Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Roger Cohen profiles the American killed by Israeli commandos in the flotilla attack. The Washington Post interviews DM Barak. Israel appears to be cooperating more closely with the UN on Gaza. Ben White says Israel's policies are making peace more difficult. Settler violence continues in the northern West Bank. PLO officials say Pres. Abbas, who is reportedly under heavy US pressure for direct negotiations, will request an extension of proximity talks. Gazans want a “Marshall Plan.” Hearing-impaired children in Gaza struggle to overcome the difficulties. Shaul Arieli says the settlement project will destroy Zionism. A top settler rabbi arrested for incitement to kill non-Jews is released by Israeli police. Turkey is reportedly working to prevent additional Gaza flotillas from Lebanon. Alon Ben-Meir says Israel needs a Palestinian state. Yaakov Katz says when the settlement freeze expires in September the Israeli government will have to choose between confronting the settlers or Pres. Obama. Hassan Barari says upgrading the PLO mission in Washington is a good thing but does not advance the cause of liberation. John Whitbeck argues that if Kosovo can unilaterally declare independence, then Palestine can too.

The Forgotten American
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Roger Cohen - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The Dogans were a quiet family little noticed by their neighbors here in upstate New York. Ahmet Dogan had come to the area from Turkey to study accounting at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was a serious student; the Dogans did little entertaining. But when their younger son, Furkan, was born in 1991, the family threw a party and a neighbor recalled a toast “to the first U.S. citizen in the family.”

Q&A with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - (Interview) July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Edited excerpts of interview by Washington Post's Janine Zacharia, with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak at the Defense Ministry in Tel Aviv, Friday, July 23, 2010 WP: You arrive in Washington on Monday. What is the primary objective of your trip?

Israel signals new cooperation with UN over Gaza flotilla
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel appears to have improved its cooperation with the United Nations over its controversial Gaza policy after coming under pressure from activists seeking to break Israel's sea blockade of the Hamas-controlled territory. The latest fleet of activist ships is preparing to set sail from Lebanon. On Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, said that the aid to Gaza should be delivered by established land routes rather than the sea – a remark that irked Hamas, which blamed the UN for "collaboration" with the Israeli government.

Ten years after Camp David, Israel has made peace even harder
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Ben White - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

In an interview earlier this year with The Jerusalem Post, one of the Jewish settlers in Sheikh Jarrah, an area in Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem where Palestinians are being evicted from their homes, explained that he had no “personal problems” with “the Arabs” – but insisted that “they have to admit who the landlord is here.” This sentiment offers more insight into the current realities on the ground in East Jerusalem, and Palestine/Israel in general, than dozens of column inches spent analyzing the progress of “shuttle diplomacy,” “concessions,” and “indirect talks.”

North remains target for settler violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli forces entered the northern West Bank village of Beit Furik Monday night, residents reported, and sealed off a military checkpoint at its main entrance. Witnesses said troops patrolling the village after the checkpoint was closed opened random fire. An Israeli military spokesman said he was looking into the report. Beit Furik is located less than five kilometers northeast of Huwwara village and the Israeli military checkpoint at the edge of the area, where settlers set fire to several dunums of olive groves on Monday afternoon.

Abbas to ask for extension to proximity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas will request an extension to US-mediated indirect talks with Israel from the Arab Peace Initiative Committee when in Cairo on Thursday, a PLO official said Monday. Executive Committee member Hannah Amireh told Ma'an radio that Abbas would ask for talks to continue until 8 September, one month over the 4-month deadline sanctioned by the Arab League. Abbas will also discuss the possibility of re-entering into direct negotiations with Israel, Amireh said.

Gazans want "Marshall Plan", Israel policy falls short
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Tom Perry - July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Wael El Wadiah's Gaza snack food factories once employed 250 people. Today, denied access to the West Bank market by Israel, he employs a few dozen workers in what is left of a business built up over 25 years. "I am right back to square one," he said. Jamal Basala once employed 20 people on his fishing trawler. Today, his access to the sea restricted by Israel, he employs four. He used to earn $5,000 a month. Today, he accepts assistance from aid agencies and can't afford his son's university fees. "I suffer depression," he said.

US presses Abbas to resume direct peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Karin Laub - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior U.S. envoy warned the Palestinian president that he must move quickly to direct talks with Israel if he wants President Barack Obama's help in setting up a Palestinian state, according to an internal Palestinian document obtained by The Associated Press on Monday. The 36-page memo, sent to senior Palestinian officials, advised Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resist growing U.S. pressure, warning that rescinding his conditions for face-to-face negotiations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would be "political suicide."

Gaza kids struggle to leave their world of silence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Osama Radi - July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The four-year-old Gaza boy Noor stuttered when he tried to utter the word "baba". A deaf specialist, sitting next to him, was teaching him to say the easy word, hoping to help the boy leave the world of silence. Noor and another eight hearing-impaired children were in one room with their specialist mentor who produced several musical sounds and slowly moved her tongue and lips to teach them the correct pronunciation of the early childhood expressions.

Settlers block West Bank roads to protest construction freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

In protest of Monday's home demolition carried out by Israeli security forces at the Givat Ronen outpost, settlers blockaded 11 intersections across the West Bank on Monday evening. The demonstrations were organized by the Samaria and Benjamin regional councils. From early Monday morning, council activists telephoned citizens to encourage them to come out to the evening protests. The Neveh Tsuf, Kochav Hashachar, Tzomet Shiloh, Tzomet Hadoar, Tzomet Hawara and Tzomet Shavei Shomron intersections were among those that were blocked.

The right's strategy of phases
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Shaul Arieli - (Opinion) July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Most of the Jewish public perceives the refusal by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to accede to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand to recognize Israel as the Jewish state prior to negotiations and a final agreement as evidence of a hidden agenda. For them, this agenda is based on a "strategy of phases" and the aspiration to destroy Israel as a Zionist state.

Police release rabbi arrested for inciting to kill non-Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Police released the head rabbi of a prominent yeshiva yesterday hours after arresting him for encouraging to kill non-Jews. Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, head of the Od Yosef Hai Yeshiva and author of "The King's Torah," was arrested early yesterday morning at his home in the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar. His book describes how it is possible to kill non-Jews according to halakha (Jewish religious law ).

Turkey working to prevent Lebanese sail to Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Itamar Eichner - July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Officials in Jerusalem were surprised to learn that Turkey is working to prevent Lebanese ships from attempting to sail to Gaza in violation of an Israeli blockade on the Hamas-run territory, the Yedioth Ahronoth daily reported Tuesday. Israeli officials estimate that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who visited Damascus and Beirut last week, asked the Lebanese government to prevent the flotilla's departure as part of Ankara's efforts to ease tensions with Israel.

Israel needs a Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Alon Ben-meir - (Opinion) July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel’s national security and self-preservation as a democracy, if not its very existence, depend on its ability and willingness to come to terms with the reality of coexistence with the Palestinians on the basis of a two-state solution. Unfortunately, instead of seeking to promote the creation of a Palestinian state, the current government has sought to impede it.

Analysis: A conundrum for the government
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

The violence in northern Samaria on Monday was a taste of what might come after September 26. That’s the date when the government-imposed freeze on settlement construction will expire, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will have to decide whether to extend it, and, if so, under what format – complete or partial.

Insufficient steps taken
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Hassan Barari - (Opinion) July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

I was not moved this week when I read that the American administration decided to upgrade its diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority (PA) by granting its mission in Washington a higher status, yet still less than embassy. The upgrade is not expected to put an end to the Israeli occupation nor to improve the PA’s battered imaged among the Palestinians.

If Kosovo, why not Palestine?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by John V. Whitbeck - (Opinion) July 27, 2010 - 12:00am

By a 10-4 majority, the court ruled that, because “general international law contains no applicable prohibition of declarations of independence”, Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008, coordinated with and supported by the American and most EU governments and subsequently recognized by 69 countries, “did not violate general international law.” The clear implication is that no declarations of independence violate international law and that all are, therefore, “legal”.

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