Aid groups say Gaza restrictions hinder them, not Hamas. A survey finds Palestinians afraid to criticize their leaders. Aaron David Miller says Pres. Obama must proceed very cautiously on peace. Fatah denies that it ever asked Israel to attack Hamas. A PA court convicts a man of treason. Violence escalates along the Gaza border. Pres. Abbas says international recognition encourages Palestinians to stay on the peaceful path to independence. Israeli police arrest gangs accused of beating up Palestinians. Pro-settler Israelis begin to acknowledge the inevitability of withdrawing from the West Bank. Bradley Burston asks what went wrong with Obama's Middle East policy. Gershon Baskin says the Israeli left desperately needs a leader. Raji Sourani says victims of the Gaza war are still being denied justice by Israel. FM Lieberman's settlement home is a virtual fortress. Hassan Barari says wikileaks don't tell the whole story about Arab attitudes. Hussein Ibish says Palestinians are pursuing bilateral, not unilateral, approaches.

“Annoying” Palestine is on the right track
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Last week the US House of Representatives adopted a resolution threatening a potential cutoff of aid to the Palestinians if they unilaterally declared statehood. It was essentially meaningless bluster, taking a strong stance against something the Palestinians aren’t currently pursuing or even seriously considering.

Arabs’ priorities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Aquestion Westerners often ask is whether solving the Arab-Israeli conflict constitutes a priority for Arab regimes. No matter how one answers this question, a majority of them are convinced that political survival for the ruling regimes is the number one priority, and not the Palestinian cause. Some in our part of the world wonder if there is a contradiction between the two matters in the first place.

Avigdor Lieberman's home is a virtual fortres
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Of Israel's roughly 120 West Bank settlements, why, one might ask, would Avigdor Lieberman choose to live in Nokdim? The isolated community, about a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem, lacks a single shop or restaurant to entertain Israel's foreign minister and his wife, Ella. State-provided armoured vehicles and bodyguards must shuttle Israel's top diplomat through a labyrinth of Palestinian villages and checkpoints for his 20-minute commute into Israel proper.

Israel must grant Gaza justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Raja Abdulrahim - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The reality of life in the Gaza Strip is hard to convey. Systematic violations of international human rights law have created abject poverty and reduced approximately 1.7 million people to "beneficiaries" of international aid, forced into dependency as the result of a human-made, and completely preventable, humanitarian crisis.

Encountering Peace: Wanted: A progressive leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The gathering of the leadership of the Israeli “peace camp” on Sunday in Ramallah under the auspices of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and almost the entire leadership of the PLO was its largest get-together in the past 10 years. What is left of the Left is a small group of dedicated individuals divided into splinter groups of political initiatives and non-government organizations sharing a very similar platform with a common sense of urgency and a total inability to work together.

How did Obama go so wrong with Israel-Palestine peace?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Where it comes to the Mideast, the craft of peacemaking often bears marked resemblance to the art of war. Especially when it goes wrong. And where it comes to Israel-Palestine diplomacy in the two years of the Obama administration, little has gone right. Now, with the White House and State Department having gone back to the worn-thin drawing board, this would seem as good as any to invoke Sun Tzu's ancient The Art of War, to examine how things went awry, and how much point there is in trying, in the coming two years, to set it right.

Pro-settlement Likud members begin floating idea of West Bank pullout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

With Middle East peace talks at an impasse, two senior members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party are shopping around a new idea: In the absence of peace, Israel should pull large numbers of settlers out of the West Bank while leaving its soldiers in place. They believe the arrangement could relieve international pressure on Israel over settlements and give the Palestinians wider autonomy in an area they hope to make their future state, while leaving Israel in control of security matters until a peace agreement is reached.

Teen gang arrested on suspicion of attacking Arabs in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli security force have arrested nine suspects over the last two weeks suspected in a string of attacks against Arab in central Jerusalem, it emerged Tuesday after a gag order on the investigation was lifted. Seven of the nine suspects are minors and all are residents of Jerusalem or West Bank settlements. The suspects were released to house arrest following questioning.

Abbas says int'l recognition urges Palestinians to stick to peaceful choices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday that recent recognition of the Palestinian statehood by some countries will encourage the Palestinians to stick to their peaceful choices. At a meeting with Brazilian representatives in the Palestinian territories, Abbas praised Brazil for being the first Latin American country to recognize the Palestinian state, saying the Palestinians will stick to peaceful solution as "a strategic option," official Wafa news agency reported.

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