Media Cheat Sheet 10/4/2011

For as long as I’ve worked for HonestReporting, my primary job has been to go through the papers and send a daily roundup to the staff of what I see each day — a snapshot of developments and trends in coverage of Israel, along with my two-cent observations for in-house use. Since I’m looking at 39 papers, a ton of blogs and email alerts on a daily basis and writing it all up for a team of news junkies anyway, we decided to start posting my roundups.

Anyway, here it is. I’d love to hear your feedback and answer your questions.

Mosque Attacked

Main news was the mosque that was torched in Tuba-Zangariyye. Most of the headlines I saw were in a straightforward, passive voice, such as CNN.

Mosque in Israel vandalized, set on fire

Here’s an assortment of other headlines I saw:
Christian Science Monitor: Mosque torching in Israel: Could it spark Arab Spring-style protests?
Globe & Mail: Mosque attack outrages Israeli leaders
AP: Radical Jews suspected of burning mosque in Israel
Times of London: Settlers accused of mosque attack in revenge for deaths
The Media Line: ‘Price Tag’ Vandals Mark Up Violence


Malcolm Fraser

*** Lead Screed *** Former Aussie PM Malcolm Fraser plugs Palestinian statehood in a Sydney Morning Herald op-ed that is ugly from beginning to end. This disgraceful snippet takes the cake:

The ineffective use of power by Hamas has been regarded as totally illegitimate, while Israel has used its official forces time and again in provocation or retribution. The violence is endless and who is responsible for cause and effect will depend very much on who you are talking to. There is no absolute truth.

The SMH published a second pro-statehood commentary by Ali Kazak.

• A Washington Post staff-ed isn’t thrilled with the way Israel and the Palestinians are saying “yes, but . . .” to the Quartet’s peace initiative:

Mr. Abbas’s insistence on preconditions allows him to continue his separate campaign for recognition of Palestine by the United Nations: He is about to embark on a global tour in search of votes on the Security Council. His cynical obstructionism ought to be enough to persuade undecided governments, such as Colombia and Portugal, to withhold support — or at least to require that Mr. Abbas fully accept the Quartet’s initiative before they back his.

For a kinder, duller staff-ed, see today’s Providence Journal.

Jeffrey Goldberg reacts to Leon Panetta:

Of course, Panetta’s comments came after Israel accepted the Quartet’s plan for renewed peace talks, so the timing of his comments seems a bit off.

See also Tony Karon’s take at Time.

• Yossi Klein Halevi (The New Republic) rates the key figures in the recent UN gathering, while Dore Gold (Israel HaYom) weighs in on the possibility of deploying international forces to police an Israel-Palestine border:

• Jacob Lewis is U. Cal-Berkeley’s voice in the wildnerness with a nice op-ed in the Daily Californian.

• Cartoonists I saw weighing in on statehood include (in no particular order) Nate Beeler (Washington Examiner), Patrick Chappatte (Le Temps), Hajo (The Netherlands), Bob Gorrell, Jerry Holbert (Boston Herald), and Ken Catalino.

Elder of Ziyon interviews Alan Dershowitz, discussing latest peace issues.


• Palestinians tell AP that Congressional sanctions on aid have begun to bite.

Hassan Abu Libdeh, the Palestinian economics minister, said he was informed Monday by officials of USAID, the U.S. government’s foreign aid agency, that two projects — worth $55 million and $26 million — were being put on hold for lack of funding. One supported the development of the Palestinian private sector and the other aimed to improve the investment environment, Abu Libdeh said, adding that 50 people involved were laid off last week and 200 others would follow by November. Other ministries also reported USAID projects were in jeopardy, including an $85 million five-year plan to improve Palestinian health services.

USAID officials confirmed some programs were affected by the Congressional hold, but would not give details.

Meanwhile, Maan News picks up on Hamas is bracing for the tight times.

Reuters picks up on a hunger strike by Palestinians in Israeli prisons. They’re protesting restrictions meant to pressure Hamas to release Gilad Shalit. AFP‘s coverage doesn’t even mention the reason for restrictions. Worse, neither news service describes what the restrictions are: reduced family visits, less access to books, and certain prisoners being separated from the general population.

• PA civil servants will receive their September salaries on Wednesday. Maan News notes:

In recent months, the Palestinian Authority has twice failed to pay employees on time and in full. Officials had blamed a shortfall in aid from Arab states for the fiscal crisis.

• According to Sam Segev (Winnipeg Free Press), the Arab world is spurning Turkish overtures. What does this mean for Israel?

“The Turkish problem” will be at the centre of discussions today in Jerusalem between the Israeli prime minister and defence minister, Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak, and U.S. Defence Secretary Leon Panetta. Ahead of his arrival Monday in Israel, Panetta told correspondents that Israel should make every effort to break its regional isolation and improve its relations with both Egypt and Turkey. Israel does not challenge this dictum. Israel hopes that because of the collapse of Erdogan’s Middle East policy, Turkey will now be more amenable to find an honourable solution to its dispute with Israel. In view of the complex situation in the region, Israel also agrees that restoring its alliance with Turkey, has become now more vital.

• A columnist at Irish Central says “Israel gets no love from Ireland.”

Rest O’ the Roundup

• Roy Greenslade (The Guardian) wonders why Ofcom hasn’t imposed any punishmen on Press TV for its interview with imprisoned Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari. Ofcom ruled that the interview with the state-run channel had been conducted under duress, without Bahari’s consent, and omitted material facts.

A spokesman told me yesterday that it was a such serious matter that the regulator was still deciding what to do. Evidently, it is about to make up its mind.

I accept that it would be wrong to rush to judgment. But this case began 15 months ago and is yet to be concluded.

• Now that the UK has revised arrest warrant laws, Tzipi Livni’s going to meet William Hague in London this week. More at The Guardian.

• Hillary Clinton tells the Supreme Court that even symbolically recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would jeopardize peace talks. The NY Sun writes ironically:

Her warnings were issued in a brief she has just filed with the Supreme Court — in which she is arguing that a law she voted for when she was Senator is unconstitutional because it could require the U.S. government to give to an American citizen born at Jerusalem papers showing the birthplace as Israel.

• Larry Derfner’s landed on his feet, contributing to 972 and also getting published in Beirut’s Daily Star. Via CiF Watch.

• Big time bummer: Challah Hu Akbar announced the end of blogging.

(Image of moneyroll via Flickr/Images_of_Money)