Israel Daily News Stream 03/08/2012

Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.

A PA official adopts Jesus as “Palestinian.” IAEA chief says Iran’s not up front about its nuke program. And are contradictory quotes by Mahmoud Zahar simply mixed messaging, or misinformation?

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Israel and the Palestinians

While everyone’s preoccupied with Syria, Iran, US elections and the EU debt crisis, Palestinians lament to that the world doesn’t revolve around them. The NY Times feels their pain:

The biggest challenge we face — apart from occupation — is marginalization,” Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, said in an interview. “This is a direct consequence of the Arab Spring where people are preoccupied with their own domestic affairs. The United States is in an election year and has economic problems, Europe has its worries. We’re in a corner.”

On the opposite side, Israel HaYom‘s Dan Margalit praises the Prime Minister for finally making Iran The Top Issue.

Israel can congratulate itself for the diplomatic achievement of situating the Iranian nuclear issue at the forefront of the international agenda, conveniently marginalizing the issue of the stalled negotiations with the Palestinians.

This diplomatic achievement stemmed from an understanding among European nations that a nuclear Iran would pose a real danger to humanity. Even the Arab world is trending toward this understanding, even if only as a vague notion.

Church of the Nativity

The Palestinians are gearing up to register Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity under “Palestine.” The back and forth between Israeli and PA officials says a lot about Palestinian revisionism, not just statehood issues. This from the JPost:

Palmor added that the PA could have tried to register a non-religious site or even a Muslim one.

“But they chose a Christian site at the same time that they are legislating laws inspired by Shari’a which barely tolerate Christians let alone Jews.”

Awadallah countered that Christian history was an important part of Palestine.

Jesus is the Palestinian prince of hope and peace and Bethlehem is his birthplace,” he said.

On a somewhat related note, YNet reports that the PA’s stepping up security measures at Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus.

According to Reuters, Gaza “seethes” over Hamas taxes and power shortages. Israel’s not even blamed:

Hamas says the increase in levies is meant to protect homegrown products. But local analysts believe the group has been forced to tighten the fiscal screws at home because of a drop in funding from foreign allies, notably Iran.

Whatever the reason, many Gazans are fuming.

• George Bisharat (LA Times op-ed) slams administrative detention.

David Harris fisks Professor Avi Shlaim.

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