Studies show that US coverage is Israeli-centric. The main bureaus for CNN, Associated Press, Time, etc. are located in Israel and often staffed by Israelis. The son of the NY Times bureau chief is in the Israeli army;"pundit" Jeffrey Goldberg served in the IDF; Wolf Blitzer worked for AIPAC. Because the U.S. gives Israel over $8 million/day - more than to any other nation - we feel it is essential that we be fully informed on this region. Below are news reports to augment mainstream coverage.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Secretary of State Clinton warns Congress on proposed aid restrictions to Middle East

Ma'an -- A US Congress bill restricting foreign spending to Arab states was slammed by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton on Tuesday.

The House of Representatives' Foreign Affairs Committee spending plan "would be debilitating to my efforts to carry out a considered foreign policy and diplomacy, and to use foreign assistance strategically to that end," Clinton wrote to the committee head Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen.

The bill would bar defense aid to Egypt, Lebanon, the Palestinian Authority and Yemen if Islamist groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Hezbollah and Hamas are part of the government.

The House panel also voted to force the United States to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Foreign representations to Israel are currently housed in Tel Aviv out of respect for the disputed future of Jerusalem's status, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim as their capital.

Clinton charged that the bill had "crippling restrictions on security assistance where maximum flexibility is needed," writing to Ros-Lehtinen, "Should this bill be presented to the president, I will recommend personally that he veto the bill."

But even without a veto, it remains unclear if the bill will survive. Obama and Clinton's Democratic Party retains control of the Senate after losing the House of Representatives in elections last year.

The Committee approved $6.4 billion in cuts from Obama's budget requests in a marathon two-day debate last week, in which Republicans said that the United States -- on the brink of defaulting on its debt -- needed to cut foreign spending and toughen its line against US rivals.

On Wednesday, US officials said the $3.075 billion assistance package to Israel would remain intact, Israeli news site Ynet reported.

The funds, used by Israel for military spending, "fully funds our commitment to ensure our ally Israel maintains its qualitative military edge," said US legislator Nita Lowey.

AFP contributed to this report