Netanyahu orders block of pro-Palestinian 'fly-in'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Maayan Lubell - July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered authorities on Wednesday to block entry of pro-Palestinian activists planning to travel to Tel Aviv over the weekend in a protest "fly-in". Netanyahu ordered the internal security minister and the immigration authority to "act with determination, while trying to avoid unnecessary friction" with anyone taking part in what he termed a provocation, a statement from his office said. Pro-Palestinian websites have called in recent weeks on activists to fly to Israel on July 8 to protest against its policy toward Palestinians.

From standoffs to reforms, Arab Spring faces tests
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Osama Al-Sharif - (Opinion) July 5, 2011 - 12:00am

THE Arab Spring is devolving into a prolonged and sweltering summer with political or military deadlocks perching over Libya, Yemen, Syria and even Egypt and Tunisia where popular uprisings earlier this year have toppled ruling regimes. And even in countries that have managed to avoid public protests the situation is not much better. In fact the region has never looked so engulfed in challenges, and so far only few Arab governments recognize that a major geopolitical shift is taking place.

Israel arrests raise specter of rabbis vs state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Marius Schattner - July 5, 2011 - 12:00am

Challenges to Israel's justice system by a small group of ultra-nationalist rabbis have raised the specter of theocracy in Israel, where religion is deeply intertwined with affairs of state. Over the past week, police have detained, questioned and released two very influential rabbis as part of an ongoing investigation into a banned book called "The King's Torah," which justifies killing non-Jews under certain circumstances. The arrests have sparked violent protests and a raging debate about whether rabbis are above the law, and about the limits of religious freedom of expression.

Gaza flotillas have made a difference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adam Shapiro - (Opinion) July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

As ships continue preparing to depart for Gaza from Greece and as the Greek government continues to serve as the Israeli ‘call centre’ for outsourcing the blockade of 1.6 million Palestinians in Gaza, the myth continues to perpetuate that ‘established channels’ should be used to reach Gaza.

PA: Efforts ongoing to overcome finance crisis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian Authority cabinet asserted Tuesday that cooperation at a national level would overcome a financial crisis. During their weekly session in Ramallah, cabinet ministers, and premier Salam Fayyad, promised to do their best to overcome the crisis which has threatened the salaries of civil servants. They applauded banks and other institutions for being considerate to civil servants’ conditions.

The rabbis and the army
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Nahum Barnea - (Opinion) July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

"The admission of religion into combat regiments is growing." I did not read this report on a Hezbollah website or in a statement issued by the Iranian military. I read it on the IDF's official website, on a page that features news from the army's magazine, BaMahane. As it turns out, in the framework of a new IDF Rabbinate plan, a regimental rabbi will be appointed for every IDF combat regiment. The appointments will be made next month. The rabbis will be reserve soldiers. They will accompany combatants during training sessions and operational activity.

Israel's new friend: Why Greece is thwarting Gaza flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 5, 2011 - 12:00am

An unexpected player has come to Israel's aid in thwarting this year's Gaza-bound flotilla: Greece. It's a country Israel has been courting since a raid on last year's flotilla ended in the death of nine Turkish citizens, severely damaging relations between the Jewish state and one of its most important Mediterranean allies. Desperate for new friends in the region, Israel reached out to Greece, offering generous military assistance to the debt-ridden state.

A decision-making fiasco
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eitan Haber - (Opinion) July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

A normal Israeli citizen, characterized by the media as “the man on the street,” reads newspapers, listens to the radio, watches television and asks himself and those around him: What’s going on up there? If this is how they manage a minor, rather insignificant matter like handing over terrorist bodies, how are truly important issues – matters of life and death – being handled? And here’s the answer: This time, Israel’s leadership is not the only culprit – but…

Israeli FM threatens tough response to planned Palestinian declaration of independence at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Associated Press - July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel’s hardline foreign minister says there will be a tough response if the Palestinians follow through on a plan to declare independence at the United Nations this fall. Avigdor Lieberman told reporters on Wednesday that “unilateral steps will force us to take unilateral steps.” He says Israel is considering a variety of responses but declined to elaborate. Lieberman has earlier suggested that Israel could annul past peace agreements or annex parts of the West Bank.

We must stop Israel from becoming a theocracy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Arieli - (Opinion) July 6, 2011 - 12:00am

Those of us who believe that the internal debate in the Jewish community in Israel is still focused on defense needs or the number of settlements that should be evacuated, were proven wrong by the followers of Kiryat Arba's Rabbi Dov Lior. The real controversy focuses on the image of Israeli society and the nature of the country's governance. The conflict with the Palestinians is only a platform for shaping positions on this issue.

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