Israel Daily News Stream 04/30/2012

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

The UN’s human rights chief pillories Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu signals early elections. And what do ordinary Iranians really think about the nuclear tensions?

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Israel and the Palestinians

The PA dubiously defends its press crackdown.The Jerusalem Post writes:

PA Attorney-General Ahmed al-Mughni claimed that the websites were blocked for breaking the law and following complaints from Palestinians.

“Some of the websites were blocked for training Palestinians how to manufacture bombs and use them,” Mughni said without providing evidence.

A statement by the UN’s Human Rights Commissioner, Navi Pillay, criticized Israel along with Egypt, Zimbabwe, Venezuela, Ethiopia, Cambodia and Belarus for limiting the activities of NGOs. Haaretz makes the obvious observation:

Israel is the only democratic country listed in Pillay’s statement.

LA Times reporter Edmund Sanders interviews Sheikh Raed Salah. Credit Sanders for posing tough questions. But I’m not thrilled with the way he framed the Q&A.

Anti-discrimination campaign? Salah’s a hate sheikh.

These two headlines that are more interesting when you juxtapose them:

  1. Meshaal Says Palestinian Hunger Strike Case to Go to U.N.
  2. Wife: Bahrain Hunger Striker Fed Against His Will

Iranian Atomic Urgency

For the  first time, Benjamin Netanyahu signaled the possibility of early elections.  This Christian Science Monitor snippet by reporter Josh Mitnick sums up what you need to know. All the rest is politics and punditry:

A March poll in the liberal Haaretz newspaper showed Netanyahu’s Likud Party with 35 to 37 seats, with rival parties winning less than half of that.

Beyond the public approval rating, a mixture of domestic and foreign motives is behind the prime minister’s potential gamble on early elections, say analysts.

Ehud Olmert joined the growing chorus of Israeli officials criticizing Benjamin Netanyahu’s handling of the Iranian file. The NY Times writes:

Drawing boos from a largely American audience in New York, he fired off a wide-ranging broadside against Mr. Netanyahu’s foreign policy, saying that the prime minister was unprepared to offer meaningful compromise to Palestinians disrespectful to the United States and dismissive of the international community at a time when Israel particularly needs foreign support to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

One of the mullahs’ biggest apologists, Mehdi Hasan (The Guardian print edition), seizes on the chatter. But the Daily Telegraph‘s Con Coughlin offers a diametrically opposed take:

If Mr Diskin cannot grasp that modern-day Iran poses an existential threat to the survival of the Jewish state, then it is little wonder that Mr Netanyahu passed on the chance to make him head of the Iran brief.

Although Iranians are prohibited from talking to foreign reporters, The Media Line‘s Felice Friedson did her due diligence, making contact with ordinary Iranians.

The most powerful message I came away with from the first conversation is that the Iranian people are profoundly disappointed by what they say is the U.S. failure twice in the past three years to help them overthrow the regime. The first time was during the street rioting that followed the 2009 presidential election and the second time right now. Yet, they were vague on what kind of help they expected.

Arab Spring Winter

In standoff with Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt’s military junta blinks and agrees to install new cabinet. But the Wall Street Journal notes a caveat:

But with the military—not the Islamist-dominated parliament—preparing to appoint some new cabinet members, it remained to be seen on Sunday whether the new appointments will mollify Brotherhood leaders by giving them supervisory roles over key ministries or extend an impasse that has unsettled the country’s shaky transition.

Rest O’ the Roundup

Emily Gian’s assessment of Australian media coverage of Israel continues. See Media Gets Dirty Down Under – Part 2, exclusively at HonestReporting.

Heh: Cash-Strapped UNESCO Gives Saudi King Its Highest Honorary Medal.

A Norwegian magazine publishes a professor’s canard that the Jews control the media.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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