Media Cheat Sheet 11/16/2011

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

Today features human shields gathering around one Iranian atomic facility, a political eulogy for Salam Fayyad, and Sheikh Nasrallah becoming stupid in the face of the Arab Spring.

Don’t miss my daily Media Cheat Sheets — just visit Backspin each day.

Iranian Atomic Urgency

• Hundreds of Iranians have gathered around a uranium conversion facility in Isfahan to serve as human shields.

• Tehran take note: The US Air Force took delivery of a 30,000 pound bomb, known as the “Massive Ordnance Penetrator.” Bloomberg News got the scoop, noting the bomb “can reach targets as far down as 200 feet underground before exploding.” How’s this for an Air Force spokesman’s understatement?

The deliveries “will meet requirements for the current operational need,” he said.

• David Harris: Poor, Misunderstood Iran!

• The mullahs maintain that Sunday’s blast at the Bid Ganeh missile base was caused by military research. If so, who’s the genius heading their R&D? Wile E. Coyote?

Peace Process

• Press reports say PA Salam Fayyad will step down as part of Palestinian unity deal. Time‘s Tony Karon already speaks ill of the politically dead with this eulogy:

Fayyad’s role was to  oversee the construction of an authoritarian West Bank administration capable of delivering on services and public safety, but also serving Israel’s security needs. Despite its impressive administrative performance, Fayyad’s tenure was predicated on the suppression of Palestinian democracy.

• Journos far outnumbered pro-Palestinian Freedom Riders who sought to illegally bus their way into Jerusalem.

There were enough reporters from AP, Reuters, BBC, WashPost, LA Times, Times of London (plus analysis), Daily Telegraph, The GuardianThe Independent, Christian Science Monitor, McClatchy News, and AFP that they could’ve shared a ride back to the American Colony Hotel for some Happy Hour groupthink before filing their stories.

See HonestReporting’s critique.

• Sarkozy tries to make nice with Bibi, but this Daily Mail news story opinionates:

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has made a grovelling bid to get his friendship with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu back on track – ten days after branding him ‘a liar’.

Meanwhile, CNN asked Shimon Peres about the hot mic gaffe. Peres handled it masterfully and changed the topic to Iran.

• The Christian Science Monitor takes a closer look at the possibility of dismantling the Palestinian Authority.

• For more commentary and analysis, see Martin Peretz, Yossi Klein Halevi, Shai Bazak, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Avi Issacharoff.

Arab Spring

Reuters: Rebel Syrian soldiers attacked an intelligence complex near Damascus.

• A staff-ed in the LA Times slamming Assad indicates the paper is a Zionist tool.

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah

• Interesting Asharq al-Awsat commentary calls Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah’s a “turbaned Gaddafi” who has gone stupid in the face of the Arab Spring.

Because of his explicit, shameful stances towards the Syrian regime’s massacres, the Arab masses will now rejoice at his misfortune and reject his statements.

• For a change, good news from Libya. Books blacklisted during the Gaddafi era were “unbanned” in a ceremony at the building which served as the Brother Leader’s national library. The Toronto Star writes:

With a fanfare of Libyan bagpipers in full ceremonial flourish, the VIP crowd made its way to the top for of the palace, heaped with table upon table of books deemed unreadable during Moammar Gadhafi’s 42-year rule.

There, Arabic titles including The Secret Life of Saddam Hussein and The CIA Files of Arab Rulers sat alongside censored troves of Islamic literature, theology and philosophy. Books about Israel, Hezbollah, books by Salmon Rushdie. One slim volume was titled Sex In The Arab World.

Rest O’ the Roundup

• Without including any religious voices,  The Guardian picks up on Jerusalem’s secular/religious “gender war.”

• A controversial Bangalore slum-clearance plan would demolish the homes of 420 families, but only Israeli home demolitions interest the MSM. Israel razed four houses near Jericho that were A) illegally built B) on state land, C) endangered an adjacent archeological site, D) were uninhabited, and E) the owners ignored warnings to stop building.

So I’m asking AFP and the Reuters photo editors — why is this even a story?

Jennifer Rubin fires a broadside at Jeffrey Goldberg over Obama’s Israel problem.

But Goldberg fired back.

• One woman released in the Gilad Shalit swap is playing a high risk game of chicken with Israel and the PA. Amal Jumaa (more on her in a previous media cheat sheet) has cancer of the uterus and other health complications and wants treatment in Jordan. Israel is refusing to let Jumaa leave “because there is already enough health care in Israel.” Jumaa says she will refuse any treatment in Israel.

Israeli security foiled Jumaa plans to blow herself up in Tel Aviv.

• FYI, Israel is once again banning the import of the latest iPhones.

(Image of Nasrallah via Wikimedia Commons)

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