July 22nd

Israel cuts Palestinian tragedy from textbooks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli government will remove references to what the Palestinians call the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation from textbooks for Arab schoolchildren, the country's education minister said Wednesday. The reference to "al-naqba" or catastrophe, what the Palestinian's call their defeat and exile in the war over Israel's 1948 creation, was controversially inserted by a dovish education minister for the first time in 2007. The phrase remains contentious six decades after Israel was founded.

Arrogant defiance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israel’s arrogant defiance of the US, its main ally and supporter, over the construction of yet another Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem has no easy or immediate answers. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s rejection of Washington’s demands that it cease and desist from building yet another housing project in the heart of East Jerusalem is unprecedented and provocative. Never before has the Jewish state provoked its closest ally to such an extent and gotten away with it.

Netanyahu calls for Jewish investment in Palestinian economy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Diaspora Jews should join Arabs in investing in the Palestinian economy, Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Jewish leaders. The Israeli prime minister listed prosperity for the Palestinians among six conditions for lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace in a call Tuesday with members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. Netanyahu outlined steps he was taking to facilitate commerce in the West Bank and spur the Palestinian economy, which he said could flourish with the cooperation of the Palestinian Authority and with the help of Jews and Arabs overseas.

Jerusalem ‘crisis’ reveals U.S.-Israel communications breakdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The summoning of an ambassador usually signifies a crisis. So what does it mean when the ambassador isn't summoned? That's the question that had U.S. officials scratching their heads after last week's mixed signals over whether the State Department had summoned Michael Oren, Israel's new ambassador, for a dressing-down over a Jewish plan to build 20 apartments in Sheik Jarrah, a Palestinian neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem. Israeli officials had leaked the reports of a "summons" to the media -- except Oren was never summoned, JTA has confirmed.

Gaza blast shakes Dahlan wedding
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

An explosion in southern Gaza has torn through a party attended by relatives of the West Bank-based Fatah strongman Muhammad Dahlan, injuring 50 people. The blast happened on Tuesday at a wedding reception in Khan Younis. The groom, who is Mr Dahlan's nephew, as well as women and children, were injured. The Hamas authorities said three suspects were in custody. The device was reported to have been placed under a street stage erected so the wedding guests could dance.

Mitchell, Gates, Jones to visit Jerusalem next week
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The American administration has decided to send an "airlift" of senior officials to Israel for talks with the Netanyahu government – Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, special Mideast envoy George Mitchell and National Security Advisor James Jones. The first to visit will be US President Barack Obama's special envoy to the region, who will hold a series of meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah. Mitchell will land in Israel on Sunday as part of another effort to advance a resumption of the direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

US: Too soon to discuss Israel sanctions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Washington believes it is too early to talk about imposing sanctions on Israel to force it to freeze settlement building in east Jerusalem, a State Department spokesman said Tuesday. "It's premature to talk about that," spokesman Robert Wood said when asked about the possibility of US financial sanctions. "What we are trying to do, as I said right now, is to create an environment which makes it conducive for talks to go forward," he added. "And you know, as I said, Senator Mitchell is working very hard on this."

PM: Separation fence won't be dismantled
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Amnon Meranda - July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday rejected the Opposition's accusations during a Kadima-initiated Knesset plenum discussion on the subject "A failing and flip-flopping prime minister on the political and economic fronts." At the end of the discussion, 51 Knesset members voted in favor of the prime minister's announcement and 39 voted against it. Labor ministers abstained. Addressing the Palestinian demand to remove the separation fence, the prime minister clarified that it would "remain where it is. It won't be dismantled."

Israeli rabbis to U.S. Jews: Sway Obama administration in our favor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

A group of Israeli rabbis, headed by Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, have sent a letter to U.S. rabbis and the President's Conference, urging them to exert political leverage in Israel's favor, Israel Radio reported on Wednesday.

Envoy to U.S.: Differences on settlements to be resolved soon
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 22, 2009 - 12:00am

There is no crisis in relations between Israel and the United States, despite a lingering dispute - which will be settled "soon" - over settlement construction in the occupied territories, Israel's new ambassador to Washington said Wednesday. "There is no crisis in Israel-U.S. relations. Here we are talking about disagreements over certain subjects, very, very specific," Michael Oren told Israel Radio.

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