December 19th

Coy euphemisms, tragic implications
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jeff Barak - (Opinion) December 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Even I thought Hillary Clinton was overstepping the mark earlier this month when the US secretary of state said the treatment of women in Israel was reminiscent of the situation in Iran. That was until my health fund, Kupat Holim Meuhedet, sent a booklet round to my house.

Only words
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Susan Hattis Rolef - (Opinion) December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Last Wednesday, as part of my Knesset in the Democratic Regime of Israel course, I told my students about some of the ceremonial aspects of the Knesset’s work, placing an emphasis on a section from the Declaration of Independence that is read alout at the ceremonial Knesset session when a new government is sworn in.

Israel plans for more than 1,000 new housing units on disputed land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel's Housing Ministry announced Sunday that it would construct more than 1,000 housing units in the West Bank and Jerusalem area on land it seized during the 1967 Mideast war. The expansion includes 500 units in Har Homa, 348 in Beitar Ilit and 180 in Givat Zeev. “Some countries around the world may not be happy about this but they shouldn’t be surprised,” Housing Minister Ariel Atia told the Israeli news site Ynet. He said the move would lower home prices and increase supply, assisting young Israeli couples looking for affordable housing.

Israel can be Jewish without being racist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) December 19, 2011 - 1:00am

What's easier for a secular person to hate than an ultra-Orthodox Jew who sets fire to an Israeli flag on the holiday of Lag Ba'omer? The answer is a religious West Bank Jewish settler who torches a mosque on any old day. The shared revulsion of those thugs who have acquired the nickname "hilltop youth" and whose hate crimes have euphemistically come to be called "price tag" attacks assuages the consciences of those who consider themselves secular liberals.

Why we're celebrating hope this Christmas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Victor Batarseh - (Opinion) December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

It all started in Bethlehem. From here, the Christmas message was revealed to mankind; a message of joy, love and peace. And here we are today, after more than 2,000 years, reviving this eternal remembrance in faith and love, happily cheering and singing songs of joy and triumph. "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." This verse spreads joy in our hearts and proves for us that nothing is impossible for God, not even realizing peace.

Israel Frees Palestinians in 2nd Stage of Exchange
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - December 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel released about 550 Palestinian prisoners on Sunday night in the second half of a swap that freed one of its soldiers, Gilad Shalit, who had been held by Hamas in Gaza for more than five years. The prisoners left Ofer Prison in Israel by bus shortly after 10 p.m., with a dozen buses going to the West Bank and one to Gaza. Some prisoners were also going to East Jerusalem and Jordan.

What ‘pro-Israel’ should mean
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jeremy Benami - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

Jeremy Ben-Ami is president of J Street, a Washington-based nonprofit that advocates a diplomatic resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the author of “A New Voice for Israel.” Advocates of strong U.S.-Israel relations have aimed for decades to keep Israel from being a divisive issue in American politics. Yet Israel is one of very few foreign policy issues already rating attention in the 2012 presidential election.

December 16th

Gingrich’s lie reveals his bigotry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by John. E. Sununu - (Opinion) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

When bigots speak, their words have purpose. They intentionally choose phrases that inflame, denigrate, and marginalize other races, religions, or nationalities. They employ distortions and stereotypes to bolster false arguments. Which brings us to Newt Gingrich, who in an interview last week derided “an invented Palestinian people.’’ His comments were a calculated — but demonstrably false — slander, designed to curry favor with a constituency for which he cares by insulting one for which he does not.

NEWS: Israeli police say some Jerusalem election results should be canceled after Jewish extremists prevented women from voting. US aid to the PA will continue provided it does not press for further recognition at the UN. Palestinian factions say they are reaching a “last chance” at reconciliation. Iceland becomes the first Western European state to recognize Palestine. Israel is unifying its “special forces” under a single uniform command. AP looks at Israel's long history of failing to rein in Jewish extremists. Hamas introduces plastic money into the Gaza economy. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor says Palestinians “have to prove they deserve a state.” One third of all Israeli occupation forces are now deployed to combat Jewish extremist settlers. DM Barak will meet with Pres. Obama Friday morning. COMMENTARY: Yoel Marcus says Israel's extreme right is a primary threat to peace. Uri Saguy says terrorists, including Jewish ones, should be shot. PM Netanyahu’s senior adviser Ron Dermer writes letter to the New York Times saying the prime minister will not write for them. Nathan Guttman says by sending Barak to the US, Israel is showing its “friendly face.” Liam Hoare says it's inexcusable that Israeli nationalists would find common cause with European Islamophobes. Ahmad Majdoubeh says the Arab League needs to come out of hibernation on the issue of Palestine. The Arab News is skeptical Israel will really crack down on extremist settlers. Lara Friedman says Israel is finally waking up to settler extremism. Dilshod Achilov is interviewed on the future of Hamas' relationship with Syria and Iran.

Will Hamas Now Abandon Syria and Assad?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from International Business Times
by Palash R. Ghosh - (Interview) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

The ongoing rebellion (and brutal government crackdown) in Syria has presented an embarrassment for Hamas, the Palestinian militant organization which was embraced by President Bashar al-Assad and given a home in Damascus for several years. Reportedly, some lower-tier Hamas members have already fled Syria, although the leadership has insisted it will stay. Moreover, Hamas groups on Gaza and West Bank have not (to any significant degree) staged protests against Assad, the way they did for former Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

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