January 4th

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.

A renovation on shaky ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

Take a walk between Old Acre’s Khan al-Umdan complex and the lighthouse at the western end of the city and you’ll find a tent pitched at the entrance to a large, ancient building. The tent was erected by the building’s residents and social activists, protesting eviction notices given to the residents by the Amidar Company.

Senior Fatah, Hamas leaders meet in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 4, 2012 - 1:00am

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Fatah central committee member Nabil Shaath met with Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar in Gaza City on Tuesday afternoon to progress the reconciliation deal between their parties. In a press statement, Shaath said they discussed the political detentions in Gaza and the West Bank and ways to implement the agreement, despite all the obstacles facing the reconciliation. Meanwhile, head of political independents Yasser Al-Waddiyeh announced a "senior reconciliation leadership committee" will meet for the first time on Wednesday in the Gaza Strip.

A small sign of progress toward Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

SOMETHING SURPRISING happened Tuesday in a Middle East diplomatic landscape that most people assumed was frozen over: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met face-to-face for the first time in 16 months. That they did so was partly to the credit of Jordan’s King Abdullah, who has been working feverishly to restart negotiations, and partly to the credit of the “Quartet,” the diplomatic amalgam of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, which has been pressuring the two sides for months.

A spitting incident sets off Israeli frustration with Jewish zealotry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - December 27, 2011 - 1:00am

The harassment of an 8-year-old girl by ultra-Orthodox Jews in the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh is shaking Israel’s self image to the core, stirring nationwide outrage about escalating religious zealotry and creeping public segregation of women.

Palestinians block performance of Israeli-Arab singer under pressure from boycott movement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 3, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — A popular Israeli-Arab singer had to cancel a show on New Year’s Eve in the West Bank because of threats from Palestinian activists opposed to coexistence with Israel, the performer and police said. It was the latest in a string of cancellations after threats and other pressure tactics by Palestinians groups promoting a boycott of virtually anything connected with Israel. The boycott movement says its tactics are a nonviolent way to protest Israeli policies. Israeli officials denounce the efforts as “delegitimization” of Israel’s right to exist.

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