Obama Arrives in Israel

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Today’s Top Stories

1. President Obama arrived in Israel. More on the visit below.

2. An ex-Hezbollah member formed new political movement in opposition to the terror group. YNet picks up on reports that The Movement For the Lebanese Citizen is attracting people from Hezbollah’s Beirut strongholds:

In the Lebanon NOW story, Kamiche blamed Hezbollah for taking advantage of the ethnicity issue to cover up its failures, an attempt that he regretfully admitted to be successful.

Contrary to Hezbollah, the MLC’s approach, according to Kamiche, wishes to represent different voices in the Shiite community, stressing social and economic issues, not military, in order to improve the lives of all Lebanese.

3. The Washington Post notes another step in Syria’s road to hell: Islamic law is now being applied in rebel-controlled areas.

“Their ideology comes from outside Syria, and, unfortunately, it is the same ideology they tried to apply in Afghanistan and Iraq. They failed there, and now they are trying here,” he said.

4. Five Media Spins to Watch for During Obama Visit: The world media joins President Obama in Israel. What should you be watching for in your newspaper’s coverage?

5. HonestReporting’s Simon Plosker recently appeared on Revelation TV, discussing the media’s role and impact in shaping public opinion of Israel. Watch the show.

Obama’s Israel Tour ’13

Israeli leaders greeted President Barack Obama at Ben-Gurion Airport. After all the welcoming speeches, the president checked out an Iron Dome battery, then headed off to a busy schedule in Jerusalem. See live-blogging at  Haaretz  and the Times of Israel.

Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, the PA’s official bulldog for the Obama visit, got op-ed space in the NY Times. Israel needs to be pushed on peace, and only Obama can do the pushing.

The PA prohibited reporting from Hebron ahead of the presidential visit. The Times of Israel writes:

The Palestinian Authority has issued a ban on releasing photos and videos from the West Bank city of Hebron ahead of US President Barack Obama’s visit, which begins Wednesday, Channel 10 reported Tuesday night. The Palestinian media is expected to comply with the PA’s directives, according to reports.

Hebron residents are reportedly opposed to the US president’s visit and the Palestinian Authority is attempting to avoid embarrassment over hateful displays in the city.

Ben Rhodes

Ben Rhodes

The LA Times introduces us to Ben Rhodes, the White House speech writer crafting the president’s Jerusalem keynote address. A sneak preview of what’s in store for Thursday evening:

As Obama’s trip to Israel has approached, Rhodes has been making the point that Israel can no longer rely on authoritarian leaders in Egypt and elsewhere in the Arab world to help guarantee its security. Israelis must acknowledge the impact that democratic change has had on at least some of the countries around them, he said in a recent conference call with reporters.

Israel, as it makes peace, is going to have to recognize the broader role of public opinion in peacemaking,” he said.

As speechwriter, Rhodes must make the best of a trip that is more about symbolism than substance. The speech will stress that people can make a difference, even if their leaders are stuck, and its location will underscore that message.

On the next page:

  • Behind the scenes with all the reporters covering the presidential trip.
  • Who’s minding Israeli’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the absence of Avigdor Lieberman?
  • All the day’s commentary and analysis.

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