Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Roger Cohen says urgent action is needed to salvage the two-state solution. Palestinians petition the UN over the construction of a museum being built on top of a Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem. Israeli military actions in Gaza kill one, wound four. Israel says a Palestinian who stabbed an Israeli had "personal problems," and the PA condemns the attack. Israel is rerouting the separation barrier around a village that has been the site of nonviolent protests. Christian priests and a Jordan Times commentary call for more nonviolent protests. Palestinians accuse Israel of driving them out of Jerusalem. A Ha'aretz commentary says Israel needs the Goldstone report. Israel says the Karni Crossing will remain shut as long as Hamas remains in power and the Jordan Times condemns the statement. The PA says it has detained six Al Qaeda operatives. Israel's consul general in Boston attends a J Street event. A Jerusalem Post commentary says proximity talks may help peace. The National says a new poll shows Arabs favor moderation. Osman Mirghani examines conflicting statements about Hamas apologizing for civilian deaths and Tariq Alhomayed says the flap over the Saudi-Israeli handshake is a symptom of chronic Arab political out-bidding.

Hard Mideast Truths
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - (Opinion) February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

For over a century now, Zionism and Arab nationalism have failed to find an accommodation in the Holy Land. Both movements attempted to fill the space left by collapsed empire, and it has been left to the quasi-empire, the United States, to try to coax them to peaceful coexistence. The attempt has failed.

Museum Creates New Jerusalem Divide
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

In a dispute that reflects the religious and political divides in this contested city, representatives of long-established Palestinian families petitioned the United Nations on Wednesday for help in trying to stop Israel and the Simon Wiesenthal Center from constructing a museum on part of a centuries-old Muslim cemetery.

Israeli fire kills 1 in central Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

An Israeli airstrike at midday killed one and injured a second, hours after Israeli artillery fire injured three children on Thursday in Johur Ad-Dik, central Gaza. An Israeli military spokesman confirmed the strike, saying it was in retaliation against militants who had fired on Israeli patrol jeeps earlier that morning. He said the Israeli patrol had been operating on the east side of the Gaza border, and that soldiers returned fire in the direction of the attack.

Palestinian killer had personal problems - Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Jeffrey Heller - February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

A Palestinian policeman who stabbed to death an Israeli soldier in the West Bank said he was "tired of living", an Israeli general said on Thursday, indicating a suicidal motive for the attack. Mahmoud Khatib, 34, killed Ihab Chattib, a career non-commissioned officer from Israel's Druze Arab minority and not related to the attacker, at a road junction in the occupied territory on Wednesday. The assailant was then run down by an Israeli motorist and arrested.

Israel rerouting barrier near West Bank village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel began work on Thursday to reroute a section of its West Bank separation barrier to restore land to a village that has become a flashpoint of Palestinian opposition to the enclosure. The move comes 2 1/2 years after Israel's Supreme Court ruled that the barrier must be moved to ease the hardship of Palestinians in the village of Bilin. Some Palestinians welcomed the development but stressed it fell far short of their demand to dismantle the entire enclosure.

PNA condemns killing an Israeli in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) condemned on Wednesday the killing of an Israeli soldier at an Israeli army roadblock south of northern West Bank city of Nablus. PNA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said in a press statement sent to reporters that PNA condemns the attack, stressing that PNA would keep carrying out its firm security measures in order not to repeat such incidents.

Palestinians accuse Israel of driving them out of Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

A Palestinian official on Wednesday accused Israel of working to drive Palestinians out of East Jerusalem. "What happened in (East) Jerusalem, mainly in Shu'fat refugee camp, was an Israeli attempt to push the city's population to leave it," said Adnan al-Hussini, Palestinian National Authority ( PNA)'s Jerusalem governor. The eastern part of the holy city has seen tension for three days since Israeli military forces raided a refugee camp there and arrested dozens of Palestinian residents on Monday.

Israel needs Goldstone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Bradley Burston - (Opinion) February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Shock (noun): a major medical emergency, often seen after serious injury. Among its signs and symptoms are mental changes including a sense of great anxiety and foreboding, confusion and, sometimes, combativeness. This is about fear of the dark. Of the monstrous. In this case, the terror of finally uncovering what we ourselves are really made of.

Israel: Gaza crossing to stay shut as long as Hamas in power
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amos Harel - February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

The Israel Defense Forces has sharply cut back its activity around the Karni border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, and defense officials told Haaretz that the crossing, which was closed after Hamas took over the Strip in June 2007, is not slated to reopen in the future. Due to the structure of the crossing, it is at high risk for terror attacks, said an official. This, combined with the inability to coordinate operations with Hamas, led to its abandonment. "The Karni crossing won't resume operating," said one. "At least not as long as Hamas controls the Strip."

PA detains 6 al-Qaeda men
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
by Ali Waked - February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

For the first time, Palestinian security forces have arrested six al-Qaeda supporters in the West Bank, a Palestinian security official said Wednesday. Brigadier General Ibrahim Ramadan said that six people were arrested last week near the town of Jenin in the northern West Bank. He said they were receiving military training but had not yet selected targets to attack. "They consider themselves part of al-Qaeda but had no contact with the leaders of al-Qaeda abroad," he said.

Counsel-General attends J Street event
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Three months after Ambassador to the US Michael Oren pointedly turned down an invitation to attend J Street’s first annual convention in Washington, Israel’s consul-general attended one of the group’s functions last week in Boston. The Jerusalem Post has learned that the consul-general, Nadav Tamir, went to the event only after seeking, and getting, a green light from the Foreign Ministry. The Post learned that Tamir was told by the ministry that he could attend the event, but not be one of its speakers.

Perhaps step backward will move peace forward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Douglas Bloomfield - (Opinion) February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Israelis and Palestinians are about to take a giant step backward that just might help them move toward peace.

Poll findings favour Arab moderation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

Arab citizens, we are often told, overwhelmingly support resistance movements and radical leaders because they stand up for the dignity of Arab nations and defend their interests and values. In doing so, the reasoning goes, they look down on moderate leaders because they fail to give paramount priority to Arab causes like Palestine and Iraq.

Hamas's Apology
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Osman Mirghani - (Opinion) February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Hardly a day goes by without us being disturbed by the exchange of [verbal] heavy artillery in the war of words that is taking place between the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas movement. This is a war that is overshadowing all other issues on the Palestinian scene, to the extent that it eclipses the concern towards the suffering of the helpless Palestinian citizens who are under oppressive occupation and facing harsh internal division and escalating suffering, particularly in the Gaza Strip.

Between the Prince and Mashaei
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) February 10, 2010 - 1:00am

The news of the handshake between Prince Turki al-Faisal and Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon at the Munich Conference continues to dominate the Arab media and as a result has become a game of political football on the field of opportunism. This news has also given impetus to the process of "news laundering" which is an issue that I previously devoted an article to (28/1/2009).

Gaza the world is creating
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
(Editorial) February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Israeli officials say crossings into Gaza for goods and trade will remain closed for as long as Hamas remains in power in the Strip. Such words clearly constitute blackmail of the worst kind, but are not in essence that different from the position of the international community, which has acquiesced in Israel’s siege of the Gaza Strip even though Hamas has demonstrably ended its rocket fire. Israel’s unashamed admission that it is willfully and deliberately starving 1.5 million people for political ends shows two things.

Peaceful resistance - serious threat to Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - (Opinion) February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel's recent raids into Ramallah to arrest and deport foreign activists working with the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is part and parcel of a strategy to end peaceful Palestinian resistance against the occupation. Having brutally crushed armed resistance and coopted the Palestinian Authority's police forces to provide "security" for Israel and its illegal West Bank colonies, Israel is determined to deny Palestinians all means of expression against the occupation and expropriation of their country.

Palestinian Christian priests call for non-violent resistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - February 11, 2010 - 1:00am

The voice of Father Jamal Khader coming over the waves of Radio Mawwal in Bethlehem was soothing and confident. A caller asked him to explain the words of Jesus, “to love your enemy”, in light of the occupation and walls built by Israel and the injustice against Palestinians. Father Khader, who was being interviewed along with Rifaat Kassis, the coordinator of a new initiative by 16 Jerusalem-based Christian leaders, said that Christians are committed to these words without reservation.

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