October 26th

Can the US change course in the Middle East?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

Who will emerge victorious on November 6? Will it be the sitting President Barack Obama or his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney? In no part of the world will the outcome of the US presidential election be awaited with greater anxiety than in the Middle East. Monday’s foreign policy debate between the two contestants was not reassuring. It did not give Arabs and Muslims any reason to believe that their fundamental problems would be addressed by whoever occupies the White House for the next four years.

With Gaza Palestinian students in mind, a call for ‘daylight’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Sari Bashi - (Opinion) October 24, 2012 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (JTA) -- Like most viewers, I was surprised neither by the prominence of Israel in Monday's foreign policy presidential debate, nor by the jockeying of candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney to reassure voters of the absence of "daylight" between the positions of the American and Israeli governments. But a bit of daylight may be just what Israelis, Americans and Palestinians need most right now.

Interfaith Dialogue Troubled Even Before Israel Dispute
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Frustrated by what he saw as hostility toward Israel, Rabbi Eric Greenberg recalled how a few years ago he presented Christian leaders in an interfaith dialogue with a study highlighting historic Jewish ties to the Holy Land. Sitting across the table, one of the church leaders replied that, according to the prophets, the Jewish people sinned and lost their right to the land.

The Goldstone Report’s positive effects
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yonah Jeremy Bob - (Analysis) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

The UN’s 2009 Goldstone Report’s scrutiny of Israel for its use of force in Gaza may turn out to be a blessing in disguise. For obvious reasons, most commentators would say that the immediate impact of the document’s harsh criticism of Israel was decisively negative. It exposed the Jewish state not only to bad headlines, which it is used to, but also to the unprecedented possibility of mass international criminal proceedings against everyone, from political leaders, to top commanders, to foot soldiers.

The calm before the storm in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

It's kind of boring in the West Bank. The Gaza Strip has been closed to Israeli journalists for about six years now, and very little is actually happening in the West Bank. There is no way to reflect routine, week after week, no matter how discouraging it is. And the routine of life in the West Bank, we must admit, has been a bit more humane in recent years. The Israeli occupation has become more comfortable, a little.

With Lieberman at his side, Netanyahu's war cabinet is on a one-way track to Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a war cabinet last night that will lead Israel into a confrontation with Iran.

Netanyahu's ‘big bang’ gambit with Lieberman might blow up in his face
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chemi Shalev - (Opinion) October 25, 2012 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to reunite with his former protege Avigdor Lieberman is a gamble of epic proportions, a “big bang” of Israeli right wing politics that Netanyahu hopes will ensure his reelection - but which could very well blow up in his face and achieve the opposite outcome.

It was fear that drove Netanyahu, Lieberman into each other's arms
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Verter - (Opinion) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

The Israeli political world was shocked Thursday. While everyone was carefully watching the center-left bloc waiting to see what steps Ehud Olmert and Tzipi Livni would take, suddenly they were overtaken from the right side of the political map by the October surprise of the 2013 election. The option of a merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu was in the air for the past few months, but it was considered somewhere between unfounded speculation and an unlikely possibility. But Thursday it turned into a shocking electoral reality.

World Bank policies persistently fail Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Alaa Tartir, Jeremy Wildeman - (Analysis) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

The Middle East featured prominently on the agenda of the recent annual meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in Tokyo. But how relevant are these agencies’ policy prescriptions in the context of conflict? In the case of the occupied Palestinian territories they are not only inappropriate but also harmful.

Hamas brinkmanship masks quiet confidence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Nidal al-Mughrabi, Douglas Hamilton - (Analysis) October 26, 2012 - 12:00am

GAZA STRIP, Oct 26 (Reuters) - One of 70-odd rockets fired from Gaza into Israel this week hit a chicken coop, critically wounding two Thai migrant workers, innocent bystanders in a deadly game of brinkmanship. If it had killed children on the Israeli farm they work for, Israel and Gaza would probably be at war right now.

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