January 7th

Freedom of expression in Israel is a hollow pretension
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Jonathan Pollak is due to go to prison in another few days because of his views. The official reason for his arrest was his participation in a quiet protest by cyclists demonstrating in Tel Aviv against the Gaza blockade. The police said the demonstration slowed traffic. Not nice, to slow traffic, so off to prison with him.

Time to turn a page
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ron Gerlitz - (Opinion) January 6, 2011 - 1:00am

The recent wave of racist attacks against Israel's Arab citizens has brought relations between Arabs and Jews in this land to a new and disturbing low point. These attacks join repeated threats by Yisrael Beiteinu and its coalition partners to revoke the citizenship of Israeli Arabs, threats that invoke blatant racist rhetoric, and government policies that have continuously discriminated against Arabs and excluded them from positions of powers, from decision-making circles and from public life in general.

PA seeks UN vote next week on resolution condemning West Bank settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians are hoping for a vote next week on a UN resolution demanding that Israel stop all settlement activities immediately and completely, a Palestinian diplomat said Thursday. The draft Security Council resolution, obtained by The Associated Press, would reaffirm that all Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal and constitute a major obstacle to the achievement of a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

Flurry of int'l diplomacy launched in bid to revive Mideast peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Gur Salomon - January 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Following a long hiatus in international involvement in the stalled Mideast peace process, intense diplomatic activity was launched this week in an effort to get Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak met in Egypt's resort town of Sharm el- Sheikh on Thursday to explore ways to break the current diplomatic impasse.

Ousted patriarch behind locked doors in Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Josh Lederman - January 6, 2011 - 1:00am

Six years ago, Irineos I was the patriarch of the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem with about 100,000 followers. Today, he sits behind locked doors in his Old City apartment, claiming he has been imprisoned by the successor who ousted him in a dispute over sale of church land to Israelis. The only way Irineos could speak to The Associated Press Thursday was through a wireless microphone hoisted at the end of a rope to his roof — in the same black shopping bag supporters use nightly to deliver him groceries.

New Israeli military technology speeds up warfare
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Ben Hubbard - January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Intense winds scraped sand from the desert floor, clouding the view and leaving the Israeli soldiers scarcely able to see each other as they practiced blasting artillery shells at distant targets. In a nearby armored vehicle, commanders armed with small screens could easily monitor every cannon, jeep and target involved, ordering strikes with the tap of a finger. Their weapon: a sophisticated communication system that compiles battlefield information in an easy-to-use, video game-like map interface, helping militaries make sense of the chaos of battle.

Israeli troops kill wrong man in Hamas raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton, Dan Williams - January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli troops killed a 65-year-old Palestinian in his bedroom on Friday during a pre-dawn raid to seize a Hamas suspect who lived in the same building in what the army admitted was a mistake. The man was shot as troops swooped on houses in the occupied West Bank to re-arrest five members of the Islamist Hamas group who had been freed from Palestinian jails just the day before.

Palestinian psychiatrist wins Olof Palme Prize
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian psychiatrist Eyad El-Sarraj on Tuesday won the 2010 Olof Palme Prize for his "self-sacrificing and indefatigable struggle for common sense, reconciliation, and peace" in the Middle East, the Swedish jury said. El-Sarraj, who in 1977 became the first psychiatrist to practice in Gaza, is the founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Program, a non-governmental organization focused on improving the mental well-being in the Palestinian community.

Dahlan’s Non-Coup
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Elliott Abrams - (Blog) January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

News reports in the last two weeks have made public the turmoil inside Fatah related to Mohammed Dahlan, now alleged to have plotted to overthrow PA President Abbas. Dahlan is a Gazan who was once in charge of Fatah’s security organizations. In that capacity he visited the White House often; in my own years at the NSC, I have must have met with him in Washington or in Ramallah a dozen times. Back when Mahmoud Abbas became Palestinian prime minister in 2003, and again when he became President in 2005, Dahlan was a key figure.

Hebron man executed during Israeli raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 7, 2011 - 1:00am

During an arrest raid in Hebron which appeared to target Hamas men released from PA custody the day before, Israeli forces shot and killed a 66-year-old man in his bed, in what appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. Arrested in Hebron overnight were Wael Al-Bitar, Majdi E’beid, Ahmad E’wewy, Muhand Neirukh, and Wisam Al-Qawasmi , all released from PA custody the day before, following intense lobby efforts from the detainees, who had been on hunger strike for weeks. A sixth man released, Mohammad Suqieyah, returned home to Jenin and was not detained during the raid.

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