June 25th

The public is dumb and therefore the public pays
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

At least one Israeli - other than Shalom Hanoch whose signature is affixed to the title of this article (taken from his song "Waiting for the Messiah" ) - has reached the conclusion that Israeli public opinion is dumb. That person is the prime minister, and he is correct.

Hamas is making ground again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Economist
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

AFTER three years of campaigning for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza, some of the Islamists ruling the territory are having second thoughts. This week the agriculture minister for Hamas, the Islamist group that runs Gaza, was putting the finishing touches to a ten-year plan to wean it off dependence on Israel and make it self-sufficient in food. Israel’s ban on fertilisers had helped his plan to replace fertiliser with compost made from sewage that otherwise spills into the sea, and turn Gaza into a big organic farm.

Yes, Kahane lives
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yitzhak Laor - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

On July 29, 1986, extreme right-wing MK Meir Kahane submitted another no-confidence proposal: "The government's refusal to discuss the disintegration of Zionist ideology, which endangers the existence of the Jewish state." According to Kahane: "Since the beginning of political Zionism, the movement's thinkers have ignored and avoided the terrible and frightening truth of the basic contradiction between Zionism and enlightened Western democracy, to which all the Zionist leaders were indentured servants.

The four stages of Israeli policy: crisis, pressure, cave-in and agreement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

When the security cabinet decided to ease the civilian blockade on the Gaza Strip this week, the process followed the precise modus operandi Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken with regard to leading Israel's foreign and defense policy this term. Each such incident has had four stages: crisis, pressure, cave-in and agreement.

Israelis Keep the Trigger Tight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Inter Press Service (IPS)
by Mel Frykberg - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

"My life only began when I met him. I will never meet such a wonderful man again," Yasmin's mother Moira Julani tells IPS. While it is just another statistic for the Israelis, another Palestinian family has been torn apart. U.S. citizens, 17-year-old Hannah, 15-year-old Mirage and seven-year-old Yasmin are now fatherless. Former Texan Moira, nee Reynolds, who left the U.S. 17 years ago to start a new life with her husband in Jerusalem, has lost her soul mate.

U.S. Says Sea-Bound Aid to Gaza Is Irresponsible
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington — The Obama administration said sea-bound aid to Gaza is “irresponsible.” “Mechanisms exist for the transfer of humanitarian assistance to Gaza by member states and groups that want to do so,” a U.S. State Department release said Wednesday, in response to a reporter’s question about Lebanese plans to ship aid to the Gaza Strip. “Direct delivery by sea is neither appropriate nor responsible, and certainly not effective, under the circumstances.”

Regional order alarms Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

With growing insistence, some influential Israelis are beginning to press the Netanyahu government to seek to make peace with Syria — even if the price tag is the return of the entire Golan to Syrian sovereignty. The latest example of this campaign is an interview which Major-General (retired) Uri Saguy, 66, gave on June 11 to the Israeli daily Yediot Aharanot, in which he declared that, "I believe that a political agreement between Syria and Israel is a military national interest of the highest order".

Rights group criticizes Hamas treatment of Israeli
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Matti Friedman - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Human Rights Watch charged Friday that Hamas militants are violating the rules of war by prohibiting a captive Israeli soldier from having contact with his family and the Red Cross. The treatment of the 23-year-old soldier, captured exactly four years ago by Hamas, is "cruel and inhuman" and matches a U.N. definition of torture because he is denied any outside contact, the U.S.-based rights group said in a statement.

Israel offers to let Europe diplomats visit Gaza-official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ari Rabinovitch - June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has invited his Italian counterpart to lead a delegation of European foreign ministers to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, an Israeli official said on Thursday. Israel has largely refused to let foreign diplomats pass through its checkpoints into Gaza since it tightened its blockade on the territory after Hamas Islamists seized it in 2007.

Israel warplanes target 4 sites across Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli aircraft bombed four targets in the Gaza Strip before sunrise Friday. No injuries were reported in the attack that came a day after a Palestinian faction launched seven mortar shells into Israeli territory. Two airstrikes in the north and another two in the south caused severe structural damage to buildings in Jabaliya and Beit Hanoun, while two smuggling tunnels were destroyed near Rafah, security officials in Gaza said. F16 jet fighters hit twice in the north, outside residential areas in an industrial zone.

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