NEWS: Palestinian officials say they are sticking to the original negotiating deadlines in spite of US requests for an extension. Pres. Abbas says Israel is offering “nothing new” in the latest negotiations. The parties will meet again on Saturday. Pres. Obama and PM Netanyahu discuss the talks in a phone call. Abbas is going on a European tour next week. Israeli forces injure two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. The head of the Palestinian Elections Commission says elections in May are now “impossible” to organize. Israeli-Palestinian couples are facing increasing difficulties. Palestinian women form what may be the Middle East's first all-female car racing team. Hamas says it wants to base its officials in many Arab states, including Jordan. Critics say Israel's plans for several parks in occupied East Jerusalem are designed to deny construction in Palestinian neighborhoods. COMMENTARY: Jane Eisner interviews PM Fayyad and says he is still determined to build a state. Ha'aretz says Israel's Supreme Court is headed down the path of apartheid. Salman Masalha says Israelis and Palestinians alike must set aside fantasies about “justice” on their own terms and face the stark realities. The Jerusalem Post says Israel is right to exclude Palestinian spouses of Israeli citizens and expel African migrants. Jordana Horn looks at a new film about Israeli identity. Patrick Seale says Israel's hardliners see a chance to consolidate a "greater Israel." Nirit Anderman looks at a new Israeli film about the occupation. Lara Friedman says already built-up Israeli settlements are a very small part of West Bank territory but about half of the entire territory is under settler control.

Settlements Not an Obstacle to Peace? Get Serious
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Lara Friedman - (Opinion) January 11, 2012 - 1:00am

Today, Peace Now released a new report entitled "Torpedoing the Two State Solution -- The Strategy of the Netanyahu Government," detailing a number of trends in settlement expansion that directly, and it seems, deliberately, undermine the viability of the two-state solution.

A Sad Basis in Fact
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nirit Anderman - (Film Review) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

One by one, the actors face the camera. Each is filmed in a different place, against a different landscape. The landscapes are simultaneously threatening and stunning. Though each actor tells a different story, each delivers it looking directly at the camera - directly at the viewer. And each recounts, in a precise and matter-of-fact way, a difficult incident experienced by the character he or she is portraying. Shlomi Elkabetz - David Adika - January 2012

Hardliners See Opportunity to Create a ‘Greater Israel’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

This past year has dealt a heavy blow — perhaps even a terminal one — to the project, long supported by the international community, of resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of two states. When the United States itself proved unable to halt Israel’s relentless land grab, it seemed that nothing and nobody could rein in Israel’s iron-willed ambition to expand its borders towards a ‘Greater Israel.’

Two Israelis’ Identity Struggles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jordana Horn - (Film Review) January 12, 2012 - 1:00am

The word “Israel” has been interpreted to mean “a struggle with God,” but 60 years of Israel as a Jewish nation has shown a country in perpetual struggle. As well as wars with its neighbors, Israel has grappled with its history and identity, and the implications of each for the other. Though not explicitly addressed, these issues are deeply felt by the subjects of two quite different biographical documentaries offered by the New York Jewish Film Festival: the leader of the legendary 1976 raid on Entebbe, and an Ethiopian Jewish immigrant on a personal odyssey.

Protecting Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
(Editorial) January 12, 2012 - 1:00am

Critics were quick to attack the High Court of Justice’s decision Wednesday to uphold the Citizenship and Entry Law, which severely restricts the right of Palestinians married to Israelis to receive Israeli citizenship. Before rushing to accuse our highest court of discrimination, racism or worse, it would be instructive to recall how the Citizenship and Entry Law came about in the first place.

Israel, Palestinians Must Let Go of Justice and Join Reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Salman Masalha - (Opinion) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

The poet Taha Muhammad Ali, who recently passed away, revealed to us in one of his poems that it took him 60 years to realize that "water is the best of drinks / And bread is the tastiest of foods." Someone who takes so much time to understand reality can be tolerated. He's allowed to be backward and learn slowly; he'll write poems about that. But it's different when we're talking about the backwardness of a nation, and how much more so, its elected leadership.

Supreme Court Thrusts Israel Down the Slope of Apartheid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

The High Court of Justice's ruling Wednesday on the legality of the Citizenship Law proves the erosion of this institution's role as Israel's guardian of civil rights. Let's look at how the justices voted at the moment of truth on the law, which bans Palestinians from living in Israel with spouses who are Israeli citizens.

Fayyad Still Trying to Create State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Jane Eisner - (Opinion) January 13, 2012 - 1:00am

I was last in Ramallah a year and a half ago, and the change since then is striking. The headquarters of the once-feared Palestine Liberation Organization had been on the second floor of a nondescript office building above a furniture store; now it is in a gleaming office tower adjacent to the sprawling compound of the Palestinian Authority’s president. I’m not sure there is reason to fear the PLO anymore, but the organization certainly has a better address.

East Jerusalem Parks Plan ‘Fences in Palestinians’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - January 12, 2012 - 1:00am

It is littered with rubbish thrown there by the residents of the two Palestinian neighbourhoods that bookend the 75-hectare slope, and it is besieged by the din of cars and lorries rumbling down the nearby road that connects central Jerusalem with the West Bank settlement of Maale Adumim.

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