Israel Daily News Stream 03/19/2012

Arab Spring Winter

Presidential faith advisor Dalia Mogahed is embroiled in her own Israel/Twitter controversy. She says she was tongue in cheek, critics say she was foot in mouth. Judge for yourself.

Worth reading: Frida Ghitis weighs in on what we learn from Assad’s leaked emails:

Clearly, Bashar and Asma al-Assad are creatures of the modern world. They watch YouTube videos, shop online and use secret e-mail pseudonyms. I bet they’re buying the latest iPads. But those in the West who believed that their modernity meant they would bring democratic reform got it all wrong.

What their experience in the West taught them was not a love of democracy and human rights. Instead, it showed them how to manipulate the media and how to create an image that would let them rule by the old-fashioned ways of dictatorship: by imprisoning and killing opponents. Anyone who believed otherwise was taken for a fool.

I like the concept of a gritty documentary on the Syrian uprising filmed by iPhone. Undercover video has valid place in journalism. But despite the obvious issue of safety, I’m uncomfortable with an Al Jazeera video filmed by a reporter whose name isn’t disclosed, face not shown, and voice altered.

Am I right to be prickly about the lack of transparency, or is this legitimate journalism in 2012?

Over the last five years, Russian arms sales to Syria have gone through the roof. 578 percent, compared to the previous five year period. While AFP reports that the Saudis are supplying military gear to the rebels, the LA Times reports that the black market of weapons available to rebels is drying up:

In the face of a much better-armed Syrian army, the rebels will find it difficult, if not impossible, to sustain their insurgency if a surge of weapons doesn’t come soon.

AP: Clashes reach upscale Damascus neighborhood where several international embassies are located.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Gunman opens fire on Jewish school in Toulouse. Gunman gets away as three children and an adult killed, five others injured. More at the Daily Telegraph.

  Mike Daisey’s big lies made CNN‘s front page. If you replace “Apple” with “Israel”, “Foxconn” with “Palestinians” and make a tag cloud of it, you could serve it up and compare with other big lies. But Khulood Badawi‘s  small time compared to Daisey’s reach . . .

The Pew Research Center released its State of the News Media 2012.

(Image of Beinart via YouTube/StartLoving6, Netanyahu via Flickr/Prime Minister of Israel)

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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