Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Daniel Terris says personal attacks on Judge Goldstone don't help Israel. Israeli peace activists promote new flag. Palestinians deny Pres. Abbas' health is failing. The Israeli military will investigate reports of the use of human shields. The PA pledges to stop Palestinians working in settlement construction. Special Envoy Mitchell is returning to the region. Projectiles fired toward Israel land in Jordan. The Israeli military arrests 24 Palestinians in the West Bank, expels a former prisoner to Gaza. PM Fayyad vows to step up popular resistance. NSA Jones warns lack of peace is strengthening Iran. Akiva Eldar says Pres. Obama has offered PM Netanyahu a gentleman's agreement on Jerusalem, but Israel says settlement activity will continue anyway. Settlers promote tourism in the occupied territories. WJC President Ron Lauder again criticizes Pres. Obama, and Israeli extremists burn the President in effigy. Protesters condemn an attack on a Palestinian woman in Jaffa. Jewish Americans worry about accusations of "dual loyalty." Daoud Kuttab says the US has determined that Israel is primarily to blame for the Mideast peace impasse.

Attacking Richard Goldstone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Daniel Terris - (Opinion) April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

The worldwide Jewish community can be thin skinned about criticism of the policies of the state of Israel, but the vitriol reached a new low last week. After members of the South African Jewish community threatened to disrupt the ceremony if he attended, Justice Richard Goldstone, author of a controversial United Nations report on the conflict in Gaza, canceled plans to attend his grandson's upcoming bar mitzvah ceremony in Johannesburg.

New peace campaign uses version of Israeli flag; not everyone's happy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - (Blog) April 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Tired of hearing only Avigdor Lieberman? It's time to sound another voice, says Peace Now, the veteran left-wing NGO. In a campaign timed for Israeli independence day starting Monday evening, the organization invites people to "wave the flag of peace" this year and call on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "change direction and say 'yes' to the diplomatic process." The "peace flag" has replaced the Star of David with the word "peace." Not everyone's happy.

Palestinian official denies report that President Mahmoud Abbas is ailing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas has undergone weeks of medical treatment after a fall in the bathroom left him with a "major bruise" on his back, says Palestinian peace negotiator and PLO member Saeb Erekat. He denied a report in Arabic daily Al Quds Al Arabi and also in Israeli media that Mr. Abbas is in declining health.

Israeli army to investigate human shield report
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli army said Wednesday it would investigate allegations that a 14-year-old boy was used as a human shield by Israeli forces in Beit Ummar, a Hebron village, following a Ma'an inquiry. The Palestine Solidarity Project (PSP) said at 11am on Friday 16 April four jeeps entered the main street of Beit Ummar as local children responded by throwing stones.

PA: Palestinian work in settlements will stop this year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

By the end of the calendar year there will be no Palestinians working in Israeli settlements, Ramallah-based Minister of Labor Ahmad Majdalani announced Thursday. The move comes amid a government campaign to boycott settlement products, following the prohibition of such goods in Palestinian markets, and the implementation of a ban on the sale of phone cards and SIM chips for Israeli cellphone providers with mobile towers in settlements.

US Mideast envoy launching new mission--officials
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Mohammed Assadi - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

A White House envoy planned to begin a new Middle East peace mission on Thursday that could determine whether Israel and the United States sink deeper into discord over Jewish settlement policy. George Mitchell's visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank will be his first since Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned a month ago from low-profile talks with U.S. President Barack Obama that underscored a rift between the two leaders.

Rockets fired at Israel fall in Jordan-source
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Two rockets were fired from the Jordanian port of Aqaba towards Israel on Thursday but landed on an empty warehouse in Jordan, a Jordanian security source said. Jordanian Minister of State for Information Nabil al-Shareef told the state news agency Petra: "A limited explosion took place in the early hours of the morning at a refrigration warehouse at the northern edge of the city that caused minor damage." Aqaba is adjacent to the Israeli city of Eilat.

Israeli PM rejects calls for east Jerusalem freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Amy Teibel - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's prime minister has rejected U.S. calls to halt construction in disputed east Jerusalem, clouding a new peace mission by Washington's Mideast envoy. Benjamin Netanyahu's made the comments to Channel 2 TV, shortly after the arrival of envoy George Mitchell on Thursday. Netanyahu declared: "There will be no freeze in Jerusalem." Netanyahu was repeating a long-standing position, but the timing of the statement threatened to undermine Mitchell's latest efforts to restart peace talks.

Israel arrests 24 Palestinians in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli forces arrested 24 Palestinians during its raids in the West Bank early Thursday, Palestinian security sources said. The arrests took place during the Israeli incursion into the cities of Jenin, Qalqilya, Bethlehem and surrounding villages, according to the sources. Meanwhile, an Israeli army force also operated in an area east of Khan Younis city in the southern Gaza Strip, and Israeli bulldozers backed by tanks leveled some groves, according to local residents.

Israel evicts freed Palestinian prisoner from West Bank to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli army has on Wednesday expelled a freed Palestinian prisoner from the West Bank to Gaza Strip, an official said. Nash'at al-Waheidi, in charge of public relations in the Gaza- based Palestinian Prisoners' Committee, said in a press statement that Israel started to implement its military order of evictions. Last week, the Israeli Ha'aretz Daily revealed that the Israeli army had issued an order to expel thousands of Palestinians, who are not basically registered as West Bank residents, from the territory to the Gaza Strip.

Palestinians to step up "Popular Resistance" against Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian officials, Arab, Israeli and foreign members of international solidarity movements on Wednesday announced that they would step up "Popular resistance " to challenge the Israeli settlement's expansion and the construction of the West Bank Separation Wall. The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) Prime Minister Salam Fayyad told an international conference held in the village of Bel 'ein, west of Ramallah in the West Bank, that the Palestinians will keep their "popular resistance as part of a step towards establishing their future independent Palestinian state."

U.S.: Israel-Palestinian peace failures strengthening Iran
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

U.S. President Barack Obama's administration said on Wednesday that progress toward Middle East peace would help thwart Iran's ambitions by preventing it from "cynically" using the conflict to divert attention from its nuclear program. Drawing an explicit link between Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts and Washington's drive to isolate Iran, Obama's national security adviser, Jim Jones, urged bold steps to revive long-stalled Middle East negotiations.

Obama offered Netanyahu a gentlemen's agreement on Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

If the Independence Day speeches delivered this week by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin were any indication, Jerusalem Day came early this year. As they took the podium to vow that "united Jerusalem" would never be divided, both were no doubt aware that President Barack Obama's adviser, Dan Shapiro, was making his way to the region.

Settlers set up West Bank tourism ventures
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Karni Eldad - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

"Just as the Golan Heights became part of the Israeli consensus because people came and vacationed and saw that it was good, it was lovely, it was fun, and it would be a shame to give it to the Arabs, the same thing could happen in Samaria," says Doron Nir Zvi, who lives in the unauthorized outpost of Yad Yair, in northern Samaria. He and his family run a restaurant and rent out a luxury vacation cabin (called a "zimmer" in Israel) at the outpost, and even have a swimming pool. "I don't talk about the land of our forefathers and ideology. I direct myself toward it. Toward love.

Round 2: Lauder vs. Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

A week after publishing an open letter in which he criticized US President Barack Obama, Ron Lauder on Wednesday continued to slam the American president and his Middle East policies. In an interview with the German Der Spiegel, Lauder - who serves as president of the World Jewish Congress and is considered a close associate of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu - said that Washington's criticism of Israel was "disproportionate." "The Obama administration is blaming Israel for the stalling peace process, but it is in fact the Palestinians which are opposed to negotiations," he said.

Rightists: Burn effigies of Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Every year, Israeli children gather around bonfires on the Jewish holiday of Lag BaOmer and burn the effigies of the enemies of the Jewish people. Perennial favorites in that category include the likes of Adolf Hitler and Saddam Hussein. Now, a Jewish rightist group wants to add US President Barack Obama to that list. Bentzi Gupshtain, a member of the outlawed Kahane Chai (Kach) party, said his organization is distributing hundreds of effigies of the US president for children to set fire to on Lag BaOmer May 2nd.

Protest rally against ‘settler provocation’ in Jaffa
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Benjamin L. Hartman - April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Dozens of activists and residents held a rally in Jaffa’s Ajami neighborhood on Wednesday, to protest what organizers called “a series of provocations from settlers active in Jaffa,” following the alleged attack of an elderly neighborhood woman by settlers three days earlier. Wednesday’s rally, which was held in front of the house organizers say was infiltrated by a group of settlers on Sunday, included speeches by Islamic Movement leader Sheikh Raed Salah and a number of community organizers from Jaffa.

Strain in U.S.-Israel Ties Spurs Anxiety About ‘Dual Loyalty’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Gal Beckerman - (Opinion) April 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Dual loyalty is an old and nefarious accusation. It has dogged Jews for centuries in any land where they settled and began to feel comfortable — the allegation that their allegiance is to their tribe first and not to their nation. America has been a haven precisely because the moments when this fear has swelled up have been few and far between. Even the existence of Israel, a country with its own set of national interests and its own wars and ways of dealing with them, has not created much of an issue for those American Jews who see themselves as both Zionists and patriots.

Trying to effect change in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - (Opinion) April 22, 2010 - 12:00am

An analysis of the most recent ABC TV interview with former US president Bill Clinton reveals a fascinating development in Washington, DC. The Obama administration has concluded who the culprit is in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and it is not the Arab side. When asked by reporter Jack Tapper about US plans for the Middle East conflict, the former US president stated that Washington plans to "do something to deprive both sides of any excuse not to engage in serious negotiations".

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