Schalit and the Arab Spring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - (Analysis) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

The deal to release Gilad Schalit is without a doubt controversial. The main change, though, took place on the Israeli side, which in recent months changed its position on the deal that has retained mostly the same format since Hamas kidnapped Schalit in June, 2006. The big question is what brought about this change. The main answer is the so-called Arab Spring. Israel is concerned that the Arab regimes now in power will not be here tomorrow and that the Egyptian regime currently in power - the deal's main mediator - will not be there in a few months after elections are held in Cairo.

NEWS: Israel and Hamas agreed to a prisoner swap. The CSM looks at the reasons for the deal. Analysts say Hamas will now claim “resistance” succeeds where negotiations fail. A senior Israeli commander says a cut off of aid to the Palestinians would be disastrous and that Jewish extremism is also a serious threat. Pres. Abbas has not won Colombian support for Palestinian UN membership. The Quartet calls for talks to resume on October 23. Israel formally apologizes to Egypt over the death of soldiers. Israeli occupation forces destroy a mosque in a Bedouin village for the 3rd time. UNRWA is trying to promote understanding between Lebanese citizens and Palestinian refugees. COMMENTARY: Avi Issacharoff and Amos Harel say Hamas was forced to compromise on the prisoner swap. Yaakov Lappin says the agreement boosts Hamas at the expense of Fatah. Yaakov Katz says the "Arab Spring” played a role in Israel's calculations. Donald Macintyre says both Hamas and Israel's right-wing government are bolstered by the agreement. Tony Karon asks who gains and loses. Dan Ephron says it exposes Abbas' “weakness.” Robert Danin looks at the implications. Shlomo Avineri responds to Sari Nusseibeh.

Hamas boosted, Fatah weakened by deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Lappin - (Analysis) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Hamas regime in Gaza will be significantly fortified by the Schalit deal and see its standing in the Palestinian street, and the wider Arab-Muslim world, boosted. Despite Israel’s overwhelming military superiority, Hamas has been able to force Jerusalem to negotiate with it as an equal partner, and has achieved the release of a large number of terrorists – some of whom were sentenced to life terms for personally murdering Israeli civilians.

UNRWA project breaks down stereotypes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Olivia Alabaster - (Analysis) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Through increasing communication between young Lebanese and Palestinians, “Dignity for All,” a program organized by the U.N. Refugee and Works Agency, is hoping to combat the danger of stereotyping. En route to visit a refugee camp for the first time, Lebanese schoolchildren are asked how they view Palestinians, of which there are an estimated 400,000 in the country. Many answer that, “We know they are terrorists, and that they sell drugs.’”

We are a people
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Avineri - (Opinion) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Recently the English-language website of Al Jazeera featured a long and meticulously argued article by Prof. Sari Nusseibeh under the title "Why Israel Can't Be a 'Jewish State.'" Nusseibeh is not only president of Al-Quds University, a scion of one of the most respected Palestinian patrician families and the most prominent Palestinian intellectual: He is also known for his moderate views and his principled opposition to terrorism, and more than once put himself in danger because of these views.

Israel razes Jordan Valley mosque for third time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Agence France Press (AFP) - October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli forces have demolished for the third time a mosque in a remote Bedouin village in the Jordan valley, Palestinian security forces said. The demolition took place in the village of Khirbet Yarza, some five kilometres east of Tubas in the northeastern corner of the West Bank. The mosque has been demolished twice before, once in February and in November 2010, when troops razed the mosque, its much larger extension, and various animal stables.

Barak apologizes for deaths of Egyptian officers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yoav Zitun - October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

On the backdrop of reports on a possible breakthrough in a prisoner exchange deal between Israel and Hamas that would see the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit, Defense Minister Ehud Barak on Tuesday issued an apology to Cairo for the deaths of Egyptian border guard patrol officers from IDF fire during the terror attack in southern Israel in August.

Implications of a Shalit Deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Robert Danin - (Opinion) October 11, 2011 - 12:00am

As of this posting, the Israeli cabinet is still meeting in an emergency session to discuss a deal aimed at securing the release of Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in June of 2006 on the Israeli-Gaza border. Details remain scant. Initial reports suggest more than 1,000 Palestinians, currently held by Israel, would be exchanged in return for Corporal Shalit. While it is early to speculate too widely with so little still known, I will nonetheless venture a few initial conclusions on what such a deal would mean.

US: Mideast Quartet seeks October 23 talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The Mideast Quartet seeking a peace settlement in the Middle East has called for Israel and the PLO to resume their talks on October 23 in Jordan, a US official said Tuesday. State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said envoys for the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union met on Sunday and called for "a first preliminary meeting of the parties" on that date.

Prisoner Swap Shows Abbas Weakness
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Dan Ephron - (Opinion) October 12, 2011 - 12:00am

For most Palestinians, the prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas is a cause for celebration. For President Mahmoud Abbas, it’s shaping up as political blow and a security headache.

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