Israel Daily News Stream 05/02/2012

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

Another Israeli security official comes out against attacking Iran. How do Israeli soldiers compare to UN peacekeepers? And do pro-Palestinian activists have to be anti-Israel as well?

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Israel and the Palestinians

• The IDF officially closed its investigation into the 2009 shelling of a home in Gaza that killed many members of a single Palestinian family.

In its findings, the Israeli military said its investigation “totally refuted” allegations that the incident was a war crime. It denied the building was deliberately targeted or that soldiers acted recklessly.

Following the war, a U.N. report accused Israel of deliberately attacking civilians in its campaign against Hamas militants. The report’s lead author, South African jurist Richard Goldstone, later questioned that finding, although the report was never modified or withdrawn.

• Tensions in mixed cities rising over plans for new construction dedicated to the National Religious.

Just as in other mixed cities, such as Jaffa and Acre, national religious groups are moving to Lod in growing numbers, buying apartments, setting up schools and yeshivas and adding thousands of committed new residents. Their goal is clear: to shore up the Jewish community and prevent the emergence of an Arab majority.

“There was a time when the main goal for us was to go and live in a settlement. Today, there is another goal and that is to reinforce all the cities inside Israel,” says Aaron Attias, the head of a new yeshiva in the old city of Lod and the man who sparked the national religious resurgence in the city.

• Anti-Israel academic Ilan Pappe and Peace Now head Yariv Oppenheimer offer differing opinions on the possibility a two-state solution. The Toronto Star article also includes an illuminating snippet involving Yossi Beilin, a key figure in the Oslo Accords.

Although Beilin maintained that a two-state solution was still possible, he wrote an open letter to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asking him to disband the Palestinian Authority and set up by Oslo as an interim administration until the Palestinians gain statehood through peace negotiations.

The result would put Israel in formal control of all Palestinian territory as an occupying power, thus inviting international criticism.

• The Institute for National Security Studies published a 3-page report on Palestinian discourse on social media. Worth reading.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

• IDF Intelligence head Shlomo Gazit joins the chorus of security leaders warning against an attack on Iran, saying that Iran would rebuild anything Israel destroyed and gain diplomatic legitimacy.

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