February 1st

Israel Replace Race as Obama Fear
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - (Analysis) February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

Boca Raton, Fla. — In 2008, comedian Sarah Silverman recorded a web video urging young Jews to go to Florida and convince their grandparents to vote for Obama. If Obama lost, Silverman warned, she would “blame the Jews.” Silverman was joking, sort of. But she was also responding to rumors, then rampant among older Floridian Jews, that Obama was a Muslim — and to the widespread belief that these rumors would hurt his election bid. Obama went on to earn 78% of the Jewish vote nationally and to win Florida, including the heavily Jewish Florida counties of Broward and Palm Beach.

Hackers Target Palestinian News Sites
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Hackers temporarily shut down two Palestinian news websites in the occupied West Bank late Tuesday, the latest targets in a string of hacks on Mideast websites. There was no immediate indication of who was behind the attacks on Wafa, the Palestinian Authority's official news agency, and several websites affiliated with Ma'an Network including its news page.

Washington Watch: Rats deserting the sinking ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) January 31, 2012 - 1:00am

After more than a dozen years of safe sanctuary in Syria, Hamas is pulling up stakes and looking for a new home as that country becomes engulfed in a bloody uprising. Over the past several days one door closed and another opened for Hamas. Assad & Son, a brutal enterprise with a long history of killing its own people, has given Hamas and other Palestinian terror groups protection, training camps, diplomatic cover, financing and weapons to carry out their war against Israel. They, in turn, have helped Syria retain its un-coveted status as a state sponsor of terrorism.

Palestinians, Israeli Officers Hurt in Jerusalem Clash
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian youths sustained injuries overnight in a confrontation with Israeli soldiers and police officers in al-Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem, a Ma'an reporter said. One young man sustained serious injuries, witnesses said. Confrontations began Tuesday afternoon in the center of al-Isawiya after Israeli forces broke into the home of Ayyoub Ubeid and detained him under the pretext that he hurled stones at Israeli soldiers in the town.

Netanyahu’s unnecessary committee on settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

In the Likud leadership contest, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has portrayed himself as the antithesis of his challenger, the Jewish Leadership faction's Moshe Feiglin, who represents extremists among West Bank settlers. But Netanyahu's policy on settlements and unauthorized West Bank outposts, as with his "peace policy," shows that he deserves the loyalty of those extremists no less than Feiglin does.

Religious Trash Talk Goes Mainstream in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ben Lynfield - January 31, 2012 - 1:00am

With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process suspended, religious fundamentalists on both sides of the conflict are gaining wider influence. Palestinian and Israeli analysts alike warn that the trend could further complicate prospects for a resolution by turning a nationalist clash over territory into more of an absolutist religious war.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu Re-Elected Likud Party Chairman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - January 31, 2012 - 1:00am

REPORTING FROM JERUSALEM -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was re-elected chairman of the ruling conservative Likud Party in a primary election Tuesday. The move secures Netanyahu's position as the party's candidate for the premiership in Israel's next general elections. Netanyahu defeated the only other candidate, Moshe Feiglin, by a wide margin. Feiglin heads the hawkish, ultra-national "Jewish leadership" stream of Likud and has challenged party leadership several times.

UN Chief Urges Israel to Halt Settlement Construction in Bid to Salvage Mideast Peace Efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon pressed Israel on Wednesday to do more to get flagging Mideast peace efforts back on track, calling for a halt in West Bank settlement construction and urging the Israelis to submit concrete proposals on the key issues of borders and security ties with a future Palestine.

Abbas, Mashaal Expected to Agree to New Govt Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 1, 2012 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khalid Mashaal are expected to agree on the structure of a Palestinian national unity government during their meeting in Cairo on Thursday. Secretary-general of Fatah Revolutionary Council Amin Maqboul told Ma'an Monday that failure to appoint a new government was the main obstacle to elections in the West Bank and Gaza. Mashaal, who lives in exile, arrived in Jordan on Sunday where he met King Abdullah II, his first visit since being expelled from the country in 1999.

Support for Palestinian Authority Erodes as Prices and Taxes Rise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 31, 2012 - 1:00am

RAMALLAH, West Bank — For many Palestinians and their international supporters, the one bright spot in an otherwise dreary political landscape has been the nation-building efforts of Salam Fayyad, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, who has restored law and order and encouraged economic growth in the West Bank. Salam Fayyad, prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, is under increasing pressure.

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