Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times looks at how Palestinian women's soccer teams are fighting for both gender equality and national independence. The Boston Globe calls on Israel to stop provocative excavations in Jerusalem. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says the city must serve as a capital for both states and calls for reconstruction in Gaza. Numerous articles examine the significance of the first annual conference of the new pro-peace, pro-Israel organization J Street. Israeli Vice Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon says he will avoid visiting Europe for fear of arrest, and Israel's ambassador to the UN says the Goldstone report will remain a problem even if an internal investigation is launched. Seth Freeman argues that greater cooperation between the IDF and extremist settlers shows the growth of religious-nationalist politics in Israel.

On One Field, Two Goals: Equality and Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Al-Ram Journal
by Isabel Kershner - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

AL RAM, West Bank — Given the sheer exhilaration of the cheering, flag-waving, anthem-singing crowd packed into the soccer stadium in this otherwise drab West Bank town one afternoon this week, one could have been forgiven for thinking that an independent Palestinian state had just been born. The Palestinians were playing the Jordanians. But more significant was that the women’s teams were playing, and for the Palestinian side it was the first international match played outdoors at home.

Israel must end provocative digs
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
(Editorial) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

AS A DISPUTE over land and statehood, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is combustible enough. But recent clashes over the site in Jerusalem that Jews call the Temple Mount and Muslims call Haram al-Sharif are injecting religious passions into one of the world’s most dangerous confrontations. Extremists on both sides are playing with fire. But since Israel is the dominant power, the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu bears primary responsibility for smothering that fire before it erupts into a much larger conflagration.

Jerusalem must be capital of both Israel and Palestine, UN chief says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 28 (Xinhua) -- Jerusalem must be the capital of two States -- Israel and Palestine -- living side-by-side in peace and security, with arrangements for the holy sites acceptable to all, if peace in the Middle East is to be achieved, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned on Wednesday.

Does J Street arrival signal a split in America's Israel lobby?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - October 27, 2009 - 12:00am

Since the 1950s the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has been the mainstream voice of the Jewish-American community and its efforts to strengthen support for Israel in Washington. Along comes J Street, a young upstart founded last year, in part as an answer to AIPAC – perceived by many progressive American Jews to have a clear right-wing tilt, and hardly representative of those want to see a much more aggressive push towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Fayyad talks Dayton, resistance and statehood in new magazine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Ramallah - Ma'an - US General Keith Dayton is involved in “training and only training,” and does not interfere in the security mission of the Palestinian Security Services, Prime Minister of the caretaker government Salam Fayyad commented. An interview with Fayyad ran as a feature in the Ramallah-based Palestine Studies magazine, whose latest issue was released Wednesday.

Hillary Clinton to embark upon uphill Mideast mission
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by David Harris - October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is expected to visit Israel and the West Bank this weekend. This will be her second visit to the region since Barack Obama entered office as U.S. president some 10 months ago. Coming at a time when relations between Israel and the Palestinians show no outward sign of improvement, analysts see Hillary's visit to be a tough mission and do not expect it to achieve much. A NEGATIVE BACKDROP

UN chief calls on Israel to back Gaza reconstruction
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on Israel Wednesday to back the reconstruction of Gaza, deploring conditions there nearly a year after a devastating Israeli military offensive. “Ten months after hostilities ended in Gaza, we see no progress on reconstruction or the re-opening of borders,” he said at a news conference. Ban said 4.5 billion dollars in reconstruction aid had been pledged at a donors conference in Egypt in March but “little if any of that money has been delivered.”

UN envoy: Goldstone won't go away
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Israel News
by Aviad Glickman - October 28, 2009 - 12:00am

The Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead will not go away even if Israel launches an independent inquiry into the campaign, UN Ambassador Gabriela Shalev said Wednesday. "There are no legal questions here – and we shouldn't be deluding ourselves that the report will disappear if we launch a probe," Shalev said during a discussion held at the Israel Democracy Institute. "We are seeing a murky wave against the State of Israel the likes of which has not been seen in many years."

Washington Watch: What's so scary about J Street?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Bernie Madoff's punim may be the best selling mask this Halloween season, but what scares the stuffing out of many Jewish leaders is the new pro-Israel peace lobby called J Street. What has them quaking in their Guccis is the fear that its message appears to be igniting interest in the community and on Capitol Hill despite a frantic campaign to douse it.

Rattling the Cage: Some victims we are
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

The kill ratio was 100-to-1 in our favor. The destruction ratio was much, much greater than that. To this day, thousands of Gazans are living in tents because we won't let them import cement to rebuild the homes we destroyed. We turned the Gaza Strip into a disaster area, a humanitarian case, and we're keeping it that way with our blockade. Meanwhile, here on the Israeli side of the border, it's hard to remember when life was so safe and secure. So let's decide: Who was the victim of Operation Cast Lead, them or us?

J Street student head: We're pro-Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Following controversy in some quarters of the Jewish community over the decision of the J Street U student board not to include "pro-Israel" in its messaging, J Street sent out statements this week affirming the organization's commitment to Israel. They also referred to "incorrect reports" on the decision, with student board president Sophia Manuel putting out a statement Wednesday that, "The national board of J Street U neither discussed nor voted on any action to remove the term 'pro-Israel' from our platform, policy or the way we describe ourselves at J Street U's national conference."

J Street fills gap in Washington map
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

On the street map of Washington DC there is a strange omission. Most streets are designated by either a number or a letter. But look as hard as you want there is no J Street. Seemingly, a hand-written capital I or J were seen as being too similar; a recipe for confusion. This exception is seen by the head of the new liberal and decidedly dovish Israeli lobby group in Washington as a useful metaphor. "Just as there is no J Street on the grid in Washington DC," says Jeremy Ben Ami, J Street's Executive Director, his organisation "is looking to fill a similar gap in the political map".

Israeli military gives settlers free rein
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

During a swearing-in ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem last Thursday, two soldiers held up a banner that sparked a wave of condemnation by soldiers and civilians alike. The slogan on the banner – "Shimshon [Brigade] does not evacuate Homesh" – referred to the prospect of the soldiers being ordered to evict settlers from an illegal outpost on the site of the former Homesh settlement.

Driving up J Street
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Michelle Goldberg - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Security guards blocked the doors to several of the panels at J Street's first annual conference this week – because the rooms were so packed it would have been illegal to let any more people in. A discussion entitled "The need for a regional comprehensive approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict" was so popular that the organisers decided to repeat it. (One of the speakers, Jordanian ambassador Prince Zeid Ra'ad Zeid al-Hussein, remarked that it was the first time in decades of panel participation that he'd been asked for an encore.)

J Street, Now a Player, Inches Toward the Center
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Three days in October catapulted J Street from the sidelines of the Jewish community to the centerfield of major organizations. After winning, in its first national conference, the stamp of approval from the Obama administration and from many in Congress, J Street is ready to cash in on its initial success. But for J Street, the transformation from being the new kid on the block to becoming a serious player in the pro-Israel advocacy field also entails some growing pains.

The J Street Challenge
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
(Editorial) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

J Street’s coming out party was an exuberant, over-subscribed success. Now come the challenges. And they come from all directions. The scope and depth of attendees at J Street’s first-ever conference — from participants who lined the walls of packed rooms to well-placed speakers from the American and Israeli governments — proved that the new, scrappy liberal lobby is a force to be reckoned with.

Israel is unlikely to yield
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) October 29, 2009 - 12:00am

Top aides of the Obama administration have this month been quietly stoking the peace process fire, raising expectations that the American president, whose popularity remains relatively high, may now be willing to go beyond gentle rapping Israeli knuckles. The ball started rolling when Barack Obama's National Security Advisor General James L. Jones addressed the Fourth Annual Gala of the American Task Force on Palestine on October 15.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017