Israel Daily News Stream 05/06/2012

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

Who’s referring to Israel hater Ilan Pappe as an Israeli dissident? Palestinian hunger strikers get their message out. And what do Israel’s elections mean for nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West?

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Israel and the Palestinians

• Palestinian hunger strikers were the big story of the day, covered on most major media outlets. NY Times reporter Jodi Rudoren focuses on the non-violent element of their protest – and how little resonance it’s had on the Palestinian street.

So far, the solidarity demonstrations have been small. About 30 people gathered on Tuesday at the Beituniya checkpoint outside Ofer Prison, chanting for 15 minutes before dispersing into two hours of clashes with Israeli soldiers and border police officers that left several injured.

“It’s obvious that people don’t care,” said Rizek Fadayel, who stood in the center of Ramallah earlier on Tuesday, holding a Palestinian flag and a framed photograph of his hunger-striking son, Rami, as a May Day band blared by.

• An AP article dated a few days after Rudoren’s says about 500 people came out for a rally for the hunger strikers organized by Hamas, and 300 in a different rally organized by the Islamic Jihad.

• Toronto Star columnist Haroon Siddiqui gives calls anti-Israel academic Ilan Pappe a “dissident” and gives him free space to accuse Israel of ethnic cleansing, among other things.

Iran and Nuclear Urgency

• Iran is emerging as the central issue of the upcoming Israeli elections. David Frum proposes that elections are at least partially based on influencing nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West.

As negotiations with Iran intensify this fall, Netanyahu will want the strong domestic mandate that comes from having his re-election just behind him, not looming a few months in front of him.

Ynet op-ed on the issue comes to the same conclusion as above, but adds the new wrinkle about Iran’s reluctance to face a military confrontation with the US.

Early elections will assist the West in its diplomatic negotiations with Iran. Netanyahu does not hide his intention to strike Tehran’s nuclear sites before they become immune to attack. Hence, his decision to call early elections when his position on this issue is so clear and consistent shows confidence that Israel’s public is behind him, thereby granting more credibility to the Israeli threat.

This threat is one of the most powerful ways to press Washington and Europe not to “go easy” on the Iranians during the talks; it appears that even Iran is starting to fear it.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• Surprise of the week: UN efforts for a cease-fire in Syria appear to be collapsing.

• Ehud Olmert tells CNN that “millions and millions” in American money prevented him from reaching a peace deal.

The Economist has an analysis of the upcoming Israeli elections.

Sky News launches Arabic channel based in Abu Dhabi with an editorial staff of 400.

AFP looks at Republican efforts to counter Barack Obama’s massive online presence.

Forbes looks at the projects being developed in the Google headquarters in Israel.

For more, see the last Israel Daily News Stream.

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