Israel Daily News Stream 05/15/2012

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

Turkish journalist calls Israeli detention “five-star” compared to Syrian prison. France’s new president already goes soft on Iran. Palestinian hunger strike ends, but Naqba Day clashes begin.

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Israel and the Palestinians

The hunger strike’s over. Haaretz assesses the winners and losers. The Atlantic Wire rounds up the rest of the coverage.

Palestinians mark Naqba Day. The Jerusalem Post rounds up the clashes. And the Times of Israel talks to an IDF officer responsible for combat doctrine in “non-warfare activities” about dealing with violent and non-violent protest.

Irish Times: Ireland may push for EU boycott of goods on products from Israeli settlements.

Worth reading: Ambassador Michael Oren asks, What Happened to Israel’s Reputation? See his Wall Street Journal op-ed (click via Google News).

In The Australian (click via Google News), the Palestinian ambassador to Australia claims “Israel ignores hunger for freedom.”

Israel activist and blogger Richard Millett was assaulted at a Palestine Society meeting at the School of African and Oriental Studies (SOAS). Here’s how you can respond.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

Elliott Abrams worries that Francois Hollande is already going soft on Iran:

It is difficult to exaggerate how significant a softening of France’s hard line would be. France has been tougher than Russia and China of course, but has also stiffened the position of the “EU 3? by being tougher than Germany and the UK. More important, it has at many junctures been tougher than the United States, sharply asking the difficult questions, highlighting logical deficiencies in arguments, and slicing through wishful thinking. If France is now to abandon this stance and simply agree with the UK, Germany, and the United States, the negotiations with Iran are more likely than ever to produce an unsatisfactory result that will be labelled adequate by its proponents.

Iran hanged “Mossad agent” it claimed was responsible for assassination of a nuclear scientist. More at Reuters.

Arab Spring Winter

Turkish journalist Adem Ozkose tells AP that Israeli detention was “five-star” compared to the Syrian prison he was just released from after two months. Okose was aboard the Mavi Marmara as a journalist, detained by Israel for several days, and deported home. Syria also released cameraman Hamit Coskun.

Aaron David Miller (Bloomberg News) gives a thumbs-down to creating Syrian safe zones. Here’s why:

To have even a chance of working, the right conditions would have to be present. Those would include full Turkish buy- in and an international mandate legitimizing intervention, preferably a resolution of the UN Security Council. Most important would be a sustained military commitment to protect the zones and the corridors leading to them. This would require air patrols and thus the suppression of Syrian air defenses. It would also mean carrying out offensive air strikes against the regime’s forces, if the Syrians respond militarily, and ultimately securing Syria’s stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to prevent their use against coalition troops.

Even if all that could be achieved (and it probably couldn’t), safe zones are real headaches. Protecting these areas from the air might not be possible and would thus require boots on the ground. The farther coalition forces got from Turkey’s border, the harder and messier this would be. Once in, there would be no choice but to prevail.

Shlomo Avineri (Japan Times) and Harry Sterling (Edmonton Journal) both point out that the Arab Spring won’t result in real democracy until Arab society changes its nature.

Time: Is Al-Qaida intervening in Syria?

Rest O’ the Roundup

Jeremy Cooper (The Australian, via Google News) says Australia’s financial system could learn a lot from Israel.

For a country that was only invited to join the OECD in 2010, Israel can be proud of its willingness to confront shortcomings in its financial system and deal with them in a characteristically purposeful and robust manner.

European Bee Eater: The Mossad's latest tool

Your daily dose of idiocy: Turkey suspects bird of being Israeli spy.

The bird had a ring reading “Israel” on one of its legs . . .

The bird-beak in question reportedly sported “unusually large nostrils,” which – combined with the identification ring – raised suspicions that the bird was “implanted with a surveillance device” and that it arrived in Turkey as part of an espionage mission.

(Image of bird via Flickr/ferran pestana)

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

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The above is how Haaretz chose to illustrate the tensions in U.S.-Israel relations. This cartoon by Amos Biderman is offensive ...