Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel prevents Noam Chomsky from entering the West Bank. The Washington Post looks at the PA settlement boycott. The Christian Science Monitor profiles the first planned Palestinian city. Some Israelis say the Gaza blockade has failed. Palestinian officials say negotiations are unlikely to succeed. The PA dissolves the ministries of sport and information. Israel shuts down the PA municipal office in Hebron. Israeli leftists rally against the occupation. Palestinians mark the 62nd commemoration of the Nakba. Hamas destroys dozens of Palestinian homes in Gaza. US Jewish leaders echo a European call to end settlement activity. Israeli troops kill an elderly Palestinian man in Gaza. Egypt reportedly ends all contact with Hamas. Extremist settlers blame the Israeli military for their own violence. West Bank highway 443 remains closed to Palestinians despite a court order. Adel Safty says archaic Israeli beliefs are threatening peace. Peter Beinart looks at changing Jewish American attitudes towards Israel.

Chomsky Barred From West Bank by Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Robert Mackey - May 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Noam Chomsky, an American linguist and political thinker who has been critical of Israel, was denied entry into the West Bank on Sunday by Israeli immigration officials when he tried to cross into the Palestinian territory from Jordan to deliver a lecture. Amira Hass of the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported:

Palestinians turn to boycott of Israel in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

MAALEH ADUMIM, WEST BANK -- In Mishor Adumim, a bougainvillea-lined industrial zone inside this West Bank Jewish settlement, at least 17 businesses have closed since Palestinians began boycotting its products several months ago. For the Israelis, it's "an insufferable situation," according to Avi Elkayam, who represents the settlement's 300 factory owners. But for Palestinians, it might be the strategy they have been looking for.

Architect eyes tony Palestinian city with eco-mindset and fast Internet
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ilene Prusher - May 14, 2010 - 12:00am

The state Palestinians dream of may not actually exist by next summer, as the Palestinian premier recently promised. But at the very least, a city upon a hill may have started to rise, with ground already being broken in the first planned Palestinian community – and the first new Palestinian city to be built in centuries.

Why some in Israel say the Gaza blockade has failed
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - May 14, 2010 - 12:00am

Both Hamas and Israel chalked up victories this week. In Damascus, the Islamic militants got a rare international embrace from Russia President Dmitry Medvedev. In Washington, the Jewish state got about $280 million for weapon system to intercept rockets from Gaza. Skip to next paragraph

Abbas spokesman: Negotiations likely to fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Indirect negotiations are not likely to create significant changes or advancements in the peace process, Fatah official and presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said on Sunday. Blaming "Israeli stubbornness and insistence to continue building in settlements," Abu Rudaineh cast a pessimistic shadow over indirect negotiations scheduled to resume on Monday as US Middle East envoy George Mitchell returns to the region.

PA dissolves ministries of information, sport
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Insisting the move was not part of the anticipated Ramallah-based government cabinet shuffle, officials said Sunday that the ministries of information and sport were replaced with "higher councils." Caretaker government spokesperson Ghassan Al-Khatib told Ma’an that the ministries of sport and information were dismantled during the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday, and replaced with two higher councils for sport and information respectively.

Israel shuts down PA municipal office in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Muhammad Oweiweih - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli authorities closed down the Palestinian Authority Municipal Inspectors building in the Old City of Hebron on Sunday, the city's mayor said. Hebron Mayor Khalid Al-Useili said the procedure was "illegal and a violation of the Hebron agreement," and would endeavor to reopen the office immediately. Al-Useili said Israeli authorities accused the PA of allowing its police force to operate secretly in the area, known as H2 and under full Israeli control, which would constitute a contravention of the Hebron Protocol and Agreement signed on 15 January 1997 between the PA and Israel.

Israeli left flies flag to urge end to occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Alastair MacDonald - May 16, 2010 - 12:00am

A weekend rally in Jerusalem by Israelis demanding an end to their country's settlement and occupation of the West Bank was hailed by its left-wing sponsors as the start of a major push that could help U.S. peace efforts. But the turnout of just a couple of thousand people drew scorn from settlers, who count on the rightist-led government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resist President Barack Obama's drive for a deal to establish a Palestinian state.

Palestinians mark displacement in 1948 Mideast war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Rizek Abdel Jawad - May 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Bitter Palestinian rivals marched together Saturday in a rare show of unity as they marked 62 years of displacement in the war surrounding Israel's creation. Loyalists of rival groups Hamas and Fatah held Palestinian flags and a giant key symbolic of their hoped-for return as part of annual commemorations of what they call the "catastrophe," or "nakba" in Arabic. The names of the villages and towns emptied during the war were written across the key, alongside the slogan "We will return."

Hamas destroys dozens of homes in southern Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Rizek Abdel Jawad - May 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas police wielding clubs beat and pushed residents out of dozens of homes in the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Sunday before knocking the buildings down with bulldozers, residents said. Gaza's militant Hamas rulers said the homes were built illegally on government land. Newly homeless residents were furious over Palestinians on bulldozers razing Palestinian homes.

U.S. Jewish leaders echo European call to end Israeli settlement building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 16, 2010 - 12:00am

Following in the footsteps of the European initiative launched by JCall, a group of Jewish-American leaders on Friday launched an online petition urging an end to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and calling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israeli protest against settlements Called "For the Sake of Zion," the petition is signed by dozens of prominent American rabbis, judges, writers, academics and philanthropists.

Report: IDF soldiers kill elderly Palestinian near Gaza border
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
May 15, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian emergency services and witnesses said Israel Defense Forces soldiers killed one Palestinian and wounded another near the border with Gaza, Israel Radio reported on Saturday. Medical officials in Gaza said the man, who was 75 and whose body was only discovered on Saturday when it became light, had been shot several times. They added that his family had reported he had been missing for two days.

Report: Egypt cutting Hamas off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Roee Nahmias - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

New record in Hamas-Egypt tensions? Cairo has decided to cut all contact with heads of the Hamas movement, both in the Palestinian territories, and abroad, "high-ranking Egyptian officials were quoted as saying. In Monday's edition, independent paper al-Mesryoon, which is affiliated with the Egyptian opposition, reported that Cairo has decided to reject any requests by Hamas officials for entry visas to Egypt in the near future, and to freeze all channels of diplomatic and security communications with the movement.

'IDF to blame for price-tag atmosphere'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

The head of the soon-to-be-demolished Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva in the Yitzhar settlement has blamed the IDF for creating an atmosphere in which some Jews were executed a "price-tag" policy of retribution against Palestinians for the IDF demolition of settler homes in Judea and Samaria. "A price tag policy is anarchy and they [the IDF] are the anarchists," said Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira on Sunday night at a solidarity event at the yeshiva. "A person who does things that can not be accepted by any sane person, is an anarchist."

Israel's apartheid road
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rachel Shabi - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

If you didn't have peripheral vision, it would probably be fine. If you didn't glance to the sides of Israel's highway 443 between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, then it wouldn't smack you in the face that the road is – how shall we put it? – segregated. As it is, you can't help but notice that when the 443 passes by the Israeli town of Modi'in and heads east into the occupied West Bank, some of its side-routes are blocked. Concrete boulders, metal barriers, rubble and heaps of rubbish halt roads from Palestinian villages such as Beit Sira and Beit Ur al-Fuka.

Archaic Israeli convictions and bad faith
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Adel Safty - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

One of the fundamental tenets of political Zionism has been the so-called redemption of the land for the purpose of founding a Jewish state where all the Jews of the world are supposed to gather and find a safe haven from persecution. The early Zionist leaders recognised the difficulty they faced: the land to be redeemed was Palestine and it was inhabited by another people who could not be expected to peacefully acquiesce to the transformation of their country into a Jewish state.

The Failure of the American Jewish Establishment
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Review Of Books
by Peter Beinart - May 17, 2010 - 12:00am

In 2003, several prominent Jewish philanthropists hired Republican pollster Frank Luntz to explain why American Jewish college students were not more vigorously rebutting campus criticism of Israel. In response, he unwittingly produced the most damning indictment of the organized American Jewish community that I have ever seen.

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