December 13th

Israeli officials mum on Gingrich remark
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, not known for reticence in making right-wing pronouncements or speaking his mind, opted Monday not to share his thoughts on US Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich’s recent remark that the Palestinians are an “invented” people. After spending the better part of a press conference Monday defending recent comments he made in Russia about the legitimacy of the elections there, Lieberman – when asked by The Jerusalem Post about Gingrich’s comments – laughed and said he did not want to interfere in the internal matters of another country.

The Republicans
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Less than a month before the Iowa caucuses, the first step in the US presidential nomination process, Republican presidential hopefuls seem to be engaged in an attempt to outdo one another in demonstrations of support for Israel. Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the US House of Representatives who has pulled ahead of Mitt Romney in recent polls, has been the most outspoken. During a Republican debate held in Des Moines, Iowa on Saturday night, Gingrich defended comments he made last week to the Jewish Channel referring to the Palestinians as an “invented people.”

If Obama goes, so will peace prospects
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda S. Heard - (Opinion) December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ultra-nationalistic sidekicks must be praying for Barack Obama’s departure next January. It’s not that the US president has exactly been tightening the screws on the intransigent Israeli leader to return to the table, although unfettered by a reliance on the Jewish and Christian Zionist vote he would probably have taken a much more forceful line.

Abbas to meet EU foreign policy chief Ashton
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet European Union (EU) foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Wednesday, an aide to Abbas said Tuesday. The talks between Abbas and Ashton will mainly focus on efforts to revive stalled Palestinian-Israeli peace talks and the Palestinian quest to obtain membership in the United Nations bodies, said Abbas's adviser Majdi al-Khaldi. The meeting between Abbas and Ashton will take place when Abbas arrives in Belgium Wednesday, where he will also meet European Council President Herman Van Rompuy.

Livni blames PM for radicalization wave
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Attila Somfalvi - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday instructed the security forces to take a firm hand against those who hurt IDF soldiers and commanders after settlers pelted the vehicle of a brigade commander and raided an army base in the West Bank on Monday night. "This warrants harsh condemnation. The security forces must be focused on protecting Israeli citizens and not on such intolerable violations of the law," he said.

Settlers: Barak to blame for rightist riots
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roi Mandel - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Samaria Regional Council head Gershon Mesika has pointed a finger at Defense Minister Ehud Barak following the violent incidents involving right-wing activists in the West Bank on Monday night. "Unfortunately, Ehud Barak acted like a pyromaniac and set the ground on fire intentionally by trying to destroy homes in Ramat Gilad despite the advanced talks aimed at solving the issue peacefully," Mesika said Tuesday.

Dozens of rightists break into IDF base in West Bank, wound officer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Some 50 settlers and right-wing activists entered a key West Bank military base early Tuesday morning and threw rocks, burned tires, and vandalized military vehicles. The settlers were acting in response to a rumor that the IDF would act to evict a West Bank settlement in accordance with an August Supreme Court ruling.

Settlers vandalize Israeli military base in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Over 50 settlers infiltrated an Israeli military base near Tulkarem early Tuesday, the army said. Right wing settlers set fire to tires, vandalized vehicles and placed nails along the road at the Ephraim regional division headquarters. They also threw stones at the base commander's vehicle, the army said in a statement. No injuries were reported and the army and Israeli police managed to remove settlers from the area, the military added.

Israeli lawmaker proposes ban on mosque loudspeakers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

The latest installment in a series of controversial legislative efforts in Israel is a proposal to restrict use of loudspeakers in houses of worship, which really means mosques as the other main religions don't use them. Lawmaker Anastassia Michaeli insists her proposal isn't aimed at silencing the Muslim call to prayer for religious or political reasons but for environmental reasons: it's too loud.

Israel’s president says he’s ‘ashamed’ of bills he says are undemocratic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel’s president says he is “ashamed” that lawmakers are trying to pass a string of bills he regards as undemocratic. Shimon Peres’ comments break with the presidential custom of maintaining silence on political issues. In an interview with the Yediot Ahronot daily published Tuesday, Peres singled out bills that would slash funding to dovish groups, silence Muslim calls to prayer and tighten a defamation law in a way that could hobble investigative reports.

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