Israel Daily News Stream 04/17/2012

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

A whopping 40 percent of Europeans believe Israel is waging a “war of extermination” against the Palestinians. A PLO cadre slams the PA’s crackdown on press freedom — with a comment taking some steam out of Prisoners Day. The Columbia Journalism Review follows up on a flawed “jailed journalists per capita” stat used against Israel.

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Israel and the Palestinians

You know the PA’s crackdown on media and free speech is getting out of hand when Saleh Ra’fat, a member of the PLO’s executive committee makes the following statement (picked up by the JPost):

Voicing outrage and discontent over the recent PA crackdown, Ra’fat accused the attorney-general of “cloning the policy of administrative detention” by ordering the arrest of journalists and bloggers exposing corruption in the PA and criticizing Palestinian leaders. 

The Israeli administrative detention policy he decries was described as “draconian” by The Independent‘s Catrina Stewart — in her own words:

The hunger-strikers have a long list of demands, top of which is to protest against administrative detention, a draconian policy that Israel has used to jail indefinitely those it deems a security threat.

Without suggesting any moral equivalence between the Israeli and PA detentions on the Palestinian “Prisoners Day,” I don’t see any hunger strikes supporting Palestinians jailed for speaking out. As for Big Media interest in the PA’s war on free speech, the silence is deafening.

A new study finds that a whopping 40 percent of Europeans believe Israel is waging a “war of extermination” against the Palestinians. Judging from the Times of Israel, it’s a reflection of anti-Semitism. But media demonization and misrepresentation is a factor worth adding to the conversation.

AP picks up on the outrage of Lt. Col. Sholom Eisner hitting Danish activist Andreas Ias. I wonder how Ias feels about equated with the Turkish thugs aboard the Mavi Marmara who were indeed itching for a fight with Israeli naval commandos. Correspondent Aron Heller writes:

Israel has a long history of troubled relations with international activists. Several pro-Palestinian activists have been killed or maimed in clashes with the Israeli forces over the years.

In the worst instance, Israeli naval commandos clashed with activists on board a flotilla trying to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip in May 2010, killing nine activists.

The sun’s a little brighter and the birds are chirpier today: Abbas Denies Plan to Dissolve PA

Avraham Melamed, a survivor of the 1972 attack on the Israeli Olympic team shared his recollections with USA Today. Times have changed:

The Munich Games employed 2,140 police and other law enforcement officers, according to the official report, Olympic historian David Wallechinsky said. The London Games will have a security force of 23,700, according to the British government’s most recent report. With a security budget of at least $1.6 billion, the London Games are the largest peacetime security operation in Britain’s history.

Palestinian media reports the existence of a Gaza organ-harvesting ring which apparently includes members of Hamas. Donald Bostrom, where are you?

Oh joy. Sheikh Raed Salah’s back in Israel after months of legal tussling in the UK.

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