January 25th

Long the glue of Gaza, clans say Hamas is undermining tribal justice
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Erin Cunningham - January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

The residents of Gaza have a name for the period of tribal lawlessness that plagued their impoverished territory between Israel’s withdrawal in 2005 and the Hamas takeover of 2007. Marred by rampant tit-for-tat murders, kidnappings, theft, and checkpoints run by armed clans, Gazans call these years ayam al-fowda, or the “days of chaos.” Those days are gone, however, after 2-1/2 years of strong Hamas rule successfully disarmed the territory’s rival clans – made up of just one or sometimes several extended families – and restored order again to Gaza’s streets.

The Liebarak of Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Uri Avnery - (Opinion) January 25, 2010 - 1:00am

The business is registered in the name of Benjamin Netanyahu. But the reality is different. Netanyahu has never been more than a slick patent medicine salesman. That is a type that appears frequently in American Westerns and sells an elixir that is good for everything: From the flu to lunacy. The main weapon of the vendor is his tongue: His stream of words builds castles in the air, blows up glistening bubbles and silences all doubts.

With Mideast peace talks stalled, activists fear a new intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - January 22, 2010 - 1:00am

US peace envoy George Mitchell met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday to try to break a diplomatic impasse that some say could give rise to a new Palestinian uprising, or intifada. After a nearly year-long vacuum in negotiations, Palestinian and Israeli peace activists say that Israel has escalated arrests of protesters to prevent wide-scale demonstrations.

Building a Different Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Nation
by Joel Beinin - (Opinion) January 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Like every other woman in her village Umm Hasan wears a headscarf. Her husband and other male relatives are not on the scene. But this is not an obstacle to her animated interactions with the sixteen Israelis and foreigners she has never previously met but welcomes into her home. Among the visitors are a German and a Serb who are making a film about Palestinian hip-hop. Everyone has come to participate in the weekly demonstration against the separation barrier organized by the local Popular Committee.

U.S. appears to lower expectations in Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - January 23, 2010 - 1:00am

As U.S. envoy George J. Mitchell wrapped up his Mideast trip Friday with little to show for his efforts to kick-start peace talks, the Obama administration was signaling a growing pessimism that Israelis and Palestinians would return to negotiations any time soon. In his first visit since November, Mitchell met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. But officials on both sides said little progress was made toward restarting talks that collapsed a year ago.

Israeli's Livni says reports of her political demise are premature
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders, Batsheva Sobelman - January 25, 2010 - 1:00am

Many people expected Tzipi Livni to become Israel's first female prime minister since Golda Meir. After her high-profile stint as foreign minister, the centrist Kadima party she heads won more votes than any other in elections last year. International leaders praised her as a new-style Israeli politician who could finally make peace with the Palestinians. Yet things aren't working out that way for Livni. Rather than making history, the 51-year-old is fighting for her political life.

The perils of certainty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Opinion) January 23, 2010 - 1:00am

Among the most dangerous aspects of the political culture surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on both sides are glib assertions of inevitable victory and the uninterrogated assumptions that inevitably lie behind them. It's an obvious point, but was brought home to me with some force yesterday when a friend pointed out the following passage from a particularly foolish Arab-American blog:

Netanyahu Says Some Settlements to Stay in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 24, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said Sunday that several Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank would always remain part of Israel, a comment that upset the Palestinians even as the Obama administration’s Middle East envoy was trying to coax them back into peace talks. The prime minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, helped plant a tree in a West Bank settlement near Jerusalem on Sunday. Mr. Netanyahu spoke about the Etzion bloc on Sunday.

January 22nd

Elliott Abrams on The West Bank Resurgence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
(Interview) January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

In my continuing mission to understand the Obama Administration's understanding of the Middle East peace process (such as it is), I turn now to Elliott Abrams, the key Middle East policymaker on President Bush's National Security Council. Unfortunately, I got sidetracked by bigger questions than those that concern George Mitchell's travel schedule.

Gaza Faces ‘Catastrophic’ Gas Shortage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Rachelle Kliger - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

An impending shortage of cooking gas in the Gaza Strip is likely to cause a humanitarian disaster unless Israel allows more into the coastal enclave, say industry representatives. With winter temperatures in Gaza dropping, petrol and gas vendors say Palestinians are getting only a third of the gas need for heating and cooking.

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