Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Christian Science Monitor profiles the Israeli city of Tel Aviv (1). President Obama seeks reciprocity from Arab nations as well as Israel in pursuit of Mideast peace (2), while Bahrain reacts to calls from its crown prince for a new approach to Arab relations with Israel (7). BBC News tells the story of a four year old girl paralyzed in the Gaza war (5). A report released yesterday shows that the Israeli government is substantially subsidizing Jewish settlements in the West Bank (8). UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon calls on Israel to halt settlement construction (14).





Israel's other Israel: the Tel Aviv 'bubble'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 18, 2009 - 11:00pm


The Israeli relationship with this city is captured in a hit song about a 20-something who moves here from Jerusalem: "I mix in with the scene. Everything is fresh, and that's good," goes the hip-hop verse by Dag HaNahash. "After two years of Sodom and Gomorrah, I don't recognize myself in the mirror." Welcome to The Bubble, as Israelis call it. Here, residents forgo news about Hamas rocket fire for an espresso, then mosey down to the beach. While Jewish settlers spar with Palestinians in the West Bank, "Tel Avivis" make merry at disco clubs.


Don't Go There
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by George Fletcher - (Opinion) July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo deserves great credit for having led the International Criminal Court from its birth pangs to its present position, where it commands global respect.


Obama’s New Emphasis On Reciprocity Also Pressures Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


Freezing the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank was once seen as a unilateral Israeli obligation. But the Obama administration is now treating this as part of a package that will require concessions from Arab states, as well. An intensified and more public focus on this principle appears to be one of the byproducts of President Obama’s June 13 pledge to American Jewish communal representatives to address perceptions that he is pressuring only Israel. So far, the Arabs are resistant.


Tales of a Palestinian Sleuth and Real Life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Robert Rees - (Opinion) July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


The soft-spoken Welsh writer and news correspondent Matt Beynon Rees acknowledges that he never intended to make the Middle East his home. But Rees (no relation to this writer), Time Magazine’s former bureau chief in Jerusalem and now the author of three Palestinian detective novels, might be the first to admit that his own career has taken more unexpected turns and butted up against greater sudden dangers than he ever anticipated.


Paralysed girl's story reflects Gaza's plight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


Four-year-old Samar Abed Rabbu lost her two sisters during Israel's offensive in Gaza last December and January. The BBC's Christian Fraser has been following the plight of Samar and her family - now divided across two continents, as Samar receives treatment in Belgium with her mother. Throughout these months of gruelling therapy Belgian doctors say Samar Abed Rabbu has demonstrated remarkable courage. She is desperate to walk again - she even simulates it on the bed with her fingers - but there is nothing the Belgian doctors can do to repair Samar's broken back.


Israel circulates photo of Hitler greeting late Palestinian mufti
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has ordered diplomats to use an old photograph of a former Palestinian religious leader meeting Adolf Hitler to counter world criticism of a Jewish building plan for East Jerusalem. Israeli officials said on Wednesday that Lieberman told Israeli ambassadors to circulate the 1941 shot in Berlin of the Nazi leader seated next to Haj Amin al-Husseini, the late mufti or top Muslim religious leader in Jerusalem.


Few takers for engaging Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Mazen Mahdi - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


An article last week by Bahrain’s crown prince calling on Arab countries to adopt a new approach to relations with Israel has unleashed a torrent of debate from Manama to Washington, and is testing the ability of Gulf states to leverage their growing economic clout into regional political influence. Sheikh Salman bin Hamad al Khalifa, in his article for The Washington Post, argued that for the Arab-Israeli peace process to move forward “a great deal of campaigning – patiently and repeatedly targeting all relevant parties” was needed.


Report says Israel is subsidising settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Vita Bekker - July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


In another sign of Israel’s continuous support for Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, a new report yesterday showed that the settlements obtain a significantly higher share of government funds than municipalities in Israel overall.


Waiting for Obama to deliver as promised
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


Six months have passed since Barack Obama settled in the White House, a precedent-setting achievement for an African-American, and yet he now seems inexplicably hesitant to follow up his initial and commendable step in resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.


Status of Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


The standoff between the Obama administration and the Netanyahu government remind many of a similar standoff between the US and Israel in the 90s when Bill Clinton was president. At the time Netanyahu insisted on Israel’s right to build Har Homa settlement on the Palestinian Jabal Abu Ghneim on the edge of Bethlehem. Today, Har Homa is a thriving settlement with thousands of Jewish Israelis residing in the complex built on expropriated Palestinian land.


Israel envoy: No crisis with U.S. over settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


There is no crisis in relations between Israel and the United States, despite a lingering dispute - which will be settled "soon" - over settlement construction in the West Bank, Israel's new ambassador to Washington said Wednesday. But a highly respected Tel Aviv think tank said the two countries could be on a "collision course" unless Israel undertook practical measures to back up its statements that it wanted peace with the Palestinians.


Fatah reascendant?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Wafa Amr - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


Ten days before the Nov. 27, 2007 Annapolis peace conference, the Palestinians sent a letter to the Bush administration insisting they would accept no less than a total freeze on settlement building in the West Bank. Arab countries were also pushing for a settlement freeze to agree to attend the conference. But the Palestinians and many Arab officials attended without their precondition being fulfilled. In fact, negotiations were carried out at a slower pace than the construction of homes in West Bank settlements and East Jerusalem.


PM delays discussion on Temple Mount project
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roni Sofer - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


On the backdrop of protests from Jordan, the Palestinian Authority and the Muslim Waqf, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently postponed a decisive discussion aimed at setting a date for beginning the construction of the new Mugrabi Gate on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, Ynet has learned.


UN Secretary General: Israel must halt settlement building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon joined international pressures on Israel to freeze building in West Bank settlements. He said that he calls upon the government of Israel to fulfill its obligations to place a moratorium on the building, according to a letter read in his name at the UN session on Palestinians in Geneva. In his letter, Ban added that Israel must desist from unilateral moves in Jerusalem, such as destroying houses.


Blind to reality
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Eitan Haber - (Opinion) July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


Recently, we have been seeing more and more reports in respect to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s declaration that he supports the “two states for two peoples” vision. Almost all of these reports carry the same message: PM Netanyahu merely uttered the words, yet the prime minister does not intend to implement what he said; in fact, we are being told that Netanyahu presented the kind of conditions that have no chance of being accepted by the Palestinians.


Washington Watch: Barack Obama, gird thy loins
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - July 21, 2009 - 11:00pm


Just when it looked like a serious Washington-Jerusalem rift might be avoided - thanks in large part to the Saudis and their mishpucha - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu opened it wider with a burst of provocative demagoguery. A meeting last week between the new Israeli ambassador and a State Department official was inexplicably blown up into a crisis. Initial news leaks out of the Prime Minister's Office said Michael Oren had been "summoned" to Foggy Bottom and presented a "demand" that an east Jerusalem apartment project be halted.


Hundreds planning Temple Mount ascent
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jonny Hadi - July 22, 2009 - 11:00pm


Hundreds of right-wing activists are intending to attempt to march up to the Temple Mount next Thursday morning, Tisha Be'Av, in protest of the US demand to cease construction in east Jerusalem.





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