NEWS: Palestinians and Israelis have not yet agreed on another round of talks. Significant challenges are facing efforts to revive them. The EU says there is still hope they will continue and is reportedly working on an incentive package for Palestinians. Hanan Ashrawi says Israel is “thwarting all efforts” to continue negotiations. Some experts say Palestinians are looking for alternatives to continued talks. Jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti is placed in solitary confinement following recent public comments. Palestinian officials doubt elections will be held in May, as planned. Palestinians are concerned about new Israeli search technologies involving nausea-inducing gas. Hamas says it's trying to improve relations with Jordan. COMMENTARY: Carlo Strenger says politicians, including PM Netanyahu, and others should stop misusing the Holocaust. Israel Harel says Israel's High Court should create a constitutional court. Roni Brizon says religious and nationalist extremists are taking over Israel. Gershon Baskin says Israel will only find security through peace. Jonathan Rosen says Israel will probably have an election before October. Douglas Bloomfield says negotiations might be futile at this stage but they are still necessary. Gal Beckerman says Sheldon Adelson's apparent ability to change Newt Gingrich's attitudes on Israel and the Palestinians shows one person can affect an election if they're willing to spend enough money. Joel Braunold says the apparent failure of negotiations doesn't change the fundamental realities facing Israelis and Palestinians. Eyal Press looks at a new Israeli film about law and the occupation. Ronen Bergman asks if Israel will attack Iran.

Will Israel Attack Iran?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ronen Bergman - (Opinion) January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

As the Sabbath evening approached on Jan. 13, Ehud Barak paced the wide living-room floor of his home high above a street in north Tel Aviv, its walls lined with thousands of books on subjects ranging from philosophy and poetry to military strategy. Barak, the Israeli defense minister, is the most decorated soldier in the country’s history and one of its most experienced and controversial politicians. He has served as chief of the general staff for the Israel Defense Forces, interior minister, foreign minister and prime minister.

How the Occupation Became Legal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Review Of Books
by Eyal Press - (Film Review) January 25, 2012 - 1:00am

In 1979, a group of Palestinian farmers filed a petition with Israel’s High Court of Justice, claiming their land was being illegally expropriated by Jewish settlers. The farmers were not Israeli citizens, and the settlers appeared to have acted with the state’s support; indeed, army helicopters had escorted them to the land—a hilltop near Nablus—bringing along generators and water tanks. The High Court of Justice nevertheless ordered the outpost dismantled.

Political Failure Does Not Change Reality for Israelis or Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Huffington Post
by Joel Braunold - (Opinion) January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Today, 26 January, will mark another line in the sand in the morbid negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Whether or not this is the date that the Quartet has stated its deadline to get each side's documents presented to each other is currently under dispute by the sides themselves. Arguments about deadlines of document submission is as far as the sides have got in getting the decision makers into the same room together.

What Sheldon's Money Buys
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Gal Beckerman - (Opinion) January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

It is safe to say that without multi-billionaire Sheldon Adelson’s help the chances of Newt Gingrich becoming the Republican nominee for president would be zero — and consequently the race itself, going into Florida at the moment, would not be the competitive, drag-out fight it has become. Adelson, the hotel and casino magnate, has kept Gingrich alive, first through an infusion of $5 million into a super PAC, which allowed the former speaker to defend himself against attacks by Mitt Romney and led to Gingrich’s thumping victory in South Carolina.

A necessary act of futility
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

Binyamin Netanyahu and Mahmoud Abbas have much in common. Both are pure of heart, noble of purpose and free of blame. Each man wants nothing more than peace between Israelis and Palestinians and would have it were it not for the other one’s intransigence. “The Palestinians have no interest in entering peace talks. I’m ready to travel now to Ramallah to start peace talks with Abu Mazen [Abbas] without preconditions,” Netanyahu has said.

Inside Out: Veering towards the center
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jonathan Rosen - (Opinion) January 25, 2012 - 1:00am

Despite the fact that no formal announcement has been made, the prevalent assessment in political corridors is that a general election in Israel will be held by October 2012. The primaries that have been scheduled by the Likud and Kadima, as well as Yair Lapid’s decision to enter the political arena, have contributed to that sense of momentum. Figures from within the Prime Minister’s Office, moreover, reportedly shared with journalists a number of weeks ago that Netanyahu would prefer to seek reelection before a second-term Barack Obama was potentially seated in the White House.

Encountering Peace: Breakthrough dynamic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) January 25, 2012 - 1:00am

We are about to enter another one of those critical weeks in the chronicles of our peoples. Decisions with historic consequences could be made by the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the coming days. Neither Israel nor Palestine has a real strategic alternative to a negotiated peace agreement that leads to the establishment of a nation-state of the Palestinian people, Palestine, next to the nation-state of the Jewish people, Israel, and the end of the conflict.

Israel is being hijacked
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Brizon - (Opinion) January 25, 2012 - 1:00am

Kadima Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said in weekend interviews that Israel faces three existential problems: One on the diplomatic-security front, another on the socioeconomic front, and yet another on the religious-cultural front. Ms. Livni is both right and wrong. The three issues are in fact three sides of one problem: What will Israel look like in the future and who will be shaping its national character?

An alternative to Israel's High Court of Justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Israel Harel - (Opinion) January 26, 2012 - 1:00am

From time to time the demand is heard in Israel to establish a constitutional court, like the most advanced countries have. Ever since Chief Justice Aharon Barak expanded the right to petition the court, the High Court has been used continually by extremist organizations funded by foreign governments and groups. These front organizations are working, it is said, to change the character of the country.

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