Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Secretary of State Clinton renews her calls for a resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, amid analysis of the fallout from her Middle East trip. The UN General Assembly is set to approve the Goldstone report on the Gaza war. On the anniversary of the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, Israel moves to contain right-wing extremists. Palestinians fear further evictions in occupied East Jerusalem. Hamas reiterates its opposition to Palestinian elections, with a new poll showing that 52% of Palestinians say they would vote for Pres. Abbas as opposed to 15% who would vote for Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says that Palestinians may have to consider abandoning the two-state solution.The Arab News profiles ATFP's new book on the one-state agenda. Palestinian political scientist Said Zeidani says that there is no obvious successor to Pres. Abbas. Hussein Ibish summarizes the state of the peace process following the Clinton trip.

Clinton Backs Peace Talks Before Israeli Settlement Freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Mark Landler - November 4, 2009 - 1:00am

CAIRO — Winding up a Middle East tour, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton repeated on Wednesday that while the Obama administration rejects the legitimacy of Israeli settlement expansion, it nonetheless believes that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations should precede a permanent freeze on such construction. Her arguments conflicted with Arab and Palestinian demands that all settlement activity be frozen as a precondition for resuming talks with Israel.

U.N. Set to Endorse Inquiry Into Possible War Crimes in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Neil MacFarquhar - November 4, 2009 - 1:00am

UNITED NATIONS — The General Assembly is preparing to approve a resolution that would endorse a United Nations report calling on both Israel and the Palestinians to investigate possible war crimes in the Gaza Strip within three months.

Administration missteps hamper Mideast efforts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - (Analysis) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

President Obama came into office insisting that his administration would press hard and fast to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But after nine months, analysts and diplomats say, the administration's efforts have faltered in part because of its own missteps. As Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made clear during her Middle East trip, which ended Wednesday, U.S. officials are now promoting new tactics -- what they called the "baby steps" of lower-level talks -- to bring the Israeli and Palestinian leaders together for direct talks.

Bridging Cultures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Raymond M. Lane - July 31, 2009 - 12:00am

Barefoot and sun-blasted from a summer job working as a swim coach in upper Northwest Washington, 21-year-old Ramzy Charles Suleiman smiles an easy smile and caresses the keys of his grandmother's upright piano.

Israel moves to rein in right-wing extremists
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - November 4, 2009 - 1:00am

Shvut Rachel, West Bank - A US native from this isolated settlement was arrested by Israeli security services nearly a month ago amid allegations that he killed two Palestinians more than a decade ago and attempted to murder two others more recently. The local media are calling it the latest case of Jewish terrorism.

Hamas warns of elections decree aftermath
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 4, 2009 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) -- A senior Hamas official on Wednesday warned of "dangerous consequences" facing the Palestinians if President Mahmoud Abbas went ahead to stage elections without national agreement.     "The elections should be held with national understanding for the sake of the Palestinian interest," Khalil al-Hayya said at a news conference in Gaza city.

Poll finds support for Hamas dropping, most support elections
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Bethlehem - Ma’an - Palestinians have flip-flopped in their support for Hamas, which spiked markedly following Israel’s war on Gaza last winter, a poll from the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion said.

Erekat: Two-state solution may have to be abandoned
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Bethlehem – Ma’an/Agencies – The continued expansion of Israeli settlements could force Palestinians to abandon the notion of a state in the West Bank and Gaza, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said on Wednesday. It may be time for President Mahmoud Abbas to "tell his people the truth, that with the continuation of settlement activities, the two-state solution is no longer an option," Erekat told a Ramallah news conference, according to Reuters.

PA: Netanyahu promised US settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Ali Waked - November 4, 2009 - 1:00am

The Palestinians are optimistic about comments made by American officials in recent days. Palestinians sources told Ynet on Wednesday that the Americans said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has committed to halt construction in settlements.   The sources said that despite the Palestinians' dissatisfaction with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton's public support of Israel on settlement construction, Netanyahu has officially committed to a freeze.  

New Jewish neighbors raise spectre of eviction for Sheikh Jarrah residents
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Abe Selig - November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Nearly two-dozen neighbors gathered inside a home on Othman Bin Afan Street in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah Wednesday afternoon, some 24 hours after a group of Jews had entered the front section of the home to carry out renovations. The property - the back section of which is home to 13 members of the al-Kurd family - was thrust into the spotlight on Tuesday as the latest in a series of Sheikh Jarrah properties embroiled in legal battles over ownership claims, and neighborhood residents who had gathered there on Wednesday had little else on their mind.

U.S. Eases Pressure on Israel, Leans On Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

Relations between Washington and Jerusalem are warming, as months-long tensions over West Bank settlements and other issues have gradually eased. Israeli officials and Jewish communal leaders point to a series of events, including Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s praise of Israel’s movement on the settlement issue, and President Obama’s upcoming speech at the General Assembly of Jewish Federations of North America, as signs of softening in the administration’s approach toward the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Campus, a Divide Over ‘Pro-Israel’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

When an Israeli student at Carleton College complained that the school’s Jewish organization had made no official statement recognizing Israel’s right to exist, Jewish student leaders at the small liberal arts school in Minnesota found themselves stuck between two poles. They wanted to make the Israeli student feel comfortable, but they didn’t want didn’t want to alienate community members by presenting them with deep misgivings about the Jewish state.

Obama must deliver on his potential
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

The first nine months of US President Barack Obama's tenure at the White House have been pregnant with thought-provoking ideas and commendable aspirations aimed at improving the tarnished US image and bringing the world closer together in every way possible — especially in the Middle East, where an unresolved Arab-Israeli conflict has been simmering for more than 60 years. But there is increasing fear in Europe and the Arab world that Obama may fail to deliver on his potential.

Conflicting, wavering positions that do not help peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

As first lady of the United States, Hillary Clinton was the darling of Palestinians and Arabs when late in Bill Clinton’s term she uttered the hot button word: Palestine. Since then, she has been swinging depending on the political winds. As a senator for the state of New York, she became a staunch Israeli supporter, standing by Israel whether justifiably or not. To win the US presidency, she continued this pro-Israel stance, but as secretary of state in the Obama administration, she flipped back.

'Totally divorced from reality'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

The most outrageous thing about US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s statement that Israel is making an “unprecedented” commitment to restrict colonisation activity in the West Bank is its total divorce from reality.

One-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Lisa Kaaki - (Book Review) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

This first critical study of the “one-state” agenda comes at a time when Palestine has witnessed no real progress on the ground and an atmosphere of hopelessness and pessimism is spreading in the region.

No obvious successor: An interview with Said Zeidani
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
(Interview) November 5, 2009 - 1:00am

bitterlemons: In the past week we've twice heard reports that Mahmoud Abbas is considering not running for re-election. How serious do you think this is? Zeidani: As far as Abu Mazen [Abbas] personally is concerned, I don't think he is interested in another term. He has expressed his desire to step down and I think he is sincere. The question is whether he will be allowed by his own Fateh faction to do so. I think there will be pressure on him to stay and run for another term. bitterlemons: Why?

Where things stand in the Middle East after Sec. Clinton's not-so-excellent adventure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ibishblog
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) November 3, 2009 - 1:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to the Middle East and inadvertently created yet another crisis for the Obama peace initiative. It's not so much that she badly mishandled everything -- although that argument could certainly be made -- it's more that I think her difficulties demonstrate how complicated and in some practical senses almost impossible the American diplomatic task at hand really is.

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