ATFP President Ziad Asali says Arab protests are about government accountability. Kadima leader Livni urges a democratic code for the Middle East. Fareed Zakaria says that Middle East protests represent a seismic shift in the region. Hamas claims Israel is more receptive to a prisoner exchange. Israel bombs Gaza. PM Fayyad tours a refugee camp. A projectile fired from Gaza hits an Israeli city, and Israel anticipates more. Israel allows 300 Palestinians to return to the West Bank from Libya. Hamas may be gaining strength. A judge dismisses a defamation lawsuit against AIPAC by a former employee. Umberto Eco criticizes cultural boycotts of Israel. Palestinians say any unity government will be headed by Fayyad, and Hamas must renounce terrorism. Four Israeli teenagers are suspected of stabbing two Palestinian men. Larry Derfner says Palestinian "people power" will end the occupation. Douglas Bloomfield says neither side seems to want to negotiate. Dr. Asali joins others in praising Dan Shapiro’s appointment as new US ambassador to Israel. George Hishmeh says the US veto at the UN shows nothing has changed. Michael Jansen says Palestinian unity is important.

Dan Shapiro to be named US envoy to Israel
Media Mention of Ziad Asali In The Jerusalem Post - February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Senior White House adviser Dan Shapiro is set to be nominated as the next US ambassador to Israel, Washington sources said on Tuesday. The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement has been made, though one is expected soon. Shapiro, born in 1969, currently serves as the National Security Council’s senior director for the Middle East and North Africa. He has regularly traveled to Israel and worked closely with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell to try to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

In the Middle East protests, a seismic shift
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Fareed Zakaria - (Editorial) February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

We are in the midst of a revolution in the Middle East, one that has unleashed long-suppressed forces that will continue to send shock waves across an arc of countries from Morocco to Iran. We are all looking at each crisis individually as it breaks out. But if we step back we can see that this is really a seismic shift and that it will in time reverberate throughout the region.

U.S. judge dismisses defamation lawsuit by former AIPAC official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

A Washington D.C. Superior Court judge dismissed a lawsuit against AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, on Wednesday, for allegedly defaming its former foreign policy boss when they publicly attributed their firing of him to what they described as his sub-standard performance. Judge Erik Christian determined that the comments about Steve Rosen made by an AIPAC spokesperson and published in the New York Times did not constitute grounds for a defamation lawsuit.

Hamas growing stronger, without firing a shot
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Crispian Balmer - (Editorial) February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas is having a good revolution. The unrest that has transformed the Arab world outside the tiny coastal enclave has boosted the standing of the Islamist group within Gaza and strengthened its position against the rival Palestinian Authority, which holds sway in the West Bank. Hamas greeted the downfall of Egyptian former President Hosni Mubarak with euphoria, sensing that his departure would weaken Israel's stranglehold on the impoverished territory that has crippled its economy and confined its inhabitants.

Prominent Italian author lashes out at Israel boycott proponents
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Maya Sela - February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

Celebrated Italian novelist Umberto Eco yesterday challenged those who advocate cultural boycotts and said that censuring artists because of actions committed by their governments was akin to racism. Last week, British writers called on prominent British novelist Ian McEwan to reject an Israeli literary prize in protest at Israel's treatment of the Palestinians.

Israel to let 300 Palestinians in Libya into WBank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Israel will allow 300 Palestinians living and working in Libya to enter the West Bank in the coming days, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. "Because of the current violence in Libya I received a personal request from (Palestinian) President (Mahmoud) Abbas ... that Israel allow a number of Palestinians to leave Libya and to enter the Palestinian territories ... so Israel will enable 300 Palestinians to enter the Palestinian areas," Netanyahu said.

Hamas to exchange terror for unity?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Elior Levy - February 24, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian sources told the London-based al-Hayat Thursday that a plan by Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to create a unity government with both rival Palestinian factions had already been approved by Fatah, and was currently awaiting the approval of Hamas. According to the plan, both factions will keep their respective authorities in the West Bank and Gaza, including security forces.

Rocket from Gaza Strip strikes Israeli city
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip landed in a residential street in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on Wednesday, causing serious damage to houses and cars but no casualties, the city's mayor said. "One rocket fell, there are no casualties and security forces are in control of the situation," Beersheba mayor Rubik Danilovich told Channel 1 television. Earlier reports said the rocket had struck a house. Residents said they sought shelter in secure rooms after air raid sirens sounded in the area.

4 Jewish teens suspected of killing Arab
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yair Altman - February 23, 2011 - 1:00am

Police reported Wednesday that it has completed its investigation of the stabbing incident that occurred two weeks ago in Jerusalem, during which 24-year-old Hussam Rawidi was killed. Four Jewish teenagers were arrested in connection to the incident, but only one is suspected of stabbing Rawidi, a resident of the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Semiramis. The inquiry revealed that the perpetrator used a razor, and not a knife. Police will recommend he be tried for manslaughter and not murder as the stabbing was preceded by a scuffle.

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