November 23rd

View from Middle East: President Obama is a problem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - (Analysis) November 23, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Vowing to change a region that has resisted the best efforts of presidents and prime ministers past, Barack Obama dove head first into the Middle East peace process on his second day in office. He was supposed to be different. His personal identity, his momentum, his charisma and his promise of a fresh start would fundamentally alter America’s relations with the Muslim world and settle one of its bitterest grievances.

Israel Enacts Bill to Force Referendum on a Treaty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - November 22, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel’s right-leaning Parliament approved legislation late Monday that could hamper the leadership’s ability to seal future peace deals with the Palestinians or Syria. The measure requires that any peace deal involving the ceding of territory annexed by Israel — namely East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights — must be put to a national referendum. The West Bank, which Israel never annexed, does not fall within the scope of the legislation, but it would include other pieces of sovereign Israeli territory that might be ceded in the context of land swaps in a peace agreement.

November 22nd

Pres. Abbas demands a complete halt to settlements, including in Jerusalem. Dan Kurtzer says the settlement freeze deal will be rewarding Israel's bad behavior. The West Bank settlement of Ariel could be a sticking point in the deal. South African performances in Israel stir controversy. Gazans are shocked at how many Palestinians are being arrested by Hamas for spying for Israel. Palestinians say Israel shoots to kill in Gaza. Settlers begin expanding a settlement near Nablus. The Palestinian price index continues to rise. There is little chance of a Palestinian unity deal. Palestinians object to Israel's planned renovation of the Western Wall. Israeli soldiers are sentenced for using Palestinian children as human shields in Gaza, but Palestinians say the punishments are too light. PM Netanyahu says there will be no settlement deal without US guarantees in writing. Israeli military officials say Tel Aviv may be a target in another war. Gideon Levy decries Israeli military censorship. According to a new survey, most Palestinians see two states as a precursor to one. The Israel Project releases a new poll of Palestinians. Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed says Abbas has erred by focusing on settlements. Hussein Shobokshi says Israel is being led by a right wing that's not interested in peace. Shlomo Ben-Ami says citizen diplomacy is a key to peace.

Diplomacy’s darkest hours
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Shlomo Ben-Ami - (Opinion) November 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Diplomacy is not having its finest hour nowadays. Quite the contrary: resistance to diplomatic solutions is a common thread in most of today’s major conflicts. Afghanistan will continue to bleed until the allies finally recognise that only by engaging the Taliban do they stand a chance of ending the war. But the West will also have to recognise that conflicts with a potent cultural and religious component are simply not susceptible to a military solution - a realisation that points towards ending the ostracism of political Islam - Hamas and Hizbollah, for example.

The Meaning of Peace in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) November 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is making a mockery of the entire world, by feigning to succumb to the pressure exerted upon him, and announcing his acceptance of a temporary freeze on settlement construction. According to the deal, Israel will only continue the construction process in the West Bank, with the exception of Jerusalem. At the same time, Netanyahu has received a substantial reward, in the form of significant military equipment, estimated to be worth billions of dollars, from the United States. This incentive has been financed by U.S.

The Palestinian President's Gifts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashed - (Opinion) November 22, 2010 - 1:00am

In return for a 90-day settlement freeze, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has gifted Israel with 20 fighter jets and 20 billion dollars, in addition to increasing the appetite of Jewish contributors around the world in supporting the construction of more houses and flats in the West Bank and occupied Jerusalem.

Pro-Israel Group Polls Palestinians on Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 19, 2010 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON — Washington – A new poll of Palestinian public opinion offers a mixed bag in terms of supporting the Middle East peace process. The poll, conducted by The Israel Project, a pro-Israel organization based in Washington, found support for peace talks and for the leadership of Mahmoud Abbas and Salam Fayyad, but also detected a reluctance to see a two-state solution as the final outcome in the region.

Israeli troops demoted over Gaza 'human shield' boy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
November 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Two Israeli soldiers convicted of using a Palestinian child as a human shield during an offensive in Gaza in 2009 have received suspended sentences and been demoted. The soldiers had forced the nine-year-old boy to open suspected booby-trapped bags at gunpoint. It occurred during Israel's three-week conflict with Hamas, which rules Gaza. It was reportedly the first such conviction in Israel, where the use of civilians as human shields is banned. An Israeli army spokeswoman said the pair will be on probation for two years, AFP news agency reported.

PA slams NIS 85 million Kotel development project
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - November 21, 2010 - 1:00am

"This move preventing us from reaching solution," PA spokesman says; project to help accommodate 8 million annual visitors to Western Wall. The Palestinian Authority slammed a Sunday cabinet decision to allot NIS 85 million to a development project for the Western Wall over the next five years, AFP reported. Ghassan Hatib, a PA spokesperson reportedly said: "Israel does not have permission to make changes in the occupied territories, especially in Jerusalem." "This move is preventing us from reaching an agreement, because any solution must include Jerusalem," Hatib added.

Poll: Most Palestinians view talks as precursor to 1 state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - (Analysis) November 20, 2010 - 1:00am

The majority of Palestinians support direct talks and the two-state solution, but ultimately want the entire area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea to turn into one Palestinian state, a poll sponsored by The Israel Project, a Jewish-American organization, shows. The data, collected by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in October, shows that the Palestinians blame Hamas for the current state of affairs in the Gaza Strip, and are hostile not only towards the Islamic organization but also towards Iran.

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