December 8th

From an Israeli Settlement, a Rabbi’s Unorthodox Plan for Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

ABOUT two weeks ago Menachem Froman, the chief rabbi of this Jewish settlement perched on the edge of the Judean desert, had a dream. In the dream, he recounted in an interview this week, he was sitting with the late Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat “as we used to.” “It was like he was pushing me to continue in my efforts to make peace between our peoples,” he said.

New Tensions in Jerusalem’s Arab Neighborhoods
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - December 6, 2008 - 1:00am

A series of recent Israeli actions in the mainly Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem have raised tensions there, with Palestinian and Israeli critics contending that they are part of a wider plan to “Judaize” historically charged areas around the Old City.

In Gaza, No Cash for Holiday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Linda Gradstein - December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

Every year, Ali Hussein, 35, looks forward to Eid al-Adha, the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice, which begins Monday. He works for the police force and earns a good salary by Gazan standards, about $800 a month. Along with some friends, he buys a sheep every year, slaughters it and donates the meat to the poor. He buys new clothes and special sweets for his four young sons, and he gives his mother, sisters, nephews and nieces gifts of cash.

Obama team's warring Middle East views
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - December 6, 2008 - 1:00am

President-elect Barack Obama and his presumptive secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, both pledged during the campaign to press for peace in the Middle East. But the Middle East conflict is, perhaps unsurprisingly, already playing out on a small scale within Obama’s own transition. Top policy jobs haven’t been filled — the org chart, insiders say, hasn’t even been drawn — but Middle East politics watchers, and Obama backers concerned with Israel, are carefully eyeing the interplay between two of his most important advisers on the Middle East.

December 5th

UN ME envoy slams settler violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz, Tovah Lazaroff - December 4, 2008 - 1:00am

The United Nations Middle East envoy on Friday praised Israeli security forces for evacuating the Beit Hashalom house in Hebron, but condemned the violence which followed, and promised that the UN would "closely monitor" the developments.

Israelis fight Israelis on withdrawal plan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Joshua Mitnick - December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

A bloody clash Thursday between Israeli settlers and Israeli police in Hebron could mark the beginning of violent Jewish resistance to a proposed Israeli withdrawal from much of the West Bank under a peace accord. ASSOCIATED PRESS Israeli police drag away a Jewish settler during an eviction Thursday of a disputed house in Hebron. Some of the 250 settlers who barricaded themselves inside hurled rocks at police in the first major West Bank eviction since a 2006 confrontation.

Tense Egypt-Hamas relations take a turn for the worse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

CAIRO (AFP) - Already tense relations between Egypt and Hamas have soured after Cairo for the first time openly accused the Islamists of torpedoing Palestinian reconciliation talks. Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit was quoted as saying on Thursday that months of Egyptian-mediated talks between rivals Hamas and Fateh failed in November because of "Hamas' lack of enthusiasm towards reconciliation".

Freedom Fighters
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by David Keyes - December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

The word "Freedom" is scribbled on the light-blue door of Jameel Aldweek's classroom in the New Kufar Aqab Girls School on the outskirts of Ramallah. It is a welcome reprieve from the swastika and "All Jews are pussies" emblazoned on the security barrier as I entered the West Bank. Aldweek, director of the Al-Razee Association and co-teacher of a new pilot project in two Palestinian schools, begins by asking the dozen sixth-grade girls in attendance, "What does democracy mean to you?" "Liberty and responsibility," one student immediately shoots back.

Hebron clash tests Israeli ability to remove outposts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

Tel Aviv - Hundreds of Israeli police in riot helmets and flak jackets dragged about 250 Jewish settlers from a Palestinian building Thursday in the West Bank city of Hebron, the first major test in two years of the government's readiness to dismantle the dozens of illegal outposts that have complicated peace negotiations.

Palestinian bickering strands Gaza's pilgrims
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Ben Hubbard - December 5, 2008 - 1:00am

Mohammed Habboush and his wife Ikram wanted so badly to make the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca from their Gaza home that they sold her gold jewelry to pay for the trip. But while Muslims from around the world head to Saudi Arabia for the annual "hajj" pilgrimage, which starts Sunday, the couple remains at home, two of thousands of Gazan pilgrims prevented from traveling by the latest round of Palestinian squabbling.

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