Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Mideast Envoy George Mitchell extends his stay in the Middle East as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hosts an Iftar at the State Department. The Washington Post examines human rights abuses arising from the divide between Fatah and Hamas. The US rejects a compulsory investigation into the Gaza war. The LA Times runs commentaries for and against the Goldstone Report. The head of a Gaza charity urges the PA to freeze its accounts after an alleged takeover by Hamas. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to face a difficult diplomatic atmosphere at upcoming meeting of the UN General Assembly and Palestinian sources are now saying that a three-way summit is "unlikely."





Mitchell extends Middle East trip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Laura Rozen - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


U.S. Middle East peace envoy George Mitchell has extended his trip to the region to Friday. Negotiations continue between Mitchell and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to see if they can reach an agreement on some sort of settlement freeze. Such an agreement is one key element needed to make way for the announcement of a relaunch of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.


A Deadly Palestinian Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


The security officials who arrested Haytham Amr in June said they only wanted to "borrow him" for questioning about his ties to the Islamist Hamas movement, Amr's father said.


U.S. Rejects U.N. Proposal to Compel War Crimes Probes of Gaza Conflict
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Colum Lynch - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Susan E. Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, rejected a U.N. proposal to compel Israel and Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip, to conduct credible investigations into war crimes during last winter's war in Gaza or face possible prosecution by an international prosecutor.


Goldstone report unfair to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Jeremy Sharon - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


U.S. Army Gen. George S. Patton once wrote that "battle is an orgy of disorder." This statement rings especially true now as Western nations continue to fight against enemies whose primary tactic is to sow as much confusion and disorder on the battlefield as possible.


Goldstone report: Israel's failings
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by George Bisharat - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Will Israel's decades-long impunity from international law finally come to an end? That is the question facing the international community in the aftermath of the just-released Goldstone report.


Gaza charity: PA must freeze our accounts, we were taken over by Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Head of Ishraqa, a Gazan charitable society, Wasfi Naser, urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to freeze the society’s accounts following what he described as a takeover by the de facto Hamas run Ministry of the Interior. Naser said he received a phone call from representatives of the de facto Ministry of the Interior last week telling him that they had appointed a new board of directors for the society. Ishraqa currently supports approximately 250 orphaned children in northern Gaza by raising funds from charities in the EU, US, and Canada.


'Mitchell meetings did not advance trilateral summit'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
by Akiva Eldar, Barak Ravid - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


A senior Palestinian official said on Friday that U.S. Mideast envoy George Mitchell has ended his latest shuttle without agreement on terms for renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians or for setting a trilateral summit. Envoy George Mitchell had hoped to lay the groundwork for such a meeting next week, perhaps also attended by President Barack Obama at the periphery of next week's United Nation General Assembly in New York.


Goldstone findings will put Netanyahu on defensive at UN
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reminisced how, at the start of his tenure as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations in 1984, he met the Lubavitcher rebbe who told him that "you are going to the house of darkness but you must remember that even in the greatest darkness, if you light a small candle, it will shed its light to great distances."


Jonathan Freedland / Maybe Israel just needs to acknowledge Palestinian pain
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jonathan Freedland - (Opinion) September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Many of Israel's supporters around the world have spotted an alarming trend in the debate on Middle East peace. Call it the "Back to '48" approach, which argues that any attempt to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is doomed unless it gets to the root of the problem, tackling not only the "1967 file" - ending the occupation, plus or minus a chunk of land here or there - but also the "1948 file," consisting of the issues left outstanding by Israel's birth.


Palestinians: Zero chances for Abbas-Netanyahu meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


The chances of a three-way summit between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barak Obama are slim, Ramallah sources said on Friday, after a meeting between Abbas and special American envoy to the Middle East George Mitchell. Later Friday, Mitchell is scheduled to meet with Netanyahu for a second time in the same day. Palestinians said the current Israeli stance is not sufficient to lead to the summit the Americans are so eager to organize during the United Nations General Assembly in New York next week.


UK minister to Ynet: We do not support boycotts against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yael Levy - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


"The UK does not support boycotts against Israel as they are unhelpful and polarize the debate," British Secretary of State for Business Peter Mandelson told Ynet Thursday evening in response to a decision by British labor unions to support a ban on importing Israeli goods that are produced in "illegal settlements." The boycott, approved at the annual conference of the Trades Union Congress, also calls for an end to arms trading with Israel and disinvestment from some companies. It was reportedly initiated in response to Israel's military offensive in Gaza.


'PM agrees to 9-month W. Bank freeze'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has agreed to a West Bank settlement freeze of nine months, and not the previously agreed six, Army Radio quoted Jerusalem sources as saying Friday. The reported deal came in a meeting with US Middle East envoy George Mitchell, during which the possibility was also raised of Israel making additional moves to ease Palestinians' lives in order to try and convince Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to meet Netanyahu and resume the peace process.


'Protecting' Jewish girls from Arabs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Abe Selig - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


Every night, dozens of young men in Jerusalem's Pisgat Ze'ev neighborhood take to the streets and go out searching for girls. But theirs is not a promiscuous search. In fact, the group of some 35 volunteers is looking to prevent such interaction and to stop what neighborhood residents have overwhelmingly complained is a growing problem in Pisgat Ze'ev - Arab men going out with Jewish girls.


Israel must now heal itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Daniel Levy - (Opinion) September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


The report of the UN fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict is outrageous, a disgrace. The mission's head, Richard Goldstone, was the chair of the Friends of the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, chair of the World ORT education organisation with more than 150 schools in Israel and a self-declared friend of Israel whose daughter made aliyah – Zionist emigration to Israel – and she told Israeli army radio this week, "Israel is more important to me than anything."


US envoy faces stalemate over settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Ori Lewis - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


A burst of shuttle diplomacy by President Barack Obama's Middle East envoy today did not produce immediate results, with Palestinian and Israeli leaders still at odds over terms for resuming direct talks. An Israeli official said after envoy George Mitchell met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem that Israel might freeze settlements in the West Bank for longer than the six months it previously suggested, but not for as long as a year.


Peace and prosperity in Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Michael Mylrea - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


US President Barack Obama’s commitment to Middle East peace has made little progress in the last eight months. As his Middle East envoy George Mitchell visits leaders in the region this week, Palestinian optimism has turned to resentment. Time is quickly running out. Unless there is immediate progress toward establishing a sovereign Palestinian state, there will be a deadly third intifada that could quickly escalate into a major regional conflict. To prevent this volatile situation from becoming a catastrophe, US policy makers need to make immediate steps toward a two-state solution.


Let's try something else
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ahram
by Samir Ghattas - September 17, 2009 - 11:00pm


In three months time, we'll mark the anniversary of UN Resolution 181 of 1947, which provided for the partitioning of Palestine into two states, a Jewish one and an Arab one, with Jerusalem being an international zone.





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