Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
60 Minutes looks at the status of Christians in the Holy Land. The Guardian issues a “correction” — for referring to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. A UN document contradicts Ayatollah Khameini’s feigned fatwa against nuclear weapons.
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Further confirming why The Guardian won our 2011 Dishonest Reporting Award, the paper issued a ludicrous correction after a photo caption ran afoul of the paper’s groupthink and described Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The Guardian style guide states: “Jerusalem is not the capital of Israel; Tel Aviv is.”
On top of that, there’s an issue with Ambassador Michael Oren’s involvement in the broadcast, as well as this statement on 60 Minutes Overtime. Natasha Mozgovaya of Haaretz points out that the balance Oren sought to address had to with the fact that many Christians won’t speak on-record about tensions with Muslim neighbors:
Before coming to Washington as a Haaretz correspondent, I used to visit Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem, Ramallah, the village of Taybeh and East Jerusalem. Some of the Palestinian specialists were happy to speak in Russian – they received their education in the Soviet Union. Nobody was happy about the security situation, especially during the Intifada years, or the Israeli occupation.
But many of them also had complaints about some of their Muslim neighbors. Some businessmen said they were forced out of business by local thugs. But they requested I keep that part off the record, out of concerned for the security of their families.
There was no big risk complaining about the Israeli occupation. Living in the shade of the security fence certainly feels bad, but as their fellow Christians living in neighboring countries could probably witness – on the record – it might not be the only reason behind the exodus. It might also be interesting to see how many Christians left since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority, since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip and since Israelis left certain areas.
It’s not easy for Palestinian Christians to tell Western journos about land theft, forced conversions, extortion and murder by Palestinian Muslims, but as one notable Wall St. Journal dispatch demonstrated in 2009, it is possible.
• In an analysis of the Eisner incident, the Jerusalem Post wonders if the IDF really understands the digital battlefield its facing.
• Maan News: Mahmoud Abbas is now giving Salam Fayyad the silent treatment after Fayyad refused to meet Benjamin Netanyahu. But it’s okay because Abbas also got a rare shout-out: from Shimon Peres. The Israeli president told Haaretz that Abbas is a partner for peace:
“I am aware that there are other opinions [about whether Abbas can or wants to make peace], but I don’t accept them, and I have a little experience,” Peres said . . .