A popular but problematic position
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's "Jewish state" or "nation state of the Jewish people" demand is popular with the Israeli public. The right wing likes it because it is patriotic and seemingly "anti-Arab". The left and center cannot easily oppose it because it dovetails with their emphasis on ending the occupation in order to maintain Israel as a Jewish and democratic state in view of the demographic threat. Netanyahu can even take credit for getting US President Barack Obama to endorse the Jewish state demand.

A consensus of opposition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Although Palestinians explain in various ways their rejection of the recent demand by Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, there appears to be a consensus of opposition. When Netanyahu recently repeated this request as a condition for implementing an internationally-required settlement freeze, there were two Palestinian approaches.

Palestinian gambit for statehood puts Israel against wall
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Leslie Susser - (Analysis) October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

With talks at a stalemate and no agreement from the Israelis to reinstate a settlement freeze, the Palestinians are playing a new card: an end game to statehood through an appeal to the international community. The card hasn’t actually been played, but the mere threat that the Palestinians would push for international recognition of a state from the United Nations has been enough to push the Israeli government to reconsider options to return to the negotiating table.

Credit to Obama for sticking with the Middle East. But it's gone very wrong
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The august ranks of those who form the conventional wisdom in American politics are as one: Barack Obama's Democrats are going to take a hammering in next Tuesday's midterm elections. One of the few elements of the Obama record not blamed is also, paradoxically, one of those areas that need to change on 3 November. It is the administration's handling of the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians.

Palestinians work on West Bank settlement boom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Wyre Davies - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

For men like Abdel Salam Alami it is good, well-paid work. They even get insurance if they're injured on the job. Yet this construction is extremely controversial. The issue of settlements is at the heart of the faltering peace talks. The Palestinians say they take up land needed for a viable future state. The international community says they are obstacles to peace. Israel is under pressure to renew at least the partial freeze on building in the occupied West Bank, which expired last month.

Settler leaders warn of ‘silent building freeze’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Settler leaders warned Tuesday night that building would soon come to a grinding halt in nine of the largest settlements unless the relevant government ministries immediately authorize 4,321 planned units. “The cities of Judea and Samaria are effectively frozen,” Naftali Bennett, director-general of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, told The Jerusalem Post. “The government has promised to stop the freeze, yet it is continuing it.” The Prime Minister’s Office declined to comment on Tuesday night.

Israeli think tank supports Arab Peace Initiative
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Michal Toiba - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

A think tank at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) in Herzliya has given its support to the Arab Peace Initiative, Professor Galia Golan-Gild of the Lauder School confirmed to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday. According to a report released by the IDC's Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy, Israel's security, economy, and international standing would improve if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government accepted the Arab peace plan.

UN envoy demands Israel act against settler attacks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior UN official condemned attacks by Jewish "settler extremists" on Palestinians' olive trees in the West Bank and called on Israel to "combat violence and terror by Israelis." Robert Serry, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, also said he was alarmed that work had started on hundreds of new homes for settlers in the occupied territory since the end of Israel's settlement freeze last month.

Commander: Police forces were in danger
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Sharon Roffe-ofir - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Northern District Police Commander Shimon Koren said Wednesday following the violent clashes in the northern Arab town of Umm al-Fahm that the police forces, some of them members of special units, "acted with determination and courage while risking their lives." The forces left the town in the afternoon hours as the riots came to an end. Four policemen were lightly injured in the clashes with Arab residents hurling stones at the police forces securing a right-wing protest against the Islamic Movement.

Negev councilor cuts off 4,000 Bedouin's water supply
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yanir Yagna - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

A Negev politician cut off the water supply of some 4,000 Bedouin for 24 hours this week because he did not want his town to shoulder their nearly NIS 2 million water bill. The water was turned back on Tuesday afternoon, by order of the Be'er Sheva District Court, pending a hearing set for Thursday. "They're not under the jurisdiction of Lakiya, but their water bills are sent to us," said Lakiya town council head Khaled al-Sana, referring to the Bedouin residents. "I have 10,000 residents in the town, and I have to pay the bills of another 4,000 residents? That just isn't right."

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