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Today’s Top Stories
1. Asharq al-Awsat‘s top editor warns that the Morsi quotes Fars News’s fabricated is common practice in Iran:
This is also something that is present in various types of media, whether we are talking about print media or television media. This is because fabrication and forgery is a famous game played by many Iranian news agencies.
These Tehran-affiliated media outlets and internet sites carry out what I previously described as “news laundering”, namely Iranian news agencies or affiliated websites leaking different news reports, interviews and statements. This includes media outlets with close ties to Hezbollah and other organizations. Following this, the remaining Iranian media outlets report and promote this news, and at this point any statements rejecting or denying this news are of no consequence, as as it is already too late.
The victims of this are not just states, but also senior officials and leadership figures, and even media figures.
2. It appears that the UN is close to naming the members of a fact-finding mission on West Bank settlements. The Jerusalem Post reports that Israel fears the inquiry will harm efforts to re-start peace talks.
3. I’m glad to see The Guardian‘s Harriet Sherwood interview Ankie Spitzer, one of the Munich massacre widows. For 40 years, she has pushed for a minute of silence:
The rejection has been repeated at every subsequent Olympiad. “The IOC says it’s not in the protocol of the opening ceremony to have a commemoration. Well, my husband coming home in a coffin was not in the protocol either. This was the blackest page in Olympic history.”
Meanwhile, the JTA reports that Australian lawmakers unanimously supported a moment of silence — by standing in silence.
Israel and the Palestinians
• AP notes that the Palestinians are making a last-minute push to get World Heritage status for the Church of the Nativity and parts of Bethlehem. Meanwhile, NY Times reporter Isabel Kershner looks at Palestinian efforts to use UNESCO to block Israeli plans to build a section of the security fence in Battir.
• Four Grad rockets were fired at Netivot overnight. Haaretz reports no casualties or damage.
• Analysts to Maan News: Morsi’s presidency will embolden Hamas to seek international recognition at the expense of Palestinian unity.
• Gotta like Ziad Asali’s 10 Questions for One-Staters.
• The Guardian notes a British report examining the status of Palestinian children in Israeli custody (executive summary in pdf). Earlier this year, HonestReporting addressed similar concerns (see The Guardian Misses the Real Child Abuse).
• The Columbia Journalism Review‘s Justin Martin masterfully debunks the silly pinkwashing charges leveled at Israel:
But there is scarce evidence of a unified campaign to use a tolerant social culture as a red herring. And in any event, Israel hardly has a PR machine capable of keeping journalists from highlighting its military occupation. The arguments about it are too vehement . . . .
All government mouthpieces congratulate themselves for their country’s humane policies, and in doing likewise Israeli spokespersons are the rule, not the exception. It is difficult to argue that such boasting is successfully used to obscure Israel’s most controversial policies.
Related reading: Pinkwashing Israel in the New York Times.
• The Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research finds support for Mahmoud Abbas dropping, though he would still edge Ismail Haniyeh in a head-to-head race. But according to the PCPSR’s findings, Marwan Barghouti — he’s serving time in Israeli prison for murder — would easily win a three-man race.
• Hamas commander was convicted of 46 counts of murder. Ibrahim Hamed was directly linked to several suicide bombings and other terror attacks. YNet coverage.