Backspin articles

AET letter to Bush

One of the big stories yesterday was a letter from sixty former US diplomats to President Bush, criticizing his support for Ariel Sharon: “By closing the door to negotiations with Palestinians and the possibility of a Palestinian state, you have proved that the U.S. is not an evenhanded peace partner,” the letter said. One of

Update: Melbourne window exhibit

Shortly after we sent out today’s communique on the anti-Israel Melbourne window exhibit, ABC reported that the exhibit has been taken down. Good. But we’ll reiterate the main point from the communique — the key issue isn’t the debate over whether or not ‘art’ or ideological statements that some consider upsetting should be permitted or

A Melbourne window

The city of Melbourne sponsored this professionally-designed window display: Here are the red words on the glass: Since the creation of Israel in 1948 200,000 Palestinians have been killed 5,000,000 refugees have been created 21,000 square kilometers of land have been annexed 385 towns and villages have been destroyed 200,000 settlements have been built 300

Rall cartoon pulled

MSNBC decided this Ted Rall cartoon about Pat Tillman crossed the line of decency, so they made the highly unusual move of pulling it from their site. Rall’s no stranger to BackSpin — he’s the one who was ‘at home with Palestinian terrorists.’

NRK: ‘Jewish conspiracy’ in Norway

A number of Norwegians from different backgrounds met to discuss the growing antisemitism in that country, as well as methods of treating post-traumatic stress disorder caused by terrorism. Bjorn Staerk writes: One of the central people behind this event is Ester Kristoffer, a psychologist who has written about the suffering of Israeli bus drivers. Over

Worth reading today

* You know something has changed when both Kofi Annan and former PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas are calling for serious reform in Arafat’s PA. * Great staff-ed in the Dallas Morning News (req. reg.) about Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan’s embarrassing appearance on Meet the Press. Host Tim Russert aired clips of a Saudi

Okrent on Yassin

NY Times public editor Daniel Okrent addresses the Times’ description of Sheikh Yassin as a ‘spiritual leader’ of Hamas: Nowhere in The Times’s coverage is the choice of words more flammable than in the paper’s reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’ve been noting objections from both sides (although, I’ll acknowledge, many more from pro-Israel readers)

Al Hurra’s popularity

Via Taranto: On Valentine’s Day a new U.S.-funded TV station, Al Hurra, began broadcasting in the Arab world. Critics jeered. “The Middle East hates its new TV station,” declared Slate. The Middle East Times reported “a tidal wave of criticism from Arab audiences.” NBC News reported that “many didn’t bother to watch the fledgling TV

Op/Eds: A quiz and some poison

* Morton Zuckerman (US News & World Report) offers a quiz: In light of the much-misreported Sharon- Bush meeting, here’s a little quiz to put the event in a perspective that eluded the media. Q: Which Palestinian leader demanded the following immediate concessions as a condition for further talks: (i) Israel must withdraw all 7,500

Mideast press freedom

According to a new Freedom House study, “Freedom of the Press 2004: A Global Survey of Media Independence,” of the 19 Middle Eastern and North African countries, only one, Israel, is rated “Free,” with 90% of the countries in the region rated “Not Free.” The Middle East is the only region in the world with