February 28th

Palestinians seek new paths to statehood. An Israeli investigation finds no crime was committed in the assassination of a Hamas leader in 2002 that caused many civilian casualties. Two Gaza men and a baby are wounded in Israeli attacks. Fouad Ajami says the Arabs have turned their shame into liberty. Israel builds a light railway along a venerable road in Jerusalem. Fatah sets new standards for cabinet appointments. Settlers clash with Israeli police. Hamas suppresses a pro-unity rally. DM Barak says Israel must look past its anxieties and towards peace. Israeli police arrest eight settlers. Jordan’s FM says Palestinian statehood is nonnegotiable. The PLO also opposes power-sharing with Hamas. Akiva Eldar says PM Netanyahu is exploiting Israeli anxieties to forestall peace, and the PM says he is wary about new international initiatives on negotiations. Neri Livneh says Jewish fundamentalists are as dangerous as Muslim ones. Palestinians use technology to avoid long lines at Israeli checkpoints. Few Israeli politicians are attending the J Street conference. Rabbi Eric Yoffie says Jews and Muslims should work together for peace and democracy. Abdel Monem Said says the US veto of UN resolution on settlements was “shameful.”

Shame on Obama and the US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Abdel-Moneim Said - (Opinion) February 26, 2011 - 1:00am

The US veto of the Security Council draft resolution to condemn Israeli settlement construction is a disgrace on the part of President Barack Obama and the United States. This ignominy will forever remain in the history books, and the voting records of the UN Security Council. The veto is shameful firstly because the US, by using its veto power, has adopted a stance in opposition to the entire world.

An Appeal to My Muslim Friends
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Eric Yoffie - (Opinion) February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

I need your help and your reassurance. This is, I know, a time of great uncertainty in large stretches of the Muslim world. The Middle East is in turmoil. Dictators have been toppled, others cling desperately to power, and demonstrators fill the streets and the squares of the Arab world to demand freedom.

At J Street Conference, Israeli Politicians Are Scarce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - February 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Although relations between J Street and the Israeli government had thawed in the past year, the group’s recent refusal to denounce a U.N. resolution condemning Israel’s settlement policy has soured relations once again. J Street’s second annual conference is, therefore, taking place without any official representatives of the Israeli government in attendance.

Palestinians Turn to Computer Technology to Avoid Israeli Roadblocks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - February 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Adopting an attitude of “If you can’t beat’em, go around’em,” Palestinian computer programmers have developed a simple text-messaging system to help cope with surprise or crowded checkpoints set up by the Israeli army across the West Bank. Called “Ezma,” or Arabic for traffic, the program is sustained on a user-fed databank that ferries it to subscribers, much like a traffic monitoring system in other countries.

Netanyahu wary of new international efforts in peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 27, 2011 - 1:00am

Four days before Mideast Quartet officials are planned to meet Israeli and Palestinian representatives, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu still hasn't decided whether or not he will be sending his adviser and peace-talks representative Yitzhak Molcho. The forum of seven senior ministers will be meeting this Tuesday to reach a decision on the matter. Over the weekend, the United Nations envoy to the Middle East, Robert Serry, announced that Quartet representatives would hold separate meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials later in the week in Brussels.

Netanyahu is exploiting anxiety over instability to stave off peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Opinion) February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

In a childish response two weeks ago to Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu goaded, "whoever is in a bunker should stay there." Speaking on the Knesset rostrum a few days later, Netanyahu invited the citizens of Israel to join him in his bunker. The prime minister spoke of the missiles fired by Hamas from Gaza, reprimanded the fools who forced the settlers to leave their Gush Katif bunkers, and peppered his remarks with references to the Iranian threat.

PLO opposes sharing power with Hamas as it controls Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) would oppose a plan by prime minister-designate to include Hamas in a united government while keeping its rule in Gaza, a PLO official said Sunday. "So far, the Executive Committee of the PLO did not discuss Salam Fayyad's initiative," said Wassel Abu Yousef, a member of the Executive Committee, "but the Palestinian people will not accept the continuation of the split or the formation of sort of confederation between Gaza and the West Bank."

Jordan FM stresses Palestinian statehood non-negotiable right for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Jordanian foreign minister said on Sunday the Palestinian statehood is a non-negotiable right for the Palestinian people. In a joint press conference with Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt, Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh stressed that the creation of an independent Palestinian state on the Palestinian soil with East Jerusalem as its capital is a non-negotiable right. The Jordanian foreign minister said that developments in the Middle East must not divert attention away from the Palestinian issue, which is a central issue in the region.

Israeli police arrest 8 settlers in violent clash over outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 28, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli police and Jewish supporters of an unauthorized West Bank outpost clashed early Monday morning, as authorities moved in to demolish several structures in the small village. The Police arrested eight settlers, and Israel Radio and other media reported that 15 protesters were injured when authorities moved in to dismantle temporary structures at Gilad Farm, in northern West Bank.

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