Posts Tagged ‘j street’

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Daily International News 03.25.11

March 25, 2011

Daily International News
March 25, 2011

Northeast Asia
Japan
Japan urges more evacuations as Prime Minister Kan addresses nation
[WaPo]
Breach in reactor suspected at Japanese nuke plant
[AP]
Radiation fears mount again in Japan after plant workers injured
[Reuters]
Police: More than 10,000 dead from Japan disaster
[AP]
Kim Jong Il donates S$630,000 to quake-hit Japan
[Today Online]
China
China sentences democracy activist to 10 years
[AP]
Koreas
Jimmy Carter Plans Trip to North Korea
[ABC]
Over 6 million people need food aid in North Korea – U.N.
[Reuters]
India to provide food assistance to North Korea
[Zee News]
North Korea Suggests Libya Should Have Kept Nuclear Program
[NYT]
N.Korean Delegation in Beijing to ‘Prepare for Possible Visit by Kim Jong-un’
[Chosun]
South Korea war games put Yeonpyeong Island on edge
[CSM]
South Korea Will Send Back 27 North Koreans by Sea on March 27
[Bloomberg]
South Korea sex scandal diplomats to be disciplined
[BBC]

Southeast Asia/Pacific
Burma earthquake: At least 75 people killed
[BBC]

South/Central Asia
Australia apology over army’s Afghan Facebook ‘racism’
[BBC]
Eight killed in suspected sectarian shooting in Kurram, Pakistan
[DAWN]

Middle East
Israel May Use ‘Great Force’ in Response; Gates Urges Peace
[Bloomberg]
Gates first U.S. defence chief to visit Palestinians
[Reuters]
Iran blasts appointment of UN rights investigator
[AP]
In Iraq, U.S. Special Forces gearing up to leave
[WaPo]
Syria braces for ‘day of dignity’ rallies
[Al Jazeera]
Syrians hold demos as media banned from key city
[AP]
Yemeni President Nears Deal to Resign
[WSJ]
Bahrain tense ahead of planned protests
[FT]

Africa
African Union: Libya needs democratic elections
[AP]
Why action in Libya is unconstitutional
[FP]
Obama avoiding major Oval Office Libya address
[POLITICO]
Op-ed: Obama and Libya: The professor’s war
[WaPo]
Samantha Power Brought Activism Inside to Sway Obama on Libya
[Bloomberg]
The Qaddafi I Know: by Uganda President Yoweri Museveni
[FP]
WikiLeaks cable shows US at odds with ElBaradei
[AP]
Nigeria’s Top Opposition Candidates Pull Out of TV Debate Against Goodluck Jonathan
[This Day]
Nearly one million Ivorians uprooted by conflict – UNHCR
[Reuters]

Europe
EU wants worldwide nuclear plant tests
[AP]
As EU agrees crisis plan, Portugal woes steal show
[AP]
Russian Stocks Fall 1st Day in Three on Blocked Rosneft-BP Deal
[Bloomberg]

Americas
Opposition to topple Canadian government
[AP]

Domestic
Your guide to the 2011 Cherry Blossom Festival
[WaPo]
Palin 2.0? Bachmann Tells ABC News, “I’m In!”
[ABC]
Number of black D.C. residents plummets as majority status slips away
[WaPo]
Mich. man accused of leaving explosive in U.S. building
[WaPo]
J Street: U.S. Group Stirs Debate on Being ‘Pro-Israel’
[NYT]
In contrast to media industry’s struggles, a boom for those who cover Congress
[WaPo]
10 Ideas That Will Change the World
[TIME]

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Culture of Mutual Validation: AIPAC Policy Convention 2010

March 25, 2010

This past week, DC’s otherwise morbidly silent Convention Center saw the influx of over 7500 conference attendees. The agenda included rousing speeches by pastors, multiple standing ovations, and much raising of hands in the praise of speakers. But no, this was not an assemblage of self-help or a burgeoning baptist conclave. It was the 2010 American Israel Public Affair Committee Policy Convention. Speakers at the event included Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, as well as Jewish and non-Jewish pro-Israel lobbyists.

Outside the Convention Center, it was business as usual for the annual AIPAC Conference. Code Pink, an outspoken, anti-war women’s group that grew out of a desire to oppose former President GW Bush’s invasion of Iraq, made a new name for itself as the most creative group of the pro-peace movement. Starting its Monday morning by issuing a fake AIPAC press release calling on the cessation of all settlement building in East Jerusalem, they continued by fashioning themselves as apartment buildings – in case we all forgot the recent contentious announcement by the Israeli government to build a spate of housing units on the current site of the Shepherd’s Hotel in a predominantly Arab neighborhood.

But inside the Center, recent tensions in the US-Israel relationship colored the Convention. Speakers rallied behind the indelible US-Israel relationship. Even Secretary Clinton stated that the U.S. “commitment to Israel’s security and Israel’s future is rock solid, unwavering, enduring, and forever.” But Clinton combined praise of the relationship with further condemnation of settlement construction, stating that she has always stood by “the longstanding American policy that does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlements.  As Israel’s friend, it is our responsibility to give credit when it is due and to tell the truth when it is needed.” And just a few hours later, Prime Minister Netanyahu didn’t do himself any favors when he stayed intransigent on settlements, stating”the Jews have been building in Jerusalem for 3,000 years,” adding, “Jerusalem is not a Jewish settlement.”

And in the press pit, where yours truly was stationed for much of the action, the confusion continued. Stalwart champions for journalistic impartiality were stunned to see other members of the Fourth Estate jumping to their feet in praise of speakers condemnations of Palestinian “agression” and even a few waiving US, Israeli, and yes, even British flags to correspond to different speakers national loyalties. At the end of the day (literally, as Bibi’s speech started late and went long), the display was enough to surprise and, more than anything, tire any seemingly unbiased journalist into submission.

Obviously, this was a Convention of pro-Israel lobbyists. So one might ask, why be surprised by the overt displays of partiality among press and crowd? Isn’t  a complacent and unquestioning support of all Israeli government actions part of parcel of being a pro-Israel lobby? But, if one takes newly formed and much less funded J-Street as a comparison point, I think that question answers itself.