Media Cheat Sheet 02/13/2012

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

A journalism professor who supported suicide bombings gallingly opines about “mainstream” support for the Palestinians. CNN’s a victim of internet smear after downsizing its Jerusalem bureau. Anticipating war with Iran, Big Media snaps up Tel Aviv rooftop rental space.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Peter Manning (Sydney Morning Herald op-ed) argues that Canberra’s support for Israel is out of step” with Australian public opinion. Manning — the journalism professor and former head of ABC News — once supported suicide bombings. As I blogged earlier today, You Can’t March in Step With Suicide Bombers and Lecture About What’s Mainstream.

Big media’s finally waking up to an inconvenient truth: Not only does Abbas have minimal authority over the PA, Khaled “The Moderate” Mashaal apparently can’t deliver Hamas either. According to AP, Hamas members in the West Bank support the national reconciliation plan while its Gaza leaders oppose it:

Such public airing of disagreements is rare for tightly organized Hamas, a Gaza offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, the pan-Arab movement that scored post-Arab Spring election victories in Egypt and Tunisia.

It is still unclear whether the internal dispute is only about protecting Hamas’ interests in Gaza or also the change in direction recently advocated by Mashaal.

Meanwhile, a Baltimore Sun staff-ed supports Palestinian unity in the belief that Abbas will moderate Hamas. Maybe what the Palestinians need is their own Altalena moment.

Abbas, Mashaal and Haniyeh

Here we go again:

Abbas: If Israel rejects our terms, we’ll head back to UN

• Another UN rapporteur I’ve never heard of accuses Israel for Judaizing eastern Jerusalem and the West Bank. More at Maan News. ‘Nuff said.

• What kind of message does this send? According to the LA Times,  Hamas security forces in Gaza City broke up a demonstration of solidarity for the Syrian people.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

 Anticipating war with Iran, news services are renting Tel Aviv rooftops and evaluating their readiness. More at Globes (Hebrew) via Israel Matzav.

Michael Totten on the Mideast nuclear arms race bubbling beneath the surface:

There’s another interesting angle here, though, that hardly anyone seems to notice. Israel is supposedly the mortal enemy of the Arabs. Right? So how come no Arab state bothered getting nuclear weapons after Israel acquired the bomb? Either the Arab war against Israel is less serious than the conventional wisdom would have it, the Arab-Persian conflict is more serious than the conventional wisdom would have it, or both.

Assuming Israel has a nuclear bomb . . .

Worth reading: Obama’s Dangerous Game With Iran (Spoiler alert: The US doesn’t want Israel to attack yet.)

 Arab Spring Winter

Muslim Brotherhood: The Camp David accords guarantee US aid to Egypt. Cutting off the money would be a violation of the treaty and open the door to changing the agreement. More at the Jerusalem Post.

The Arab League calls for a joint Arab-UN peacekeeping force in Syria.

I liked this LA Times collection of Damascus stories.

Rest O’ the Roundup

CNN was victim of an internet smear after downsizing its Jerusalem bureau. HonestReporting clears the air.

Faced with the evidence that we have seen and our own conversations with media professionals based in Jerusalem, we have concluded that the charges laid at CNN’s door are speculative at best.

The Times of London (paywall) talks to some foreign nationals in Israel who allowed the Mossad to borrow their passports:

“Matthew” first emigrated to Israel after leaving his parents’ London home in 2009, and volunteered to join the Israeli military shortly afterwards. It was just before his first week of army duty that he was approached by a young woman from Mossad and asked if he was “committed to the State of Israel”. He said: “She was really, really friendly. She gave me a recommendation of a good bar in Tel Aviv, and her favourite place for hummus.”

When she asked if Matthew was willing to do “a small thing to help”, such as, for example, lend his passport, he did not refuse.

He added: “She pointed out that I wouldn’t need it for the next year or so. I’d be doing basic training and everything for the army. So I said ‘yes’ — I was in that frame of mind of strong Zionism, you know?”

Matthew received his passport back after 18 months of military service, and was surprised to find stamps in it from Turkey and Azerbaijan, countries that he had never visited. “She told me it would maybe be a good idea not to go there . . . for the time being,” he said.

Andre Oboler: The Anonymous video threat of all-out cyber war against Israel smells like a hoax. I can see the point: It’s not hard to impersonate hackers whose M.O.  — and branding — is anonymity:

The threat of an all out cyber attack on Israel resembles not the methods of Anonymous, but rather the threats of Hamas, an Iranian proxy. In mid January Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told journalists, “Penetrating Israeli websites means opening a new field of resistance and the beginning of an electronic war against Israeli occupation”. The current video claiming Anonymous is targeting Israel is not supported by discussion within the anonymous collective. More damaging still, is that the video was not originally posted by TheAnonPress . . .

Read Oboler’s full piece.

In an ugly incident, a Jerusalem school promoting Jewish-Arab co-existence was vandalized by extremist Jews. It’s sloppy the way The Indepedent uses the word “activist.” Considering it’s also a word used to describe terrorists, methinks activists is becoming devalued.

Judge Asher Grunis is tapped to become next chief justice of Israel’s Supreme Court. Israel HaYom rounds up the reactions.

Who is The Killing Station twitterer, and why do so many BBC staffers follow him?

(Images: Abbas via YouTube/CharlieRose,  Mashaal via YouTube/falastinhurra, Haniyeh via YouTube/habsproduction,  Tel Aviv via Flickr/Or Hiltch, passport stamps via Flickr/madmack66)

For more, see yesterday’s Media Cheat Sheet.

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