Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Daily Star features an op-ed by ATFP President, Dr. Ziad Asali (1). Israel heightens security in the West Bank town of Hebron in anticipation of 25,000 Jewish pilgrims, amidst the recent increase in settler violence (2). Hamas’ leader insists that Gaza wants the truce to hold with Israel, so long as it is reciprocated (4). The chief of UNRWA warns that Gaza is on the brink of a humanitarian “catastrophe” if Israel continues its blockade (5). The Christian Science Monitor examines the addition of women to the Palestinian Security Forces (6). An op-ed in the Daily Star lauds Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to advertise the Arab peace plan in Israeli papers (7).





The limits of American racism, and the Arab exception
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ziad Asali - November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


The electoral silly season is over and it is time for a serious discussion removed from partisan passions and manipulation. Racism, the 800-pound gorilla in the American living room, has shrunk and is now no bigger than a jackass. In his eloquent endorsement of Barack Obama, another African-American statesman, Colin Powell, took direct aim at racism and pulled the trigger: "It is permitted to be said such things as, 'Well, you know that Mr. Obama is a Muslim.' Well, the correct answer is, he is not a Muslim, he's a Christian. He's always been a Christian.


Jewish pilgrimage stokes tensions in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Israel beefed up security on Friday as 25,000 Jewish pilgrims were expected in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron amid fears of violence as a group of settlers defied an eviction order. Dozens of police and troops took up positions outside the house where about 100 hardline settlers and their supporters have vowed to resist any attempt to enforce the High Court order.


Israel's hold on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Editorial) November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


In the 2 1/2 weeks since its cease-fire with Hamas broke down, Israel has all but sealed crossings along its border with the Gaza Strip and rejected U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's appeal to allow more humanitarian aid into the enclosed territory that houses more than 1.5 million Palestinians. This response to violence directed against it amounts to collective punishment of civilians, which is illegal under international law, unfair and counterproductive. Hunger and scarcity nurture extremism.


Haniyeh says Gaza groups want calm with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian armed groups in Gaza remain committed to a truce with Israel if the Jewish state reciprocates, Hamas' Gaza leader said on Friday, even as militants launched more attacks from the coastal territory. They fired a rocket and two mortars on Israel, continuing an almost daily series of attacks over the past 17 days, none of which has inflicted major casualties.


UNRWA chief: Gaza on brink of humanitarian catastrophe
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Gaza faces a humanitarian "catastrophe" if Israel continues to prevent aid reaching the territory by blocking crossing points, the head of the main UN aid agency for the Palestinians said on Friday. Karen AbuZayd, commissioner-general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), said the human toll of this month's sealing of Gaza's goods crossings was the gravest since the early days of a Palestinian uprising eight years ago.


Palestinian security gets a feminine touch
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian police surround the house of suspected militants and knock, demanding to be let in. Normally, they'd kick in the door if it didn't open immediately, but today they have the thing that every home is said to need: a woman's touch. As part of a new Palestinian Authority (PA) security initiative, this unit, like every Hebron unit that searches houses, has two female officers to bring a gentler side to long-stigmatized house raids.


Abbas' advertising campaign for peace is more than worth the effort
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
(Editorial) November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deserves praise for his decision to take the case for peace directly to Israeli citizens by purchasing Hebrew-language newspaper ads explaining to them the benefits of accepting the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. One would have expected that the historic peace offer extended to Israel by the 57 members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference would have been well received, but Israeli leaders have been reluctant to even discuss it.


MDA, Red Crescent get Red Cross prize
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


The Palestinian and Israeli first responder groups are the joint recipients of the first American Red Cross Humanitarian Prize. The winners announced in an American Red Cross release on Thursday are Younis Al Khatib, the president of the Palestine Red Crescent Society, and Dr. Noam Yifrach, the chairman of Magen David Adom’s executive committee.


A state within a state has arisen in the territories
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Sarid - November 20, 2008 - 7:00pm


It did not happen yesterday, it will not happen today, and in the near future it is not about to happen. The High Court of Justice did pronounce judgment at the beginning of the week, ordering the evacuation of the disputed house in Hebron within three days. But the rulings of the court have recently become rulings for the Messiah to deal with when he comes - who takes them seriously?





American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017