Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is set to deliver a policy speech that may accept the need for a Palestinian state (1) (11) (12). In Time magazine, Aaron David Miller urges the Obama administration to keep up pressure on Israel (3). A Palestinian youth is hanged for allegedly collaborating with the Israeli army (4). Special Mideast Envoy George Mitchell calls on Arab states to make efforts towards normalizing relations with Israel (9). A recently released poll shows that 56% of Israelis support continued settlement construction, despite international pressure for a freeze (10). The UN is reportedly considering fining Israel for damage to its facilities during the Gaza war (13).

Netanyahu yields on Palestinian sovereignty
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Times
by Eli Lake - June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a major shift, will accept the notion of a Palestinian state -- a policy pushed by the Obama administration but resisted until now by Mr. Netanyahu, Israeli officials and Americans briefed on the Israeli leader's thinking said. The policy reversal, which is expected to go public this weekend, could help restart negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and allow the Israeli leader to steer a course between Mr. Obama's view and those of his own hawkish base.

Obama's resolve on Mideast facing a history of blunt reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Richard Boudreaux - June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Infuriated by pressure from Washington, Israel's prime minister summoned the American ambassador. "You have no moral right to preach to us," he lectured the envoy. "What kind of talk is this, 'punishing Israel'? Are we a vassal state of yours? Are we a banana republic?" That scolding was 28 years ago, but it echoes as a cautionary tale.

Why Obama Should Keep the Heat on Israel ...
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Time
by Peter Beinart - (Opinion) June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

The big question about Barack Obama has always been this: Is he a risk taker? Domestically, he answered it months ago with his massive stimulus package. On foreign policy, we only just learned the answer. By taking on the Israeli government over the issue of settlement growth, Obama is showing that he's a gambler overseas as well. Despite the conventional wisdom that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is impossible anytime soon, he seems hell-bent on pursuing one. And if he breaks china in the process, so be it.

Palestinian boy 'hanged for collaboration'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Palestinian police say a 15-year-old boy has been found hanged near the town of Qalqilya in the West Bank. They said several family members had confessed to involvement in the killing, accusing the boy of collaborating with the Israeli army. Collaboration is viewed as a serious offence in Palestinian society. Suspects are often summarily killed. However, police said it was unlikely that such a young boy would have been recruited as an informer. He has been named in the Palestinian press as Raed Sawalha.

Can Bibi and Obama make it work?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ami Eden - (Analysis) June 9, 2009 - 12:00am

Those rushing to declare the fix-up between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a flop after just one date should remember that a good relationship takes time. It’s been less than five months since Obama’s inauguration, and Netanyahu has been on the job for only two months.

Palestinian civilians bear brunt of settler violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Djallal Malti - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Nestled amid rolling hills and with an eagle eye's view to the Mediterranean coast, Nahla Ahmed's house has all the elements of Eden... if it weren't for the Molotov cocktail-throwing neighbours. "We put bars on the windows after the first attack that came at 2:00 am three years ago," says the 36-year-old mother of four. "Now they come each week." Ahmed has the misfortune of living in a hilltop house on the edge of this Palestinian village, with the Jewish settlement of Yitzhar on a facing hill.

Netanyahu cornered by hawks and Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Steven Gutkin - (Analysis) June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will attempt to narrow a growing divide with the Obama administration when he delivers a major policy speech in the coming days, his aides say — perhaps even endorsing the concept of a Palestinian state at the risk of alienating his hawkish coalition. In one curious twist, Netanyahu's message — and his room to maneuver — could be at least partially linked to the outcome of Friday's election in Iran.

Jerusalem plan nixed over too much zoning for Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Mohammed Mar’i - June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai has instructed his ministry staff to nix a master plan for Jerusalem on the grounds that it allocates too much territory for Palestinian construction, the daily Haaretz reported yesterday. In recent days Yishai instructed Ruth Yosef, tapped as the ministry’s new supervisor for Jerusalem, to shelve the program - the fruit of several years of labor by dozens of Israeli architects.

US calls for more Arab concessions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Egyptian officials said yesterday that America’s Mideast envoy has urged Arab countries to reopen Israeli diplomatic missions and take other steps to normalize relations immediately as incentives for the Jewish state to revive the peace process with Palestinians.

Poll: 56% of Israelis back settlement construction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Nearly six of every 10 Israelis think Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should resist U.S. demands to completely freeze construction in Jewish West Bank settlements, according to a new poll released Friday. The poll by the Maagar Mohot Polling Institute comes just ahead of Netanyahu's major policy speech on Sunday that is expected to address a growing divide with Washington. U.S. President Barack Obama has said he wants to aggressively pursue Mideast peacemaking, and the halt of all building on land the Palestinians claim for their future state has been a key U.S. demand.

Netanyahu turned Palestinian statehood into bargaining chip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amitai Etzioni - (Opinion) June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had walked out of the White House on May 18 and announced that he accepted President Barack Obama's demands to freeze all settlement construction, he would merely have forced the president to demand some other significant concession from Israel. Obama was urged not only by Arab leaders, but also by many so-called progressive Jewish ones to show "even-handedness," to stop the U.S. tilt in favor of Israel in order to become a credible broker for peace in the Middle East.

Minister Hershkowitz: Netanyahu sticking to national principles
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Right-wing ministers and MKs launch last-ditch efforts to influence PM's upcoming diplomatic speech: "I am under the impression that Netanyahu has not changed his skin and remains devoted to national principles," Science and Technology Minister Daniel Hershkowitz said Friday morning after meeting with the prime minister.

Ban considering fining Israel for Gaza damage
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday it was "critical" that Israel halt all settlement activity. He added that he was considering fining the state $11 million for damage it did to UN facilities during the Gaza war. Ban says the fine was recommended by a committee elected to investigate damage done by the IDF to UN structures during Operation Cast Lead.

Palestinian FM: We'll have majority in 20 years
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

The alternative to the two-state vision is a bi-national state, where Palestinians will be the majority, PA Foreign Minister, Riyad al-Maliki said Thursday after meeting with European Union representatives. The Palestinian foreign minister said that "Israel continues its occupation, which has become the world's longest-lasting occupation," urging the international community to "intervene in order to put an end to it."

Civil fights: It's the reciprocity, stupid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Evelyn Gordon - (Opinion) June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Many people are understandably puzzled by the refusal to freeze settlement construction. Binyamin Netanyahu has offered no explanation and, at first glance, it seems utterly illogical. Why would Israel court confrontation with its only ally merely to increase the almost 300,000 settlers by, at most, another few thousand?

PM feels he can go left, keep coalition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman - June 11, 2009 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not believe that any of the parties in his coalition would leave at this stage if his diplomatic policies shifted leftward in Sunday's address at Bar-Ilan University's Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies, sources close to Netanyahu said Thursday. A look at the pressures Netanyahu is facing ahead of his policy speech on Sunday

Netanyahu meets MKs ahead of Sunday's policy address
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
June 12, 2009 - 12:00am

Ahead of a foreign policy speech Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is expected to deliver Sunday, where he will outline his vision for the future of Israel and the region, the prime minister met coalition partners for discussions.

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