January 22nd

Dweik: Hamas doesn't recognize Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Bethlehem – Ma'an – Palestinian Legislative Council speaker Aziz Dweik on Thursday denied reports by Israeli news outlets that he said on Wednesday Israel has a right to exist. "The media reports in question were inaccurate," he said in a statement, adding that since his release from an Israeli prison last year, Israeli news outlets have repeatedly misrepresented his views.

Hamas government: Don`t call us `deposed`
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

Gaza – Ma'an – The Hamas-run government in the Gaza Strip issued an appeal to the media on Thursday, asking editors not to describe it as the al-muqalah government, translated as "dismissed" or "deposed." While Ma'an English describes the government in Gaza as the "de facto government," most local and international Arabic news agencies use the "dismissed" or "deposed" to describe the technical position of the Hamas-lead authority.

In Israel, Mitchell presses on with patience honed in N. Ireland
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

US Middle East envoy George Mitchell arrived here Thursday for a new round of shuttle diplomacy aimed at restarting Israeli-Palestinian talks, amid President Obama’s admission that he had been too optimistic about the prospects for peace. Mr. Mitchell, here for the first time since last November, met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak in Tel Aviv and was scheduled to hold talks later Thursday with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and on Friday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

For Israelis, Mixed Feelings on Aid Effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — The editorial cartoon in Thursday’s mass-circulation Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot showed American soldiers digging among the ruins of Haiti. From within the rubble, a voice calls out, “Would you mind checking to see if the Israelis are available?”

US envoy meets Abbas amid pessimism over peace deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Nasser Abu Bakr - January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — US envoy George Mitchell met Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday to push Middle East peace efforts despite President Barack Obama's admission that his drive for a deal may have been overambitious. Mitchell's talks in Ramallah, the political capital of the occupied West Bank, came a day after meetings with the Israeli government and talks in Syria and Lebanon, two countries the envoy said should play a key role in achieving a comprehensive Middle East peace deal.

January 21st

Haiti: An Israeli Public Relations Moment?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - (Analysis) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

It's been a tough year for Israeli public diplomacy. In the aftermath of the Gaza war, for over 12 months the Jewish state has been slammed by international media, think tanks, rights organizations and the United Nations. Ambassadors have been recalled from Tel Aviv, arrest warrants have been issued for senior Israeli politicians and leaders, a Holocaust survivor led a fast for Gaza, dozens of human rights reports on Israel's conduct in the war have been widely distributed and the international campaigns to launch boycotts and sanctions against Israel have seen measured success.

Israel eases ban on Gaza's strawberry exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

In a rare easing of its now 18-month-long economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, Israel is allowing a limited amount of produce and fresh-cut flowers to be exported from the territory this season , including one of its most important cash crops, the Gaza strawberry.

Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Daniel Estrin - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem — The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you’d find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore — but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.

US could tip its hand on peace plan during West Bank visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, is scheduled to arrive today for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a long-awaited visit that should give some indication of the next step for US peacemaking efforts between the two sides.

Forum seeks ways of bringing Gaza Strip back to life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Lepeska - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

More than a year after Israel’s extensive bombing campaign, life inside the Gaza Strip is growing increasingly desperate. Four out of five Gazans depend on some form of foreign aid. Lorries carrying medical supplies are often refused entry by Israeli officials, who enforce a three-year-old blockade of the Strip. Sick and dying patients face weeks-long delays for permission to leave for necessary treatment. Education is lagging, as nearly half of Gaza’s schools remain damaged, and unemployment stands at 40 per cent, according to a December report from the United Nations.

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