Leveson Inquiry Releases Phone Hacking Findings

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Israel and the Palestinians

 Yesterday, BBC reporter Jon Donnison was summoned to a hearing at the Government Press Office regarding a photo of he retweeted (injured Syrian children presented as Palestinian). HonestReporting has learned that the GPO gave Donnison a warning and that was it.

Speaking of tweeting journos, the NY Times’ Jerusalem bureau chief, Jodi Rudoren, is Going Back to Social Media 101.

Haaretz‘s Bradley Burston has a bone to pick with Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton about missiles and bee stings.

 I liked Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich‘s letter to the NY Times after columnist David Carr accused the IDF of targeting journalists during Operation Pillar of Defense:

The real question raised by Mr. Carr’s column is whether a station that is ideologically motivated and subsidized by a terrorist organization deserves the same treatment as CNN or The New York Times. Moreover, should a Hamas commander who painted the words “TV” on his car be considered a journalist? . . .

Mr. Carr is worried about freedom of the press and rightly so. However, when terrorist organizations exploit reporters, either by posing as them or by hiding behind them, they are the immediate threat to freedom of the press.

Such terrorists, who hold cameras and notebooks in their hands, are no different from their colleagues who fire rockets aimed at Israeli cities and cannot enjoy the rights and protection afforded to legitimate journalists.

Related reading: New York Redefines the Word “Journalist” and How Hamas and Islamic Jihad Use Journalism as a Cover for Terror.

According to the Jerusalem Post, an arrangement between Israel and Hamas for a Gaza cease fire is actually taking shape.

Khaled Meshaal renews talk of Hamas joining the PLO. Would the PLO transform Hamas, or would Hamas transform the PLO? NY Times coverage.

The Daily Telegraph takes note of billboards sprouting around Gaza thanking Iran for its help during the recent war. The naughty Palestinians aren’t coy about the gifts in their stockings:

Written in English, Farsi, Arabic and Hebrew, the billboards carry the words “Thank You Iran” next to an image of the Iranian-made Fajr 5 rocket . . .

Ambassador Michael Oren got op-ed space in the Washington Post to de-construct Hamas’s media manipulations during Operation Pillar of Defense. After addressing Big Media’s images and language, Oren articulates the bigger picture:

Media naturally gravitate toward dramatic and highly visual stories. Reports of 5.5 million Israelis gathered nightly in bomb shelters scarcely compete with the Palestinian father interviewed after losing his son. Both are, of course, newsworthy, but the first tells a more complete story while the second stirs emotions.

This is precisely what Hamas wants . . .

If Hamas cannot win the war, it wants to win the story of the war.

See also Marty Zack’s take at the Stanford Daily.

Arab Spring Winter

In an exclusive interview with Time (full and condensed versions), Mohammed Morsi discussed Egypt’s political situation, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and his relationship with President Obama. But my eyebrows were raised by this comment about his power grab that has Egypt roiling:

I think you have seen the most recent opinion surveys—I think more than 80%, around 90%, of the people in Egypt are, according to these opinion measures, they are with what I have done.

Contrast Morsi’s statement with this headline:

Egypt demonstrations forced Morsi to address the nation, constitution is nearly finished

The Islamist-dominated constitutional assembly is rushing to wrap up a draft charter it can present for public referendum. According to the Washington Post:

Morsi’s supporters seemed to think that rushing the constitution to a vote might end the latest crisis, since he has said he would relinquish power once the charter is in place.

But opposition leaders said Wednesday that the move by the Muslim Brotherhood-led committee to rush the process would be a grave mistake.

AP: Egyptian court sentences 8 to death over Mohammed movie.

The case was seen as largely symbolic because the defendants, most of whom live in the United States, are all outside Egypt and are thus unlikely to ever face the sentence.

Reuters picks up on a Human Rights Watch report accusing Syrian rebels of dirty deeds: using children to transport weapons, conduct reconnaissance missions, carry out attacks, and serve as human shields.

 Syria shut down the country’s Internet and also cut off mobile phone service in some areas.

(Image of Leveson via YouTube/YankeeMagpie, Olmert via Wikimedia Commons)

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

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