Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Pres. Obama says the flotilla tragedy can be used to advance peace. Israel says it wants to find new ways for goods to enter Gaza. David Ignatius says the US should keep pressing Israel on its Gaza policy. A Palestinian MK on the flotilla is assailed upon her return to the Knesset, and the Interior Minister seeks to have her citizenship revoked. Survivors begin to tell their stories. Proximity talks continue in spite of the attack. At the PIC, Pres. Abbas says investment is crucial to liberation. Gideon Levy says PM Netanyahu always said the world was against Israel, and now it is. Anshel Pfeffer says Israel is being let down by the diaspora. Four projectiles are fired into southern Israel from Gaza. Hamas raids Gaza NGOs. Jonathan Power says the flotilla tragedy shows the power of nonviolence. Aaron David Miller says Palestinian-Israeli peace is a hopeless cause. Gaza businessmen attend the PIC in spite of the blockade. Leon Wieseltier says the flotilla attack reflects a paranoid mentality.

Obama: Use flotilla tragedy for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Matt Spetalnick - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON, June 3 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday the deadly Gaza flotilla incident was "tragic," but he expressed hope it could provide an opening to boost Middle East peace efforts. Obama, in an interview with CNN's Larry King days after an Israeli raid on Gaza-bound aid ships, said Israel "has legitimate security concerns" about the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. Rockets are regularly fired from there into the Jewish state.

Israel Signals New Flexibility on Gaza Shipments
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

While still insisting that its blockade of Gaza is essential to its security, the Israeli government is now shifting its position, “exploring new ways” of allowing goods to reach the coastal enclave, an Israeli official said Thursday.

The U.S. needs to keep nudging Israel on a Gaza fix
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by David Ignatius - (Opinion) June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration, caught between two allies during this week of crisis, has signaled Israel and Turkey that the blockade of Gaza should be loosened to allow more humanitarian aid to reach the Palestinian population there.

Parliament comes close to blows over flotilla raid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - (Blog) June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

A discussion in Israel's parliament Wednesday went from heated to a total boil as lawmaker Haneen Zoabi took the stand. Zoabi, an Arab Israeli legislator, took part in the Gaza flotilla and was aboard the Mavi Marmara during the ill-fated takeover that left nine dead and dozens more injured. Jewish public opinion in Israel was not impressed with her decision to join aid ship. Some dismissed it as a populist, attention-seeking move. Others denounced her participation as siding with the country's enemies conspiring against the state.

Proximity talks still on
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Between President Mahmoud Abbas and US officials, the start of so-called proximity talks appear not to have been derailed by Israel's attack on an aid ship and killing of at least nine activists. On Wednesday, both Abbas and the US deputy treasurer spoke at the Palestinian Investment Conference, stressing the need for talks, while US special envoy to the Mideast George Mitchell addressed the conference Thursday and said talks must go on despite the attack. Mitchell, who met Abbas after the opening session, said the raid illustrated the need to move forward with peace talks.

Abbas: Investment can liberate nation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Bethlehem - Ma'an - Arab and Palestinian businessmen and women gathered in Bethlehem Tuesday, to open the Second Palestinian Investment Conference (PIC), with President Mahmoud Abbas dedicated to the lives of some 10 activists killed delivering aid to Gaza. In his opening speech, Abbas formally named the PIC the "Freedom Conference," in commemoration of the loss of life and upheaval swelling from Israel's decision to attack the Freedom Flotilla of six ships en route to Gaza with 10,000 tons of aid for the besieged Gaza Strip.

Interior Minister seeks to strip Israeli Arab MK of citizenship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Interior Minister Eli Yishai petitioned Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to help him revoke the Israeli citizenship of Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zuabi, who took part in efforts to break Israel's blockade of Gaza on a flotilla of aid ships earlier this week.

Netanyahu was right
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - (Opinion) June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The time has come to take off our hats to the prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu's predictions have proved accurate, and his prophecies are coming true right before our eyes. Now we can proudly declare that our government is led by a man of vision, a statesman who has foretold the future. Even his greatest critics can't deny it; the facts speak for themselves.

In its hour of need, Israel was let down by Diaspora
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - (Opinion) June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

"We felt like the Ramallah lynch." I am certain that the unnamed Israeli naval commando who said these words to a reporter a few hours after the bloodbath on the Mavi Marmara regrets them now. It is quite clear why the image came to his mind at the time. None of us has forgotten the pictures of a baying mob literally hacking to pieces the reservists Yossi Avrahami and Vadim Nurzhitz nine and a half years ago and throwing their bodies out of the window of a Palestinian police station.

4 rockets hit south
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Shumlik Hadad - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Four Qassam rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israel Thursday, causing no injuries. One rocket was fired at Sderot Thursday evening prompting the Color Red alert to go off. The Qassam apparently exploded in an open area near the town. Earlier in the evening, two rockets landed near the southern city of Ashkelon, while another rocket landed in the Ashkelon Beach region, near a kibbutz.

Hamas raids, closes NGO offices
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas’s security forces on Monday and Tuesday raided the offices of several non-governmental organizations in the Gaza Strip and confiscated equipment and furniture, drawing sharp condemnations from human rights groups. The sources said the raids were carried out by agents belonging to Hamas’s Internal Security apparatus without court permission. Hamas spokesmen in the Gaza Strip on Thursday refused to comment on the raids.

Henning Mankell on Gaza flotilla attack: 'I think they went out to murder'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Kate Connolly - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The bestselling Swedish crime writer Henning Mankell today accused Israel of murder, piracy and kidnapping after describing how the aid ship he was travelling on was seized by Israeli forces this week. Mankell, whose detective novels featuring the commissar Kurt Wallander have sold almost 30m copies worldwide, was aboard the Swedish ship Sofia, one of six ships in the flotilla carrying aid to Gaza. The 25-strong crew, including Mankell, were all arrested and held in custody.

Gaza flotilla: Sarah Colborne's account
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Robert Booth - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

On Sunday 30th we set off together. We had assembled all the boats in international waters. At 11pm that night, Israeli naval boats were detected on the radar and sighted and a decision was made to move further back into international waters, further from Israel.

The flotilla - a non-violent success?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Jonathan Power - June 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The unprovoked and murderous Israeli commando attack on the peace flotilla is the Selma of the Arab-Jewish struggle for the land of Palestine.

Mideast Peace Tops List of Hopeless Causes: Aaron David Miller
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bloomberg
by Aaron David Miller - June 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Groucho Marx, one of America’s pre- eminent philosophers, once quipped, “Who are you going to believe, me or your lying eyes.” I thought of Groucho the other day, while ruminating about President Barack Obama and the crisis after Israeli commandos boarded a ship ostensibly carrying human-rights activists and aid supplies headed for Gaza in defiance of Israel’s blockade.

Gaza Businessmen – Pawns in the Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by Felice Friedson - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Ali Abu Shala said he has a great idea - an amusement park on the Gaza beach. “We have a very good beach in Gaza,” says the wiry engineer. “Why not to lease it to a company, a big company for 20 years, develop it and bring good life to the people? Why not?” Abu Shala led a delegation of some 100 Gazan businessmen to the Palestine Investment Conference, which convened in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Escorted by Israeli security forces as they travelled from the beleaguered Gaza Strip, the Gazans came hoping to tap into funding and get their business ideas going.

Operation Make the World Hate Us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New Republic
by Leon Wieseltier - June 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel does not need enemies: it has itself. Or more precisely: it has its government. The Netanyahu-Barak government has somehow found a way to lose the moral high ground, the all-important war for symbols and meanings, to Hamas. That is quite an accomplishment. Operation Make the World Hate Us, it might have been called.

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