NEWS: A new poll finds a majority of Palestinians support the continuation of PM Fayyad as prime minister. Pres. Peres visits Jordan to discuss issues related to the Palestinians. A second Palestinian teenager is convicted of murdering an Israeli settler family. A Fatah leader says Palestinian factions have agreed to release each other's prisoners. Pres. Abbas says he “hopes” talks with Hamas will lead to elections on May 4. Israeli officials say there has been an exchange of rocket fire across the Lebanese border. Israeli authorities apologize for mistreating a New York Times journalist. FM Lieberman is looking for ways to prevent Israeli airport security from humiliating foreign VIPs. Ha'aretz says data shows that almost all cases before occupation military tribunals end in convictions. COMMENTARY: In an interview with the Media Line, Fayyad says "unity and non-violence" are prerequisites for Palestinian statehood. Sefi Rachlevsky says Palestinian citizens of Israel are being discouraged from voting. Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff say Arab elections are boosting both democracy and Israeli fears. Asaf Gefen says right-wing legislation is threatening Israeli democracy. Gershon Baskin says it's in everyone's interests that Hamas adopt more moderate policies as a result of negotiations with Fatah. Khaled Diab says Israel could do with some freedom riders of its own. Hassan Jabareen says Israeli officials are prone to making false historical analogies. Amy Teibel says there is a battle raging for the character of the Israeli state. The UN urges greater support for Palestinian refugees. Ghassan Khatib says the occupation is starting to manifest itself inside Israel.

Goodbye, Israeli democracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Asaf Gefen - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Everyone talks about the "Arab Spring," yet nobody mentions the "Israeli Spring" – an exciting period where democracy’s horrific regime is finally drawing to an end around here, following a popular uprising at the Knesset cafeteria. If a few months ago it appeared that the Arab world is moving closer to Israel’s democratic model, now it turns out that Israel is the one quickly approaching the Saudi model. Finally, we joined the "Spring of Nations" - and so what if we are referring to the Belorussian, Afghani and North Korean peoples.

Prime Minister Fayyad: “Unity and Non-violence” Requisites for Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - (Interview) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

With skepticism rife over a Fatah-Hamas rapprochement and the Hamas demand to replace him, Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, the man credited with energizing the movement toward statehood and the man Western governments want holding the PA’s purse strings, discusses the pending issues with Friedson Friedson, President and CEO of The Media Line news agency, at his Ramallah office. Below is the first of two sessions between Prime Minister Fayyad and Ms. Friedson. Friedson: Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for taking the opportunity to speak with me and The Media Line.

Further from peace, closer to reconciliation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas and Fatah just ended another round of talks in Cairo on what they call reconciliation. Both sides are reporting that progress was made, but they have not yet reached the point of agreement on several key issues. In May of this year Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas politburo chief Khaled Mashaal signed an agreement orchestrated by Egyptian intelligence. Initially the deal was described as a landmark reconciliation pact aimed at ending their bitter four-year rift.

Israel needs its own freedom riders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Diab - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Following last week’s Palestinian “freedom ride,” it’s time for Israeli “freedom riders” to cross the psychological and physical barriers between the two peoples. Drawing inspiration from the American civil rights movement of the 1960s, a group of six Palestinians – dressed in emblematic Palestinian checkered keffiyehs and T-shirts emblazoned with the words “dignity,” “freedom” and “justice” boarded an Israeli bus en route from the West Bank to Jerusalem.

The right context
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Hassan Jabareen - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

The government frequently tries to justify its anti-democratic bills by comparing them to laws in democratic states. For example, it contends that the newly proposed bills regarding the nomination procedures for Supreme Court justices reflect the process used in the United States.

A battle is raging for the soul of Israeli society
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

On billboards, on buses and in the halls of parliament, a battle is raging over the nature of Israel, raising ever more urgent questions over its future as a democracy. Radicalized religious activists and conservative lawmakers see themselves as bulwarks against assaults on faith and country by rivals within multifaceted Israel and by the outside world.

Arab Spring elections boost democracy, and Israeli fears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel, Avi Issacharoff - (Opinion) November 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Egyptian parliamentary elections that begin Monday are expected to result in victory for an Islamic party - in this case, the one affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood As in the other election campaigns in the Middle East that have taken place since the Arab Spring, the Egyptian parliamentary elections that begin Monday are expected to result in victory for an Islamic party - in this case, the one affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.

UN official urges greater support for Palestinian refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from United Nations News Service
(Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

The head of the United Nations relief agency for Palestinian refugees today urged the international community to strengthen support for the refugees, particularly the youth who constitute an increasingly significant segment of the population.

A symptom of the occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Knesset has recently intensified its consideration and approval of numerous laws that appear to compromise the democratic nature of Israel, while strengthening the right wing's control over various aspects of Israeli life. In light of this, Israel's media is full of analysis and opinion pieces written by those worried by this trend. They say it will both increase discrimination against Israel's Palestinian minority and narrow the space for freedom of expression and secular elements in Israel.

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