January 19th

Palestinian bid to take Israeli settlement row to UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Barbara Plett - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Arab nations have formally submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council that condemns Israeli settlement building in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, which the United States will almost certainly veto if it is brought to a vote. The initiative starkly illustrates not only the failure of America's Mid-East policy, but the Palestinian dilemma over which strategy to pursue in the quest for statehood.

Netanyahu to attend AIPAC conference in DC this May
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will attend this year’s American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference in May, his office confirmed on Tuesday. Netanyahu conveyed his acceptance of the annual invitation to the Israeli premier during a meeting he had with the organization in Israel on Monday, according to the Prime Minister’s Office. He will be making his second straight in-person appearance at the AIPAC policy conference, set to take place in Washington from May 22 through 24.

Abbas urges Quartet to put pressure on Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged the Quartet members, who are scheduled to meet in Munich next month, to issue decisions that would oblige Israel to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinians. Abbas, who was speaking during a joint press conference in Jericho with visiting Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, said there were only two options: Negotiations or violence and terrorism.

A requiem for Israel’s Labor Party
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by Daniel Levy - (Opinion) January 17, 2011 - 1:00am

The parliamentary faction representing the party that founded and built the state of Israel and that dominated its governments for decades was today reduced to mere single digits -- Israel's Labor Party now has eight members in the Knesset. This latest dilution resulted from a move that took everyone by surprise, enacted by its now-erstwhile leader, still the country's defense minister, Ehud Barak.

Foreign Ministry talks break down; sanctions to intensify
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Talks between the Finance Ministry representatives and Foreign Ministry workers broke down in a late night session Tuesday. The Foreign Ministry workers were expected to announce an intensification of sanctions as part of the labor dispute, Channel 10 reported. The meeting convened Tuesday night focused on trying to put an end to the workers sanctions that claimed another victim – cancellation of a large UN meeting planned for Israel in March. Representatives of the ministry’s workers were meeting for the third time in as many days with Ilan Levin, the Treasury’s wages director.

Hamas launches Gaza rebuilding program
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas launched a program on Tuesday to rebuild 1,000 homes in the Gaza Strip destroyed during an Israeli offensive two years ago, a project that could boost the Islamist group's standing in the enclave it controls. Hamas, shunned by the West for refusing to renounce violence, declined to disclose the project's cost or the source of its funding. International donations towards reconstruction in Gaza have been held up by Hamas' split with the Palestinian Authority controlling the West Bank.

Palestinian U.S. mission raises flag in Washington for first time
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

In a symbolic gesture, the Palestinians raised their flag over their diplomatic mission in Washington for the first time on Tuesday, as they continue in their quest for recognition by the international community. At a brief ceremony, the Palestinians' chief envoy to the United States, Maen Rashid Areikat, hoisted the red, green, white and black banner outside the PLO General Delegation office. "This is a historic day," Areikat said, adding that it brought him "much pride" to raise his flag. "I will remember this moment for the rest of my life."

Hariri Tribunal will be Hezbollah's Goldstone Report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Despite the understandable anxiety about the collapse of the Lebanese government—and the reaction of Hezbollah to the increasing likelihood that some of its operatives may be indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon investigating the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri—the most probable scenario is that, for now, things in Lebanon will stay much as they have been.

Who will be the next to recognize an independent Palestinian state?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shlomo Shamir - January 18, 2011 - 1:00am

Who will be the next country to recognize an independent Palestinian state? The guessing game continued on Tuesday, after Russia's president said Moscow recognizes an independent Palestine. Diplomatic sources in New York speculate that the first country in Western Europe to recognize Palestinian independence will be Spain. The significance of this potential recognition cannot be understated, as it could potentially influence other countries in Europe to make the same decision.

Israel can't stop Palestinian independence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

They will go out into Jerusalem's summer heat and march down Saladin Street toward the Old City walls. Fifty Palestinians, then 100, then 200 and 1,000 and 10,000. Marching and shouting "Istiqlal," independence. Not because they support Ehud Barak's new party, Atzmaut (the Hebrew word for independence ), but to get Israel out of the territories beyond the Green Line and establish a Palestinian state there. Just like the demonstrators in Tunisia got rid of Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali.

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