The Arab Spring and Israel’s winter hibernation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Opinion) December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Last weekend, a group of Europeans, Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians, and Jordanians convened in Europe for discussions regarding the “Arab Spring." The Israelis who participated returned to Israel in a worried state. “Our situation isn't good”, one of them said. The Arabs who participated in the talks told their Israeli counterparts that hostility toward Israel in the Arab world is reaching new heights. According to them, Israel is seen as part of the “old order” in the Middle East, as well as an ally of deposed Arab dictators, such as former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Israel is losing its 'base' in the democratic West
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Ari Shavit - (Opinion) December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

The key term in the prime minister's close circles is "base." This American political term refers to the part of the right-wing population that both set up the Netanyahu government and ensures its survival. The strategy that has guided Benjamin Netanyahu over the past three years is a fundamental strategy of don't lose the base - not to commit any act that will cause the Likud leader to lose the support of the nationalists, the national-religious or the Haredim who got him into the Prime Minister's Office.

How peace vanished from Israeli discourse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

It happens a lot. A figure once significant in our lives fades away gradually. Not with a slam of the door or a tough fight, but almost imperceptibly, a kind of slow evaporation, until one day we suddenly notice he has completely disappeared.

In Race to Moon, Israel Thinks Small
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Rosenberg - December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

They aren’t planning to put the first Israeli on the Moon. But they do want to plant the country’s flag there, send a robot on a 500-meter or so stroll past some craters and send pictures back home. Along the way, they want to inspire the next generation of Israelis to pursue science and technology and show the world Israel’s tech abilities. And they want to do this employing innovative and often untried technology all in the space of two years and on a budget that NASA would regard as petty cash.

Hamas demands Palestinian elections be held in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

Hamas will only agree to hold presidential and parliamentary elections next May if voting takes place in East Jerusalem and Hamas is allowed to participate, Haaretz has learned - a condition to which Israel will almost certainly object.

Palestinian leadership turns to UN to halt Jewish settlement construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, Dec. 7 (Xinhua) -- The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) decided Wednesday to apply to the United Nations to freeze Jewish settlement activities. After a meeting in Ramallah, the PLO executive committee announced that it will go to the UN Security Council and the General Assembly to force Israel to commit to the two-state solution and stop settlement construction.

Israel OKs new settler homes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israel has approved construction of a new Jewish enclave in the heart of a Palestinian neighborhood of annexed East Jerusalem, state-owned Channel One TV reported Wednesday. The channel said the 14-home project, to be named Maale David, was approved late Wednesday by the Jerusalem city council's planning committee and was likely to spark fresh international condemnation of Israel's settlements policy. It is to be sited in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amud, near an existing Jewish settlement of 1,000 people, the report said.

Israel hands confiscation, demolition orders in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces handed confiscation orders to ten landowners in villages near Hebron on Thursday, locals told Ma'an. The troops also handed demolition orders for 14 houses in southern Hebron village Susiya, residents said. Israeli authorities told four landowners in Surif village, which neighbors Susiya, that their land would be seized. The lands belong to Ismael Musa Othman Ighnnimat, Atef Atallah Ibrahim Ighnimat, Mohammad Abdullah Ahmad al-Qadi, and Mohammad Ibrahim al-Hour, a Ma'an reporter said.

Medics: 2 killed in Israeli airstrike on Gaza City
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma’an) -- An Israeli airstrike killed two people in the central Gaza Strip on Thursday, medics and security officials said. Medical services spokesman Adham Abu Salmiya said two people died and two others were wounded after the explosion, which witnesses said hit a car parked near Omar al-Mukhtar street. A Ma'an reporter named those killed as Issam Subhi al-Batsh and Subhi Alaa al-Batsh.

In subtle messages, Palestinians promote statehood bid in Christmas celebrations
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
December 8, 2011 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM, West Bank — At Christmas time the world looks to Jesus’ traditional birthplace of Bethlehem, and this year the Palestinians hope to use some of that attention to boost their quest for independence. They’re trying to be subtle about it, with just a hint of politics in this year’s Christmas slogan, “Palestine celebrating hope,” a veiled reference to their bid this fall to win U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state.

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