and complexity of the Mideast and get the inside story from the newsmakers. Join HonestReporting’s Spring, 2014 mission to Israel (May 20-26). Book now and qualify for our early bird special. Click for details.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Indictments reveal Hamas trying to expand influence in Jerusalem through social welfare programs, reports YNet.
• Cyber hackers breach Defense Ministry computer
• I’m grateful to see The Independent standing up for Israeli athletics. Qatar must be hoping Israel doesn’t qualify for the 2022 World Cup, which the Gulf state is hosting:
The International Swimming Association (Fina) have issued strong warnings both to Qatar and Dubai, where Israeli athletes suffered similar discrimination. Shouldn’t Fifa be doing the same? Especially as only last week [sic] the United Arab Emirates refused permission for Israel-born defender Dan Mori to enter the country with his Dutch club Vitesse Arnhem for friendly matches in Abu Dhabi because they do not recognise Israel as a state.
• For more commentary, see Tom Wilson (the American lobby in Israel), Nadav Shragai (negotiations as a form of “resistance”), and Shimon Ohayon (Exposing the myth of the Arab bystander to the Holocaust).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Sinai jihadis took credit for downing an Egyptian helicopter, with a video backing their claim Time gets it.

• Lebanon’s going nuts after the Beirut-based LBC TV interviewed Israeli air force pilots and officers. In Lebanon, you see, it’s illegal to directly contact Israeli officials, and this law applies to media organizations as well. YNet followed up on the fallout:

He stressed that the video was produced by a Palestinian production company and was then passed on the Lebanese channel . . .
LBC, the network that released the highly-debated interview, issued a statement on Saturday in which they claim they have fallen into an IDF trap, which used the network for its own purposes.
• More dirt on Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s Holocaust denial unearthed at Memri.
• Iranian journos urge Rouhani to re-open press association
• For more commentary on the Iranian situation, see The New Republic’s Leon Wieseltier and Ali Alfoneh.
(image of al Sisi via YouTube/M e i m a)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 27 Jan 2014, 7:35 am

Israel Daily News Stream 01/26/2014
JANUARY 26, 2014 16:56
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. Do Sinai jihadis now have surface to air missiles? An Egyptian military helicopter crashed in the northern Sinai peninsula and its crew is missing. According to a CBC report (which I couldn’t find online) discussed on Twitter, the jihadis apparently shot down the chopper. It was a matter of time, and Israel’s gotta be concerned some of them will turn up in Gaza. AP later reported that a group called Ansar Beit al-Maqdis (Champions of Jerusalem) claimed credit for the downing.

2. Call it collateral damage waiting to happen. According to the Times of Israel, Hamas is placing rocket launchers next to water reservoirs and attaching reconnaissance cameras to water towers and minarets. On a related note, Daniel Nisman weighs in on the likelihood of a Gaza war. See the Wall St. Journal (via Google News).
In its desperation, Hamas has made no secret of its recently revamped relationship with Tehran. Iran’s supposedly “moderate” leadership is gaining favor as a negotiating partner in defusing crises across the region. It’s hardly surprising that the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organization, Iran’s main proxy in the Gaza Strip and the second most powerful faction there after Hamas, appears to have been responsible for most of the recent rocket fire.The group has a proven track record of cooperating with Hamas and adhering to ceasefires when it sees fit, always in close coordination with its backers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.
3. LBC For the first time, the IDF allowed a Lebanese TV crew to film inside an air base — to warn Hezbollah against smuggling weapons into Lebanon from Syria. YNet writes:
A reporter from Lebanon’s LBC interviewed Ramat David Air Force Base commander, as well as Captain Avihai Aderi, head of Arab media at the IDF Spokesperson Unit . . .
Eventually, the message the IDF was panning on sending Hezbollah was made crystal clear: “The IDF understands that the arrival of such strategic arms to Hezbollah in Lebanon will be what sparks the next war.”
4. Bye Bye, Harriet: A correspondent expressing feelings like these should’ve been pulled a long time ago.
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Israel and the Palestinians
 Eli Lake: US envoy Martin Indyk has been reaching out to Israeli national security experts and reserve officers sympathetic to a Jordan Valley withdrawal. Is this diplomatic due diligence, or obscene interference in Israeli affairs?
• IRS Wants Gaza Caravan-Tied Charity’s Status Stripped
• Graduation speech? Where I come from, it’s called incitement and brainwashing. Ismail Haniyeh and other Hamas notables exhorted teenage graduates of Hamas camps to look forward to martyrdom, Israel’s annihilation, and global jihad. The speeches were, of course, broadcast on Al-Aqsa TV. More at the Times of Israel and Memri (video/transcript).
 
• Oxfam’s distancing itself from Scarlett Johansson. Turns out she’s an ambassador for the UK-based aid and development organization, which also opposes Israeli businesses (like SodaStream) in the West Bank. The actress took to the Huffington Post to staunchly stand by SodaStream.
Judging from the roundup of Boycott Divestment Sanctions movement’s reactions at The Lede, they’re going to make thisOxfam’s headache. For more on BDS issues, see today’s edition of  Fighting BDS.
On the next page:
Mahmoud Abbas begins 10th year of his four-year term as PA president. Why does it matter?
After interviewing Hassan Rouhani, Fareed Zakaria calls nuclear deal a “train wreck.”
 Al Qaida-linked jihadis in Syria now reportedly numbers 30,000.

Continued on page 2
 
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Thu 23 Jan 2014, 11:47 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 01/23/2014
JANUARY 23, 2014 16:51
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. Former Hamas man behind Beirut bombings?
2. Germany’s conditioning on high-tech grants and scientific cooperation on making Israeli entities on the wrong side of the Green Line ineligible for funding. Haaretz reports that that Israeli officials are worried about a domino effect:
The German decision represents a significant escalation in European measures against the settlements. While the Horizon 2020 scientific cooperation agreement, which Israel signed with the European Union a few weeks ago, prohibited EU funding for academic research conducted in the settlements, Berlin has now extended the funding ban to private companies located over the Green Line. Moreover, the boycott against the settlements has now spread from EU institutions in Brussels to individual EU members. . .
“We also want to prevent a situation in which every decision made by the European Commission in Brussels is automatically adopted by all 28 member states,” he added . . .
3. Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif insisted to CNN that the interim nuclear deal doesn’t require Tehran to dismantle anything. It’s hard to argue, because the agreement hasn’t been made public by the Obama administration.
4. The Economist Ignores Calls for Anti-Semitism Standards: An anti-Semitic cartoon fails to prompt any soul searching.
5. Watchdog of the Week: Friends of Israel (Western Australia) Fighting Bias Down Under: This week’s Watchdog of the Week is awarded to an organization rather than an individual.
Israel and the Palestinians
• AP discovered “terror.”
Israel on Wednesday said it had foiled an “advanced” al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets, in what analysts said was the first time the global terror network‘s leadership has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel.
The T-word also popped up in the LA Times and CNN.
• The IDF’s launched its newest weapon in the media war: a combat camera unit documenting army operations. The Guardian‘s Matthew Kalman nicely profiled the unit, whose personnel finished a seven-month training course.
On the next page:
Drug money-laundering ring benefitting Hezbollah busted.
AP cuts ties with photographer who altered Syrian war photo.
Saudi columnist: Arab rulers way more brutal than Ariel Sharon.
Continued on page 2
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jan 2014, 9:13 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 01/22/2014
JANUARY 22, 2014 17:38
BY PESACH BENSON

Today’s Top Stories
1. Israeli arrested three Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem plotting a string of terror attacks. The Jerusalem Post reports they were recruited by an Al Qaida operative in Gaza.
The intended targets included the Jerusalem Convention Center, a bus traveling between the capital and Ma’aleh Adumim, the US embassy in Tel Aviv, and emergency responders who would have arrived at the scene of attacks
2. Abbas rejects extending peace talks beyond nine-month deadline
Yossi Reshef
3. A group of students who disrupted an Israeli musician’s performance were found guilty of violating the rights of other people to express themselves. Ten students from South Africa’s Wits University were sentenced to 80 hours of community and risk being expulsion if they violate school rules again.
Yossi Reshef, the pianist whose recital last year was disrupted, called the decision a victory for academic freedom, but the students defiantly rejected it:
“As far as I’m concerned, none of the people found guilty by the kangaroo court are prepared to do community service,” he said, adding that they were doing their part “as community leaders to stand up against the injustice of Zionism”.
4. Canadian PM Turns Tables on the Media: When it comes to the media’s attitude towards Israel, Harper gets it.
5. Israel Lobby Trope in The Independent: Is it really so difficult to believe that some U.S. Congressmen may harbor genuine concerns and mistrust towards Iran without some all-powerful “Israel lobby” pulling the strings?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Payback: An Israeli airstrike killed two Gaza  thugs, including Ahmed Za’anin, who fired rockets at the end of Ariel Sharon’s funeral.
• UNESCO now looks to hold the Land of Israel Exhibit in June. The exhibit’s less likely to disrupt the peace talks in June because negotiations will likely collapse by then. Jerusalem Post coverage.
maple leaf• One of Harper’s accompanying cabinet ministers, Jason Kenney, told the Times of Israel that foreign ministries around the world tend to have an institutional bias against Israel:
It’s no secret that the foreign ministries of most Western countries have an institutional bias against Israel that is probably informed by the fact that there is one Jewish state and dozens of other Islamic and Arabic states. That frankly informs the professional public service in most Western foreign ministries.
You mean there are 20 times as many diplomats who have served in Arab countries?
And 40 times more in Muslim countries. That’s right. The prime minister more or less intimated that in his speech. That means you’ve got dozens more diplomats and foreign policy wonks who absorb a particular perspective which is frankly and obviously hostile to Israel.
So that becomes the default position. It takes a profound act, it takes great intentionality on the part of political actors, to overcome that kind of institutional bias to begin with.
• For more commentary on Stephen Harper’s visit, see Thomas Walkom, Jonathan Kay, Heather Mallick, a Globe & Mail staff-ed, plus cartoons in the National Post and Edmonton Journal.
• Following up on the controversy over the shirts used by the Chilean soccer team, Palestino: the country’s National Soccer Federation banned the shirts, which featured a map of showing Israeli territory as Palestinian. The Santiago Times reports that the team president will simply put a different map on the shirts.
However, he was quick to point out that the ANFP does not specifically prohibit the use of the pre-1947 Palestinian map on shirt designs.
“It is clear there are no rules against using the ancient map of Palestine on sportswear,” Aguad told El Mercurio. “We are going to design a new shirt with complete liberty to include the territory of, and any symbols relating to, Palestine.”
If a pro-Israel team somewhere in the world did something similar, this conversation would probably be about dual-loyalties.
Palestino football club
Palestino football club shirts

• The NY Times introduces us to Gedaliah and Elisheva Blum, American olim who are fighting the boycott of settlement products with the Orange Pages:
The Blums have since 2009 run a website promoting small businesses — mechanics, real estate brokers, caterers, etc. — in the settlements generally viewed as illegal under international law, and last fall they unveiled an online boutique selling settler art. Their approach is an attempted antidote to the “Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions” movement that has been gaining ground lately — buy local, invest, celebrate.
• Just learned that Israel’s new ambassador to Brazil, Dr. Reda Mansour, is a Druze diplomat.
Mansour joins two other Druze diplomats: Naim Aryadi, Israel’s ambassador to Norway, and Baheej Mansour, Israel’s ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
• I wonder how the BDS movement explains this: Morocco Acquired Israeli Heron Drones via France.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Ron Ben-Yishai (why Hamas and Islamic Jihad are de-escalating rocket fire), Emmanuel Navon (the Israeli-Palestinian demographic battle), Jonathan Tobin (refugees), Washington Times (UNESCO), New Haven Register (boycotts), and Yaacov Berg (Israeli reaction to boycott talk).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• As implementation of the interim nuclear deal kick in, the LA Times gauged Israeli reactions.
• I’m sure the mullahs in Iran are taking note: Israel and Kazakhstan signed a security-military cooperation deal.
 YNet: A Syrian teenager getting treatment in Haifa’s Rambam Hospital petitioned Israel’s Supreme Court that he not be returned  to Syria.
The High Court appeal states that the young girl, who was injured in battles in Syria which also claimed the lives of her mother and several other family members, fears for her life, and is requesting to be sent to relatives in another country. The petition notes that the relatives were informed of the issue and are willing to take the teen in.
• Humanitarian aid is becoming a weapon in the Syrian civil war, including the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp, reports the Wall St. Journal. There’s enough blame to spread around to everyone.
• For more commentary on the Syrian situation, see the Wall St. Journal (via Google News).
(Image of Palestino via YouTube/24X7BreakingNEWS)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Wed 22 Jan 2014, 8:12 pm

Betrayed Israeli Professor Blisters UNESCO
JANUARY 21, 2014 17:37
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. After uproar, Iran disinvited from Geneva conference on Syria. Iranian statements against the premise of the gathering made it easier for Ban Ki-moon to withdraw the invitation. Good thing too: the talks would have collapsed from the boycott of Syrian rebels and other key countries opposed to Iran’s participation. Bottom line: Iran wouldn’t “get with the program,” writes McClatchy News:
Iranian leaders failed to follow through on a promise to endorse the conference’s goal of naming a transitional government.
Scarlett Johansson
2. Heh. Left-wing yuppies just can’t get enough of SodaStream, even though the product is supposed to be so boycottable. NY Magazine finds that everyone’s got an excuse for having it. And Benny Avni credits Scarlett Johansson for going against the Tinseltown stream:
In Hollywood, where misguided radical chic hasn’t cost anyone a juicy movie part in half a century, ignoring the anti-Israel catcalls is no easy thing these days. Sticking by SodaStream in such an environment is admirable.
3. Professor Robert Wistrich, author of the Israeli exhibit that UNESO squelched bitterly slammed the organization for caving in to Arab pressure. He told the Times of Israel:
Wistrich also claimed that UNESCO only agreed to host the exhibition to improve its image in the United States, hoping to get the administration to start funding the organization again, after it stopped paying when UNESCO admitted “Palestine” as a member. The historian also took aim at the Obama administration, suggesting the State Department was schizophrenic because it had refused to cosponsor the exhibition — invoking the same reasons that Arab member states used when working successfully to torpedo it — yet later condemned the fact that it was canceled.
Israel and the Palestinians
• Time to look busy: Hamas deploys forces to prevent rocket fire on Israel. Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Post rounds up the latest rocket fire on Israel, including Grads fired at Eilat.
• Romania supports the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
• Maybe I missed it, Ali Jarbawi, but I didn’t hear any Israeli media grumble over any lack of response from the PA about Ariel Sharon’s death.
Stephen Harper
Prime Minister Stephen Harper

• Nice of the Toronto Star to publish the text of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Knesset speech. For an opposing view, Ahmad Tibi explained to the CBC why he walked out in the middle.
• Weighing in on Stephen Harper’s visit are Shira Herzog, Andrew Coyne, David Akin, John Ivison, Michael Petrou, and staff-eds in the Toronto Star, Winnipeg Free Press, and Toronto Sun. The Globe & Mail gave op-ed space to Nabil Shaath — he’s sour grapes. Canadian cartoonists expressed themselves too in the National Post, Montreal Gazette, and Ottawa Citizen.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Danny Danon (Israel-US ties), and the Washington Times (countering illegal boycotts).
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Sanctions eased, Iran gets feelers from old trading partners.
Even when the easing begins, now set for Monday, it will continue to be nearly impossible to transfer money into and out of the country. “Most companies want to scope out the landscape,” said Rouzbeh Pirouz, the chairman of a Tehran-based investment firm, Turquoise Partners. “But I don’t think many of them will actually sign contracts and start putting money into this place very quickly.”
• The photos are disturbing to look at, and they’re damning allegations of Syrian army torture. CNN and The Guardian got exclusive looks at the evidence which war crimes prosecutors are investigating.
• Another car bomb struck a Hezbollah neighborhood in Beirut. CNN reports four dead and 27 injured.
• I wish sports wasn’t so politicized, but this is where we’re at. Big sigh.
Chile bans Palestino football club anti-Israel shirt
Nicolas Anelka to be charged by FA over ‘quenelle’ gesture
Russian police kill Islamist militant leader before Olympics
• I liked Diana Moukalled‘s take on the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

(Image of Johansson via YouTube/SuperBowl 2014, Harper via Facebook/Stephen Harper)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 10:56 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 01/20/2014
JANUARY 20, 2014 16:58

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. Not all Palestinian academics support boycotting their Israeli counterparts. The Chronicle of Higher Education even found a few willing to talk. Even more significantly, the NY Times republished Matthew Kalman’s dispatch from the ivory towers of Abu Dis:
A professor in the College of Pharmacy at Al-Quds, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the issue, said more than 50 Palestinian professors were engaged in joint research projects with Israeli universities, funded by international agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development. He said that, without those grants, Palestinian academic research would collapse because “not a single dollar” was available from other places. He rejected the call for a boycott as having no practical value.
2. Palestinian journalists are already piqued with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. Maan News reports his bodyguards got into a scuffle with some of the stringers covering his visit to Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity. As a result, the Palestinian Union of Journalists urged Palestinian journalists to boycott Harper’s West Bank visit.
A not-so-great moment in Palestinian sources led to two contradictory headlines. One’s based on Palestinian sources, the other based on Canada’s immigration minister. (Realizing it was burnt by the Arab reports it had relied on, the Jerusalem Post updated its coverage later in the day.)
Jerusalem Post
National Post
3. In a last-minute reversal, UN chief Ban Ki-moon invited Iran to participate in the Geneva summit on Syria this week along with Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Greece, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, the South Korea. You know what they say about too many cooks . . .
“As I have said repeatedly, I believe strongly that Iran needs to be part of the solution to the Syrian crisis,” Ban told reporters on Sunday.
4. Shades of Anti-Semitism in The Economist: Do Jews control Congress?
Israel and the Palestinians
• Relative Calm Watch: Amid concerns of continued rocket fire, 4,000 Ashdod kids were kept home from school because their buildings aren’t suitably fortified. The majority of the city’s schools are fortified, and classes went on as usual for everyone else.
• Hmmmm. Israel began returning the bodies of Palestinian terrorists. AP called them militants, but a Toronto Star headline writer decided to apply the T-word to the wire report.
 AP
Toronto Star
• Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki explained to Asharq al-Awsat (via Elder of Ziyon) why the PLO can never ever ever recognize Israel as Jewish state:
It would be dangerous to recognize this because this would mean our acceptance of the dissolution of our own history and ties and our historic right to Palestine. This is something that we will never accept under any circumstances.
• For more coverage of Stephen Harper’s visit to Israel, see the Toronto Star (links one and two), the Globe & Mail, and the CBC, plus Dow Marmur‘s commentary.
• Once it becomes acceptable to demonize Israel, it’s not long till people use Israel to falsely smear their own enemies too. Turkey’s a case point, Today’s Zaman columnist Abdulhamit Bilici points out:
There was a survey recently conducted by a university about foreign policy perceptions in Turkey. According to this survey, 42 percent of the people interviewed perceived the US as the biggest threat to Turkey while 37 percent said the top threat was Israel. Therefore, the quickest way to launch a psychological warfare operation against someone or a group is to portray them as collaborating with the US and Israel. This is best label you can affix onto someone in order to isolate and demonize them within religious and conservative groups.
• For commentary/analsyis see Avi Issacharoff (Gaza escalation) and Michael Cohen (he’s optimistic).
Rest O’ the Roundup
atom• Iran and the West began implementing the interim nuclear deal. Take your pick of AP or CNN coverage for what this means for sanctions, centrifuges and spin.
• Israel allows Egyptian army to operate in north Sinai, even lets helicopters circle over Gaza airspace. But officials told the Times of Israel that turning up the heat on Hamas has to be done carefully because a massive retaliation against the Gaza Strip will significantly hamper Egypt’s ability to curb terrorism on the Sinai-Gaza border.
• Sign of the times: As international monitors dismantle Syria’s chemical weapons program, Israel announced that it’s no longer distributing gas masks to the public. LA Times coverage.
• Reuters: Russia’s stepping up arms sales to Syria again.
• Israeli expert seeks ethics code for cyber warfare
• For more commentary/analysis, see Jackson Diehl (Egypt and the US) and Boaz Bismuth (Iran’s nuke program).
(Image of atom via deejaywill)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Post  Admin on Thu 16 Jan 2014, 5:22 pm

Euro Spy Agencies Working With Assad
JANUARY 15, 2014 15:09
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. Defense minister Moshe Yaalon apologized to John Kerry for criticizing the Secretary of State’s diplomacy. What would Chaim Yisraeli say?
2. Why isn’t the Obama administration releasing the text of the interim nuclear deal with Iran? Where’s the disclosure, asks the LA Times:
Critics fear the text of the implementation agreement may include terms that would allow Iran to secretly forge ahead with some aspects of its nuclear program while the next phase of bargaining goes on. On Monday, critics also began expressing concern about the accompanying side text.
Bashar Assad3. Talk about dealing with the devil: European intelligence agencies have reached out to the Assad regime to share information about European jihadis operating in Syria. The Wall St. Journal (via Google News) writes:
The talks are narrowly focused on the extremists and on al Qaeda‘s growing might in Syria and don’t represent a broader diplomatic opening, the Western and Middle Eastern officials and diplomats said.
But Mr. Assad’s opponents in Syria and in Istanbul, where the political opposition is based, said they are concerned that the information sharing suggests Western capitals are starting to accept the possibility the Syrian leader will retain power for the foreseeable future.
Opposition members also are concerned the contacts—coupled with an international effort under way to remove Syria’s chemical arms—could grow into wider cooperation in fighting terror groups in Syria.

4. Yaalon Headline Fail in the Times: How is it that the comments of one man, albeit the Defense Minister, are taken and repackaged into the claim that the state of Israel as a whole is opposed to peace efforts?

Israel and the Palestinians
• Despite a commitment to John Kerry not to, the PLO is drafting plans to unilaterally join international bodies. What it means depends on who you ask:
Israeli experts are divided on the danger of unilateral Palestinian accession to international institutions.
• Thumbs up to the NY Times and Times of Israel for looking at Hamas’s week-long military boot camp “national education” for Gaza youth. My high school never taught me how to handle an AK-47, jump over burning tires, or spot Israeli spies:
The six-day program, Futuwwa, enrolled about 13,000 boys at nearly a dozen sites across the Gaza Strip over the past week, with trainers from the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.
Hamas boot camp
Gaza teens at Hamas boot camp, 2013.

• On the eve of Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s visit, Israel’s former ambassador to Canada questions Ottawa’s official policies. National Post coverage.
• Wow: Over at Forbes, Richard Behar’s takedown of the ASA boycott is devastatingly detailed.
• For more commentary/analysis, see Tom Friedman (on Ariel Sharon), Doyle McManus (Kerry’s diplomacy) and Douglas Murray (EU funding Palestinian hatred).
Arab Spring Winter
• Yesterday, we wondered about Big Media’s lack of interest in the Syrian army’s brutal siege of the Yarmouk refugee camp. Well, today, CNNAPWashington Post, and Christian Science Monitor, picked up on the story.

• The trial of Rafik Hariri’s assassin’s couldn’t have come at a worse time for anyone who wants to see justice done, points out the NY Times:

“A lot of people think they can corner Hezbollah with an international indictment,” said Kamel Wazne, a political analyst in Beirut who is distrustful of the court. “But with Hezbollah fighting an open war in Syria, sending fighters openly, who is going to come and enforce anything at this point?”
More on the upcoming trial at Der Spiegel and see also Who’s Who.
(Image of Assad via Instagram/syrianpresidency, Hamas boot camp via YouTube/Al Jazeera English)
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Tue 14 Jan 2014, 10:18 pm

Israel Daily News Stream 01/14/2014
JANUARY 14, 2014 16:00
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. Seeing it as a national security threat, the Egyptian government is planning to undermine Hamas. Reuters got itself a heckuva scoop:
The aim, which the officials say could take years to pull off, includes working with Hamas’s political rivals Fatah and supporting popular anti-Hamas activities in Gaza, four security and diplomatic officials said.
Special Tribunal for Lebanon2. The Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) responsible for bringing Prime Minister Rafik Hariri’s assassins to justice moves to a new phase: a trial in absentia of four Hezbollah defendants, with a fifth to be possibly added to the indictment.
The tribunal was set up in an agreement between Lebanon and the UN Security Council, but Hezbollah refuses to recognize the court’s jurisdiction. Hariri and 21 others were killed in a massive 2005 Beirut car bombing. More on the story at the Jerusalem PostNOW Lebanon, and the STL web site.
News breaks fast. Get HonestReporting alerts by e-mail 
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3. Israel long-claimed that Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), the Turkish organization which organized the Mavi Marmara flotilla, had ties to Al-Qaida. Looks like the Turks finally got the message. Hurriyet reports that multi-city raids on Al-Qaida operations included an IHH storage facility near the Syrian border.
4. CNN’s Ugly Post-Mortem on Sharon: It’s bad enough that Human Rights Watch dances on Ariel Sharon’s grave. But why is CNN promoting it?
5. Sky News’s Distorted Sharon Narrative: Correspondent adds his own interpretation of Ariel Sharon’s legacy.
6. Starving Palestinians: Thousands of Palestinians in a refugee camp are threatened with starvation. But the world press doesn’t care because the bad guys are Syrian instead of Israeli.
Please support HonestReporting
Israel and the Palestinians
• Members of the Arab States Broadcasting Union gathered in Ramallah to essentially plan out propaganda for the coming year. The union’s general director, Salaheddine Maaoui, told the The Media Line:
He expressed his hope that the conference will be a turning point in the Arab coverage of the Palestinian cause. “We want to see that the Arab media is recruited to serve the Palestinian cause,” he elaborated.
• Palestinian authorities apologized for having illegal weapons in their Prague embassy.
• The academic boycott issue is fading from the mainstream media. Lingering commentary from Richard Cohen and a Baltimore Sun staff-ed (on academic boycotts). But with colleges resuming classes after winter break, the issue’s very much alive at GeorgetownNorth CarolinaNebraska universities, plus Cincinnati area campuses.
 For more commentary/analysis, see David Singer (Abbas dismantling the framework agreement), Dror Ben-Yemini (don’t say “transfer”), the LA Times (it’s transfer, stupid) and the Melbourne Herald Sun (Jamie Hyams got a right of reply to Joseph Wakim). Last but not least, Aaron David Miller discussed what the framework agreement could do for the peace process with CNN.
Rest O’ the Roundup
• Cue some ominous music while reading this. Reuters reports that international inspectors gained more access to Iranian nuclear sites, but it “still falls short of what it says it needs to investigate suspicions that Tehran may have worked on designing an atomic bomb.” And the White House confirmed that Iran “would be permitted to continue developing advanced nuclear centrifuges that will enable it to more quickly enrich uranium, the key component in a nuclear weapon.”
• A former US security official got op-ed space in the NY Times to argue against Jonathan Pollard’s release.
• Turns out that an unnamed senior Egyptian diplomat quietly attended the Sharon funeral. Details at the Times of Israel.
Ariel Sharon• Henry Kissinger reminisced about Ariel Sharon. Also commenting: David LandauJonathan KayJake Wallis Simpson, and Molly Guinness, plus staff-eds in the Seattle TimesBoston GlobeCleveland Plain DealerYoungstown Vindicator, and South Africa’s Business Day.
• I’ll leave the last word to Sharon’s son, Gilad. Time published the text of his eulogy. ‘Nuff said.
For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.
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Re: HONEST REPORTING Defending Israel from Media Bias plz read REGULAR UPDATES

Post  Admin on Sun 12 Jan 2014, 5:43 pm

Ariel Sharon: Debunking the Media Myths
JANUARY 12, 2014 15:05
BY SIMON PLOSKER
With the death of former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, the media have produced a huge number of obituaries. Sharon has been a controversial figure and elicits a wide range of emotions from supporters and detractors alike. This, however, is no excuse for inaccurate profiles or deliberate demonization of one of the founding fathers of the modern Israeli state.

Throughout the years, and particularly since his 2001 election as prime minister, the international media has treated Ariel Sharon with more vitriol and abuse than any other democratically elected leader in the civilized world. Sharon has been depicted in less than flattering terms by many media outlets who have labeled him as a “war criminal” and a “butcherer,” a trend we are once again seeing in today’s media coverage.
Media analyst Tom Gross contends:
sharoncartoonspainIn the past, much coverage of Ariel Sharon in the European and Arab media has been accompanied by blatant anti-Semitism. In Spain, for example, on June 4, 2001 (three days after a Palestinian suicide bomber killed 21 young Israelis at a Tel Aviv disco, in the midst of a unilateral Israeli ceasefire), the liberal magazine Cambio 16 published a cartoon of Sharon (with a hook nose he does not have), wearing a skull cap (which he did not usually wear), sporting a swastika inside a star of David on his chest, and proclaiming: “At least Hitler taught me how to invade a country and destroy every living insect.”
A week earlier, El Pais, Spain’s equivalent of The New York Times, published a cartoon of an allegorical figure carrying a small rectangular-shaped black moustache, flying through the air towards Sharon’s upper lip. The caption read: “Clio, the muse of history, puts Hitler’s moustache on Ariel Sharon”.
Cartoons in the Greek press in 2004 showed Sharon as a Nazi officer. One of Italy’s leading papers, Corriere Della Sera, ran a cartoon on March 31, 2002, showing Sharon killing Jesus. (The cartoon, which was timed to coincide with Easter that year, was published as Israelis lay dying from the Netanya Passover massacre three days earlier.)
Hundreds of similar anti-Semitic motifs have been applied to Sharon in recent years. The Economist magazine in London compared him to Charles Dickens’s infamous anti-Semitic stereotype, Fagin.
In today’s obituaries, there are three common examples of bias where missing context or incorrect information are being employed to present Sharon as a “butcher” or “war criminal”:
Sabra and Shatila
A charge commonly leveled at Sharon is that he is responsible for the massacre of thousands of Palestinians in the Sabra and Shatila refugee camps during the 1982 Lebanon War.
Ariel Sharon, the Butcher of Beirut turned 
peacemaker, dies at the age of 85
Headline: Daily Mail

In fact, as detailed by Mitchell Bard’s Myths & Facts, the killings were carried out by the Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia (whose members have still not been held accountable). Israel’s own Kahan Commission found that Israel and Ariel Sharon were indirectly responsible for not anticipating the possibility of Phalangist violence. Sharon thus resigned his position as Defense Minister.
Myths and Facts states:
The Lebanese Christian Phalangist militia was responsible for the massacres that occurred at the two Beirut-area refugee camps on September 16–17, 1982. Israeli troops allowed the Phalangists to enter Sabra and Shatila to root out terrorist cells believed to be located there. It had been estimated that there may have been up to 200 armed men in the camps working out of the countless bunkers built by the PLO over the years, and stocked with generous reserves of ammunition.
When Israeli soldiers ordered the Phalangists out, they found hundreds dead (estimates range from 460 according to the Lebanese police, to 700–800 calculated by Israeli intelligence). The dead, according to the Lebanese account, included 35 women and children. The rest were men: Palestinians, Lebanese, Pakistanis, Iranians, Syrians and Algerians. The killings were perpetrated to avenge the murders of Lebanese President Bashir Gemayel and 25 of his followers, killed in a bomb attack earlier that week.
Israel had allowed the Phalange to enter the camps as part of a plan to transfer authority to the Lebanese, and accepted responsibility for that decision. The Kahan Commission of Inquiry, formed by the Israeli government in response to public outrage and grief, found that Israel was indirectly responsible for not anticipating the possibility of Phalangist violence. Subsequently, Defense Minister Ariel Sharon resigned and the Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Raful Eitan, was dismissed.
In 1985 an American jury decided that Sharon had been defamed by Time Magazine, which had inferred that Sharon either ”consciously intended” or ”actively encouraged” the killing of the civilians.
This article is continued on Page 2
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