October 25th

The IDF must not be turned into the army of the Lord
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) October 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The most disappointing response to the fact that 100 female soldiers were instructed to sit in a separate section during the traditional celebrations at the end of the Simhat Torah holiday last week at an Israel Defense Forces base came perhaps from a secular officer. "What's the problem? They set up a separate place for them to dance," he said. Even worse was the off-the-cuff remark of another officer, also secular, who said: "That's customary; it's what they did last year, too."

As 2012 Polls Loom, Caution's the Word for Obama Foreign Policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Barbara Slavin - (Analysis) October 20, 2011 - 12:00am

Ronald Reagan quickly withdrew U.S. troops from Lebanon in 1983, a year before he sought re-election, after the U.S. forces there became the target of bombings by Shiite militants. George W. Bush launched the war in Iraq in 2003 in part because he didn't want to start a new conflict a year later. And Bill Clinton waited until almost the end of his second term to make a concerted push for Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Netanyahu must treat Abbas as a genuine peace partner
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Haaretz's Barak Ravid reported Monday that the Israel Defense Forces' top officers are crafting a proposal to mitigate the damage to the Palestinian Authority's status caused by Hamas' success in freeing over 1,000 prisoners. In addition to the release of Fatah prisoners in the Shalit deal's second stage, the IDF recommends significant gestures that will allow PA President Mahmoud Abbas to present accomplishments to the Palestinian people. One proposal considers handing over empty lands to the PA (lands that remain under Israel's security authority under the Oslo Accords ).

Israeli officer loses command, a month after death of protester
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

The commander of an Israeli army unit whose soldiers shot dead a Palestinian protester just hours before president Mahmoud Abbas called on the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state has been relieved of his post.

For the U.S., a forced withdrawal from UNESCO
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Timothy E. Wirth - (Opinion) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian bid for statehood recognition by the United Nations is almost certain to be rejected if it is taken up by the Security Council. But as early as this week, the governing assembly of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization could grant the Palestinians membership in that organization. If this happens, as is widely expected, the United States would have to resign from UNESCO because of a 20-year-old law forbidding the payment of dues by the U.S. to any U.N. body that accepts Palestine as a member.

'Israel no longer interested in two-state solution'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

King Abdulla II of Jordan said on Monday that the prolonged stalemate on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process has made him into a pessimist. Speaking to CNN on the sidelines of a World Economic Forum meeting on the shores of the Dead Sea, King Abdulla said the seemingly unbridgeable gaps between Israel and the Palestinian Authority warrant serious doubts over whether Israel is serious about the peace talks. "I am one of the most optimistic people you'll meet in the Middle East, and for the first time I am very pessimistic about the Israelis and Palestinians moving forward," he said.

PA to demand Barghouti release as part of renewed negotiations with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) October 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority is set to demand that the Quartet pressure Israel to release prisoners in fulfillment of a pledge made by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to PA President Mahmoud Abbas, senior Palestinian sources told Haaretz on Monday. Among the prisoners The PA wants released are Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Saadat. The former is a member of the Fatah leadership, while Saadat is Secretary General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Israel, Egypt agree to prisoner swap
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Allyn Fisher-Ilan - (Analysis) October 24, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel and Egypt said on Monday they have struck a deal to swap 25 Egyptians in Israeli custody for a U.S.-Israeli dual national accused by Cairo of espionage, in a step seen as easing strains between the strategic neighbours. The U.S.-brokered deal was reached shortly after a successful Egyptian-brokered swap between Israel and Hamas Islamists that freed captive soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.

PA: Israeli inaction encourages settler violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) October 25, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority on Monday said the Israeli government was "implicitly encouraging settlers to continue on their rampage" by failing to hold them to account for violent crimes. "Israeli violations against Palestinians and their property and livelihood continue to increase with little or no action by the Israeli authorities to hold people to account under the rule of law," a government statement said.

Erekat: Quartet must say which side harms peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) October 25, 2011 - 12:00am

PLO official Saeb Erekat said on Monday that Israel is impeding the peace process and the Middle East Quartet should publicly recognize Israeli intransigence. The former chief negotiator said on Voice of Palestine radio that the Palestinian side remains committed to all international guidelines and terms of the Quartet's roadmap for peace.

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