Israel Daily News Stream 05/13/2012May 13, 2012 13:55 by Pesach Benson
Everything you need to know about today’s media coverage of Israel and the Mideast.
Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike continues. Syrian media revels in arrival of Gaza aid convoy. Why is the Palestinian journalists’ union attacking free press?
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Israel and the Palestinians
• Worth reading: I was impressed with the nuance in the National Post‘s explanation on the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike.
• A staff-ed in The Observer (UK) supports Palestinian hunger strikers. The editors are entitled to their views, but nothing in the commentary supports this over-the-top headline:
• Hamas now has a 300-man force in Gaza foiling rocket attacks against Israel. Haaretz adds a caveat: the unit won’t act if Hamas decides that “Israel is the one who strikes first.”
• Worth reading: Clifford May (National Review) dissects the UNRWA’s debased definition of Who is a Palestinian Refugee? Why does the agency’s delineation matter?
By increasing the number of refugees, by maintaining that population in poverty, dependence, and anger, by understanding that the “right of return” will be demanded by some Palestinian leaders, UNRWA is helping the extremists to prevent peace and continue to wage a war of annihilation against Israel. This anti-peace policy is being funded largely by Americans: We’ve always been the largest donor to UNRWA, contributing about $4.4 billion since 1950.
• Not so great moments in Palestinian press freedom: Khaled Abu Toameh explains why the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate is punishing its members who meet with Israeli counterparts. What Toameh can’t explain, however, is why
The syndicate, dominated by Fatah and affiliated with the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah, threatened sanctions against any Palestinian journalist who engages in “normalization” with Israel.
The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate functions more as a political body than a union that is supposed to defend the rights of its members.
The syndicate wants Palestinian journalists to serve as soldiers on behalf of the Palestinian cause. Journalists, according to the syndicate, should first and foremost be loyal to their president, prime minister, government, homeland and cause. As for the truth, it appears at the bottom of the syndicate’s list of priorities.
Toameh leaves unanswered the silence of international media and human rights groups.
• Ehud Olmert to CNN: I was very close to reaching peace with the Palestinians, but right-wing US elements foiled my plans. Dore Gold (Israel HaYom) responds: Israel wasn’t as close to an agreement as the former PM implies:
In fact, when carefully examined, Olmert’s secret talks with Abbas should be seen as the latest proof that the fundamental gaps between the most maximal concession made by an Israeli prime minister did not meet the minimal requirements of Abbas for an agreement. This was not the first time that the myth of an impending Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough, that never happened, was widely promoted.