While No One's Looking, the Palestinians Are Building a State
Media Mention of Hussein Ibish In Foreign Policy - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

In the world of Palestinian politics, the recent weeks have been a study in contrasts. The international media has trained its focus off the shores of Gaza, where the flotilla fiasco has generated dramatic images of dead civilians and battered Israeli soldiers. The politics of this incident reflect the traditional sturm und drang of the Palestinian national movement: full of grand gestures and transformative ambitions that might result in bloodshed and embarrassment for Israel, but make no substantive contribution to Palestinian liberation.

Hussein Ibish says Palestinians are quietly building their state. Israel plans to ease the land blockade of Gaza. Hamas calls it a "trick" and the PLO "insufficient." In July, Presbyterians will vote on a report that condemns Israeli policies in the occupied territories. The UN says last year Israel removed 20% of West Bank checkpoints. US lawmakers harshly criticize Turkey, seek terrorism status for flotilla group. Pres. Abbas says the US and Palestinian positions on peace are virtually identical. Fatah says completely lifting the siege is linked to national reconciliation. Israel prevented a prominent Palestinian journalist from accompanying Abbas on his recent US trip. Ari Shavit says PM Netanyahu and DM Barak need to take urgent steps. Turkey may downgrade relations with Israel. Syrian Pres. Assad says a war is now likely. Larry Derfner says Israel should help PA statebuilding. Official Canadian support for Israel is growing. Arab states are urged to meet aid commitments to the Palestinians. Osman Mirghani says Jews should help Israel develop sounder policies. Michael Jansen calls Israel's flotilla commission a sham.

Turkey may not send Israel envoy back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A government official says Turkey is considering downgrading diplomatic relations with Israel and reviewing economic and military cooperation unless Jerusalem takes steps to make amends for the deadly raid on Gaza-bound aid ships. The official said Thursday Turkey wants Israel to apologize for the raid, return the seized ships, agree to an international investigation and offer compensation for the victims. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules. The official said Turkey's envoy will not return if demands are not met "within a reasonable timeframe."

Twins under siege
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Two or three times a week Defense Minister Ehud Barak's bureau receives a telephone call from the White House. On the line is Biden - Vice President of the United States Joe Biden. The conversation between Joe and Ehud is almost always friendly, almost always solving difficult problems amicably. Joe is what America used to be and Ehud is what Israel used to be. Together they're trying to restore the American-Israeli alliance to what it used to be.

Assad: War likely after flotilla raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Syrian President Bashar Assad said Israel's attack on the Gaza aid flotilla has increased the chances of war in the Middle East, in a BBC interview on Wednesday. Assad said that Syria was working to prevent a regional war but he added that there was no chance of a peace deal with the current Israeli administration, which he called a "pyromaniac government".

Canada: Israel's new defender
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jesse Rosenfeld - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

At a time when many countries are becoming more critical of Israel's policies, Canada seems to be moving in the opposite direction. A general reluctance to engage in open debate about the Palestinian issue is exacerbated by pro-Israel groups' efforts to shut down discussion and the federal government's unprecedented penchant for defending Israeli actions.

Top Palestinian journalist barred from Jerusalem due to 'security considerations'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Melman - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

The latest gimmick of the Israeli occupation under the guise of "security considerations" has emerged. The test subject: Nasser Laham, a Palestinian journalist from Bethlehem who is close with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and who advocates peace with Israel.

Lifting Gaza blockade linked with inter-Palestinian reconciliation: Fatah official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Hamada al-Hattab, Osama Radi - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

A Gaza-based senior official in President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party said Wednesday that ending the three-year Israeli blockade on the Gaza Strip is linked with reaching an inter-reconciliation treaty. Zakareya al-Agha, member of Fatah central committee and Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, told Xinhua in a special interview on the occasion of Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip by force for three years that "Lifting the Israeli siege imposed on the Gaza Strip is linked with reaching a real inter-Palestinian reconciliation."

Arab nations urged to meet aid promises
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Financial Times
by Tobias Buck - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Arab countries have been urged to use more of their oil wealth to help the Palestinians after figures showed they contributed only 1.5 per cent of the general budget for the United Nations agency charged with supporting the Palestinian refugee community.

Push To Sanction Backers of Gaza Flotilla Gains Steam in U.S.
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - June 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington — Jewish groups, working with congressional leaders, are pressing to designate one of the main organizers of the humanitarian flotilla that sought to break Israel’s blockade of Gaza as a terrorist group.

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