Israeli Amb. Oren says the Middle East is at a crossroads between war and peace. A thriving Jenin, with a reopened main cinema, is an example of Palestinian progress in the West Bank. Palestinians say the economy could grow by 20% per year under peace. Hamas' military wing welcomes rocket attacks from Sinai. Palestinian-Israeli and West Bank business leaders meet in Nablus. Several recent border incidents highlight Israeli security concerns. Older Gazans remember Israeli civilians, but youths know only the Army. Three are injured in a clash between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas leaders urge the kidnapping of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Zeev Sternhell says it's time for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to be honest about their intentions. Former HHS Sec. Donna Shalala says she was humiliated at Ben-Gurion Airport because of her Arab heritage. Saudi Arabia is coaxing the PLO to enter direct talks. The BBC profiles child labor in Gaza. Laila El-Haddad says calling Gaza “a prison camp” is an understatement. The New Statesman interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. Ori Nir says it's time to confront Israel's extremists. Hussein Ibish says both Arab and Israeli leaders are behaving in an undignified manner.

Israeli Amb. Oren says the Middle East is at a crossroads between war and peace. A thriving Jenin, with a reopened main cinema, is an example of Palestinian progress in the West Bank. Palestinians say the economy could grow by 20% per year under peace. Hamas' military wing welcomes rocket attacks from Sinai. Palestinian-Israeli and West Bank business leaders meet in Nablus. Several recent border incidents highlight Israeli security concerns. Older Gazans remember Israeli civilians, but youths know only the Army. Three are injured in a clash between Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Hamas leaders urge the kidnapping of Israeli settlers in the West Bank. Zeev Sternhell says it's time for both Israeli and Palestinian leaders to be honest about their intentions. Former HHS Sec. Donna Shalala says she was humiliated at Ben-Gurion Airport because of her Arab heritage. Saudi Arabia is coaxing the PLO to enter direct talks. The BBC profiles child labor in Gaza. Laila El-Haddad says calling Gaza “a prison camp” is an understatement. The New Statesman interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoabi. Ori Nir says it's time to confront Israel's extremists. Hussein Ibish says both Arab and Israeli leaders are behaving in an undignified manner.

Middle East leaders' undignified behavior
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


In the context of the Obama administration's strong push for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the frankly undignified and needlessly complicating behavior of almost all the national leaderships in the Middle East has never been more apparent.


The NS Interview: Haneen Zoabi
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from New Statesman
by Samira Shackle - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


What is it like being a Palestinian in Israel? Israel did everything it could to make us forget our history: controlling education and the media, putting us in a ghetto, preventing us from having normal relations with the Arab world and visiting our families in Syria and Lebanon. Are Arab members of parliament treated differently? Of course. The state treats all Jews and Palestinians differently. Israel doesn't recognise us as the owners of this homeland. The theory is that we have equal civil rights, but the practice is very far from this. Do you endorse a two-state solution?


Calling Gaza a prison camp is an understatement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Laila El-Haddad - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


It's three years since I've been back to Gaza. Much has happened since my last visit. Fatah waged a failed coup and now rules only the West Bank, while Hamas is in charge of Gaza. Israel launched its deadly Cast Lead assault. Fuel shortages. Electricity crises. And so on. I needed to regain perspective. So I walked and I talked and I listened. I went to the beach where women – skinny jeans and all – were smoking water pipes, swimming and generally having a good time, irrespective of the purported Hamas ban on women smoking sheesha.


Case studies: Child workers in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


Although Israel eased its blockade in mid-June - allowing in consumer goods - little has changed for Gaza's poorest families, who cannot afford the food and clothing in the market, and rely instead on aid handouts. Unemployment runs at 40% in Gaza, which has been largely sealed off from the outside world by Israel and Egypt since 2007, when the Hamas militant movement seized power in the territory. The UK-based aid group Save the Children, working with Getty photographer Warrick Page, has spoken to some of Gaza's young breadwinners. Raed Ahmed Moussa, 14, mechanic, Gaza City


Saudis coaxing PA to enter direct talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


Saudi Arabia is urging Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to enter direct talks with Israel, and can “sweeten a deal” by offering financial assistance for agreeing to negotiations, a top Israeli diplomatic official said on Thursday. According to the official, the US – which is pressing Abbas to enter the talks – was behind a meeting in Riyadh on Wednesday between Abbas and Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah.


American VIP humiliated at airport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


This is not how she imagined her visit to Israel. Prof. Donna Shalala, who served as the US Secretary of Health and Human Services for eight years under Clinton and is currently the president of Miami University, was held for two-and-a-half hours at Ben Gurion Airport during which she underwent a humiliating security debriefing because of her Arab last name – all this despite the fact that her hosts notified the airport ahead of time that she is a VIP.


Take the masks off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zeev Sternhell - (Opinion) August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


It's hard to know whether in our relations with the Palestinians we have reached a turning point of the kind that is termed "historic," but it's clear we're at a point where the sides have to take off their masks. A peace agreement is apparently closer than ever right now. The Arab states that are united in an anti-Iranian coalition want an agreement, as does Syria, which thirsts for the Golan Heights.


Hamas leaders in Syria urge West Bank operatives to kidnap Israeli settlers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 5, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Israel Defense Forces West Bank division commander, Brig. Gen. Nitzan Alon, has warned Israeli settlers to be on alert for possible abduction attempts across the territory. In a letter sent to Yesha Council leaders, Alon said that the warning is based on intelligence and interrogations of Palestinians arrested on involvement in plotting such kidnappings. The IDF said intelligence has shown Hamas leaders in Damascus are pressuring followers in the West Bank to abduct Israeli settlers and citizens.



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