A search for common ground, against the odds
In Print by Hussein Ibish - NOW Lebanon (Blog) - February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Since its inception in 2003, the American Task Force on Palestine, where I am a senior research fellow, has been trying to help lay the groundwork for an American alliance for a two-state solution. Such an alliance would bring Jewish-American supporters of Israel and their allies, and Arab-American supporters of Palestine and their allies, together to pursue the mutual interests of both peoples – and of course of the United States itself – in a stable peace agreement.

The PA says local elections will be held on July 9, but Hamas rejects the plan. PM Fayyad calls for international pressure to end settler violence. Hebron seeks UNESCO recognition. Bernard Avishai says Israeli-Palestinian peace is still possible. Jonah Goldberg says Middle Eastern politicians are exploiting the conflict. PM Netanyahu says peace treaties can be canceled. Palestinians launch their first private equity fund.Spain's FM visits Hebron and settlers call her a "Nazi" and "anti-Semite." Israeli soldiers shoot a Palestinian man in the Gaza border area. Ha'aretz says Netanyahu must advance peace if he wants a stable Middle East. An extremist rabbi insists he's not a racist. Four projectiles land in southern Israel. Hamas is working with disgruntled bedouin tribes in Sinai. Gaza is facing a fuel crisis due to unrest in Egypt. Abdulateef al-Mulhim says Arabs believe in non-existent Israeli conspiracies. Hussein Ibish says Jewish and Arab Americans need to find common ground on peace.

Palestinian tycoon launches first private equity fund
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

"Palestine's private sector is thirsty for an infusion of cash and managed expansion," said Bashar Masri, whose Ramallah-based holding company Massar International invests in real estate and financial and investment services. The Siraj Palestine Fund would unleash "the latent potential of Palestinian SMEs by promoting technological advancement, job creation and addressing the acute shortage of equity capital", a statement said. The fund had raised over $60 million and was expected to reach $80 million in the next few months.

4 mortars hit south; car damaged
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shumlik Hadad - February 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Color Red rocket alert system was sounded Tuesday morning in Gaza vicinity communities, followed by a loud blast caused by a mortar shell which exploded in a parking lot in the Shaar Hanegev Regional Council. The mortar shell, fired from the northern Gaza Strip, damaged one car. A second mortar landed in a nearby field and damaged a hose. There were no reports of injuries. About three hours later, the Color Red alert system was activated once again and two more explosions were heard in the area. There were no reports of injuries.

Wanted Kiryat Arba rabbi tells supporters: I'm not racist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Some two thousand demonstrators showed their support Tuesday morning for Rabbi Dov Lior, the head rabbi of Kiryat Arba, who is wanted by the police for endorsing the controversial book "Torat Hamelech," which justifies killing non-Jews. Rabbi Lior addressed the crowd at the Kiryat Arba demonstration, saying that "a couple of months ago, two Talmudic scholars from Yizhar published a book on the status of Jews and non-Jews. Racism refers to one nation wishing to enslave another, and this is not our intent."

Northern Sinai heating up
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Arieh O'Sullivan - February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Embittered and emboldened Bedouin tribesmen have turned the northern Sinai Peninsula into a lawless and violent frontier between Israel and Egypt. Security sources said that the Bedouin have also forged links with radical Hamas operatives who have escaped from Egyptian jails or slipped through the border from the Gaza Strip. Despite reports of an increased Egyptian troop presence, the local security forces have been severely degraded, increasingly attacked and in some cases overwhelmed. Most of the details of the chaos have gone unreported.

Egypt unrest cuts fuel lifeline to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Gaza is facing acute fuel shortages as a result of the unrest in neighbouring Egypt, which has caused supplies of petrol and diesel smuggled through tunnels to almost dry up. Although some fuel is imported into the Gaza Strip from Israel, it costs three times as much as diesel and petrol smuggled in from Egypt. Gazans depend on diesel for generators during power cuts of about eight hours a day. Long queues of cars, motorcycles and people on foot carrying containers have formed at gas stations. Smuggled construction materials and Egyptian cigarettes are also in short supply.

Settlers in Hebron receive Spanish FM with calls of 'Nazi, anti-Semite'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Settlers in Hebron received visiting Spanish foreign minister on Tuesday morning with derogatory cries, calling her a "Nazi" and "anti-Semite" because of her initial refusal to meet with settler leaders of the city.

Netanyahu must advance peace if he wants a stable Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Opinion) February 8, 2011 - 1:00am

The upheaval in Egypt is sowing anxiety in Israel. President Hosni Mubarak's government adhered strictly to the peace treaty, functioned as a stabilizing force in the region and supported expanding the circle of peace agreements to the Palestinians and neighboring states. The eight Israeli prime ministers who served over the course of Mubarak's 30-year reign could depend on him for strategic support, even when they waged wars on other fronts and deepened the occupation and the settlement enterprise.

An Israeli conspiracy that never existed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Abdulateef Al-Mulhim - (Editorial) February 7, 2011 - 1:00am

I have, since childhood, been hearing about an invisible thing called the Israeli conspiracy.

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