November 21st

Israel's hold on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) November 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

In the 2 1/2 weeks since its cease-fire with Hamas broke down, Israel has all but sealed crossings along its border with the Gaza Strip and rejected U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's appeal to allow more humanitarian aid into the enclosed territory that houses more than 1.5 million Palestinians. This response to violence directed against it amounts to collective punishment of civilians, which is illegal under international law, unfair and counterproductive. Hunger and scarcity nurture extremism.

Jewish pilgrimage stokes tensions in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
November 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

Israel beefed up security on Friday as 25,000 Jewish pilgrims were expected in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron amid fears of violence as a group of settlers defied an eviction order. Dozens of police and troops took up positions outside the house where about 100 hardline settlers and their supporters have vowed to resist any attempt to enforce the High Court order.

The limits of American racism, and the Arab exception
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - November 20, 2008 - 8:00pm

The electoral silly season is over and it is time for a serious discussion removed from partisan passions and manipulation. Racism, the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room, has shrunk and is now no bigger than a jackass. In his eloquent endorsement of Barack Obama, another African-American statesman, Colin Powell, took direct aim at racism and pulled the trigger: "It is permitted to be said such things as, 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.

November 20th

Abbas to shun Arab League Cairo meet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

The Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is "extremely disappointed" with the Arab countries over their refusal to hold Hamas responsible for the failure of Egyptian efforts to end the Islamic movement's dispute with Fatah, PA officials said Wednesday. The officials said that PA President Mahmoud Abbas had decided to boycott the upcoming meeting of the Arab League Foreign Ministers in Cairo in protest against the Arab countries' position.

Abdullah, Abbas condemn Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

Following a clandestine meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, King Abdullah of Jordan invited Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for a chat in Aqaba, Thursday. The two warned against any unilateral Israeli actions in Gaza or the West Bank and emphasized that an increased blockade of Gaza would only lead to increased Palestinian suffering and escalating tensions.

Hundreds protest Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Mohammad Ben Hussein - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

Hundreds of activists demonstrated in Amman on Wednesday to protest Israel’s blockade of Gaza, highlighting the worsening humanitarian conditions in the coastal enclave. Carrying green flags representing the Islamist movement, Palestinian flags and banners, protesters marched from the Islamic Action Front (IAF) headquarters to the Parliament building calling for an end to the embargo.

Global media executives protest Gaza press ban
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

Leaders of the world's biggest media organizations filed a protest with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert criticizing the government's decision to ban journalists from entering the Gaza Strip for the last two weeks. Wednesday's protest was the latest in a chorus of international criticism of the Gaza blockade, tightened after a five-month truce began unraveling about two weeks ago in a flurry of IAF strikes against terrorists and Palestinian rocket barrages targeting southern Israel towns.

Polls show Israel's Likud party leading
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

A pair of polls published Thursday showed opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu's hardline Likud party leading Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's moderate Kadima party in the run-up to Israel's Feb. 10 elections. The polls also indicated strong support for Netanyahu's hard-line allies. If that support stands through the elections, it would position Netanyahu to put together a hawkish coalition that would likely end peace talks with the Palestinians, at least in their current form.

Hamas, Israel trying to rewrite truce
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Karin Laub - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

A June truce between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers comes up for renewal next month, and it looks as if both sides are trying to dictate more favorable terms. That would explain why Israel and Hamas have been trading rocket fire and air strikes for two weeks, even as they keep saying they're interested in a continued cease-fire. The attempt to establish new ground rules could easily spin out of control, especially if there are civilian casualties. Domestic concerns further complicate the situation.

Palestinians advertise peace plan in Israeli press
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ari Rabinovitch - November 19, 2008 - 8:00pm

The PLO took the unprecedented step of placing advertisements in Israeli newspapers on Thursday to promote a six-year-old Arab peace plan for the region. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organisation published the full-page notices in Hebrew in four major dailies. They described the Arab plan, which was first proposed in 2002 but has long found little interest from Israel.

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