December 22nd

Netanyahu can blame himself for decline in Israel's world standing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has embarked on a vanguard diplomatic effort to foil the Palestinian initiative to gain international recognition for Palestine in the 1967 borders, and to fend off a resolution in the UN Security Council condemning settlements.

Holy Land Patriarch voices hope for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Danielle Cheslow - December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The top Roman Catholic clergyman in the Holy Land lamented the stalemate in Mideast peace efforts on in his annual pre-Christmas address Tuesday but said he still sees reason for hope. In his annual pre-Christmas address, Latin Patriarch Fouad Twal urged his followers not to give up, despite a deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks that has extended for nearly three months. "We suffer from the failure of direct peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," Twal said, but added, "This should not lead us to despair."

Israel sees new anti-tank missile threat from Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Dan Williams - December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Militants in Gaza used an advanced Russian-designed missile against an Israeli tank this month, Israel's military chief said on Tuesday, underscoring how smuggled weaponry has improved Palestinian combat capabilities.

PA Cabinet: Setting new date for local elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The appointed government cabinet said Monday that it intended to enforce last week's Supreme Court decision which called the decision to postpone municipal elections illegal, and mandated that new elections be held immediately. "In accordance with the law," a statement following the regular Tuesday cabinet meeting said, ministers "discussed the required procedures for setting a new date to hold the elections," and appointed the Minister of Local Government "to provide an integrated visualization to the Cabinet in this regard."

UN has 'serious concerns' over home demolitions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The UN's Humanitarian Coordinator in Jerusalem told reporters Wednesday that the displacement of a Jerusalem family whose home was demolished the day before "raises serious concerns with regard to Israel’s obligations under international law.” The UN's Maxwell Gaylard, issued a statement after visiting the family of 13 whose home in the Ras Al Amud neighborhood of East Jerusalem was torn down on Tuesday by order of the municipality of Jerusalem, under the Israeli government.

Israel Plans Public Appeal to Ask U.S. to Free a Spy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel will officially and publicly appeal to President Obama in the coming days for the release of Jonathan Jay Pollard, the American serving a life term in a North Carolina prison for spying for Israel, Mr. Netanyahu’s office announced Tuesday. A public request, as opposed to Israel’s discreet efforts in the past, would constitute a new approach in the campaign for Mr. Pollard’s release and an additional twist in a long and painful chapter in Israeli-American relations.

December 21st

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.

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