February 22nd

Israel Watches Syria, Hopefully, but Warily
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — As Israelis watch the bloody confrontation between the Syrian people and the government of President Bashar al-Assad, they are torn by two sentiments: The downfall of Mr. Assad would deal a major blow to Iran and so would be welcome. But without a central authority, Syria could descend into being a land of chaos and terrorist bases on Israel’s northeast border. Enlarge This Image Uriel Sinai/Getty Images In the Golan Heights town of Majdel Shams, Druse men took part last week in a protest against Israel's control of the region.

Writing on the Wall: Israel and Its Christians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Rosenberg - (Opinion) February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

Graffiti on Jerusalem church points to negative attitudes among many Jews A day after it was discovered on the exterior walls of a Jerusalem Baptist church this week, graffiti declaring “Death to Christianity” had been cleaned up and a host of officials from the Israeli government had visited with apologies and expressions of concern. But for the Christian community in Israel, the environment remains inhospitable.

Peaceful Protest Can Free Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mustafa Barghouthi - (Opinion) February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

OVER the past 64 years, Palestinians have tried armed struggle; we have tried negotiations; and we have tried peace conferences. Yet all we have seen is more Israeli settlements, more loss of lives and resources, and the emergence of a horrifying system of segregation.

Palestinian On Hunger Strike to Be Freed Without Court Ruling
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian who fasted for 66 days to protest his detention without charge ended his hunger strike on Tuesday after the Israeli authorities agreed to release him in mid-April, if no major new evidence is brought against him.

February 21st

Between two hells
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Issa Samander - (Opinion) February 20, 2012 - 1:00am

One can't help but be astonished by the behavior of the United States and European governments over the vast changes occurring in Arab countries, especially their reactions towards the killing spree in Syria. They have been swift--their politicians rarely vague--in their condemnations of the Syrian regime and calls for actions by the international community.

Beating a dead horse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Chuck Freilich - (Opinion) February 20, 2012 - 1:00am

How long can you beat a dead horse? The peace process died some years ago and the only humane thing to do may be to allow it to rest in peace. Indeed, it is questionable whether this is an opportune time to consider revival, when the future of peace with Egypt and Jordan hangs in doubt, Palestinian elections portend a possible Hamas takeover in the West Bank, and Hamas' radical mini-state in Gaza is the embodiment of every Israeli nightmare.

Rapidly dwindling avenues to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Ghassan Khatib - (Opinion) February 20, 2012 - 1:00am

The regional and international environments appear increasingly less conducive to a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, especially in the short term. The United States is preparing for coming presidential and congressional elections, and the Arab world is increasingly involved in internal revolutions that are naturally emphasizing local agendas. These factors are limiting available options and eliminating opportunities to make progress in ending our conflict peacefully.

Obama's options are important, too
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - (Opinion) February 20, 2012 - 1:00am

For Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, as for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the primary objective of 2012 with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is to get through the year without a peace process failure, without major violence, and perhaps with some marginal achievement in the context of regional developments like the "Arab spring" that position each of them better for 2013. A genuine peace process is most definitely not anybody's realistic objective. It is in this context that we can address President Barack Obama's objectives as well.

We are committed to reconciliation agreement - Hamas official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Ali El-saleh - (Interview) February 17, 2012 - 1:00am

London, Asharq Al-Awsat –Senior Hamas figure Khalil al-Hayya informed Asharq Al-Awsat that the Hamas movement is committed to the Doha Declaration, although he acknowledged that there are some “legal” issues that must be dealt with before this can be implemented. Al-Hayya, who is a member of the Hamas Political Bureau for the Gaza Strip spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat about the Doha Declaration in the wake of inflammatory comments issued by another senior Hamas figure, Mahmoud al-Zahar.

Palestinian journalists under pressure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Roy Greenslade - (Blog) February 21, 2012 - 1:00am

The International Press Institute (IPI) has registered its concern over the treatment of Palestinian journalists by both Israeli forces and Palestinian security services. The press freedom watchdog says that since the beginning of 2012, at least five journalists working in the Palestinian territories have been subjected to arbitrary arrest. Two more have had their detention periods extended. Three of those who were arrested recently were allegedly interrogated for several hours about their writing before being released. The other two remain in custody.

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