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Media Backspin
« October 2008 | Main | December 2008 »

Sunday, November 30 2008

Terrorism in Mumbai
When will the media show some consistency in defining terror? Read the latest HonestReporting communique: Terrorism in Mumbai
Why the Nariman House?

Nariman_houseFrom the Times of India: Azam Amir Kasab, the only Mumbai terrorist captured alive, explains the rationale for attacking the Chabad center, a.k.a. the Nariman House::

Kasab has told police that they were sent with a specific mission of targeting Israelis to avenge atrocities on Palestinians. This was why they targetted Nariman House, a complex meant for Israelis.

Last I saw, as the attack sites are searched, casualties stood at 174 dead, 295 injured, and unknown number of people missing. The majority of casualties are Indian.

The Wall St. Journal obtained a copy of an email sent by the Deccan Mujahideen claiming responsibility for the attacks. And The Jawa Report flags (and re-uploaded) a YouTube video originally titled "Deccan Mujahideen."

But whether or not the terrorist's primary motives were to target Hindus or Jews, and the possibility of formal ties to Al-Qaida are technical questions that miss the larger point. Bottom line: the war on Islamic terror is the world's fight.

UPDATE Nov. 30: Australian columnist Greg Sheridan may be on to something.

UPDATE Dec. 2: David Aaronovitch gets it.


Thursday, November 27 2008

An Aussie Take on Sderot
Prominent Australian columnist Janet Albrechtsen visited Israel. Her thoughts dwell on Sderot.
The Gray Lady 'Gets It'

We have our differences with the NY Times, but I have to give them credit where credit is due. The Lede is essentially live blogging developments in Mumbai and doing a heck of job too.

I'm impressed with the array of links to outside newspapers, blogs, even quoting people from Twitter.

A case study of how the media will address international stories in 2009? Too soon to say, but worth discussing when the dust settles. For now, our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this horrific terror.


Wednesday, November 26 2008

MSM Concerned For Israel's Image

Fpa Since when was the media concerned about Israel's image to the world? Reporting the MSM's legal efforts to enter Gaza, McClatchy News correspondent Dion Nissenbaum writes:

This week, after filing a letter of protest, the Foreign Press Association (of which McClatchy Newspapers is a part) took the matter to Israel's Supreme Court and asked the judges to overturn the ban.

"This blackout of the Gaza Strip is hurting Israel's image in the eyes of the world and undermines its standing as the only democracy in the Middle East," the FPA argues in the petition.

Soccer Dad's reaction hits the nail on the head:

I understand that there are reasons for Israel to open Gaza to reporters, but this false concern for Israel's image from a press association strikes me as utter hypocrisy.

Bailout the Newspapers

P.J. O'Rourke is tongue in cheek, but (yikes!) Connecticut legislators are serious.

(Via E&P Pub and Newsbusters)

Pundit Piracy

Captain_hookArab pundits and Islamic websites are blaming Israel for the latest piracy around the Horn of Africa. What took so long? My favorite chestnut:

“The aims of the Zionist enemy in the Red Sea have never ceased,” wrote the Islamist cleric on his website, illustrating his long article with a quote by a former commander of the Israeli navy regarding “a diabolical plan” which aims to “transform the Red Sea into a Jewish lake.”

(Hat tip: IsraellyCool)


Tuesday, November 25 2008

Sderot Suffering: By The Numbers

90 percent: Residents who have seen or heard a Qassam hit.

65 percent: Residents who know someone injured by a Qassam.

48 percent: Residents who know someone killed by a Qassam.

74 percent: Children ages 7-12 suffering from phobias.

28 percent: Residents diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

86 percent: Children ages 12-14 with post-traumatic stress disorder

one-third: Percentage of students, ages 13-18, with trauma-related learning disorders.

Sources: YNet News and Natal

How Tweet It Is

Twitter_logo I recently started Tweeting. Check out my Twitter account.

I'd especially appreciate it if fellow Twitterers tell their friends and also tweet me nominations for this year's Dishonest Reporter award. See why Christiane Amanpour won our 2007 award.

Of course, if you prefer email, send your nomination to

Will Bloggers Have to Disclose Finances?

Money_trail If online political activism is a form of lobbying? If so, Washington state regulators might force some bloggers to disclose their finances. AP writes:

In a collision of 21st century media and 1970s political reforms, the inquiry hints at a showdown over press freedoms for bloggers, whose self-published journals can shift between news reporting, opinion writing, political organizing and campaign fundraising.

State officials are downplaying any possible media rights conflict, pointing out that regulators have already exempted journalistic blogging from previous guidelines for online campaign activity.

Off the top of my head, here are a few reasons for and against such disclosures:

Against: Bloggers, like unregulated pundits and journalists, offer opinions about everything.

For: Dare I say: Pundits (like Henry Siegman, who got money from, Saudi Arabia, Yasser Arafat's friends, etc.) and journalists (like Lauren Booth, now on Iran's payroll) may deserve scrutiny too.

Against: Kosher activist groups with tax-exempt status already disclose their funding to the IRS or the relevant government authorities in other countries. And the majority of legitimate bloggers only post as a hobby, or for professional reasons unrelated to advocacy.

For: Some blogs really are extensions of various organizations, or loosely affiliated with them.

For: What's wrong with holding bloggers to the same scrutiny they hold others?

Against: Regulation will inevitably lead to the unpleasant awareness that other forms of media, such as books and movies, are sometimes supported by funny money too.


Monday, November 24 2008

Lauren Booth On Iranian Payroll

Booth Best known for being stuck in Gaza after sailing there to show solidarity with the Palestinians, Lauren Booth is at it again. She's raising money for a bigger boat in a project called Aloha Palestine.

Her bio blurb on the web site's founders page notes some interesting info about the the Daily Mail columnist I wasn't aware of:

Lauren presents ‘In Focus’ on the Islam Channel and ‘Between The Headlines’ on Press TV.

Press TV is an Iranian news service, and as you may have heard, HonestReporting refuses to deal with them. Bottom line: Booth's on the Iranian payroll.

(Hat tip: Elder of Ziyon)

Alibhai-Brown's Media Outrage

Independent columnist asks "Where is the media outrage over Gaza?" See HonestReporting's latest communique: Alibhai-Brown's Media Outrage

Top Ten List 2.0

YouTube gave Jordan's Queen Rania a "Visionary Award" for setting up her own channel to address stereotyping. This really highlights the potential of people using Web 2.0 as a tool to positively address Mideast problems.

Unable to accept the award in person, the queen delivered her acceptance via -- you guessed it -- YouTube, spoofing David Letterman with a very witty top ten list of reasons she launched the channel.

According to the Jordan Times, Queen Rania's channel has more than 3 million video views, 10,000 subscribers, and has "mobilised hundreds of YouTubers around the world to create their own video clips that challenge many of the misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims."

How do you think Israel's P.R. efforts in the social media compare? Post your comments below.

(Hat tip: Dion Nissenbaum)


Sunday, November 23 2008

Spouting For Hamas
The Guardian gives op-ed space to a known extremist and Hamas propagandist. Read more at HonestReporting UK's latest communique: Spouting For Hamas
Your Daily Dose of Moral Equivalence

Robert Gee of Cox News went on a tour of the Temple Mount last week. On his blog at the Austin American-Statesman he makes this perceptive observation:

Inside the third holiest site in Islam, a glass case displayed tear gas canisters fired by Israeli troops there.

There was symmetry to the moment. Israelis keep hundreds of homemade Palestinian rocket casings on display at the police station in Sderot, which has been pummeled by Gaza militants over recent years. The collection is largely for the benefit of visiting journalists and diplomats and often serves as a backdrop for televised statements by dignitaries.

Gee is right that both sides want to score P.R. points with the MSM. Perhaps there are two additional points to consider:

  1. Tear gas cannisters represent a non-lethal form a riot control, whereas Qassam rockets are indiscriminately fired in the hopes of killing people.

  2. The number of times Israeli security has fired tear gas onto the Temple Mount is pretty limited, compared to the daily rocket barrages coming from Gaza since the disengagement.

A Postcard From Gaza

Elder of Ziyon found this great photo


I didn't get one from Lauren Booth . . .

Germany Bans Al-Manar: So What?

It's nice to see Germany taking a stand against Al-Manar by banning Hezbollah's TV station. But Deutsche Welle makes me wonder how much the ban really matters:

The ban will prevent al-Manar from advertising or fundraising in Germany and block the reception of the channel in German hotels. Private homes, however, will still be able to tune into the station.

Related reading: 'As Culpable As the Terrorist Group Itself'

UPDATE Nov. 26: The German ban has yet to be implemented. John Rosenthal explains why it's utterly meaningless.

Hezbollah Maneuvers South of the Litani

Haaretz picks up on Arab media reports that Hezbollah held military maneuvers south of the Litani River.

Though the maneuvers focused on force deployment in mountainous areas and did not include any live fire exercises, holding such exercises south of the Litani would be a breach of the terms of UN Security Council Resolution 1701, which bans any Hezbollah activity there.

Hezbollah youth, better known as the Mahdi Scouts, apparently need a little experience under their belts. 

Meanwhile, UNIFIL wants Israel to leave Ghajar so they can police the border village. Heh.


Thursday, November 20 2008

The MSM Protests

AP picks up on the heads of the biggest media outlets (including AP's President and CEO Tom Curley) protesting Israel’s closure of the Gaza Strip to reporters with this letter to Ehud Olmert.

Funny, but the closure didn't stop another -- ahem -- AP dispatch today from breaking out the violins for the Palestinians.

Another signatory reporting similar suffering was the BBC.

Neither report gets into what I call Hamas unplugged: how Hamas stages blackouts and hoards fuel.

I'm not a fan of press restrictions, and I prefer Western journalists covering the stories than relying on Palestinian stringers. But it's hard to have sympathy for the MSM.

Will Live Streaming Hurt the License Fee?

Tv The BBC starts streaming live online next week. The Times of London wonders what this means for the TV license fee, which applies to watching BBC on a computer, laptop, mobile phone or anything else:

“What are they going to do? Seize your computer and look through your history? Can you imagine the licensing people doing that level of enforcement?”

If the license fee dries up, how will the Beeb pay their lawyers to cover up the Balen report?

Israeli YouTube Bypasses Arab Media

Israel's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is bypassing the Arab media with an Arabic YouTube channel recently launched. Haaretz explains:

The ministry's Arab media department chief Ofir Gendelman told Haaretz on Wednesday that they seek to reduce Israel's dependency on Arab media channels, who tend to give Israeli spokespersons relatively limited airtime.

He also said that the amount of coverage depends on Israel's fluctuating relationship with Arab channels. . . .

"The internet scene in Arabic is buzzing, and we wish to establish another communication channel for dialogue."


Wednesday, November 19 2008

Keeping the Faith

This cartoon published in a United Arab Emirates newspaper features some classic anti-semitic themes. Even Iran's appalling response to the UN interfaith conference didn't sink to this level.


(Hat tip: Memri)

Will CNN Wire Compete With AP?

Cnn_logo From Editor & Publisher:

CNN is courting newspapers -- and possibly competing with The Associated Press -- with a new wire service the cable network plans to launch soon, with plans for an all-expenses-paid, three-day summit in December to show off its news gathering capabilities.

AP's vulnerable. A number of North American papers gave notice to the wire service that they don't intend to renew their contracts. Publishers forced to make drastic cutbacks are far less inclined to spend money on AP content for two primary reasons:

  1. Newspapers today are putting more and more of their resources into local coverage.
  2. Why spend money for articles that readers can easily find on hundreds of other papers carrying AP online?

Since August, I've blogged this trend a mere 1 2 3 times -- the tip of the iceberg. Seeking Alpha raises some good points about this endeavor.

Hamas Launches New Satellite TV Channel

Hamas launched Al-Quds TV, its second satellite TV channel. And it's broadcasting with a little help from Egypt. The IICC explains:

The channel broadcasts via two Arab communications satellites: Nilesat —an Egyptian -owned satellite company broadcasting to the Middle East and North Africa, and Arabsat, an inter-Arab satellite company a third of whose shares are owned by Saudi Arabia. It broadcasts to the Middle East and North Africa. The satellite broadcasts can also be viewed in several south European countries where local Arab communities live. The Al-Quds channel's offices are located in Lebanon, even though they claim to be broadcasting "from the heart of Jerusalem".

You'd think the Egyptians wouldn't be keen to help Hamas.

But unfortunately, when it comes to channels like Al-Aqsa TV (Hamas' first channel) and Al-Zawraa TV (run by Al-Qaida), Cairo's powers-that-be have their own agenda. Nilesat eventually pulled the plug on Al-Zawraa, more likely due to US pressure.

Of course, Arabsat's no better.

Hamas Blackout Unplugged


An anonymous source identified only as a senior official in the Gaza Electricity Company told the Fatah-controlled Pal-Press Web site that Hamas is staging the latest fuel "crisis." The Jerusalem Post picks up:

"Hamas has seized more than 220,000 liters of fuel that was intended for generators belonging to our company," he revealed. "There's no shortage of fuel and as such there is no reason for a crisis."

The official also disclosed that Hamas militiamen had been forcing the company to cut off power supplies to some areas in the Gaza Strip so as to create the impression that the outage was due to a lack of fuel caused by the ongoing closure of the border crossings.

And PA officials told the Post that Hamas also smuggles "tens of thousands of liters" of fuel supplies through Gaza tunnels. Read the whole article.

International Activist Says Sorry

In 1978, Gunnar Bergstrom and his friends in the Swedish Cambodian Friendship Association visited Cambodia as guests of the Khmer Rouge. The trip was a propaganda coup for the regime, whose genocide is still being documented. But Bergstrom is back in Cambodia -- this time to apologize. He told the Phnom Penh Post:

"We saw what they wanted us to see, but we also saw what we wanted to believe."

Might we one day see an equally brave act of public contrition from Lauren Booth? Think the Daily Mail columnist feels pangs of regret for allowing herself to be used by Hamas? Naaah.


Tuesday, November 18 2008

'No Intention of Inciting a Connection With the Holocaust'

Friday's Emory Wheel (pdf) featured this cartoon by student Dylan Woodliff.


Alongside the cartoon, amazingly enough, was Woodliff's 251-word explanation.

I have no intention of inciting a connection with the Holocaust . . .

Of course, that's the whole point of his cartoon. The paper gave Deborah Lipstadt op-ed space to reply:

There is a serious problem in the Middle East but Woodliff’s glib comparison of Jews to Nazis is not only ill-informed, it demonstrates a certain prejudice — antisemitism — which will never help resolve the situation. Whatever one thinks of Israeli policy, to describe it as akin to the Nazi policy of murdering all of European Jewry is to engage in antisemitism and a form of Holocaust denial.

Finally, I was struck by the explanatory note the Woodliff appended to the drawing. No editorial cartoon should need an explanation or an addendum. If the cartoonist is any good, his work should speak for itself.

What's with Emory?

What Makes Settlements 'Illegal?'

Melanie Phillips brilliantly dissects the conventional wisdom which believes Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

Related reading: The Law Is An Ass

CNN: One Year Analysis
Bias is creeping back at CNN as HonestReporting reviews one year of coverage. See HonestReporting's latest in-depth study: CNN: One Year Analysis

Monday, November 17 2008

Copy Editors Asleep On the Job

Afp Sloppy copyediting at AFP:

After landing in Israel, Miliband was due to go into Jerusalem talks with interim Prime Minister Ehud Barak, a British embassy spokeswoman said . . . .

He will also meet Defence Minister Ehud Barak, leader of the centre-left Labour party, the main partner of Olmert and Livni's centrist Kadima party in the current governing coalition.


Sunday, November 16 2008

Gaza Violence: By The Numbers

As of this moment:

170 Rockets fired from Gaza in last two weeks.

15 Terrorists killed by IDF.

2 Terrorists "killed in unclear circumstances."

15 km Range of the Grad rockets that have struck Ashkelon.

0 Palestinian and Israeli civilians killed.

Source: AP, Reuters

Last One Out Please Turn Off the Lights

Palestinians protest Israeli power cuts. Unfortunately for the Hamas P.R. machine, AP didn't crop out the blazing lights in the background.


Palestinians hold candles and placards during a protest against Israeli sanctions, at the main road in Gaza City, Thursday, Nov.13, 2008. Gaza officials shut down their only power plant, cutting off electricity to much of the city of 300,000, after Israel canceled plans to ship in some diesel fuel for the plant as well as 30 trucks full of humanitarian supplies. The Israeli move came after Gaza militants fired at least eight rockets and some mortar shells at Israel on Thursday, according to the Israeli military. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Can't fault AP on the caption. Memo to Hamas: Will the last person leaving for the vigil please turn out the lights?

(Hat tip: Snapped Shot)


Thursday, November 13 2008

Great Moments In Palestinian Sources
A Palestinian security officer's not-so practical joke got out of hand. YNet News explains what happened when a Jenin family was falesly told their son was shot and killed by Israeli police in Nazareth:

The family opened a mourners' tent and the official Palestinian news agency WAFA even published an announcement . . . .

Much to the surprise of the Nazal family, Wednesday evening their "dead" son Majdi contacted them saying he was returning to Jenin after failing to find work in Israel.

The shocked family members, who were in the middle of mourning their son, rushed to tell comforting guests that he was still alive.

The news, however, did not reach the Fatah movement in time, and activists had already started a vehicle procession, and were mourning, through loudspeakers,the Fatah "martyr" who was killed in cold blood by Israeli police.

I wonder if this soon-to-be-ex-officer was one of those "unanmed Palestinian security sources" often quoted by the MSM.
Christians 'Taking Many Severe Blows'

Palestinian columnist Abd Al-Nasser Al-Najjar makes a bold statement about Arab persecution of Christians, especially by Palestinians. Translation from Memri:

Let us be honest with ourselves and courageously say out loud that Palestinian Christians are taking many severe blows, yet are suffering in silence so as not to attract attention. I do not refer here to the suffering caused by the occupation . . . Interfaith_symbolsbut to actions of the past 20 years at least - that is, since the beginning of the occupation in 1967 - involving the confiscation of Christian property, especially in Bethlehem, Ramallah, and Al-Birah . . . .

Furthermore, there has been an attempt to marginalize Christian culture in Palestine, even though it is rich and deeply rooted [there]. This began with [accusations] of unbelief [against Christians] - a move that ultimately harmed Palestinian society as a whole . . .

But the most fundamental problem here may be related to culture. We continue to instill a horrific culture in our children, one that sees Christians as infidels. . . and as 'the other.' We need an injection of humanistic and national awakening; we must raise an outcry and stand up to restore the Christians' rights, of which they have been deprived - [and we must do this] in order to preserve the demographic balance, which will safeguard the unity of our homeland and the justness the Palestinian cause.

Justus Reid Weiner further elaborates on the injustices and also on how they're manipulated to shift blame on Israel. Al-Najjar's bravery is particularly appropro: we're approaching the Christmas season, the only time of the year the MSM bothers to examining the declining status of Christians in the Holy Land. Guess who is blamed.

(Hat tip: Martin Peretz)


Wednesday, November 12 2008

November 12 Links

Tuesday, November 11 2008

AFP's Staged Photo?
Was a pink toy rabbit really the victim of an Israeli raid on Gaza? See HonestReporting's latest communique: AFP's Staged Photo?
Syrian Nukes: The Plot Thickens

Al_kibarUN investigators found traces of uranium in Al Kibar, site of a mysterious Syrian facility destroyed in an Israeli air strike last year. Reuters writes:

They said the minute uranium particles turned up in some environmental swipe samples U.N. inspectors took at the site in a visit last June. They said the finding was not enough to draw conclusions but raised concerns requiring further clarification . . .

The story twist further congeals:

Moreover, Syria has been made an official agenda item at the year-end November 27-28 meeting of the U.N. watchdog's 35-nation board of governors, unlike previously when IAEA officials said initial inquiries were inconclusive.

Time for another round of Al Kibar media tours.

Radio-Canada Agrees to Air New Documentary
Radio-Canada acknowledges recent documentary was a misleading Palestinian propaganda tool. See HonestReporting Canada's latest communique: Radio-Canada Agrees to Air New Documentary

Monday, November 10 2008

Success: Sky Pulls Gaza Photo Gallery
Sky News' unbalanced photo montage is taken down. See HonestReporting UK's latest communique: Success: Sky Pulls Gaza Photo Gallery
A Dim-Witted Blackout

Hamas sparked a new blackout/media stunt.

Looks like a cheap way to get attention: Palestinian unity talks have miserably failed and the MSM's more interested in the election of Barack Obama.


Sunday, November 9 2008

Where'd All the Wonks Go?

PunditsWhile the US elections have pushed Israel off the MSM's radar, Michael Oren and other Mideast pundits miss the spotlight:

For those of us involved professionally in interpreting Israel for the media, who in the past were frequent contributors to the op-ed pages in the United States and regular guests on CNN and Fox, the falloff of coverage has been neither good nor bad, but rather disorienting.

Though we, too, sometimes complained about the disproportionate scrutiny to which Israel was subjected by the press in this country, we nevertheless basked in the certainty that Israel would always top the news and that our views would be aired and listened to. Now, entire weeks pass without a single press inquiry or an invitation to an interview.

Haaretz Journalist Wanted?

Haaretz reporter Amira Hass was aboard the latest boat to arrive in Gaza.

Israeli law forbids citizens from entering Gaza or the PA. The Israeli who organized the first Gaza flotilla, Jeff Halper, was detained by police when he returned to Israel. Will Hass face the same?

Related reading: Stepping Out of the Ring


Thursday, November 6 2008

Sky News Removes Photo Montage

Skynews Within hours of releasing HonestReporting UK's critique, Sky News removed the entire photo montage from it's coverage. In an email to one of our readers, executive producer Julian March wrote:

The picture gallery you saw is created by a tool which automatically pulls in agency photos with a pre-determined search term (in this case Gaza).
The captions to the photos make it clear the attack depicted is from October 4th, so not contemporaneous.
Having said that I acknowledge your concerns. On a story as sensitive as this we should have been stricter about the relevance of material we added as related content. So I have removed the picture gallery from the article.

Sky News isn't the only news service using tools to automatically generate this kind of content. Is Journalism 2.0 leaving us with editors asleep at the wheel while web sites run on auto-pilot?

Muslim Brotherhood to Challenge Blockade

Jordan’s Islamic Action Front is planning a Gaza voyage to challenge Israel's blockade.

The Free Gaza Movement’s previous jaunts will look like child’s play. Hamas and the Front are both part of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Related reading: Jettisoning Ideology

Gaza Fauxtography From AFP?

Another example of MSM fauxtography? Something about this photograph by AFP's Marco Longari seems odd.


HonestReporting contacted veteran photographer and imagery advisor David Katz for a more professional assessment. There's no absolute smoking gun, but Katz raises some serious concerns.

  • The motion of the toy: "When you throw something like that, the moving object blurs slightly. So I magnified the picture. If you look around the shape of the bunny and around the shape of the hand throwing it, there’s a difference in the pixels. I’m not making an accusation, but this is something that needs to be explained."

  • The lighting: "The bunny looks too well lit. Judging from the look of the sky, I would expect part of the bunny in shadow. It looks too perfect. The chances of getting such perfect lighting in a natural setting is complete luck."

  • The size and angle: "From where the photographer is standing, the size of the bunny is out of proportion to the size of the man throwing it. If he shot it with a telephoto lens, he wouldn’t have gotten the man and the bunny in such perfect focus from that distance. If he shot this with a wide angle, which looks most likely, everything would be in focus, but there’s a greater potential for distorting the angles and sizes. Even if the image was shot with a wide angle lens, in my opinion, it wouldn’t justify the size of the bunny that appears. Unless the bunny is coming right at the photographer, it would be somewhat smaller in relation to the man’s hand. But it’s difficult to be sure."

  • The bottom line: "My gut feeling was that it was electronically manipulated. But I’ve seen situations where props like teddy bears or dolls were brought in and laid down next to a scene to create an effect. This brings to mind photos of Qana that included a Mickey Mouse doll. The pink rabbit is a child’s toy, and anything that smacks of a child is a cynical use of photography. It’s propaganda that Hamas wants, and the photographer is either going along with that in agreement or because he knows the image will sell."

HonestReporting contacted AFP for an explanation. We await their reply.

You can see plenty of examples of altered and staged photos, botched captions and props in MSM photojournalism which dominated our 2006 Dishonest Reporting awards.


Wednesday, November 5 2008

Jerusalem Municipal Election: By The Numbers

Safra_square The Jerusalem Post reports that the PA is threatening Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem not to particpate in Tuesday's municipal elections. Indeed, eligible Arab voters have boycotted the ballots for years.

It's facetious for eligible Palestinians to boycott elections on principle, then claim they're discriminated against in city hall, long-term planning, budget allocations, etc.

So here's a look at the numbers, based on Jerusalem Post reports 1 and 2, and a report by Justus Reid Weiner worth reading in it's own right:

725,000 Estimated overall population of Jerusalem.

527,627 Overall Jerusalem residents eligible to vote next week.

250,000 Estimated number of Arabs eligible to vote next week.

95 percent Eligible Arabs who have boycotted previous elections.

0 Arab representatives on city council.

2 Instances in the last 35 years where an Arab ran for mayor.

31 Total city council seats.

25 percent Council seats under Arab control had they participated as a unified bloc in 2003.

13 Parties fielding candidates for the council.

8,000 Minimum threshold of votes necessary for a party to receive a council seat.

4 Mayoral candidates.

40 percent Minimum threshold of votes the leading mayoral candidate must receive to win and avoid a runoff.

As the late Tip O'Neill said, "All politics is local."

'The End Of The Jewish Domination'

Today's sickest headline comes from the Greek daily, Avriani. Translation by the Athens News Agency:

“The anticipated victory of Obama in US elections signals the end of the Jewish domination - Everything changes in USA and we hope that it will be more democratic and humane”.

The headline is, uh, Greek to me:




(Hat tip: Harry's Place)

Sky Goes Photo Crazy for Gaza

Sky News includes an unbalanced and excessive photo montage. See HonestReporting UK's latest communique: Sky Goes Photo Crazy for Gaza

Waste Not, Want Not

World Bank officials were onhand yesterday to launch a $63 million initiative to improve Gaza's sewage system.

How long till Hamas tears up the infrastructure to produce more rockets?

Here We Go Again . . .

After discovering a tunnel leading into Israel which Palestinians intended to use to kidnap soldiers, IDF ground troops supported by an airstrike went into to Gaza to destroy it.

Hamas responded with some 35 rockets fired at Israel; one landed in central Ashkelon.

Here's a satellite view of the 245-meter tunnel:


Developing . . .


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