What would be at stake in a third intifada?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

As the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially East Jerusalem, is balanced on a knife edge and could erupt at any moment into a new explosion of violence or even a third intifada, it is crucial to review what is at stake for all parties should such a catastrophic turn of events occur. Far too many actors and commentators are casually viewing the present extremely dangerous situation, and even welcoming the prospect of a third intifada or the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority, or are calling for less dramatic but also extraordinarily dangerous scenarios.

PA on a slippery slope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

IT is, of course, all the fault of Judge Richard Goldstone. He is to blame for the trouble we are having at the UN, both in New York and in Geneva. Now he is to blame also for the existential danger facing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). When the Goldstone Report was submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, the Israeli government exerted heavy pressure on the US. The US exerted heavy pressure on Abbas. Abbas gave in and instructed his representative in Geneva to withdraw his request for a debate.

Abbas' indecision benefits Netanyahu
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The Goldstone Commission's report about the Gaza war, which was published by the UN last month, has generated intense debates about how to handle its findings and its recommendations, both in the corridors of the United Nations and beyond.

When the Arabs Shut their Ears
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Mohammad Salah - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

You can close your eyes at will, without falling asleep or becoming unconscious, even if for the only reason that you do not want to see something in front of you. However, you cannot shut your ears at will, and as long as your hearing is unimpaired, and also as long as you are conscious, you can still hear, even if you did not want to.

Two Palestinian Causes… or More
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Husam Itani - October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The path taken by the Palestinian reconciliation suggests that the current situation between the struggling parties requires much more than reconciliation. Indeed, the difficulties that obstruct ratifying the Egyptian agreement are only a sample of how deeply rooted and difficult the disagreement is between the components of Palestinian political society.

Israel’s Dangerously Battered Image
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) October 16, 2009 - 12:00am

In international politics, image counts. A country’s reputation, the aura it projects, the esteem in which its leaders are held – these are as important as its armed services in providing protection for its citizens. Most politicians know that ‘soft power’, skilfully used, can be at least as effective as blood-drenched ‘hard power’.

Fatah Considering Elections Without Hamas Approval
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - October 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah, Asharq Al-Awsat- The Palestinian presidency was surprised on Friday by Egypt's stand toward Hamas's request to postpone the signing of the reconciliation agreement and its agreement on postponing the date of the signing, Asharq Al-Awsat has learned. Earlier, Azzam al-Ahmad, official in charge of national relations in the Fatah Movement Central Committee, conveyed to the Egyptian side the movement's approval of the reconciliation agreement, provided that the signing date would not be postponed and no new words would be introduced to the text.

A Gaza war resolution that resolves nothing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

The recent UN condemnation of Israel brings to mind the image of Nero fiddling away while Rome burned. In the aftermath of the Gaza war, there can be little doubt that war crimes were committed – crimes that will eventually have to be answered for – but the UN Human Rights Council’s vote on Friday is a variation on a very old tune that has done little to assuage the flames in the Middle East. Indeed, by pushing one-sided recriminations into the Security Council at this juncture, the recent resolution makes justice more difficult to attain and peace a more distant prospect.

Goldstone: Israel could stop report with open inquiry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - October 18, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel could stop the Goldstone report process if it openly investigated its army's conduct in the Gaza War, Richard Goldstone said. "If the Israeli government set up an appropriate investigation it would really be the end of the matter," said Goldstone, the former South African judge and international human rights prosecutor who authored the report alleging war crimes by both sides in last winter's war between Israel and Hamas. "The heart of the report would become pretty irrelevant if there was an open, bonafide investigation."

Obama's mettle is about to be tested
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Simon Tisdall - (Opinion) October 19, 2009 - 12:00am

It's getting harder each day for the Obama administration to maintain the illusion of progress in Middle East peacemaking. The UN human rights council's vote to condemn January's Israeli assault on Gaza, furiously rejected by the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, at the weekend, was the latest blow to US efforts to kickstart negotiations on a two-state solution. Across the region, all the signs point not to reconciliation, but to renewed confrontation. As Washington talks about talks, the Arab world mutters ominously about the prospect of a third intifada.

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