Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Coverage again centers on the Gaza flotilla attack. The US says the block is untenable. An American is among those killed. Israeli Amb. Oren defends the action. Nick Kristof says Israel has damaged its own and US interests. PM Netanyahu praises the action. More Israeli experts say the mission was botched. Doyle McManus says Pres. Obama may be able to use the incident to leverage Israel on peace. A Palestinian MK on the flotilla describes the attack. Turkish MPs say this is a turning point and the US response is crucial. Fred Kaplan says such actions are usually simple matters for navies. Richard Irvine says the incident recalls the 1947 Exodus affair. The National says Israeli spin is failing. Tariq Alhomayed says only Arab errors can save Israel from the consequences. Life in Gaza is complex and dysfunctional. Two Palestinian students are shot by a settler in Hebon. An IDF panel says its decisions on settlers must refer to international and not Israeli law. Michael Jansen profiles new Palestinian strategies in the occupied West Bank.

New Israeli Tack Needed on Gaza, U.S. Officials Say
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration considers Israel’s blockade of Gaza to be untenable and plans to press for another approach to ensure Israel’s security while allowing more supplies into the impoverished Palestinian area, senior American officials said Wednesday. The officials say that Israel’s deadly attack on a flotilla trying to break the siege and the resulting international condemnation create a new opportunity to push for increased engagement with the Palestinian Authority and a less harsh policy toward Gaza.

Fatalities on Gaza Flotilla Said to Include U.S. Citizen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael Slackman, Sabrina Tavernise - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

One of the nine people killed in an Israeli commando raid on a flotilla of ships heading for Gaza this week was a United States citizen of Turkish descent, according to officials in Turkey and Washington. The development added a new diplomatic complexity as Israel struggled to defuse rising international anger over its raid on six ships seeking to break its blockade of the Gaza Strip, where officials from the Hamas movement were reported on Thursday to be resisting Israeli efforts to deliver truckloads of goods seized from the flotilla.

Saving Israel From Itself
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Nicholas D. Kristof - (Opinion) June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

When reports first circulated on Twitter of a deadly attack by Israeli commandos on the Gaza flotilla, I didn’t forward them because they seemed implausible. I thought: Israel wouldn’t be so obtuse as to use lethal force on self-described peace activists in international waters with scores of reporters watching. Ah, but it turned out that Israel could be so obtuse after all. It shot itself in the foot, blasting American toes as well, and undermined all of its longer-term strategic objectives.

An Assault, Cloaked in Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Michael B. Oren - (Opinion) June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

PEACE activists are people who demonstrate nonviolently for peaceful co-existence and human rights. The mob that assaulted Israeli special forces on the deck of the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara on Monday was not motivated by peace. On the contrary, the religious extremists embedded among those on board were paid and equipped to attack Israelis — both by their own hands as well as by aiding Hamas — and to destroy any hope of peace.

In Gaza, a complex, dysfunctional way of life
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The ill-fated aid flotilla bound for Gaza this week bore food, medicine and toys. What it didn't have on board were the things that Gazans say they need most: jobs, reliable electricity and a ticket out.

Netanyahu ignores calls for investigation of raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a vigorous, unapologetic defense Wednesday of his government's deadly raid of a protest flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip, ignoring international calls for an independent probe into the incident. Netanyahu's televised comments, his first to Israelis since the high-seas military operation killed nine activists on a Turkish-flagged vessel early Monday, did little to appease critics who say Israel used excessive force.

Israeli academic says flotilla crisis could have been prevented
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Calls for an international probe into Israel's deadly raid of a Gaza-bound protest flotilla have put the nation's military on the defense amid allegations of excessive use of force.

Israel's only friend
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Doyle McManus - (Opinion) June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

As most of the world has rushed to condemn Israel for its bungled seizure of a Turkish ferry that was attempting to break the Gaza blockade, President Obama has taken a different approach. Not only has he refused to condemn Israel's hard-nosed prime minister, Benyamin Netanyahu; he has cast the United States as Israel's only friend. It's a strategic gamble, and let's hope it works.

Gaza flotilla raid pushes unknown Knesset member into spotlight
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Reverberations within Israel from Monday's deadly raid on the Gaza flotilla are thrusting an unknown Arab-Israeli parliamentarian into the spotlight while Defense Minister Ehud Barak faces intense criticism over the botched operation that left at least nine dead. As Mr. Barak withstands a barrage of calls for his resignation, freshman parliament member Hanin Zoabi has emerged as a leading domestic critic of her government, calling their military operation "criminal."

US response to Israel’s flotilla raid will shape the Middle East
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Suat Kiniklioglu - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

I am the only Turkish politician who has visited Israel since Israel unleashed the Gaza war in 2008, and the Davos incident in 2009 between Israeli President Shimon Peres and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan highlighted the differences between our countries. I have many friends in Israel, and I did not hesitate to visit Israel when an invitation was extended to me by an Israeli think tank. Despite the many challenges, I maintained my optimism that Turkey and Israel would be able to mend their differences despite their disagreements over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

That's No Way To Enforce a Blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Fred Kaplan - June 1, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's storming of the Mavi Marmara, killing at least nine Free Gaza activists and wounding several more, was an act of jaw-gaping stupidity—strategically and tactically, even leaving aside morally. You needn't be a partisan of Hamas to think so. Look at today's headlines on the editorial page of Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz: "The price of flawed policy," "Fiasco on the high seas," "Seven idiots in the cabinet," "A failure any way you slice it."

Two Palestinians shot by Jewish settler in Hebron
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

A Jewish settler shot and injured two Palestinians in the West Bank town of Hebron Thursday, witnesses said. According to witnesses, a settler deliberately opened fire at two students near al-Aroub refugee camp, north of the town, injuring one in the back and the other in the thigh. Hospital officials said the one who was injured in the back had suffered sever bleeding, describing his condition as critical. Israeli troops hurried to the scene of the accident and prevented people from approaching the area, witnesses said.

IDF panel rules West Bank settlers not protected by Basic Law
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel's Basic Laws neither apply to nor protect settlers, the military appeals committee ruled in response to an appeal from a resident of Yitzhar, Akiva Hacohen, who was banned last October for six months from the West Bank except for Ariel. The ban was later extended for three months. Hacohen, represented by Yitzhak Bam of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, appealed the decision to the military appeals committee, which allows challenges to decisions of the IDF command in the West Bank.

Israel: remember 1947 and the Exodus ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Richard Irvine - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

No one can accuse history of not having a sense of irony. Sixty-three years ago, in July 1947, a passenger ship destined for Palestine and named the Exodus was stopped and boarded by the British navy. The ship was crowded with Holocaust survivors determined to make a new life for themselves in British-controlled Palestine. The British, facing Zionist terrorism and trying to keep promises made to the Palestinian Arabs to limit Jewish immigration, were determined to stop it. Accordingly, when the Royal Navy boarded the ship 20 miles out from Haifa, a full-scale battle ensued.

Spin doctors cannot hide Israel’s actions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The Israeli prime minister’s spokesman Mark Regev once explained to an Australian reporter how he could chew and talk at the same time. This week Mr Regev tested his ability to speak with a foot planted firmly in his mouth.

Don’t Save Israel this Time!
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

I preferred to follow the Western visual media’s coverage of the crime that was committed by Israel against the humanitarian aid ships headed for Gaza that caused the deaths of around 20 people from Arab and international organizations rather than following Arab visual media coverage. Our media wants to spread the spirit of provocation instead of presenting information. It wants to increase escalation instead of helping us understand the consequences of what happened and how this battle with Israel should be dealt with so that Israel does not escape the consequences.

Boycott - for things to change
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Michael Jansen - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Hopelessness and lack of a political horizon seem to have made the Palestinian Authority (PA) more assertive, even proactive. After years of marking time while negotiations with Israel went nowhere and Israeli colonisation proceeded apace, Ramallah is beginning to stir. One of the engines driving movement is the plan of Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to build the infrastructure of a state and then unilaterally proclaim the state in August 2011.

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