Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Note to readers: The HonestReporting office will be closed for Lag B’Omer. There will be no Israel Daily News Stream tomorrow.
The world reacts to Israel’s national unity government. Salam Fayyad all but eulogizes Fayyadism. And Google Earth catches Hezbollah building new bases.
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Salam Fayyad all but eulogizes Fayyadism in a meeting with reporters from news services like Reuters and Maan News. If you’re wondering how it all unravelled, take a look at The New Republic. Reporter Ben Birnbaum writes that the PA’s unilateral statehood push was what really did in Fayyad. Why?
“From Fayyad’s perspective, all the U.N. bid did was rack up a huge tab on his institution-building credit card,” Hussein Ibish, senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine, told me. The bill arrived in October in the form of $192 million of frozen U.S. aid and another $100 million in tax and customs revenue that Israel refused to hand over. Faced with a budget crisis, Fayyad was forced to introduce an unpopular program of tax hikes and spending cuts.
• Israel’s Supreme Court unanimously rules against two Palestinian hunger strikers who challenged the extension of their administrative detention. The Jerusalem Post writes:
In Monday’s ruling, Rubinstein said that revealing classified intelligence material about an administrative detainee could harm the agents and their methodology.
It was right, therefore, that the courts should be the body designated to examine that material, he said . . .
In the ruling, the justices said that classified information and military court rulings on the prisoners proved that they were active in terrorist group, Islamic Jihad.
Someone should notify NPR‘s Sheera Frenkel . . .
• Rare good news from the Irish Times: Justice Minister Alan Shatter slammed artists who boycott Israel, accusing them of “cultural fascism.”
• Israel’s ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, got a soapbox in The Guardian‘s Comment is Free section to weigh in on the Boycott-Divestment-Sanctions campaign.
National Unity Buzz
• Plenty of commentary and analysis of Israel’s out-of-the-blue national unity deal. For commentary and analysis on the political situation, see Elliott Abrams, Aaron David Miller, David Horovitz, Ron Ben-Yishai, Jeffrey Goldberg, Meir Javedanfar, Dan Ephron, Time, and a Times of London staff-ed (paywall).