Weakening Abbas only strengthens Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

In his zeal to punish Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for assorted affronts real and imagined, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may be Hamas’s most important benefactor. The Islamic terror organization has many friends – Iran, Syria, Hezbollah – but none is doing as much to expand its power and popularity from the Gaza Strip to all of the West Bank as the Netanyahu government.

NEWS: PM Fayyad says he is working to reduce the Palestinian dependence on foreign aid. Palestinians submit a detailed peace proposal to the Quartet, according to their deadlines, including a significant land swap, but PM Netanyahu refuses to make a counteroffer. The resumption of Israeli transfers of Palestinian tax revenues helps avert a financial crisis for the PA, but FM Lieberman denounces the move. Palestinian prisoners released by Israel get on with the business of daily life. Israel arrests 22 Palestinians in the West Bank. Pres. Obama tells Jewish Americans “no ally is more important than Israel.” Netanyahu complains about a recent meeting between Pres. Abbas and Kadima leader Livni. Hamas complains the PA continues to arrest its supporters in the West Bank. Germany confirms the sale of a sixth Dolphin submarine to Israel, and will pay for one third of it. COMMENTARY: ADL National Director Abe Foxman decries new Israeli laws that "violate democratic principles." Carlo Strenger says Israel's liberals face a wave of anti-Semitism. Douglas Bloomfield says weakening Abbas only strengthens Hamas. Asharq Al-Awsat interviews Mahmoud al-Zahar. Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan says Canada is on the wrong side of history in opposing Palestinian statehood. Nadim Rouhana says antidemocratic legislation in Israel threatens rights for the Jewish majority as well as the Arab minority. Howard Sumka says the struggle for peace must continue even if conditions are difficult. Uri Misgav says Israel was only hurting itself by withholding Palestinian tax revenues. Karl Vick says Gaza's economy continues to suffer as the peace process is it an impasse. Jonathan Rosen says dismantling outlying settlements has few disadvantages and would be a huge boost for Israel. Jesse Rosenfeld looks at a new book by Arthur Neslen on the diversity of Palestinian experiences.

In Your Eyes a Sandstorm: the Palestinian collective experience
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jesse Rosenfeld - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

I first met the British journalist Arthur Neslen in Ramallah during the autumn of 2007 when he was researching his new book, In Your Eyes A Sandstorm: Ways of Being Palestinian. A cloud of disillusionment hung over the region at that juncture. The separation wall had all but severed the West Bank, the Gaza blockade was tightening and political division between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) was at its peak. Israeli raids across the West Bank, intended to round up the remnants of the resistance from the Second Intifada, were matched by PA reprisals and arrests against Hamas.

Inside Out: Back to unilateralism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jonathan Rosen - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Over the past two decades Israel and the PLO have negotiated intermittently over a final-status arrangement to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. That process has essentially been at an impasse since 2009 for a variety of reasons, some of which are technical and tactical, while others are more substantive in nature. If we are to accept at face value the statements made by the two parties, the substantive issue for both Israelis and Palestinians preventing negotiations from advancing can be summed up as a lack of confidence in the other’s true intentions.

As the Peace Process Goes Sideways, Gaza's Economy Remains Stifled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Karl Vick - (Blog) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's grip on the Palestinian economy amounts to business as usual. Palestinians carry shekels in their pockets, and most of what they buy with the Israeli currency comes from Israel, which is said to account for at least 80% of foreign trade with the occupied territories. That is a dependence that goes unremarked until something untoward comes along, such as the recent Palestinian effort to gain recognition as a state.

Israel hurting itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Uri Misgav - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Ever since the Palestinians were accepted into UNESCO last month, Israel has been halting fund transfers for the taxes and duties it collects on behalf of the Palestinian Authority in the framework of the Oslo Accords. While hundreds of millions of shekels are being held up in Jerusalem, members of Israel’s government continue to argue over what’s the right move. Let’s make it easier for them. Below is a list of conditions that make it permissible, reasonable, and preferable to continue freezing these funds:

Working to solve the conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Howard Sumka - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Across Israel and the Palestinian territories hard-liners empower each other and drown out voices for peace. Distrust, fear and alienation increasingly define the next generation of Israelis and Palestinians. The status quo of fatalism and political lethargy looms over them.

Anti-Arab laws and the appearance of democracy in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Nadim Rouhana - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

The spate of anti-democratic bills recently introduced by the Israeli government has forced the issue onto the public agenda in Israel. This is so not because anti-democratic bills are new, but mainly because for the first time some of the proposed bills threaten democracy for Jewish citizens themselves.

Electoral politics behind Canada's Mideast policy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan - (Opinion) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Such an appeal would have found receptive ears in the days when Canada supported the United Nations and sought to promote peace with justice and respect for human rights everywhere, including the Middle East. But then Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin Jr. moved away from Canada's traditional fairness in favor of unquestioned backing of Israel. Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government has gone even farther.

Al-Zahar: Inter-Palestinian reconciliation will not take place because Abbas is not serious about this
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Saleh Al-Naami - (Interview) December 1, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas strongman Mahmoud al-Zahar broke ranks last week to criticize Hamas leader Khalid Mishal on his handling of the inter-Palestinian reconciliation talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The inter-Palestinian reconciliation saw Mishal accept a Palestinian State within the 1967 borders, as well as the provision of another time-limit period for negotiations with Israel, something that al-Zahar strongly spoke out against.

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