Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The Washington Post profiles the joint ATFP/APN internship program for Israeli and Palestinian students. George Will says PM Netanyahu and Pres. Obama do not understand each other. The CSM says land is a symbol of identity for Israelis and Palestinians. James Carroll looks at the importance of Jerusalem. Palestinians are pressing to bring the Quartet into efforts to revive direct negotiations. Netanyahu rejects the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations. Arab leaders will meet in Cairo. Lebanon considers extending more rights to Palestinian refugees. Palestinian officials say the US has approved their proposal for framing direct negotiations, but await Israel's response. Israel's military is taking the narrowest possible interpretation of a court ruling opening a major West Bank highway to Palestinian traffic. Palestinian citizens who do not serve in Israel's military are denied university housing. Larry Derfner says the flotilla raid was ill-conceived. Interior Minister Yishai confirms that building after Sept. 26 will be confined to existing settlement blocs. Michael Young says Tony Judt's embrace of impossible bi-nationalism was a symptom of the lack of any real solution. Mshari Al-Zaydi says many have a stake in not resolving the conflict. Abdullah Iskandar says Pres. Abbas faces an impossible choice on direct talks.

Program joins Palestinians and Israelis as interns in the District
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Glenn Kessler - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

A sweltering June day at Reagan National Airport. Mariam Ashour walks to the parking lot, "freaking out in my mind," looking for someone she has never met. Noam Rabinovich sits in a car, trying to identify Ashour, with whom she has exchanged only a few messages on Facebook. As they approach each other, something strange happens, something neither can fully explain. They hug. "I don't want to over-dramatize the moment, but time stopped for a second," Ashour said later. "To me it was, like, 'Wow.' I was very happy."

Netanyahu, the anti-Obama
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by George F. Will - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Two photographs adorn the office of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Together they illuminate a portentous fact: No two leaders of democracies are less alike -- in life experiences, temperaments and political philosophies -- than Netanyahu, the former commando and fierce nationalist, and Barack Obama, the former professor and post-nationalist.

Why Israeli-Palestinian conflicts over land turn epic
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Omar Kasrawi - August 11, 2010 - 12:00am

Standing outside a mausoleum in Jerusalem's Mamilla cemetery, Rawan Dajani bows her head and cups her hands upward in prayer for her ancestor Sheikh Ahmed Dajani. He was buried in Mamilla, the oldest Muslim burial ground in Jerusalem, nearly half a millennium ago. About 200 meters away, a fenced-off construction zone marks the future site of the Center for Human Dignity – Museum of Tolerance, a project overseen by the California-based Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Pursuit of the holy land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Boston Globe
by James Carroll - July 26, 2010 - 12:00am

‘LAND For peace’’ was the early mantra of the Mideast peace process, and it was realized in Israel’s treaties with Egypt and Jordan. The formula has proven to be more problematic between Israel and Palestine because the disputed territory defines core identities of both peoples. Having accepted the principle, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated in 1995 by a fellow Jew for whom any surrender of Eretz Israel (the Land of Israel) violated the sacred trust given by God.

US to consult with Quartet over Abbas request
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

US State Department officials said Wednesday, peace efforts would "press forward in the coming days" despite the latest visit by Middle East envoy George Mitchell characterized as a failure by many media outlets. Mitchell, who left the region on Wednesday evening, met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during his latest tour, and presented a formula for talks laid out by President Mahmoud Abbas to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which the latter rejected.

Netanyahu rejects '67 borders as basis for talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his request that direct peace talks with Palestinians go ahead without preconditions, during a meeting with US envoy to the peace process George Mitchell on Wednesday. President Mahmoud Abbas, following his Tuesday meeting with Mitchell, told the press that he emphasized the need to base talks on a March statement by the Middle East Quartet, which outlined its position that a future Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 borders.

Abbas, Mubarak, Abdullah to meet in Cairo
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

President Mahmoud Abbas, Jordanian King Abdullah II and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, will sit for a tripartite meeting in Cairo on Thursday, an aide to Abbas said. In a Wednesday statement published on the governmental news agency WAFA, Abbas’ political adviser Nimer Hammad said officials would discuss the US call to start direct negotiations. Earlier in the day, Abbas met with Mubarak in a one-on-one meeting in Cairo.

Lebanon debates giving Palestinians rights
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Associated Press
by Zeina Karam - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Mohammed al-Amin spends his days doing little more than playing billiards and smoking cigarettes in this sprawling Palestinian refugee camp, where gunmen roam narrow alleyways dotted with tin-roofed, cement-block homes. The 25-year-old studied dental lab technology but works at a small, grubby coffee shop in the camp, making $100 a month. He dreams of working with a respected doctor in Lebanese society and being welcomed like any other foreigner, without being looked down on.

Palestinians receive U.S. approval of proposal of reference for direct talks with Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Osama Radi - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

A senior official revealed on Wednesday that the Palestinian leadership received a preliminary approval from the United States over a proposal that the Quartet committee for peace in the Middle East issue a statement defining a reference for direct peace talks with Israel. Hana Amira, member of Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) executive committee, told Xinhua that U.S. peace envoy George Mitchell informed President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday that the U.S. has accepted in principle the proposal that the Quartet Committee issues the statement.

Palestinians await Israeli response on involving Quartet in peace discussions: official
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership is waiting for Israel's response on the proposal that the international Quartet issues a statement to define the references for direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a senior Palestinian official said on Thursday. "We are waiting for the Americans to tell us the Israeli response on our proposal," Saleh Ra'fat, a member of the Executive Committee of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) told Radio of Palestine.

Netanyahu rejects peace talks based on 1967 borders
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday rejected a Palestinian demand that direct negotiations be based on a statement by the Quartet confirming its position that the future Palestinian state will be based on the 1967 borders. Meeting in Jerusalem with U.S. envoy George Mitchell, Netanyahu repeated his demand for the renewal of direct talks without preconditions. Mitchell briefed Netanyahu on his meeting on Tuesday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and gave the prime minister the Palestinian proposal.

IDF bans Israelis from Palestinian villages along West Bank highway
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

A new IDF decree bans Israelis from entering Palestinian villages along Route 443, despite these villages being located in Area C, which is under complete Israeli control. The ban was announced yesterday by GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi. It joins other measures taken by the Central Command as the West Bank road is prepared to be opened to Palestinian traffic, in accordance with a Supreme Court verdict rendered earlier this year.

No place in university dorms for Arabs who didn't serve in IDF
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Jack Khoury - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Dozens of Arab students at Tel Aviv University were denied spots in college dormitories for the coming academic year, due to preference given to students with military records, students said a secretary in the dean's office told them. There are fewer beds allocated for Israeli citizens this year because more overseas students, mainly from the United States, have registered for classes, the students said.

Goliath and his paintball gun
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Larry Derfner - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

How could we have screwed up so badly? This is what no one understands about the navy commandos’ May 31 raid on the Mavi Marmara, and this is what our leaders are twisting themselves into knots this week trying to explain to the Turkel Commission.

Yishai: PM set to build in blocs only
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Hoffman, David Horovitz - August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will resume building only in the settlement blocs Israel will likely keep under an agreement with the Palestinians when the construction freeze in Judea and Samaria ends on September 26, Interior Minister Eli Yishai predicted on Wednesday.

Proposed binational state is a symptom of desperation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Michael Young - (Opinion) August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

The transformation of historian Tony Judt from being an advocate of Israel as a young man into one of the most distinctive intellectual critics of the country was an interesting interlude in the otherwise dreary disputation surrounding the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

What If the Palestine Issue was Resolved?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Mshari Al-Zaydi - (Opinion) August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Away from the channels of indirect and direct negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, whether this is above or below the table; the "eternal" Palestinian Cause has remained central to Arab politics since 1948, the year of the Israeli declaration of independence – or perhaps a little before this [date] – until today.

Abbas Between the Plague and Cholera
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - (Opinion) August 12, 2010 - 12:00am

Will the sixth tour of American Envoy George Mitchell between Ramallah and occupied Jerusalem since last May - which marked the launching of the indirect talks between Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Benjamin Netanyahu’s government - be the last tour that will make Abu Mazen head toward direct negotiations?

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