Israel deports the American editor of the Ma'an news agency. Special Envoy Mitchell continues his trip to the region. Saeb Erekat says Israel is sabotaging peace. Pres. Peres says that without new negotiations there could be a third intifada. Yossi Sarid says DM Barak is legitimizing the evils of Israeli occupation. Palestinians claim Jewish worshippers vandalize a cemetery. PM Netanyahu says Israel must retain a presence in the West Bank even after a peace agreement. A Hamas leader says the group recognizes Israel's right to exist. Motorola may relocate from the occupied West Bank. A yeshiva preaches hate and terrorism. Critics accuse Israel of exploiting the disaster in Haiti for public diplomacy. Israel eases its ban on Gaza's strawberry exports.

Haiti: An Israeli Public Relations Moment?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - (Analysis) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

It's been a tough year for Israeli public diplomacy. In the aftermath of the Gaza war, for over 12 months the Jewish state has been slammed by international media, think tanks, rights organizations and the United Nations. Ambassadors have been recalled from Tel Aviv, arrest warrants have been issued for senior Israeli politicians and leaders, a Holocaust survivor led a fast for Gaza, dozens of human rights reports on Israel's conduct in the war have been widely distributed and the international campaigns to launch boycotts and sanctions against Israel have seen measured success.

Israel eases ban on Gaza's strawberry exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

In a rare easing of its now 18-month-long economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, Israel is allowing a limited amount of produce and fresh-cut flowers to be exported from the territory this season , including one of its most important cash crops, the Gaza strawberry.

Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Daniel Estrin - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem — The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you’d find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore — but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.

US could tip its hand on peace plan during West Bank visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, is scheduled to arrive today for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a long-awaited visit that should give some indication of the next step for US peacemaking efforts between the two sides.

Forum seeks ways of bringing Gaza Strip back to life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Lepeska - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

More than a year after Israel’s extensive bombing campaign, life inside the Gaza Strip is growing increasingly desperate. Four out of five Gazans depend on some form of foreign aid. Lorries carrying medical supplies are often refused entry by Israeli officials, who enforce a three-year-old blockade of the Strip. Sick and dying patients face weeks-long delays for permission to leave for necessary treatment. Education is lagging, as nearly half of Gaza’s schools remain damaged, and unemployment stands at 40 per cent, according to a December report from the United Nations.

Is Motorola quitting Arad?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ron Friedman - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Confusion surrounds the future of the Motorola manufacturing plant in Arad. For the past week media reports have been warning of closure of the town's second largest employer, but on Wednesday the company said it would not be closing the factory and rather will be introducing new production lines to the plant.

'Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas has accepted Israel's right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Aziz Dwaik, Hamas's most senior representative in the West Bank, said on Wednesday. Dwaik's remarks are seen in the context of Hamas's attempts to win recognition from the international community. Dwaik is the elected speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.

Peace Stalled on All Fronts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Several consecutive visits to and from the Middle East have been taking place these days: the special US envoy George Mitchell is in Beirut, and he was preceded by James Jones, the US National Security Council advisor, in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the region. Today, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is in France for an official visit, as if it is a state visit. Hariri has also been to Turkey and the UAE, after a historic visit to Damascus. What do all of these visits to the region mean, and are we seeing developments on all of the fronts of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

Barak, Mitchell discuss peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning, to discuss security and diplomatic matters. A statement from the Defense Ministry said that the two-hour meeting focused on steps needed to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mitchell was scheduled to hold separate talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later Thursday and on Friday.

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