March 30th

The West Must Support Universal Values in the Arab World
In Print by Ziad Asali - The Huffington Post (Opinion) - March 30, 2012 - 12:00am

Over the past 14 months of uprisings in the Arab world, Iran has steadily lost influence throughout the Middle East. Recognizing this is crucial for understanding the way in which Palestine, Syria and other key strategic battlegrounds now play into Iranian calculations, and how new opportunities have emerged for both Arabs and the West.

A Country of Walls
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
(Interview) March 29, 2012 - 12:00am

an interview with Talal Okal BI: What do the conditions in the Sinai peninsula have to do with you and others in the Gaza Strip? Okal: The border that separates Sinai in Egypt and the Gaza Strip is the only border that is open for our use. The town of Rafah [where the main crossing is located] is actually split across the border between the two sides and many of Egyptian Rafah's residents are relatives of those who live on the Gaza side of the town. The connections there are extensive. Moreover, the tunnel network operating out of Gaza opens onto the Sinai.

NEWS: Israel reportedly is reserving 10 percent of the occupied West Bank for more settlement expansion. Pres. Abas reportedly drops a threat to dismantle the PA from a draft letter to PM Netanyahu. Israeli authorities close off the West Bank ahead of Land Day. Israeli police arrest 16 accused hooligans for an anti-Arab soccer riot. Settlers in Hebron seize a Palestinian home, and the Israeli military says this poses a security threat. New Kadima leader Mofaz faces many challenges. A hunger-striking Palestinian prisoner agrees to end her fast in exchange for release to Gaza for three years. Israeli officials accuse Hamas of responsibility for attacks against Israel. An arts center in a Palestinian refugee camp celebrates Palestinian culture and history. COMMENTARY: Ha’aretz says Israelis should listen to Marwan Barghouti. Sam Bahour and Fida Jiryis say Land Day is still important. Harriet Sherwood says more Israeli fences might be a sign of weakness. Raphael Magarik and Elisheva Goldberg say the pro-israel Jewish left was much weaker in the past. Joel Braunold says Israelis and Palestinians must reach out to each other. Isam al Khafaji looks at changes in Hamas. Hanni Manor looks at contested water issues in the occupied Palestinian territories. Talal Okal says Sinai has been out of control for some time. Yoram Meital says events in Sinai offer both challenges and opportunities for Israel. Tony Karon says Palestinian protests challenge both Israeli and the Palestinian leadership. Peter Beinart responds to Bret Stephens' critique of his new book.

Water-Rights Rancor Swirls Through West Bank Settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Calcalist
(Analysis) March 28, 2012 - 12:00am

The politics of water is one of the most intriguing issues involved in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Who really owns the water sources shared by both Israel and the Palestinians, and how should they be divided? Peace Now activist Dror Etkes, known for his activity as the organization's chief tracker of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, has prepared a special report commissioned by the UN which shows how the settlers' activity in the West Bank seriously obstructs the Palestinians' access to springs and their ability to use them.

Challenges and Opportunities
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yoram Meital - (Opinion) March 29, 2012 - 12:00am

Developments in the Sinai Peninsula during the past year clearly reflect dramatic changes in Egypt and highlight the delicate situation at the Israeli-Gazan-Egyptian border junction.

Hamas' Mission Is Evolving As Sands Shift in Mideast
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Isam al Khafaji - (Analysis) March 22, 2012 - 12:00am

“We will not be part in a war between Iran and Israel.” The startling announcement came not from the moderate Jordanian monarchy, nor from the Palestinian authority whose aim is to liberate the territory under Israeli occupation since 1967, but from Hamas, the organization whose proclaimed objective is to liberate all of historic Palestine via armed struggle.

Peter Beinart Responds
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Tablet Magazine
by Peter Beinart - (Opinion) March 30, 2012 - 12:00am

When someone calls you “an angry ex” and an “angry scold” and says your book is an “act of moral solipsism” written in “a spirit of icy contempt and patent insincerity,” it is tough to know where to begin.

A New Season of Palestinian Protests Challenges Both Israel and Abbas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) March 29, 2012 - 12:00am

The Arab League is talking about Syria; Israel and the U.S. are talking about Iran. Nobody in the corridors of power, these days, is talking about the Palestinians. In part, that reflects the shifting geopolitical sands and the effectiveness of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in changing the subject — when he came to Washington to meet with newly elected President Barack Obama in 2009, Netanyahu wanted to talk about Iran, but Obama insisted he talk about settlements and the Palestinians; when Netanyahu met Obama in Washington three weeks ago, Iran dominated the agenda.

Terrified of Each Other
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Joel Braunold - (Opinion) March 29, 2012 - 12:00am

With a new month comes a new poll of Israelis and Palestinians on a variety of issues. All the usual suspects dominate the executive summary: whether Israelis believe in the viability of two states, what they think about an attack Iran or a settlement freeze. The poll tells the story that many of us expect from the populations caught in the depression and pessimism of the present. But the really frightening statistics come in the penultimate questions.

The Ghost of Conferences Past
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Beast
by Elisheva Goldberg, Raphael Magarik - (Opinion) March 29, 2012 - 12:00am

The left of the American Jewish world likes to complain about how hard it is to be pro-peace and pro-Israel. At the J Street conference this weekend, I ran into an older rabbi who reminded me that, well, it could be a whole lot worse. Before U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis embraced Zionism and legitimized the American call for a Jewish homeland in Palestine, it was tough to be a Zionist in America, AP Photo

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