NEWS: Israeli officials are instructed to keep quiet about potential US-Iranian negotiations. PM Netanyahu and FM Lieberman announce their parties will be running a joint list in the upcoming Israeli election. The heads of Catholic churches in the "holy land" condemn the route of Israel's West Bank separation barrier. Israeli officials complain Egypt is not doing enough to curb militant activity in Sinai. A UN expert calls for a boycott of companies tied to Israeli settlement activity. Arab MKs in Israel are facing an uphill task in mobilizing their community for the upcoming election. Israeli officials worry about the consequences of Israel's reaction to, and diplomatic campaign against, a renewed Palestinian UN bid in November. The Guardian explains why Israel might have been responsible for an attack in Sudan. The EU is moving to strengthen pharmaceutical trade ties with Israel. COMMENTARY: Douglas Hamilton and Nidal al-Mughrabi say Hamas' brinksmanship betrays a quiet confidence. Alaa Tartir and Jeremy Wildeman say World Bank policies consistently fail the Palestinians. Yossi Verter says fear drove Netanyahu and Lieberman into each other's arms. Chemi Shalev says the partnership could backfire. Aluf Benn says the coalition is aimed at war with Iran. Gideon Levy says the present quiet in the occupied West Bank cannot last. Yonah Jeremy Bob says the Goldstone report may have actually strengthened Israel. Nathan Guttman says US Jewish-Christian dialogue in was in trouble long before the controversy over a letter to Congress. Sari Bashi says the next US administration must not allow Israel to deny Palestinian students American scholarships. Patrick Seale asks if the next US administration can change course in the Middle East, especially regarding Israel. Hassan Barari says Israel is a slogan in American politics. Adel Zaanoun says the visit of the Emir of Qatar may have been a coup for Hamas, but it doesn't set the stage for an independent state in Gaza. David Roberts says Qatari meddling in Gaza is mainly aimed at countering Iran. George Hale looks of the dynamics of the PA fiscal crisis.

Why The Palestinian Authority Is Broke
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by George Hale - (Opinion) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

File under: Reading the writing on the wall. As the United States withholds vital aid for the Palestinians, Israel handed over $78 million last week. The early transfer of tax revenues reflects Israeli fears of wider unrest as the crisis strains the Palestinian Authority's budget to the point of government shutdowns over unpaid wages. 

Why Is Qatar Mucking Around in Gaza?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Policy
by David B. Roberts - (Opinion) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

A deeply contrarian streak has taken hold in Qatar these days. Insulated by U.S. security guarantees, eager to use its burgeoning fiscal reserves, and propelled by its elites' reformist zeal, Doha continues to exert a disproportionate influence on regional politics. Emir Hamad bin Khalifah Al Thani's latest move was a dramatic visit to the Gaza Strip, becoming the first head of state to visit the Palestinian territory since Hamas wrested control of it in 2007.

Qatari emir’s Gaza visit seen as move to wean Hamas away from Syria, Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Adel Zaanoun - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

The Qatari emir’s visit to Gaza may have been a political coup for the Palestinian enclave’s Hamas rulers, but it was not aimed at supporting a separate entity there, analysts say.And many commentators believe that in receiving Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the first head of state to visit since Hamas took over Gaza in 2007, Hamas is seeking closer ties with the Gulf states while pulling away from Syria and Iran.

Israel a political slogan in American elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

For decades, Israel has occupied a central place in American elections. It is hard to believe, but neither candidate for American presidential elections can afford to ignore assuring Israel of unqualified American support. Even when Israel’s policies in the region embarrass Washington, Israel gets away in time of elections.

Can the US change course in the Middle East?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

Who will emerge victorious on November 6? Will it be the sitting President Barack Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? In no part of the world will the outcome of the US presidential election be awaited with greater anxiety than in the Middle East. Monday’s foreign policy debate between the two contestants was not reassuring. It did not give Arabs and Muslims any reason to believe that their fundamental problems would be addressed by whoever occupies the White House for the next four years.

With Gaza Palestinian students in mind, a call for ‘daylight’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Sari Bashi - (Opinion) October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (JTA) -- Like most viewers, I was surprised neither by the prominence of Israel in Monday's foreign policy presidential debate, nor by the jockeying of candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to reassure voters of the absence of "daylight" between the positions of the American and Israeli governments. But a bit of daylight may be just what Israelis, Americans and Palestinians need most right now.

Interfaith Dialogue Troubled Even Before Israel Dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Frustrated by what he saw as hostility toward Israel, Rabbi Eric Greenberg recalled how a few years ago he presented Christian leaders in an interfaith dialogue with a study highlighting historic Jewish ties to the Holy Land. Sitting across the table, one of the church leaders replied that, according to the prophets, the Jewish people sinned and lost their right to the land.

The Goldstone Report’s positive effects
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yonah Jeremy Bob - (Analysis) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

The UN’s 2009 Goldstone Report’s scrutiny of Israel for its use of force in Gaza may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For obvious reasons, most commentators would say that the immediate impact of the document’s harsh criticism of Israel was decisively negative. It exposed the Jewish state not only to bad headlines, which it is used to, but also to the unprecedented possibility of mass international criminal proceedings against everyone, from political leaders, to top commanders, to foot soldiers.

The calm before the storm in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

It's kind of boring in the West Bank. The Gaza Strip has been closed to Israeli journalists for about six years now, and very little is actually happening in the West Bank. There is no way to reflect routine, week after week, no matter how discouraging it is. And the routine of life in the West Bank, we must admit, has been a bit more humane in recent years. The Israeli occupation has become more comfortable, a little.

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