Hamas Maintains Ties With Iran Despite Difference Over Syria
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Abeer Ayyoub - January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

The positive outcomes of the Arab uprisings far outweighed the negatives for Gaza’s ruling Islamists, Hamas. The revolts led to the rise of fellow Islamists in Egypt and Tunisia, allowing Hamas to open up to the regional environment. But the ongoing uprising in Syria did not fit well for Hamas, which found itself caught between two hard options: siding with President Bashar al-Assad and thus losing popular support in other Arab countries, or showing solidarity with the Syrian people and losing Iran, Hamas' main financial backer.

NEWS: Israel appears to be preparing for potential fallout from the conflict in Syria. Palestinian refugees are fleeing Syria in growing numbers. Pres. Abbas says he asked Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to be relocated to the occupied West Bank. A human rights group says Israel has frequently used excessive force against Palestinian demonstrators and violated its own rules of engagement. Israeli soccer fans object to their club adding Muslim players to the squad. The Israeli cabinet approves a plan for regulating Bedouin lands. Abbas addresses a summit of the African Union. Occupation forces arrest two Palestinians in the West Bank. Hamas says it will release a group of journalists it has been holding in Gaza. Hamas leader Mishaal will reportedly meet Jordan's King. Al-Aqsa University in Gaza says it will enforce an "Islamic" dress code on women so they "avoid attracting male desire”. Israel admits for the first time to having given Ethiopian Jewish immigrants birth control injections without their knowledge or consent. Israel's withholding of Palestinian tax revenues is undermining Palestinian security services. Reports suggest Hamas is maintaining links to Iran despite differences over Syria. COMMENTARY: The Daily Beast interviews outgoing DM Barak, who suggests the US has military plans regarding Iran. Ha'aretz says Israeli soccer fans' bigotry is a reflection of broader Israeli society today. Ilan Baruch says Europe must recommit itself to the peace process. Adrian Daniels says Israelis who hope for a breakthrough on peace from their next government should prepare for disappointment. Smadar Peri says Palestinian officials are taking a keen interest in who will be the next Israeli FM. Elias Harfoush says Israel's election shows a society in denial. Michael Koplow argues the elections really showed Israel continuing to drift towards the right, and Rami Khouri agrees. Nasser Chararah says Hezbollah is pleased with the results of the Israeli election.

Hezbollah Satisfied With Israeli Election Results
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Monitor
by Nasser Chararah - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

Hezbollah has several departments that specialize in monitoring events in Israel. They monitor everything that happens in Israel, then analyze that information by cross-checking it with privately-collected information. Inside these departments is a unit whose roots in monitoring Israeli events go back the 1975-1981 era, when the Palestinian Fatah movement was a state within a state and had its various institutions stationed in Lebanon.

A shift to Israel’s center? Think again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - (Opinion) January 26, 2013 - 1:00am

All that can be said with certainty now about the Israeli election results is that the deck of political cards in the Knesset has been dramatically reshuffled: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition with Avigdor Lieberman won 31 seats (much less than expected, and down from the 41 seats it held before) and remains the single largest group; the extreme right Bayit Yehudi party of Naftali Bennett took 11 seats; and Yair Lapid’s new Yesh Atid party made the biggest splash with its 19 seats (m

No, Israel Did Not Just Vote for the Center
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Foreign Affairs
by Michael Koplow - (Opinion) January 23, 2013 - 1:00am

By the time Israeli voters went to the polls on Tuesday, the nearly universally accepted wisdom held that the right was ascendant. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's faction -- which comprises his own conservative Likud Party and Avigdor Lieberman's even-more-conservative Yisrael Beiteinu Party -- was poised to win almost twice as many seats as its closest challenger.

Israel Closes Its Eyes
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Hayat
by Elias Harfoush - (Opinion) January 25, 2013 - 1:00am

"Live in Israel as if you are living in Europe or the United States." This was the slogan that Yair Lapid used to lure Israeli voters, leading him to second place in the country's recent elections, becoming the kingmaker who will determine the rules of the game in Israel in the coming future.

Abbas waiting for Yair
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Smadar Peri - (Opinion) January 27, 2013 - 1:00am

The easiest thing to do is to recite "Abbas is not a partner" and talk about his interview over the weekend with a restless Lebanese interviewer who did all he could to get an anti-Israel headline out of the Palestinian leader.

Israelis who hoped for peace progress should expect to be disappointed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Adrian Daniels - (Opinion) January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

To the same degree that the campaign itself was lifeless and predictable, the results of Israel's general election have invigorated and excited Israel's center and Zionist Left.

Europe needs to re-commit to the peace process now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ilan Baruch - (Opinion) January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

Hot on the heels of the 1979 Camp David Peace Accords, signed by the leaders of Egypt and Israel and under the watchful eyes of President Carter, the European Community formulated its own key statement of Middle East policy, the Venice Declaration, signed by the heads of the European Community on June 13th 1980.

Jerusalem soccer fans' racism is a microcosm of Israel 2013
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Elad Lipshitz - (Opinion) January 28, 2013 - 1:00am

The logic of Beitar Jerusalem is a reflection on Israel 2013. If Yair Lapid doesn’t count Balad MK Hanin Zuabi, then a Muslim cannot play on the capital’s soccer team. Some people in the eastern stands at Teddy Stadium are convinced that Muslims are born different and even develop differently in their mothers’ wombs. And we’re not talking about a few people - there are many of them, apparently thousands.

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