Region changes but Israel won't stop land grabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Expectations were low yesterday as Palestinian and Israeli envoys prepared to meet in Amman, at the request of Jordan's King Abdullah, for their first face-to-face talks in 16 months. The well-intentioned Quartet (US, UN, EU and Russia) had asked the two sides to be prepared to discuss security arrangements and borders. But all sides seemed to expect only "talks about talks", a going-through-the-motions exercise rather than a real prelude to meatier negotiations any time soon.

Israel’s new enemy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

The extremism that has shamefully started to appear now in some media outlets does not come from the Middle East, and does not come from countries inside the Islamic world; rather it comes from inside Israel itself. Today the voices of violence, domination and force are coming from the traditional orthodox Jews, who make up nearly 10 percent of the current Israeli population. They now have the loudest voices and are influencing the street more effectively.

Ghost of Israel’s Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) January 2, 2012 - 1:00am

We know that Avigdor Lieberman is following events in Russia closely. After the December 4 parliamentary elections there were tainted by ballot stuffing and other violations roundly condemned by Western election monitors, Lieberman offered his own assessment of whether democracy had been harmed: “The outcome of the elections reflects the mood in Russia,” he said. “Maybe there were some errors in several areas in Russia…but that is not different from what happens in Israel in various Arab and Druze villages.” In other words, no big deal.

Israel fails to create climate for peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

The importance of yesterday's renewed direct contact between the Palestinians and the Israelis should not be overplayed. As Saeeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator, said before the talks, "the meeting would not constitute the resumption of negotiations, but rather is one that could lead to the resumption of negotiations".

Our World: Is Israeli society unraveling?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Caroline Glick - (Opinion) January 2, 2012 - 1:00am

On balance, Israeli society is extremely healthy. Unemployment is at record lows. At a time of global recession, the Israeli economy is growing steadily. Israeli Jewish women have the highest fertility rate in the Western world with an average of three children per woman. Education levels have risen dramatically across the board over the past decade with dozens of private colleges opening their doors to more and more sectors of the population.

Rare opportunity
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

No matter what emerges from the first direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in 16 months, no one can say that Jordan has not tried its best to bring the two sides together. Hosting the negotiations in Amman and in the company of Quartet representatives as well as Jordanian officials including Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh is a big feat for His Majesty King Abdullah’s own diplomacy and deep involvement in the continued search for a just and durable peace between Israel and the Palestinians on the basis of the two-state solution living side-by-side in peace and harmony.

Is Newt Gingrich good for the Jews?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Marc Lewyn - (Opinion) January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Newt Gingrich for president? My gut reaction is that he so weighed down by personal baggage that his candidacy will ultimately evaporate. Recent trends in Iowa and New Hampshire suggest that Newt’s campaign is losing steam. On the other hand, he is a remarkably resilient politician, and candidates who lose early primaries often bounce back to win their parties’ nomination.

On anniversary of Gaza war, we will remember IDF soldiers who destroyed Palestinian families
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - (Opinion) January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

On the third anniversary of the Cast Lead onslaught, we remember the anonymous soldiers who fired on a red car, in which a father, Mohammed Shurrab, and his two sons were returning home from their farm lands. It is not fair that the officer who then served as GOC Southern Command of the Israel Defense Forces, Maj. Gen. Yoav Galant, will be the only one remembered on this anniversary. Indeed, the list of fighters who should be mentioned and recalled is long.

Year of the relocated illegal West Bank outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

Creativity knows no bounds, as is reflected in the new idea that illegal West Bank outposts can be relocated from one illegal location to another. This would move them from privately-owned Palestinian land to Palestinian land "owned" by the government, from one space under occupation to another, as if this made it legal.

Israeli companies can profit from West Bank resources, court rules
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Israeli companies are entitled to exploit the West Bank's natural resources for economic gain, according to a supreme court ruling that says international law must be adapted to the "reality on the ground" of long-term occupation. The supreme court rejected a petition brought by an Israeli human rights organisation against the quarrying of stone by Israeli companies in the West Bank. Yesh Din claimed that the quarrying was illegal under international law because it exploited the natural resources of the occupied territory for the benefit of the occupying power.

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