Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Lanny Davis says peace should be based on Israelis and Palestinians coming together. Pres. Obama tells Jewish members of Congress he will not seek to impose a US plan.A new website explores obstacles to peace. Sasha Polakow-Suransky looks at "alternatives" to a two state agreement. Ma'an interviews a Salafist-Jihadist militant from Gaza. The US donates $1.4 million to UNRWA. Palestinians register formal complaints with the US about Israeli actions. Hamas arrests a senior Fatah leader in Gaza. Palestinians say settler efforts to break their boycott will fail. Reports are growing of family sexual abuse in Gaza. Israel expects the Palestinians to increase diplomatic pressure on settlements in spite of negotiations. Gideon Levy says Israel is starting to resemble North Korea. Israeli extremists rally in support of insubordinate troops. George Hishmeh says Arab funding is needed to counter Israeli propaganda. Daoud Kuttab explains the difficulties for Palestinians to keep their Jerusalem residency. Hussein Ibish says the US may not have a plan B for peace, but the Palestinians do. This Week in Palestine profiles organic farmers.

The path to a true peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Hill
by Lanny Davis - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Recently, I had lunch with an Israeli friend who, despite being a strong supporter of a two-state solution (as this writer is), was skeptical that the U.S.’s basic approach to the peace process — emphasizing negotiating the details of a peace agreement — would be enough to bring true peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Obama reassured Jewish members on 'Obama plan'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Politico
by Ben Smith - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

President Obama and Jewish members of Congress emerged from an hour-and-a-half meeting yesterday presenting a united front on the touchy subject of Middle East peace, but the meeting itself featured some sharp exchanges as Obama sought to quell concerns that he would impose a peace plan on Israel without the country's consent, two attendees said.

To promote Arab-Israeli peace, Arabs and Israelis argue against it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nicholas Blanford - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Most grassroots peace efforts in the Middle East try to build on areas of mutual agreement, but one group of Israelis and Arabs has taken a different tack – looking for arguments against peace between Israel and Syria.

Middle East Plan B
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by Sasha Polakow-Suransky - May 16, 2010 - 12:00am

“I think this is a very big deal,” President Clinton declared to a group of American Jews and Arabs after the legions of photographers left the White House grounds on Sept. 13, 1993. However, Clinton warned, it would take commitment and hard work to guarantee that the historic Israeli-Palestinian Accord signed that day would “truly be a turning point.”

Exclusive interview with Gaza's Salafi leader
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
by Ibraheem Qanan - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

"Salafism is not only in Gaza, it is all over Palestine and needs no license to practice in the heart of Tel Aviv or in Washington," Jaish Al-Islam (Army of Islam) leader Omer Al-Ansari told Ma'an during an exclusive interview on Wednesday.

US donates $1.4 million to UNRWA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

US Embassy officials in Damascus, the Syrian government, and UNRWA inaugurated a newly constructed community centre that will benefit some 144,000 Palestinian refugees living in the Syrian capital's Yarmouk refugee camp on Wednesday. A statement issued by the US State Department said America contributed 1.4 million US dollars for the community centre's construction.

Palestinians complain of Israeli actions to US
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian leaders on Wednesday complained to a U.S. envoy about what they said were Israeli provocations, as the second round of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks got under way. White House emissary George Mitchell met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and is to hold talks later in the week with Israeli leaders. The negotiations were launched earlier this month, and Mitchell will be shuttling between the sides for up to four months to try to narrow their vast differences on the terms for Palestinian statehood.

Hamas detains senior Fatah leader in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

The security forces of the deposed Hamas government in the Gaza Strip arrested on Wednesday a senior member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party, Fatah sources said. The sources told Xinhua that Hamas security forces arrested Osama al-Farra, a member of Fatah's revolutionary council and former governor of the southern Gaza Strip city of Khan Younis, at his home in Gaza.

Palestinian official: Israeli settlers' attempts to stop boycott campaign doomed to failure
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Statements by Jewish settlers that describe a new Palestinian campaign to boycott the Israeli settlements' products as economic terror are meaningless and are doomed, a Palestinian official said on Wednesday. Omar Abu Subaih, organizer of a home-to-home campaign to warn people against purchasing products of the Jewish settlement built in the occupied Palestinian territories, told Xinhua that the " settlers' attempts to stop the campaign will fail," affirming that the "settlements and their products are the real terror."

Family Sexual Assault Surfacing in Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Omer Ghraieb - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Eighteen-year-old “E.S.” hides in the corner of her dark room, fearing the approach of a family member coming to prey on her flesh again. The wary girl with deep green eyes and golden locks makes several grueling attempts at speech, eventually letting out in screams that she was being raped by her relatives, finally leading her to isolation.

Classified report: PA to step up anti-Israel diplomacy despite proximity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says in a classified document that despite the indirect talks with the Palestinian Authority, the PA is expected to conduct a diplomatic struggle against Israel abroad. Lieberman makes his case in the document handed out to the forum of seven senior ministers. The report also states that the Palestinians will seek to use the so-called proximity talks to increase American pressure on Israel so the freeze on settlement construction will continue well beyond its September deadline.

Democracy according to Reichman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

In the end, we will only be left with Prof. Uriel Reichman. After we sent Prof. Noam Chomsky away, and there was no sharp rebuke by Israeli academics (who in their silence support a boycott of Bir Zeit University ), we will be left with a narrow and frightening intellectual world. It will be the kind of intellectual world shaped by the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya - an institution of army officers and the rich, headed by its president, Reichman.

A Roadside Rally For Soldiers Who Refused Orders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Jeffay - May 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Some 400 protesters gathered recently outside a prison dating back to the British Mandate to offer solidarity with inmates who are being hailed by some as modern-era Sharanskys. “Refuseniks claimed the right for Jews to live in a certain place in the world, and these youngsters are defending that right,” Likud party activist Shlomo Amshalem said of two men being held inside the prison.

Arab funding could be a game changer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli narrative — thanks to Israel's wealthy and well-connected supporters and the many politicians who, in turn, are desperately in need of their financial backing and votes — is prevalent in the West, especially in the United States. This is evident in the halls of Congress, in the American media, in mushrooming think-tanks in key cities, particularly Washington, and, needless to say, among some senior US officials.

Residency and naturalisation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

My eldest daughter, Tamara, who studied and worked in the US, finally got her own Israeli-issued residency ID for Jerusalem. It took her seven years to accomplish this feat despite the fact that she was born and raised in Jerusalem to parents holding Jerusalem residency. What would normally be a routine act is a major hurdle for Palestinians, especially those who reside in Jerusalem.

The US may have no Plan B, but the Palestinians do
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Hussein Ibish - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration was successful in arranging for the resumption of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations through “proximity talks,” which began recently. However, expectations in all quarters are understandably low for any near-term breakthrough. Consequently, Palestinians have been systematically developing a new set of peaceful strategies to achieve independence and advance a resolution to the conflict.

Palestinian Agro-Resistance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from This Week in Palestine
by Vivien Sansour - May 20, 2010 - 12:00am

Abu Adnan does not talk about a global movement to save the earth. He doesn’t know much about Greenpeace or the Kyoto Protocol; but he does know everything about keeping his soil healthy and fertile, and the terraces he builds to protect his soil make his mountainous piece of land a visual paradise. A farmer since childhood in his home village of Faqua in the Jenin district, Abu Adnan Abed El Salam, who is now 78 years old, has built over 60 terraces in his lifetime, one stone at a time. When people come to talk to him about the “new” trend of organic agriculture he smiles.

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