December 20th

NEWS: Israel's settlement expansion plans move forward in defiance of strong criticism from virtually all its allies. If completed, the new projects would seal occupied East Jerusalem off from the rest of the West Bank almost entirely and cut a Palestinian village near Jerusalem in half. All 15 missions at the UN Security Council issued statements condemning the plans, except the US one. Human Rights Watch says Israel's attacks against media journalists during the recent Gaza conflict were unlawful. A Palestinian MK is barred from running for reelection due to participating in the Gaza flotilla. Evidence suggests a recent Tel Aviv bus bombing was an effort to kill government ministers. A new poll shows a large Israeli majority still favors a two-state solution. Palestinian refugees begin returning to a besieged camp near Damascus. The cash-strapped PA borrows $100 million from banks. Palestinian officials say France and Britain are working on an initiative to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. The Israeli military plans to reduce the amount of time Palestinian minors may be held before appearing before a judge. Hamas is reportedly barring the return of EU observers at the border crossing with Egypt. Naftali Bennett, head of Israel's fastest growing party "the Jewish Home," declares “We should say out loud: There will be no Palestinian state.” The Media Line looks at how Israel's tax withholding is crippling the Palestinian economy. COMMENTARY: Ari Shavit says Israel's election is a final referendum on whether or not to maintain a Jewish and democratic state. Oudeh Basharat says Hamas' extreme rhetoric is an boon to the Israeli far right. Akram Atallah says FM Lieberman's extreme rhetoric is a boon to Palestinian diplomacy. Alan Elsner says Moshe Dayan is a forgotten early champion of the settlements. Kevin Connolly says conditions seem ripe for a strong victory for PM Netanyahu in the upcoming Israeli election. Joshua Gleis says Israel and the US should exploit the growing differences between Hamas and Hezbollah. Ben Caspit says a regional chaos makes Israel look like an island of stability, even as settlement expansion continues. Hani al-Masri says any effort at a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation would be a disaster. Meir Javedanfar points out that Iran has no comment on the killing of Palestinians in Syria. Michael Koplow says there is a strong element of domestic politics in Israel's settlement expansion spree. Steve Spiegel interviews PJ Dermer and Steven White on the West Bank security situation.

PJ Dermer and Steven White on West Bank Security Situation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Israel Policy Forum
by David Halperin - (Interview) December 18, 2012 - 1:00am

  David Halperin: Thank you all for joining us for today's call, which is quite timely. We have with us today P.J. Dermer and Steve White, two individuals who have unique experience working on the ground, having represented the United States in coordinating the security activities between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Why Is Israel On a Settlement-Construction Spree?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Michael Koplow - (Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 1:00am


Iran keeps silent on the killing of Palestinians in Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Times of Israel
by Meir Javendanfar - (Opinion) December 17, 2012 - 1:00am


Palestine-Jordan Confederation Would Spell Disaster
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Hani al-Masri - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am


Regional Chaos Makes Israel Seem Like an Island of Stability
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Ben Caspit - (Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 1:00am

  For the first time in ages, an election campaign takes place in Israel, with everyone already knowing what will happen in its wake.  

No Run-of-the-Mill Islamists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Opinion) December 19, 2012 - 1:00am


Conditions ripe for Netanyahu election win
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC World News
by Kevin Connolly - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

  So intense is the concentrated spirit of goodwill that the Israeli government shrugs off the baggage of its sometimes fractious relationship with the international media to hold a reception for members of the foreign press.

Moshe Dayan and the settlements: A look back
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alan Elsner - (Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

Recently, while browsing through clips I have collected over the past 30-plus years, I came across a story I wrote when I was a very young reporter for The Jerusalem Post.

Lieberman good for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) December 20, 2012 - 1:00am

For the Palestinian citizens of Israel, the name Avigdor Lieberman evokes mostly fear.

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