MJ Rosenberg reviews yesterday’s congressional hearing on Gaza at which ATFP testified (1). Numerous analyses examined the results of Israel’s election (2), (3), (4), (5), (9), (11), (15). Speculation continues on a Hamas-Israel truce including the release of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (6), (7), while violence continues to flare up (10), (13). The Daily Star analyzes the future of the Palestinian Authority after the Gaza war and the Israeli elections (8), while Hamad Al-Majid it considers what a process of “Somalization” would look like for the Palestinian political scene (12). Raghida Dergham argues that President Obama’s commitment to “justice and moderation” does not bode well for Middle Eastern figures hoping to evade tribunals and trials (14).

Stalemate all around
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
February 12, 2009 - 1:00am

FOR reasons of his own, Barack Obama chose to disregard the advice he got from many quarters that he should spell out his views on Palestinian statehood before Israel’s voters went to the polls on February 10th. That is a pity. Israelis disagree about many things, but most understand the value of having a prime minister who is liked and welcomed in the White House.

After Israel's Election, Palestinians Weigh New Intifadeh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - February 12, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel's election and the Gaza conflict have revealed the scale of the challenge facing U.S. President Barack Obama in jump-starting Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israeli voters tacked to the right, and the government that results from Tuesday's election will be, if anything, even less inclined than the current government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to conclude a two-state peace agreement with the Palestinian leadership.

No Deals or Impunity under Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - (Opinion) February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

New York --- Those who call for striking deals at any cost under the pretext of buying stability are merely burying their heads in the sand, regardless of how much they prance around like giraffes or imagine that US President Barack Obama is willing to sacrifice justice for stability or to give his blessing to extremism in order to spare himself its evil.

The Somalization of Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Dr. Hamad Al-Majid - February 11, 2009 - 1:00am

Khalid Mishal as leader of the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qurei as Prime Minister, Saeb Erekat as Foreign Minister and Ismail Haniyeh as Minister of the Interior. This is what the Palestinian political scene would be like if we transferred the results of the previous Somali elections which obtained political confirmation, and US blessing, and instead apply them to the Palestinian scene with regards to the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.

14-year-old Palestinian killed by Israel Border Police in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

The Israel Border Police on Friday killed a 14-year-old Palestinian in Hebron during a clash between the Israeli forces and stone-throwing Palestinian youths. The IDF said dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks at a military guard tower next to an Israeli settlement in the West Bank city and a soldier shot the ringleader. On Thursday night, an Israel Defense Forces unit operating in the West Bank town of Qabatiyeh, near Jenin, found a five kilogram explosive device and a smaller pipe bomb. Border Police sappers safely detonated the explosives.

Run, Tzipi, Run!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
by Claude Salhani - February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

The gang of usual suspects, the pundits who traditionally cover the Middle East, have never been as much on opposite ends in trying to predict what may come from the region in the next few months. Remember the German film "Run Lola Run?" Depending on how fast Lola ran from her apartment to wherever she was going, a few seconds difference would alter the entire ending of the film. The Middle East today finds itself in much the same situation. In short, nearly total confusion.

Israel air strike hits Gaza Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

Israel has launched an air strike in Gaza, killing one Palestinian and wounding at least one other, medical officials said. The strike hit close to the town of Khan Younis, in the south of Gaza. The men were on a motorcycle when they were hit by fire from an Israeli drone, Palestinian security officials said. The strike came hours after officials from Hamas - which has internal control of Gaza - said they expected a truce with Israel to be announced in days. The Israeli military said the men had been planning an attack into Israel, the Associated Press reported.

War and violence have moved Israel to the right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

War and violence always have a direct effect on elections. Wars account for dramatic shifts in voter preferences, and radical leaders and parties often poll much higher after a round of sharp violence than in normal times. Minority ethnic groups are therefore often able to sway the balance of power between major competing forces.

The end for the Palestinian Authority?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by George Giacaman - February 13, 2009 - 1:00am

As usual, the future Israeli government will be a coalition, either a right-wing one composed of Kadima, Likud, and Labor, or an extreme right-wing one, including Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas, and others. Either way, this does not bode well for the Palestinian Authority (PA), which is entering the third stage of its turbulent life, and perhaps its last. The first stage began with the Gaza-Jericho agreement of 1994, followed in late 1995 with expansion of the PA's authority over parts of the West Bank. This stage ended with Yasser Arafat's death in November 2004.

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