Big Media Rallies Around Jerusalem Post Reporter

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Today’s Top Stories

1. The White House Correspondents’ Association slammed Saudi Arabia for denying a visa to the Jerusalem Post’s Washington bureau chief, Michael Wilner, to cover the president’s visit to Riyadh.

The denial is an affront not only to this journalist, but to the entire White House press corps and to the principle of freedom of the press that we hold so dear.

The National Press Club is also urging the Saudis to reconsider. I’m glad to see the the media community rallying around Wilner. The story has since been picked up by the LA Times, Reuters, CNNMcClatchy News, and AFP, among others. A Jerusalem Post staff-ed commented:

At the very least, however, the Saudis should have the decency and the courage to fess up to their limited cooperation with Israel instead of generating public relations spectacles at the expense of The Jerusalem Post.

Michael Wilner

2. The State Dept. threw cold water on the latest Jonathan Pollard chatter. YNet reports:

There are no plans to release Jonathan Pollard at the moment,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki on Wednesday. “Jonathan Pollard was convicted of espionage against the United States – a very serious crime. He was sentenced to life and is currently serving his sentence.”

3. Turkish deputy prime minister to Hurriyet: Israel and Ankara will likely sign a reconciliation deal in April, after Turkey holds local elections on March 30. More background at Haaretz.

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4. Reuters Goes Overboard With Anonymous Sources: Reuters crosses the line as anonymous officials weigh in on Israel and the Iranian weapons boat.

5. BDS Can’t Get What They Want . . . With The Rolling Stones: The Rolling Stones schedule concert in Tel Aviv, and the BDS movement is trying to bully them to cancel.

6. In-Depth Analysis: The New York Times, Washington Post & Los Angeles Times: Three major newspapers’ Israel coverage compared. What did we find?

comparative study

Israel and the Palestinians

• The Israeli navy fired on two suspected smuggling boats overnight. YNet had clearest coverage of the incident. According to AFP, the boats were smuggling cigarettes and tobacco, but that doesn’t explain what the IDF said were secondary explosions.

• According to Israeli media reports, the US State Dept. is denying visas to senior members of Israel’s security services whose work is most connected to “the occupation.”

The effort to identify officers and commanders from the IDF, Shin Bet, Mossad, and other organizations stems from a fear that these individuals may have played a part in violating Palestinians’ human rights.

The US administration did not confirm the report, but did say last week that Israel’s discrimination against visiting Arab Americans is the primary reason it is not eligible for a program allowing Israeli tourists in to the United States without visas.

On the next page:

  • EU suggests paying refugees to waive “right” of return.
  • Report blasts anti-Semitism and anti-Christian bigotry in Saudi school texts.
  • Hungarian diplomat denies praising Hezbollah.

Continued on page 2

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