Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Israel supposedly jails more journalists per capita than Iran — but how did that stat come about? Why did it take the PLO so long to honor Helen Thomas with a journalism award? And why is Kiryat Shemona soccer a feel-good story for the world press?
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Knesset member Dr. Einat Wilf (Huffington Post) responds to Peter Beinart’s settlement boycott:
The Zionist left should focus on keeping the conditions for a two-state solution alive. But to do so, all the major obstacles on the road to peace need be addressed. The settlements in the West Bank are an obstacle to peace but, as far as obstacles go, the settlements rank a distant fifth to Arab rejection of the legitimacy of the Jewish claim to any part of the land of Israel, to the systematic inflation of the number of Palestinians refugees, to the hawking of illusion of a “right of return” and to shameful Arab incitement. . .
By conceding to a boycott of the settlements, Beinart hopes to salvage the notion that Zionism west of the green line is legitimate. He is willing to hurt fellow Jews and to speak of “systematic oppression” and “nondemocratic Israel” in the vain hope that it will serve “the greater cause” of a democratic Israel that is accepted and recognized west of the Green line. This distinction is of no consequence to the Arab world and the anti-Israel left. The Arabs in Palestine have repeatedly forfeited the dignity of statehood and systematically oppress their own people in refugee camps to avoid lending even a shred of legitimacy to the Jewish claim to Israel. No Palestinian is a partner to the idea that Zionism is legitimate as long as it stays west of the Green line.
• The Red Cross delivered 33,000 gallons of gas for Gaza hospitals. The BBC says that’s enough to help the strip’s 13 public hospitals continue providing essential services for 10 days. Hamas, Fatah, and Egypt are blaming each other.
• AFP: Israel shuts down media network in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Police spokeswoman Luba Samri confirmed the incident, saying the network’s launch violated a ban on any official Palestinian Authority activity in the city.
• What took them so long? PLO honors Helen Thomas.
• The Guardian‘s Mia de Graaf thinks the Ariel settlement is a province. A province?
Animosity towards Szekely, however, has been vocal. The debate Kaufman posted shows Szekely calling Ariel (a district in Someron) “a panhandle . . . intentionally designed to prevent the creation of a Palestinian state”. The province responded by publishing its own disparaging statement against him.
(UPDATE APRIL 4: The Guardian corrected the line.)