Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Los Angeles Times features an interview with bereaved Palestinian doctor and peace activist Izzeldin Abuelaish (1). In the Jewish Daily Forward former Israeli military governor of the West Bank Ephraim Sneh criticizes threats to the peace process (2). Israeli troops kill two Palestinian militants on the Gaza border (3). Raghida Dergham analyzes the possibility of multi-track negotiations (7). Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu vows that all of Jerusalem will always be under Israeli sovereignty, provoking anger from Palestinians (10). Israeli settlers begin immediately rebuilding the West Bank settlement of Maoz Ester following the military evacuation yesterday (12).

Pain and hope
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Opinion) May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish Izzeldin Abuelaish came to the world's attention during the recent offensive in the Gaza Strip, when the respected obstetrician, holed up with his family in their home, gave daily interviews from the battle zone on Israeli television and radio.

When Doves Can’t Flock Together
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Ephraim Sneh - (Opinion) May 20, 2009 - 12:00am

Twenty-four years ago this month, then-defense minister Yitzhak Rabin appointed me military governor of the West Bank. In two years in that post, I learned that reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians is both feasible and necessary. In 1988, after I had retired from military service, Rabin and then-foreign minister Shimon Peres asked me to lead the first secret negotiations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization. Since then, I have dedicated most of my energies to promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

Israeli troops kill two Gaza militants
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli troops crossed into Gaza and killed two Palestinian militants who were planting a bomb along the border fence before dawn Friday, the Israeli military said. Violence has largely abated along the tense frontier since Israel's devastating offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers early this year, but sporadic border violence and rocket fire have continued. Soldiers posted along the border spotted the two men planting a bomb near the fence and crossed into Gaza to engage them, the military said. The gunmen were killed in the ensuing firefight.

What is the Problem with Abbas?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

An organized campaign against the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is being carried out by the media of Iran, and its allies and agents in the region [of the Arab world]. Its goal is to make Abu Mazen appear to be weak. The campaign intensified following the Fatah conference and the forming of the new government. So on what basis is Mahmoud Abbas still present?

No US blank cheque for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Patrick Seale - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

The first round of the contest between the US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not draw blood. At their 90-minute meeting in Washington on May 18, the two circled each other warily, striving with studied politeness to conceal their considerable mutual antipathy. There was no disguising, however, the wide divergence of their views. The coming rounds promise to be more bruising.

Obama’s team moves to middle ground
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Rami Khouri - May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The meeting in the White House Monday between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified significant differences as well as deep convergences in the two countries’ approaches to two major sources of tension and conflict in the Middle East - the Iranian nuclear sector and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The Idea of a New Camp David and Parallel Negotiations on All Fronts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Raghida Dergham - May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Arab capitals are discussing with Washington the idea of President Barack Obama inviting the leaderships of Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Israel to a conference similar to the Camp David talks. Held in July, the conference would include parallel negotiations between Israel and each of Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, with the goal of reaching an all-inclusive peace.

Second round in a long bout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

The long-awaited Obama-Netanyahu meeting has finally taken place. If this were a boxing match, one would probably have to call the result of the latest round at the White House a tie.

Evacuating outposts is easiest gesture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - (Analysis) May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Neither the aggressive statements made by Defense Minister Ehud Barak in support of evacuating West Bank outposts, his growing agreement with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the need to evacuate some of the illegal Jewish settlements, nor the evacuation of the Maoz Ester outpost on Thursday necessarily point to a fundamental change in the government's policy on the matter.

Return of the boomerang
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

It's possible that a sorcerer with a particularly black sense of humor has put a curse on every Israeli prime minister since David Ben-Gurion: They are all fated, sooner or later, to confront head-on precisely their worst nightmares. To deal, during their own particular term, with everything they'd wanted to repress, to cause to be forgotten and to put off for their whole lives - in a kind of test of fire that will determine their political fate.

PM: Jerusalem will always be ours
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

State ceremony marking Jerusalem Day sees Netanyahu, President Peres vow capital will never again be divided. Abbas aide: Israeli occupation of east Jerusalem illegal The State ceremony marking Jerusalem Day was held Thursday at the capital's Ammunition Hill. "Unified Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Jerusalem always has been and always will be ours and it will never be divided again," said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to the sounds of roaring applause.

Settlers begin rebuilding Maoz Ester
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Erfat Weiss - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

Six hours after security forces evacuate West Bank outpost, youths return vowing to make it larger Just six hours after it was evacuated by security forces, the West Bank outpost of Maoz Ester was being rebuilt Thursday by dozens of settlers who returned to the site of their deconstructed homes. MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union) also arrived at the scene and nailed a mezuzah to the wooden structure being raised by the settlers, explaining: "It's my duty as a legislator".

Palestinian residents protest Jerusalem Day
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ronen Medzini - May 22, 2009 - 12:00am

Demonstrators carrying Palestinian flag, signs saying 'wake up from fantasy of unification', say 'city has never been unified… there is no equality in it'. City Council member Meir Margalit calls national holiday 'one big lie' Ronen Medzini

Right seeking alternatives to 2-states
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

It is not an uncommon occurrence when plans to solve the conflict with the Palestinians are presented in the Knesset, but it is unprecedented when several diplomatic alternatives are raised in one afternoon by the Right. That's what is set to happen on Tuesday in a conference entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook." The event, organized by Likud MK Tzipi Hotovely, was purposely timed to coincide with the aftermath of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's meeting with US President Barrack Obama.

Bill to 'fortify Jerusalem' would require 80 MKs to change capital's boundaries
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
May 21, 2009 - 12:00am

On the anniversary of the unification of Jerusalem, MKs from five factions representing both the coalition and the opposition submitted a bill on Thursday that would require a supermajority vote within the Knesset to enact any change to Jerusalem's borders. Coalition chairman MK Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) submitted the amendment to the Basic Law: Jerusalem, Capitol of Israel, Thursday morning. The amendment would require a special majority of 80 MKs to approve any change to the capital's borders.

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