November 30th

NEWS: Israel releases withheld Palestinian tax revenues. PA Economy Minister Abu Libdeh resigns amid corruption indictments. Hamas leaders accuse Pres. Abbas of not being serious about national unity. Iceland becomes the first Western European state to recognize Palestine. The Forward profiles the pro-Israel group StandWithUs. The ACLU files suit against a Michigan bus company that refused an advertisement critical of Israel. A bill pending in the US Congress would remove the presidential waiver on moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Asharq Al-Awsat reports on an allegedly major split in the Hamas leadership. The Independent looks at the plight of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem's old city. COMMENTARY: Thomas Friedman says if Israel is concerned about instability in the Arab world, it should move quickly to bolster the position of PM Fayyad. Zvi Bar'el says Israel's hostile reaction to Arab uprisings might undo its peace treaty with Egypt. Bradley Burston says in uniting to attack moderates, the Jewish pro-occupation extreme right and anti-Zionist ultra-left find common cause. Kenneth Bandler says Jewish Americans need to know more about challenges facing Palestinian citizens of Israel. The Jerusalem Post says Palestinians should focus on the unfinished job of state building. Yossi Alpher says both sides are to blame for Israel's shift to the nationalistic right. Bitterlemons Interviews Palestinian MK Haneen Zoubi. The Jordan Times says King Abdullah was right to remind Pres. Peres about the urgency of peace.

Israel's take on Arab Spring may undo peace with Egypt
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) November 30, 2011 - 12:00am


Who's the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt? What is the exact name of the head of Tunisia's Al-Nahda party? And who heads the Islamic Movement in Morocco? One could expect these names to be common knowledge in a country anxious about the "Islamist take-over" of the Middle East and concerned that the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt will collapse.


The Arab Awakening and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 12:00am


Israel is facing the biggest erosion of its strategic environment since its founding. It is alienated from its longtime ally Turkey. Its archenemy Iran is suspected of developing a nuclear bomb. The two strongest states on its border — Syria and Egypt — are being convulsed by revolutions. The two weakest states on its border — Gaza and Lebanon — are controlled by Hamas and Hezbollah.


Stories from the Old City: 'We are not living like human beings'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - November 30, 2011 - 12:00am


At the top of a steep and ramshackle street in the Palestinian neighbourhood of Silwan, a rusty, battered gate opens into an unremarkable house. Less than a quarter mile away, though, stand the Al Aqsa mosque and the Wailing Wall, two of Jerusalem's most venerated holy sites, making it a very attractive piece of real estate indeed.


Hamas's Al-Zahar in hot water
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - November 29, 2011 - 12:00am


London, Asharq Al-Awsat- Informed Palestinian sources have revealed to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Hamas Movement has been imposing severe disciplinary measures on Mahmud al-Zahar, member of the movement's Political Bureau, over remarks he made criticizing Khalid Mishal, head of Hamas Political Bureau. Al-Zahar has been critical of Mishal over his acceptance of a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, and giving another time-limit period for the negotiations with Israel in his address to the ceremony of signing the reconciliation agreement in Cairo on 4 May 2011.


A Jerusalem embassy creeps closer toward becoming law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 29, 2011 - 12:00am


Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.), appointed to his job when his predecessor John Ensign resigned in scandal, faces a tough election battle next year against Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). His is one of only two likely Dem pickups (the other is Massachusetts). Now he's got a Jerusalem bill that, barely noticed, just might become law. One of Berkley's fortes is her uncompromising pro-Israelism. Which may help explain (I've asked Heller's office for an interview) his decision in September to introduce a bill that would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


ACLU sues bus agency over refusal of ‘Boycott Israel’ ad
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
November 29, 2011 - 12:00am


NEW YORK (JTA) -- The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against a Michigan bus agency that refused to post an advertisement calling for a boycott of Israel. The lawsuit was filed Monday in Detroit federal court, the Detroit Free Press reported. The suit claims that the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority is violating the free-speech rights of Blaine Coleman, who attempted to purchase the ads on buses in that city. The agency's board rejected the ad at a Nov. 17 meeting because of a standing policy against ads that ridicule people or groups.


StandWithUs Draws Line on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 27, 2011 - 12:00am


Washington — A decade ago, during the height of the second intifada, Roz Rothstein, a family therapist and child of Holocaust survivors, watched the news coming from Israel from her home in Los Angeles with growing frustration. Feeling that Israel was not getting the backing it deserved in the United States, she and her husband, Jeremy, set up their own small group, with a stated mission of “supporting people around the world who want to educate others about Israel.”


Iceland becomes first Western European country to recognize Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
November 29, 2011 - 12:00am


Iceland's parliament voted on Tuesday in favor of recognizing the Palestinian Territories as an independent state, the first Western European country to do so according Iceland's foreign minister. The measure passed symbolically on the United Nation's annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people. The vote paves the way for formal recognition by the small north Atlantic island, which led the way in recognizing the independence of the three Baltic states after the collapse of the former Soviet Union in 1991.


Gaza official: Palestinian president opposes unity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Associated Press - November 30, 2011 - 12:00am


GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas is not serious about reconciling with political rival Hamas despite public statements to the contrary, a senior Hamas official said in an interview published Wednesday. The official, Mahmoud Zahar, said Abbas "is not interested in achieving" a deal with Hamas, allegedly because the U.S. and Israel oppose it. "Reconciliation will not be achieved at all," Zahar told the London-based daily Asharq al-Awsat.



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