Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Following Avigdor Lieberman’s recent controversial statements, President Obama reaffirms the importance of the Annapolis meeting in his speech before the Turkish parliament (1), while the Jewish Telegraphic Agency discusses potential clashes between the Netanyahu and Obama governments (2). A planned exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Toronto inflames tensions over ownership of the historic documents (4). According to negotiators, Palestinian accord government talks have hit a deadlock (6) (9). A recently released report shows that record numbers of Israeli Arab students are leaving Israel to complete their higher education in Jordan (10). Hamas calls on the Palestinian Authority to cut security ties with Israel (13).

With ‘Annapolis,’ a Warning to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Helene Cooper - April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Watchers of Middle East politics were quick to take note of a line in President Obama’s address before the Turkish Parliament on Monday in Ankara, in which he mentioned “Annapolis.” By bringing up the word, Mr. Obama was sending a warning to the government of new Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that reneging on the goals outlined during the Annapolis Middle East peace conference in 2007 would put Mr. Netanyahu on the wrong foot with the Obama administration.

Mapping the possible Netanyahu-Obama fault lines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Analysis) April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

There are no fissures yet between the young Obama and Netanyahu administrations, but political geologists are mapping the fault lines. So far, two major potentials for quakes have emerged, both having to do with timing: One concerns the pace of negotiating Palestinian statehood; the other has to do with projections about when Iran's alleged nuclear program becomes irrevocably dangerous.

Israel Cries Wolf
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

“Iran is the center of terrorism, fundamentalism and subversion and is in my view more dangerous than Nazism, because Hitler did not possess a nuclear bomb, whereas the Iranians are trying to perfect a nuclear option.” Benjamin Netanyahu 2009? Try again. These words were in fact uttered by another Israeli prime minister (and now Israeli president), Shimon Peres, in 1996. Four years earlier, in 1992, he’d predicted that Iran would have a nuclear bomb by 1999.

Dead Sea Scrolls stir storm at ROM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Star
by Oakland Ross - April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

A planned Toronto exhibit of ancient Middle Eastern manuscripts is threatening to plunge Canada, along with the Royal Ontario Museum, into the thick of the long-running conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. Beginning in June, the ROM will host a six-month exhibit of the famed Dead Sea Scrolls, organized in co-operation with the Israel Antiquities Authority. But top Palestinian officials this week declared the exhibit a violation of international law and called on Canada to cancel the show.

Popular Palestinian PM "not running for anything"
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - April 7, 2009 - 12:00am

West Bank villagers killed a fatted calf Tuesday to welcome Salam Fayyad, the affable, and supposedly outgoing, prime minister who may currently be the most popular leader among the Palestinians. They added boiled mutton from two sheep to dozens of trays piled high with spiced rice and drenched with yoghurt, for the traditional welcoming dish of mansaf. There was also 30 kg of honey-dripping sweets from Nazareth as dessert.

Palestinian negotiator says peace talks hit deadlock
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

The head of the Palestinian negotiation team, Ahmed Qurei, on Thursday said peace talks with Israel have reached an impasse. "The talks are no longer making anything; they are a waste of time and they hit a deadlock due to the rigid Israeli mentality," said Qurei, who headed the negotiation team since the resumption of the peace talks in November 2007.

The Journey of Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Kifah Zaboun - April 4, 2009 - 12:00am

Even after the death of his three daughters at the hands of Israel in the Jabalia Refugee Camp during Israel’s war on the Gaza Strip, Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish has persisted in promoting peace, and has continued in his search for justice and equality, treating any Israelis that need [medical] treatment. This may come as a surprise to many people.

No Peace between Israel and the Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The Israeli press has announced that US President Barack Obama will visit Israel in June. In Strasbourg, French President Nicholas Sarkozy raised with Obama the necessity of pushing peace forward in the Middle East and not being deterred by Benjamin Netanyahu's becoming prime minister of Israel. Sarkozy told Obama that he should deal with the reality of Netanyahu's election and push the peace process forward under all conditions, quickly and immediately.

Hope fades for accord between rival Palestinian factions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The Egyptian-mediated Palestinian reconciliation efforts are stuck and prospects for agreement appear distant, even if factions are scheduled to resume their negotiations in Cairo this month, according to sources close to the negotiations.

Israel’s Arab students are crossing to Jordan
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Obstacles to Israel’s Arab minority participating in higher education have resulted in a record number of Arab students taking up places at universities in neighbouring Jordan, a new report reveals. Figures compiled by Dirasat, a Nazareth-based organisation monitoring education issues, show 5,400 Arab students from Israel are at Jordanian universities – half the number of Arabs studying in Israel itself.

Let's cooperate in the interest of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
(Editorial) April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

The recent call by the US government urging Israel to honour the principle of the two-state solution to the Middle East conflict is encouraging. It is difficult, however, to see how the Obama administration can impose this position on Israel's newly-elected right-wing government.

Palestinian lightly wounded after trying to snatch IDF soldier's gun
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

An Israel Defense Forces soldier shot and lightly wounded a Palestinian in the West Bank Wednesday after he tried to snatch a soldier's weapon at a checkpoint near Ramallah. Ambulances arrived on the scene and evacuated the Palestinian to a hospital in Ramallah. No soldiers were wounded in the incident. Earlier on Wednesday, at least 17 people were wounded during clashes between dozens of settlers from a settlement where a terrorist killed an Israeli teenager last week and Palestinians in a nearby West Bank village.

Hamas Calls on PA to Cut Security Ties with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - April 8, 2009 - 12:00am

Hamas urged the Palestinian Authority to halt all security coordination with Israel following Wednesday's clash between settlers and residents of the West Bank village of Khirbat Safa, near the Bat Ayin settlement. The violent riot saw 16 Palestinian suffer various injuries with one of the wounded said to be in critical condition.

Netanyahu's 2nd Chance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Alon Ben-meir - (Analysis) April 9, 2009 - 12:00am

ew Israeli government led by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu has raised many conflicting feelings among those concerned about the fate of the Arab-Israeli peace process. Will Netanyahu scuttle the little progress that was made under his predecessor Olmert, or will he engage the Palestinians anew?

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