Israel Daily News Stream 04/02/2012

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

Hana Shalabi deported to Gaza. A nuanced look at how “rational” the Iranian regime is. And an Egyptian blogger makes a powerful case against US aid to Cairo’s military junta.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Israeli security forces busted an eclectic terror cell: its 13 members included Palestinian Red Crescent workers, an Olympic goalie, an officer in the PA’s General Intelligence Service, and relatively more mundane Hamasniks. Haaretz suffices.

AFP picks up on Hana Shalabi ending her hunger strike and being deported to Gaza. You won’t know from AFP’s report why she was detained in the first place, so I’ll direct you to this CNN snippet:

Israeli authorities detained Shalabi in February, after the military said it had intelligence reports that she had resumed terrorist activity . . .

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev told CNN last month that a judge had ruled that Shalabi presented a danger.

 Press freedom in the Palestinian Authority’s deteriorating. See Khaled Abu Toameh and Amira Hass for more.

Ten years after the Church of the Nativity siege, YNet caught up with some of the Palestinian deportees.

Palestinian fugitives on the grounds of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during the 2002 siege.

Three kids killed by Gaza fuel crisis:

“Apparently the fire was caused by a candle which was being used after the electricity was cut,” he said . . .

A fourth child — just six months-old — was hospitalized with burns.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

In an LA Times op-ed, Alan Kuperman tackles the question of Iran as a rational actor. His verdict? “The Islamist regime usually behaves rationally. But occasionally, it doesn’t.”

Whatever the reason, the reality is that Iran seems to act rationally most — but not all — of the time. This has two major strategic implications.

Arab Spring Winter

Worth reading: Arab Spring is winter for Christians in Middle East

A 26 year-old Egyptian blogger is making a very forceful case for suspending US aid to Egypt. Maikel Nabil Sanad — who was imprisoned by the junta for 302 days — tells Jackson Diehl that the Obama administration’s decision to continue funding the regime is based on the military regime’s lies:

Start, he says, with the first sentence of the State Department’s explanation, that Egypt “is meeting its obligations under its peace treaty with Israel.” Actually, Nabil points out, the military is systematically whipping up hostility to Israel inside Egypt and using the treaty to “blackmail both Egyptians and U.S. taxpayers” by hinting that the loss of aid — or a democratic government’s control of the military — will mean its rupture.

What about the “strategic partnership” that State says it wants to preserve with Egypt? “Another lie,” says Nabil: How can a military council that is lacing state media with vile anti-American propaganda and prosecuting U.S. NGOs be a strategic partner?

Undercutting secular progressives while telling the world, apres moi, le deluge Islamic is right out of Hosni Mubarak’s playbook.

CNN obtained footage Paul Conroy shot during his escape from Homs.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Yoel Finkelman quits contributing to the Daily Beast’s blog, Open Zion in an open letter to editor Peter Beinart.

I wanted serious discussion of how, without sacrificing its vital security interests, Israel can help empower moderate Palestinian leadership, foster the creation of a stable and trustworthy Palestinian state—and, crucially, diminish Palestinian suffering until such time. Instead, I got morally confused debates over whether Israel is or is not an apartheid state. I wanted insight into the complexities of how and under what circumstances Israel might relinquish more territory to Palestinian control now that Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza has brought on a Hamas takeover. Instead, I hear far too much self-righteous moralizing about Zionism’s culpability for the evil of the occupation. I wanted serious consideration of how Zionist proponents of territorial compromise can minimize conflict and violence between the State and the settler population that stands to lose so much. Instead, I hear cavalier posturing about Jews boycotting other Jews.

(Image of fugitives via YouTube/media3media, brain via Flickr/Image Editor)

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