Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Christian Science Monitor examines the recent settler violence in Hebron (1). Israel reopens Gaza crossings to international journalists and humanitarian aid (2). Israel again threatens Gaza over rocket attacks (3) (8). President Bush extends the national security waiver keeping the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Tel Aviv (4). An op-ed in The Daily Star suggests high hopes for Gen. Jim Jones, the National Security Advisor designate (6). An ATFP translation of a Hassan Khader article in Al-Ayyam daily examines the struggle between the Palestinian national movement and Hamas (10).

Does Hebron clash signal new round of settler revolts?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - December 9, 2008 - 1:00am

The violence here last week that started with the Israeli army evacuating ultranationalist settlers from a disputed house was captured on film and broadcast around the world. One thing it made clear for many was the extent to which extreme right-wing Jewish settlers have gone beyond the control of the Israeli government and army. There are differing story lines that describe exactly what happened, but what isn't in dispute, because it was recorded on video, is this:

Israel reopens crossings with Gaza to aid, fuel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
December 9, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel has reopened its crossings with Gaza to shipments of humanitarian aid and fuel. International journalists are also being allowed in. The Israeli military says 45 trucks of food and medical supplies are to pass through on Tuesday, along with shipments of cooking gas and fuel for Gaza's power plant. The military says cargo and passenger crossings were reopened because of a lull Monday in attacks by Gaza militants on Israel.

Israel threatens 'no restraint' if Hamas keeps retaliating
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

Israel threatened tougher action against rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Sunday as the territory's sole power plant again shut down in the face of a crippling blockade. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he has told security chiefs to draw up contingency plans for military action against militant groups in Gaza, although there have been no deaths as a result of the rocket and mortar fire of the past week - and Israel initiated the latest flare-up with a deadly invasion of the enclave in early November.

Bush extends Jerusalem waiver
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

President Bush extended his waiver of a law mandating the move of the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The order, sent Dec. 4 to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and published Tuesday, cites the "national security interests of the United States" in waiving the Jerusalem Embassy Act for six months. Bush and his predecessor, Bill Clinton, have waived the act routinely since its passage in 1995, citing the dangers that Muslim outrage over such an act would pose to U.S. interests in the Middle East.

Jerusalem Tensions on the Rise
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Americans For Peace Now
December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

A new report by the Israeli Peace Now movement warns that settlers are taking advantage of a “perfect storm” of political conditions to create “new facts on the ground” in Jerusalem “that could later make it difficult if not impossible to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict peacefully.”

Watch Jim Jones, he breaks stalemates
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) December 6, 2008 - 1:00am

For a preview of how General Jim Jones will operate as national security adviser in the incoming Obama administration, it's useful to look at his performance as special envoy on Middle East security for the outgoing Bush administration. His effort there has helped yield one of the few recent success stories in the grinding Israeli-Palestinian stalemate.

Middle East's History Predicts Its Future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Middle East Times
(Editorial) December 8, 2008 - 1:00am

Throughout history man has tried to predict the future, turning alternatively from science to witchcraft and everything in between. That being said, predicting the future, in some instances, may be easier than imagined. Simply look at the past. Indeed history offers us a goldmine of information, if only we take the time to dig through it, and then remember the lessons it offers.

Olmert: We won't just defend against Gaza terror, we'll attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - December 9, 2008 - 1:00am

Outgoing Prime Minster Ehud Olmert on Tuesday threatened that Israel would lash out against Gaza militants in response to ongoing cross-border attacks. "We will never flee from our homes. We won't defend, but will attack - and stop once and for all what threatens our daily lives," he vowed. Olmert made the comments while speaking to schoolchildren during a tour of rocket-battered communities bordering the Gaza Strip.

What 'yes' means
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Mati Steinberg - (Opinion) December 9, 2008 - 1:00am

Finally, six years after it was conceived and in the six years in which it has been reaffirmed annually, the Arab Peace Initiative has merited a discussion among the Israeli public. When the Arab world unanimously said "no," we didn't ask about its intentions. When the Arab world says "yes" to Israel, yes to normalization and an end to the conflict, the puzzled expressions multiply as to what exactly is meant by "yes."

Analyzing the National Situation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ayyam
by Hassan Khader - November 30, 2008 - 1:00am

The Palestinian political struggle is not between Fatah and Hamas, but is between the Palestinian national movement as such and an armed militia that is supported by Syria, Iran, Qatar, and Muslim Brotherhood cells in the Arab world and beyond. And if both sides are accorded equal political status, then the national movement will lose.

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