Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel deports the American editor of the Ma'an news agency. Special Envoy Mitchell continues his trip to the region. Saeb Erekat says Israel is sabotaging peace. Pres. Peres says that without new negotiations there could be a third intifada. Yossi Sarid says DM Barak is legitimizing the evils of Israeli occupation. Palestinians claim Jewish worshippers vandalize a cemetery. PM Netanyahu says Israel must retain a presence in the West Bank even after a peace agreement. A Hamas leader says the group recognizes Israel's right to exist. Motorola may relocate from the occupied West Bank. A yeshiva preaches hate and terrorism. Critics accuse Israel of exploiting the disaster in Haiti for public diplomacy. Israel eases its ban on Gaza's strawberry exports.

Israel removes American employed by Palestinian news agency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Howard Schneider, Samuel Sockol - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM -- The American editor of a Palestinian news agency was removed from Israel on Wednesday after being questioned by authorities about his "anti-Israeli" views. The case highlights what some nonprofit organizations say is a tightened Israeli policy toward foreign nationals who live or work in the occupied West Bank. It comes amid an intensifying feud over foreign government funding for organizations seen to promote Palestinian interests even as Israeli politicians and nongovernmental organizations try to curb the flow of money from outside.

Mitchell in Israel Thursday, Palestine Friday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Bethlehem – Ma’an – Middle East Envoy for the United States George Mitchell announced his arrival in the region Thursday, where he will meet with Israeli officials and resume efforts to kickstart peace talks between Israel and Palestinians. Mitchell will meet with President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday, alongside members of the Palestinian leadership. In Israel Mitchell will meet the country's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shemon Peres, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and leader of the opposition Tzipi Livni.

Erekat: Netanyahu is sabotaging two-state solution
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is working to end the possibility of a two-state solution by insisting on a continued Israeli presence along a future Palestinian state's borders, chief Palestinian Authority negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israel Radio on Thursday. Erekat was responding to Netanyahu's Wednesday statement, according to which Israel would demand a continued military presence along the future Palestinian state's border with Jordan.

Peres to Abbas: Resume talks or face new intifada
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Barak Ravid - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

President Shimon Peres recently warned Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that continuing the deadlock in negotiations with Israel could lead to a third intifada and that in delaying, Abbas was "playing with fire." On Wednesday, U.S. special envoy George Mitchell came to the region in another attempt to jump-start talks between Israel and the Palestinians. At a meeting at the President's Residence on Sunday, Peres told Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store about his discussions with Abbas.

Barak legitimizes the evils of Israeli occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Yossi Sarid - (Opinion) January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The settlers and their allies should be thanking their God for their good fortune. Ehud Barak, of all people, was appointed defense minister and is doing their dirty work. Anyone else - Benjamin Netanyahu, for example, or even Avigdor Lieberman wouldn't have been able to pull it off. They wouldn't have dared.

Who desecrated Arab graves?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Hanan Greenberg - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinians claim that Jewish worshipers escorted by IDF troops vandalized graves, sprayed graffiti and shattered tombstones at the West Bank village of Awarta Tuesday. The Jewish groups that held the pilgrimage denied the allegations, while IDF officials said they were shocked by the possibility that soldiers escorting the worshipers might be behind the controversial acts. Others pointed the finger at the Palestinians and human rights organization B'Tselem that filed the complaint, claim the acts were an attempt to create a "provocation."

Netanyahu demands Israeli presence in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that Israel must have a presence in the West Bank even after a peace agreement is achieved, the first time he has spelled out such a demand. He said the experience of rocket attacks from the Lebanese and Gaza borders means Israel must be able to prevent such weapons from being brought into a Palestinian entity in the West Bank. "We cannot afford to have that across from the center of our country," he told foreign reporters Wednesday in Jerusalem.

Barak, Mitchell discuss peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with US Mideast envoy George Mitchell in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning, to discuss security and diplomatic matters. A statement from the Defense Ministry said that the two-hour meeting focused on steps needed to restart the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Mitchell was scheduled to hold separate talks with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later Thursday and on Friday.

'Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Hamas has accepted Israel's right to exist and would be prepared to nullify its charter, which calls for the destruction of Israel, Aziz Dwaik, Hamas's most senior representative in the West Bank, said on Wednesday. Dwaik's remarks are seen in the context of Hamas's attempts to win recognition from the international community. Dwaik is the elected speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council. He was released a few months ago after spending nearly three years in an Israeli prison.

Is Motorola quitting Arad?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ron Friedman - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

Confusion surrounds the future of the Motorola manufacturing plant in Arad. For the past week media reports have been warning of closure of the town's second largest employer, but on Wednesday the company said it would not be closing the factory and rather will be introducing new production lines to the plant.

Rabbinic Text or Call to Terror?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Daniel Estrin - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem — The marble-patterned, hardcover book embossed with gold Hebrew letters looks like any other religious commentary you’d find in an Orthodox Judaica bookstore — but reads like a rabbinic instruction manual outlining acceptable scenarios for killing non-Jewish babies, children and adults.

Haiti: An Israeli Public Relations Moment?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Benjamin Joffe-Walt - (Analysis) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

It's been a tough year for Israeli public diplomacy. In the aftermath of the Gaza war, for over 12 months the Jewish state has been slammed by international media, think tanks, rights organizations and the United Nations. Ambassadors have been recalled from Tel Aviv, arrest warrants have been issued for senior Israeli politicians and leaders, a Holocaust survivor led a fast for Gaza, dozens of human rights reports on Israel's conduct in the war have been widely distributed and the international campaigns to launch boycotts and sanctions against Israel have seen measured success.

Israel eases ban on Gaza's strawberry exports
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Erin Cunningham - January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

In a rare easing of its now 18-month-long economic blockade on the Gaza Strip, Israel is allowing a limited amount of produce and fresh-cut flowers to be exported from the territory this season , including one of its most important cash crops, the Gaza strawberry.

US could tip its hand on peace plan during West Bank visit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Omar Karmi - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

George Mitchell, the US Middle East envoy, is scheduled to arrive today for talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders in a long-awaited visit that should give some indication of the next step for US peacemaking efforts between the two sides.

Forum seeks ways of bringing Gaza Strip back to life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by David Lepeska - January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

More than a year after Israel’s extensive bombing campaign, life inside the Gaza Strip is growing increasingly desperate. Four out of five Gazans depend on some form of foreign aid. Lorries carrying medical supplies are often refused entry by Israeli officials, who enforce a three-year-old blockade of the Strip. Sick and dying patients face weeks-long delays for permission to leave for necessary treatment. Education is lagging, as nearly half of Gaza’s schools remain damaged, and unemployment stands at 40 per cent, according to a December report from the United Nations.

Peace Stalled on All Fronts
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Randa Takieddine - (Opinion) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

Several consecutive visits to and from the Middle East have been taking place these days: the special US envoy George Mitchell is in Beirut, and he was preceded by James Jones, the US National Security Council advisor, in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and the region. Today, Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri is in France for an official visit, as if it is a state visit. Hariri has also been to Turkey and the UAE, after a historic visit to Damascus. What do all of these visits to the region mean, and are we seeing developments on all of the fronts of the Arab-Israeli conflict?

The Arabs and the American Guarantees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) January 20, 2010 - 1:00am

All what the Palestinian cause, its tragedies and deadlocks needed was the virtual battle between Qatar and Egypt, with what each one of them represents in Arab politics, a battle over what the Arabs ask President Barack Obama's administration for, and who was entrusted with conveying these demands. While this virtual battle comes in the framework of role competition and media attention, it reveals at the same time the Arab predicament before the Arab diplomatic movement. In every Arab capital, the US presidential envoy George Mitchell will hear a different talk.

Israel needs to look itself in the mirror
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) January 21, 2010 - 1:00am

The row that took place recently between Israel and Turkey when the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon undiplomatically "rebuked" the Turkish ambassador to Israel during a humiliating encounter over a Turkish television programme critical of Israel reminds me of the saying, "The [black Israeli] pot calls the [shiny Turkish] kettle black." The Turkish ambassador, Ahmet Oguz Celikkol, was led to a low-level seat in the minister's office while the Israeli deputy foreign minister and a colleague sat on higher chairs.

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