Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Fallout from 60 Minutes continues. PA internet providers block access to news sites critical of Mahmoud Abbas. Syrian army executes Hama residents who met with UN observers.
Join the Israel Daily News Stream on Facebook.
Israel and the Palestinians
• According to Haaretz, Prime Minister was briefed on Ambassador Michael Oren’s efforts to stop the 60 Minutes report about Christians in the Holy Land.
• Christians United for Israel tweets that its members have contacted 60 Minutes on a massive scale.
• Palestinian internet providers have been instructed to block access to news sites criticizing Mahmoud Abbas. Maan News explains the latest PA move against free expression:
The affected websites are Amad, Fatah Voice, Firas Press, In Light Press, Karama Press, Kofia Press, Milad News and Palestine Beituna. With their focus on internal Fatah issues, none are among the most popular outlets in Palestine. But they all report on daily news . . .
The new program’s timing may also embarrass the Palestinian Authority’s financial backers in the United States and European Union, both of which are considering legislation to curb the export of Western technologies used to censor political speech in the Middle East.
Under the 1990s interim accords that set up the Palestinian Authority and its disconnected islands of autonomy, the sides were supposed to reach a final peace deal within five years.
• Someone needs to fact check Israeli activist Jeff Halper. Goodness knows Irish Times reporter Michael Jansen gave Halper a free pass . . .
• The biggest threat to Mideast peace isn’t Palestinian terror, Iranian nukes, or Syrian civil war:
• Haaretz reports that Hamas “moderates” were sidelined in elections for its Gaza politburo, while two figures released in the Gilad Shalit swap “quickly made their way into the groups’ leadership.”
Next month, Hamas will hold general elections to the overall politburo, with every one of the group’s chapters – Gaza, West Bank, and abroad – will choose six members out of the total 18 members of the general politburo. Those members, in turn, will elect the new Hamas chief.
• Hamas to begin executing collaborators in public. According to the Jerusalem Post, Hamas recently arrested what it calleed 10 “veteran and experienced collaborators.”
• Washington Post reporter Karin Brulliard looks at Israel’s administrative detention policy and the hunger strikers challening it:
“You can’t have a situation where everyone who goes on hunger strike, to use a Monopoly term, gets a ‘get out of jail free’ card,” said one Israeli official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive issue.
• How can Israel make peace without Palestinian partners? In a NY Times op-ed, three Israelis offer their plan:
Israel should first declare that it is willing to return to negotiations anytime and that it has no claims of sovereignty on areas east of the existing security barrier. It should then end all settlement construction east of the security barrier and in Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem. And it should create a plan to help 100,000 settlers who live east of the barrier to relocate within Israel’s recognized borders.
That plan would not take full effect before a peace agreement was in place . . . .
Under our proposal, the Israeli Army would remain in the West Bank until the conflict was officially resolved with a final-status agreement. And Israel would not physically force its citizens to leave until an agreement was reached, even though preparations would begin well before such an accord.
• Ben Lynfield of the Christian Science Monitor picks up on a brouhaha over a school textbook cancelled by the government:
Officials cited factual errors in the book as the main factor in the decision. But liberal educators say the errors could easily be corrected and that the larger issue is a national struggle to define Israel’s identity.
Related reading: Incitement, Bias: A Textbook Case.