November 23rd

Israel & Palestine: Can They Start Over?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Review Of Books
by Hussein Agha, Robert Malley - (Analysis) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

1. The idea of Israeli–Palestinian partition, of a two-state solution, has a singular pedigree. It has been proposed for at least eight decades. Jews first accepted it as Palestinians recoiled; by the time Palestinians warmed to the notion in the late 1980s, Israelis had turned their backs. Still, its proponents manage to portray it as fresh, new, and capable of leading to peace. International consensus on a two-state agreement is, today, stronger than ever. Meanwhile, interest among the two parties most directly concerned wanes and prospects for achieving it diminish.

Apathy, as Mahmoud Abbas abandons an irrelevant presidency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

A political leader’s decision not to seek re-election usually triggers fervent discussion about potential heirs. Yet, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ withdrawal from the presidential election scheduled for January 24, 2010, has produced nothing of the kind in Palestine – not because of a dearth of leadership or a reluctance to mention possible successors, but because the presidency of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has become irrelevant.

Hamas at a Loss
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Palestinian President [Mahmoud Abbas] announced that Hamas secretly negotiated with Israel on the establishment of a provisional Palestinian State, until Mahmoud al-Zahar, a [senior] member of the Hamas Political Bureau denied this with a vehemence that we have become all too familiar with.

For the Palestinians, all roads now lead to the UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

It is hard to take seriously the threat by the Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and demand recognition by the UN Security Council. The cool response from the US and the European Union made clear that no such recognition would be forthcoming; and, as Hamas asked, what is the point of unilaterally declaring a state while those territories remain ultimately under Israeli control? Yasser Arafat already did that, in 1988.

Editor's Notes: Salam Fayyad builds Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Horovitz - November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

To one side stood Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former vice presidential candidate. To the other stood Rep. Howard Berman, the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. And as these two staunch Jewish supporters of Israel nodded their encouragement, the Palestinian Authority's Prime Minister Salam Fayyad explained at a press conference in Ramallah on Sunday precisely how he was preparing the Palestinians for statehood.

A thorn in the world’s side
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sever Plocker - November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

I’ve been invited to deliver a lecture about Israel’s economy and society at Oxford University. As it is a short lecture, and a respectable forum, I gladly accepted the offer. The invitation was extended about six months ago. Yet now, as my trip approaches, I feel concern. I’m hesitating. My acquaintances are warning me: Don’t go. Hostile elements will cause disturbances, protest, shout and interfere. The atmosphere at British universities is anti-Israel to an extent unseen in the past. Israel is perceived as a thorn in the civilized world’s side.

Rabbis at secret meet: Soldiers who refuse orders are 'heroes'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Dozens of religious Zionist rabbis held a secret meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday to discuss ways of bolstering the hesder yeshivas, the halachic argument for refusing to obey military orders to evacuate settlements, and the campaign against having the army evacuate Jews from their homes. The rabbis in attendance included Zalman Baruch Melamed, rabbi of Beit El and head of the yeshiva there; Shmuel Eliyahu, rabbi of Safed; and Yaakov Yosef, son of Shas spiritual leader Ovadia Yosef.

Jerusalem Syndrome
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

Sometimes tourists show up at Jerusalem's mental health centers, convinced that a voice from the heavens told them they were the messiah. The illness, commonly known as Jerusalem Syndrome, usually passes once they have left the city. However, Israelis, mostly public figures, have been afflicted with this syndrome for the past 42 years, affecting their ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. Jerusalem has become the Disneyland of the Jewish people.

Peres: Netanyahu can and must make peace with Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

President Shimon Peres said Monday that just peace between Israel and the Palestinians was just a "step away," and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government to do everything necessary to ensure an end to the conflict during its tenure. "Today, there is just one step left between us and the end of this conflict," said Peres. "The current government can and must do it. The painful solution of dividing the land, two states for two peoples, was something the [Israel's first prime minister] David Ben-Gurion took on himself, and today it is accepted by the majority of the nation.

Tribute to Kahane planned by Israeli legislators
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Jonathan Cook - November 23, 2009 - 1:00am

A plan by right-wing legislators in Israel to commemorate the anniversary this month of the death of Meir Kahane, whose banned anti-Arab movement is classified as a terrorist organization, risks further damaging the prospects for talks between Israel and the Palestinians, US officials have warned. A move to stage the commemoration in Israel's parliament, the Knesset, is being led by Michael Ben-Ari, who was elected this year and is the first self-declared former member of Kahane's party, Kach, to become a legislator since the movement was banned 15 years ago.

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