Israel Daily News Stream 03/19/2012

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

Obama advisor embroiled in new Israel/Twitter controversy. Hamas official to address UN. And why does David Landau have a bone to pick with critics of Netanyahu’s Iran/Holocaust rhetoric?

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Israel and the Palestinians

 Hamas official to address UN Human Rights Council in Geneva today.

Al-Ashqar will discuss the issue of Hamas members being held in Israeli jails.

Peter Beinart

Boycotting Israel is counter-productive, so just boycott settlements instead. So argues Peter Beinart (NY Times op-ed).

For their part, American Jewish organizations might argue that it is unfair to punish Israeli settlements when there are worse human rights offenses in the world and when Palestinians still commit gruesome terrorist acts. But settlements need not constitute the world’s worst human rights abuse in order to be worth boycotting. After all, numerous American cities and organizations boycotted Arizona after it passed a draconian immigration law in 2010.

The relevant question is not “Are there worse offenders?” but rather, “Is there systematic oppression that a boycott might help relieve?

YNet looks at Gaza’s new social class: millionaires who made their fortune in the tunnel smuggling business.

Many of the new financial tycoons invested their money in grandiose real estate projects such as luxurious shopping malls and hotels, out of the reach of most Gaza residents. This resulted in a spike in real estate prices that further worsened the economic stagnation. Many of the new millionaires are associated with Hamas leadership, and are involved in money laundering schemes, investing mostly outside Gaza.

As a result, their contribution to the Gaza market is slim, many claim in Gaza. They are furious with the new elite that use their capital to further monopolize the market to their own benefit rather than invest in the local market and create new jobs.

 Iranian Atomic Urgency

Worth reading: David Landau (you read that right) has a bone to pick with critics of the prime minister’s Holocaust rhetoric.

Dueling op-eds in the LA Times. Stephen Schlesinger accuses Iran of playing dirty. But Sarah Chayes and Amir Soltani equate Israel and Iran. Both need bogeymen to distract domestic attention from the 2009 election protests and Palestinian nationalism. It’s really simple:

The dispute is, at heart, about power, and preserving it. It’s about the governments of two religiously defined nations using nuclear brinkmanship to distract from the legitimate grievances and explosive restiveness of their own populations.

BBC Radio 4’s Analysis program assesses the likelihood of war with Iran.

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