Israel's boycott law: The quiet sound of going fascist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

This is the one. Don't let what we like to call the relative calm here, fool you. When the Knesset passed the boycott law Monday night, it changed the history of the state of Israel. In real time, a tipping point of great magnitude can sound a lot like nothing at all. But if the Boycott Law makes it past challenges filed by human rights and pro-peace organizations in Israel's High Court of Justice, then anything goes, beginning with democracy itself. Benjamin Netanyahu and Ehud Barak and 10 other cabinet ministers already know this. That's why they failed to show up for the vote.

A Self-Defeating Boycott Bill
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Jeffrey Goldberg - (Opinion) July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Supporters of Israel's settlement movement want to criminalize calls for boycotts, not only of Israel, but of products made in the settlements. The way to fight calls to boycott Israel itself is through argument; the way to fight calls to boycott settlements is to bring about the creation of a Palestinian state, and let the settlers become part of Palestine, or encourage them to come home to Israel proper. About the boycott-Israel movement I have no mixed feelings at all; it is a type of anti-Jewish discrimination campaign (as are these awful flotillas).

Israelis, Palestinians must unite to end occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yitzhak Laor - (Opinion) July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the political right argues, has a solid parliamentary majority, so not accepting such a majority's decisions is undemocratic. Right-wing advocates use this argument widely. But of course, this argument harms Israel because it treats its colonialism as if it were part of its political structure.

Israeli groups to challenge boycott law in court
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

A new law that seeks to impede boycotts against Jewish settlements in the West Bank sparked a ferocious debate Tuesday between supporters who praised it as a bulwark against efforts to isolate Israel and critics who warned it threatens the nation's democracy. Human rights groups said they would ask the Supreme Court within days to overturn the law, which allows settlers or settlement-based businesses to sue Israelis who promote settlement boycotts. Courts would determine whether a boycott caused financial harm and, if so, assess damages.

Palestinian envoy to UN: European states will recognize Palestine before September
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, is in the forefront of the Palestinian diplomatic move ? now gaining momentum ? before the General Assembly meet in September. In the coming weeks, Mansour will submit to the UN secretary general an official request for Palestine to be accepted as a full member of the world body. Mansour hopes that September will see more than 130 countries voting in the General Assembly in favor of recognizing a Palestinian state, even if it does not receive full membership status.

Hamas: No Palestinian reconciliation if Fayyad remains PM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Associated Press - July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

A senior Hamas official said a planned reconciliation with Fatah will be deeply threatened if the rival Palestinian movement insists Western-backed economist Salam Fayyad stays on as prime minister. President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah thinks keeping Fayyad as prime minister is key to maintaining the flow of hundreds of millions of dollars in Western aid. Hamas sees Fayyad as too close to the West. Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk was quoted Wednesday by the Palestinian daily Felesteen as saying Abbas' position is "unacceptable and unreasonable."

Officials: Mideast Quartet talks failed due to disagreement over Israel as Jewish state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

The foreign ministers of the Middle East Quartet failed to reach an agreement on Monday surrounding the recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and therefore did not issue a public statement on their meeting meant to renew Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Western diplomats and senior officials in Jerusalem said Tuesday.

Israeli police will not face trial over death of Palestinian girl
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli policemen suspected of shooting dead a 10-year-old Palestinian schoolgirl in 2007 will escape prosecution after a court said that too much time had elapsed to allow a re-examination of the case. The decision will come as a blow for the girl's parents, who have campaigned for justice for their daughter, Abir Aramin, who died after being struck in the head during a school break.

From left to right, American Jews are criticizing Israeli anti-boycott law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - July 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Backers of a new Israeli law penalizing anyone who targets Israel or West Bank settlements for boycotts tout it as a tool to fight back against anti-Israel campaigns, but American Jewish organizations seem remarkably united in deeming the measure an affront to freedom of expression. “We're disappointed that they passed the law,” said Rabbi Steve Gutow, the director of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the umbrella body for the Jewish public policy groups.

Bethlehem's taps run dry as West Bank Israelis continue to fill their swimming pool
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - July 13, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM // Water taps have run dry in this venerable West Bank city, fuelling public frustration and alarming Palestinian leaders. An acute shortage has panicked Bethlehem hoteliers into building massively expensive storage tanks, lest their customers flee to water-abundant Israeli resorts. Freelance profiteers have carved out a thriving black-market trade in water affordable only to a wealthy few. Meanwhile, Bethlehem's residents, who no longer have enough water to bathe regularly, are sporting scruffy hair and soiled clothing.

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