Israel Daily News Stream 02/29/2012

Israel Daily News Stream
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A powerful lesson from 13 Syrians who died evacuating an injured British journalist from Homs. Israel Apartheid Week’s under op-ed fire. And how significant is a Palestinian survey finding support for armed struggle at its lowest point in years?

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Israel and the Palestinians

Worth reading: The Media Line assesses a JMCC poll which finds Palestinian support for armed struggle against Israel at its lowest point in 14 years. But the Palestinian street can have a change of heart awfully fast, and as Khaled Abu Toameh noted yesterday, Hamas and Fatah are stoking tensions to distract the West Bank and Gaza from their national unity failure.

Israel Apartheid Week

Harvard Professor Ruth Wisse (WSJ, click via Google News) sharply lays out how her university’s conference on a one-state solution during Israel Apartheid Week is an old dance seen time and again on campuses:

The sequence is by now familiar: Arab student groups and self-styled progressives organize a conference or event like “Israeli Apartheid Week,” targeting Israel as the main problem of the Middle East. They frame the goals of these events in buzzwords of “expanding the range of academic debate.” But since the roster of speakers and subjects makes their hostile agenda indisputable, university spokespersons scramble to dissociate their institutions from the events they are sponsoring. Jewish students and alums debate whether to ignore or protest the aggression, and newspapers fueling the story give equal credence to Israel’s attackers and defenders . . .

Students who are inculcated with hatred of Israel may want to express their national, religious or political identity by urging its annihilation. But universities that condone their efforts are triple offenders—against their mission, against the Jewish people, and perhaps most especially against the maligners themselves. Smoking is less fatal to smokers than anti-Jewish politics is to its users. Remember Hitler’s bunker.

See related Boston Globe dueling op-eds pitting Abe Foxman against Diana Buttu.

 A selection of commentaries in campus newspapers against Israel Apartheid Week.

  1. The Chronicle (Duke): No student funds for ignorant rhetoric.
  2. The Targum (Rutgers): “Hate Israel Week” more accurately reflects organizers’ goal.
  3. The Tufts Daily: Israel Apartheid Week alienates Jewish supporters of Palestine.

The Irish Times notes the arrival of “Faces of Israel” in Ireland to counter Israel Apartheid Week.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Gen. James Cartwright

American assessments expect Iran to attack US targets after an Israeli strike. The NY Times writes:

While a missile retaliation against Israel would be virtually certain, according to these assessments, Iran would also be likely to try to calibrate its response against American targets so as not to give the United States a rationale for taking military action that could permanently cripple Tehran’s nuclear program. “The Iranians have been pretty good masters of escalation control,” said Gen. James E. Cartwright, now retired, who as the top officer at Strategic Command and as vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff participated in war games involving both deterrence and retaliation on potential adversaries like Iran.

 The Iranian targets, General Cartwright and other American analysts believe, would include petroleum infrastructure in the Persian Gulf, and American troops in Afghanistan, where Iran has been accused of shipping explosives to local insurgent forces . . .

“The balance the Iranians will try to strike is doing damage that is sufficiently significant, but just short of what it would take for America to invade,” said General Cartwright, now at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Stratfor emails dumped by Wikileaks allege that Russia and Israel swapped access codes for defense and surveillance equipment sold to Iran and Georgia respectively:

According to the leaked document, Israel gave Russia the “data link codes” for unmanned aerial vehicles that the Jewish state sold to Georgia, and in return, Russia gave Israel the codes for Tor-M1 missile defense systems that Russia sold Iran.

Arab Spring Winter

Paul Conroy

Dissidents succeeded in getting Paul Conroy, the Sunday Times photographer injured in Homs, out of Syria, but failed to evacuate three other journalists also needing medical care. AP says Edith Bouvier and William Daniels (both French) and Javier Espinoza (Spanish) — as well as the bodies of Marie Colvin and Remi Ochlik — are all believed to still be in Homs.

A grateful Times of London staff-ed (paywall) acknowledges the 13 Syrian volunteers who died in the evacuation effort:

The dissidents’ sacrifice testified not just to their bravery, but to the importance placed by opponents of the Assad regime on the role of free media in reporting their situation. As one spokesman told The Times: “The Syrians who died were volunteers who wanted to help the journalists who they knew well and respected for the work they had been doing.”

To put it bluntly, the dissidents knew that they could either protest, fight and die unseen and unreported and therefore probably pointlessly, or else have their sacrifice known to the world and be to some avail.

See the Daily Telegraph for more gripping details of Conroy’s evacuation.

I prefer blunt staff-eds that simply call a spade a spade. Case in point, The Australian‘s reaction to Syria’s referendum:

As an exercise in self-delusion, it would be hard to surpass Syrian tyrant Bashar al-Assad’s claim of 90 per cent support in a referendum to democratise his country. This is his answer, apart from the relentless butchery of his security forces, to the year-long protests that have now cost more than 8000 lives.

Rest O’ the Roundup

AFP picks up on the French court ruling against media activist Philippe Karsenty. Karsenty was sued by France 2 for libel when he said Dura’s death was staged.

The high court said the appeals court had overstepped its bounds in ordering France 2 to send them the rushes of the report, according to the text of the decision seen by AFP.

It said that the appeals court in Paris should judge the Karsenty case anew.

(Image of Gen. Cartwright via DoD/R.D. Ward)

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