Media Cheat Sheet 02/15/2012

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

Today’s top stories: columnist decries Israel’s self-image of victimhood, reports of Hamas moderation continue, and an audio recording surfaces of a professor urging students to delegitimize Israel in every class.

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Israel and the Palestinians

Financial Times insists that Hamas leader Khaled Meshal is leading the group through a process of moderation. But even if it stays the same, Tobias Buck indicates it will only grow stronger:

Whichever way Hamas chooses to go, it is likely to grow stronger and increasingly influential inside the Palestinian movement and in the region. A Hamas hardliner such as Mr Zahar may be despised by Israelis and much of the west but few would dare disagree with his predictions. “We believe,” he says confidently, “that the future is ours.”

New York Times op-ed by Roger Cohen looks at Israel through the lens of Peter Beinart’s upcoming book castigating Israel for promoting a narrative of “victimhood.” Cohen doesn’t deny the Palestinian role in the current impasse but shrugs it off as paltry compared to Israel’s West Bank policy.

Blaming Palestinians — for disunity, for grandstanding, for seeking not the 1967 lines but Israel’s disappearance — is easy enough, although increasingly an exercise in misrepresentation of the major Palestinian shifts under Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.

The blame game would, however, be far more credible if the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had shown the least interest in peace; it has not. Subsidized West Bank settlement expansion continues, a claim in concrete to the land Netanyahu calls Judea and Samaria.

• A failure to smuggle enough fuel into Gaza has caused the local power station to close.

Iranian Atomic Urgency/Attacks on Diplomats

• Journalist says Israel bombed its own diplomats (Hat tip NRO media blog).

ELEANOR HALL: Iran’s leadership says it’s sheer lies that it’s behind the attacks and that the Israelis have planted the bombs themselves to discredit Iran?

GENEIVE ABDO: Well I think that’s entirely possible. I mean, if you consider what the Israelis did for many years in Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East, that theory is not so farfetched.

Thai investigators say that explosives used in Bangkok were the same as used in India.

Washington Post staff-ed notes the “trust gap” that has opened between the US and Israel and why the US should do more to reassure Israel that it will be there if the moment of truth on Iran ever arrives.

• Experts claim Iran has neutralized Stuxnet virus.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• British court rules that BBC does not have to reveal Balen report on coverage of Israel.

• New York Times Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ethan Bronner asks out of Jerusalem and will return to the states soon. Jodi Rudoren will take over.

• See Rudoren’s Twitter stream for a glimpse into how she thinks.

• Excellent Daily Telegraph op-ed slamming the BBC’s kid glove handling of Abu Qatada.

• It’s almost time for the annual hate fest known as Israel Apartheid Week. Good Ynet op-ed on what makes the events and the whole BDS movement so loathsome.

A large conference of the BDS was just held in Bologna, Italy. The forum selected three areas on which to concentrate efforts in 2012: Israel’s arms industry, pharmaceuticals industry and tourism.

The choice of companies to boycott reveals BDS’ extremism and hatred for the very existence of Israel within any borders. The targets are the Jewish people and nation, not merely the communities of Judea and Samaria. Indeed, BDS is boycotting companies that just say “Made in Israel.”

• An audio recording from the BDS conference at the University of Pennsylvania has surfaced instructing students how to delegitimize Israel in every class.

• AP picks up on latest with the archeological park plans recently approved by a Jerusalem planning committee.

For more, see yesterday’s Media Cheat Sheet.