NEWS: US troops arrive in Israel for a joint defense drill. Palestinians are reportedly urged by Britain to delay renewing their efforts to secure more recognition at the UN. Shas welcomes back a disgraced former official as co-head of the organization. Israeli officials claim missiles from the war in Libya are making their way to Gaza, and add that war will not solve the problems regarding the territory. The State Department says Palestinian students in the occupied West Bank will be able to take SAT exams that were being withheld by Israeli customs. Egypt's new ambassador to Israel takes up residence in that country. Israeli media misinterpret Facebook comments by Pres. Abbas. A street in occupied East Jerusalem will be named after the late Egyptian singer Umm Kulthoum. Hamas leader Mishaal will reportedly finally visit Gaza again. Hamas says it opposes teaching Holocaust studies in UN schools for Palestinians. In Israel, fascination with former Hamas prisoner Shalit continues. Israel's attorney general reiterates his opposition to the Levy Report and recognition of settlement outposts. Palestinians in the occupied West Bank are going ahead with municipal elections despite a Hamas boycott. COMMENTARY: Adam Gonn says most Israeli experts think the center-left can't unseat PM Netanyahu in upcoming elections. Carlo Strenger says he attaches no hopes to the election. Yossi Verter says it offers the last hope for former PM Olmert to successfully return to Israeli politics. Michael Jansen says a Netanyahu victory would be a disaster for peace. Stuart Reigeluth says the EU needs to do much more to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace. Gil Troy says Pres. Obama is neither anti-Israel nor its best friend. Simran Sachdev looks at the all-women's slate running in Hebron in upcoming Palestinian municipal elections. Douglas Bloomfield says Palestinians are aiming for a "victory" at the UN that could prove more costly than beneficial.

A UN victory could be costly for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

Can the Palestinians afford the UN recognition they seek? That is the question their leadership must ask itself as it presses for a vote next month on its application to upgrade its status from observer to non-member state. The issue is being couched by Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in terms of prestige and improved bargaining position for possible peace talks with Israel, but that conflicts with reality. The Palestinians already have diplomatic recognition by some 120 countries and that has put them no closer to statehood.

Hebron's Independent Women, Part I
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Simran Sachdev - (Editorial) October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

This Saturday, the West Bank city of Hebron will hold its first municipal elections in over three and a half decades. While this is critical for Hebron’s people, what makes these elections remarkable is the first all-women list to ever run in Palestinian politics.

Neither "Best Friend" Nor "Anti-Israel"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from ACCESS
by Gil Troy - (Opinion) October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

Washington Post editorial on October 16 matter of factly stated the obvious: that President Barack Obama “sought to publicly distance himself from Israel early in his term” and that Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu “have made a mess of their personal relationship.” Both of these statements are quite obvious even to many casual observers of the Middle East.

What is EU doing for peace in Palestine?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Stuart Reigeluth - (Opinion) October 18, 2012 - 12:00am

Despite the current crises within different member states of the European Union, the creation of such a supra-national body to encourage trade, social cohesion, and political unity is without a doubt an incredible achievement. Regardless of the pros and cons of creating a homogenous proto-European and the heavy bureaucratic structure of the overpaid institutions that are each day more and more distant from the majority of citizens who are outside the Brussels bubble, the EU has successfully created a peaceful ambiance to avoid the devastations of war.

If Netanyahu wins
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

On Monday, the Israeli Knesset did Benjamin Netanyahu’s bidding by dissolving itself and going for an election on January 22. Netanyahu decided to opt for an early election because his right-wing government could not agree on an austerity budget and his Likud bloc is certain to win in 2013 with an increased majority.

For Ehud Olmert, it's now or never
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Analysis) October 12, 2012 - 12:00am

A day after announcing an early election, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu got into his armored car and made the short trip from his office to the official residence of President Shimon Peres. Veteran Government Press Office photographer Moshe Milner took their picture sitting side by side and having a cozy chat. Yet just two months ago, Netanyahu had his confidants rebuke Peres for daring to make public his opposition to the idea of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities before the U.S. presidential election and without coordination with Washington.

Israel’s upcoming elections: No hope we can believe in
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Carlo Strenger - (Opinion) October 17, 2012 - 12:00am

Israel’s next elections will take place in a bit more than three months, and there have been some interesting developments. Aryeh Deri’s return to the helm of Shas might turn this party from an appendix to the anti-democratic right-wing policies of the current coalition into a more productive contributor to urgently needed social policies.

Israeli center-left can't challenge Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Adam Gonn - (Opinion) October 18, 2012 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- A possible comeback by former prime minister Ehud Olmert has hit a snag as the State Prosecutor' s Office on Tuesday announced that it will appeal Olmert's acquittal in a recent corruption case.

Divided Palestinians hold municipal elections without Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jihan Abdalla - October 18, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Palestinians in the West Bank go to the polls on Saturday in long-delayed municipal elections that have already highlighted deep divisions in the occupied territory and stoked complaints about a lack of leadership. The Oct. 20 ballot will hold up a cracked mirror to a political landscape clouded by financial crises, failure to reconcile the major Palestinian factions and stalemate in peacemaking efforts with Israel.

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