Palestine Melts Iceland
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Weekly Standard
by Elliott Abrams - (Blog) December 16, 2011 - 1:00am

On November 29th the Icelandic parliament voted to recognize Palestine as a state. Yesterday, a ceremony was held in Reykjavik in the presence of the Icelandic and PLO foreign ministers. Here is the text of the resolution adopted by Althingi, the Icelandic parliament:

Fein: Distancing?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Sun Sentinel
by Leonard Fein - (Opinion) December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

"Distancing" is the current favored word to describe the reaction of many American Jews, especially young Jews, to the ongoing situation in Israel. (Curiously, Peter Beinart's essay in the New York Review of Books in May of 2010, which catalyzed much of the conversation, nowhere uses the word.) But "distancing" is inadequate to describe the range of response to diverse alarming events in Israel. Herewith, two examples of that range, and a suggestion of how we might productively proceed.

Arab Spring overshadowing Israeli-Palestinian conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Brandeis NOW
by Charles Radin - (Interview) December 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Khalil Shikaki is the world’s foremost pollster and interpreter of Palestinian public opinion. A senior fellow of Brandeis’ Crown Center for Middle East Research, he has directed the Ramallah-based Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research since 2000, and has conducted more than 150 polls among Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip since 1993.

Stalemate Marks Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process in 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Voice of America
by Scott Bobb - (Opinion) December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

2011 was a year of stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. International mediators tried to revive direct peace talks amid political uncertainties caused by rifts in the Palestinian leadership and popular uprisings in several Arab nations. The Palestinian Authority, frustrated over the stalled peace talks, applied for full membership in the United Nations. Its case is pending, though it faces stiff U.S. opposition. But the Palestinians successfully gained admission to the United Nations cultural organization UNESCO, angering Israel and the United States.

For Jews, Vaclav Havel wasn’t just a friend but a champion of freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Vaclav Havel was a friend of the Jews and of Israel, but prominent Jews who mourned his passing this week said the Czech leader’s greatest legacy was his universal message of freedom. “Vaclav Havel was one of the few islands of intellectual freedom in the sea of totalitarian rule,” Natan Sharansky told JTA, speaking of the late 1960s and the 1970s, when both he and Havel were struggling against communist rule -- Havel in the former Czechoslovakia and Sharansky in the former Soviet Union.

Our laws favor Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Moshe Ronen - (Opinion) December 21, 2011 - 1:00am

One cannot argue with the facts. Serious, in-depth examinations undertaken many years ago already proved that there are no equal laws for Jews and Arabs in the territories conquered by Israel in 1967. Then-Deputy Attorney General Yehudit Karp was appointed to look into this exact question in 1982 and found that clear bias exists in favor of Jewish suspects. The Shamgar Committee established in 1994 in the wake of the murder of Muslim worshippers by Dr. Baruch Goldstein confirmed Attorney Karp’s conclusions, and added that nothing has changed since.

Palestinians are heroes, braving Israeli dictatorship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) December 21, 2011 - 1:00am

The Palestinians are heroes, and that's the only fact that's relevant after the slight shock of the hilltop thugs. The hands are the hands of thugs, and the head? The head is the head of the hostile regime under which the Palestinians live and which harasses them every moment of every day, week after week for decades. To live this way and remain sane - that's heroism. "And who says we're sane?" Palestinians answer me. Well, here's the proof: self-irony.

Only the IDF can get Israel to recognize 'Jewish terrorism'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) December 21, 2011 - 1:00am

The Ephraim region lieutenant commander, Lt. Col. Tzur Harpaz, is no mere senior officer. He is a lawmaker. The stone hurled at him by Jewish terrorists did no more than slightly crack the windows of the Knesset, but the babbling outcry of ministers and MKs, and the fact that they even debated the definition of Jewish terror, is yet more proof that any significant legislative changes, whether dealing with the state budget, the marginalization of women, terror, etc., must first make it through the IDF filter before it becomes a legitimate part of Israeli discourse.

Israeli officials escalate war of words with N.Y. Times
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

WASHINGTON (JTA) -- Israeli officials are stepping up their criticism of The New York Times, slamming columnist Thomas Friedman and arguing that the newspaper is an unfit venue for an Op-Ed from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In a scathing letter first leaked last week to The Jerusalem Post, Ron Dermer, a top aide to Netanyahu, declined an invitation for the prime minister to write an Op-Ed for the Times. By way of explanation, Dermer cited what he alleged was the newspaper's anti-Israel tilt.

The 'Iranian Schindler' who saved Jews from the Nazis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Brian Wheeler - December 20, 2011 - 1:00am

Thousands of Iranian Jews and their descendants owe their lives to a Muslim diplomat in wartime Paris, according to a new book. In The Lion's Shadow tells how Abdol-Hossein Sardari risked everything to help fellow Iranians escape the Nazis. Eliane Senahi Cohanim was seven years old when she fled France with her family. She remembers clutching her favourite doll and lying as still as she could, pretending to be asleep, whenever their train came to a halt at a Nazi checkpoint.

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