Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A former Palestinian intelligence chief passes away. George Will calls the search for peace “obscene.” Palestinian students learn about the Holocaust. The UN welcomes Lebanon's easing of restrictions on Palestinian refugees, but the Arab News says it's not enough. The UN publishes Israeli and PA responses to the Goldstone report. Another settler rabbi is arrested suspicion of incitement and a rally is held in support of rabbis authorizing the killing of non-Jews. Israeli soldiers are accused of looting from the Gaza flotilla. A senior UN official calls on Israel to extend the settlement moratorium. Settlers and Palestinians recall the 2005 Gaza redeployment. Israeli groups launch Wikipedia editing seminars. After criticism from the right, the New Israel Fund considers guidelines for grantees. The Forward profiles Israeli Amb. Michael Oren. JJ Goldberg looks at the legality of the flotilla raid. Rami Khouri says Israeli leaders promote a culture of victimhood. Neil Berry profiles Palestinian writer Raja Shehadeh. Hussein Ibish looks at the new PA initiative on education.

Amin al-Hindi, Former Palestinian Intelligence Chief, Dies at 70
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Amin al-Hindi, an associate of the Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat and a former Palestinian Authority intelligence chief who was widely suspected of having played an organizing role in the deadly attack on Israeli athletes at the 1972 Munich Olympics, died Tuesday in Amman, Jordan. He was 70. His death was reported by the official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, which did not list the cause. However, the Palestinian ambassador in Amman, Atallah Kheiry, told Agence France-Presse that Mr. Hindi had been treated for cancer.

Skip the lecture on Israel's 'risks for peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by George F. Will - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

In the intifada that began in 2000, Palestinian terrorism killed more than 1,000 Israelis. As a portion of U.S. population, that would be 42,000, approaching the toll of America's eight years in Vietnam. During the onslaught, which began 10 Septembers ago, Israeli parents sending two children to a school would put them on separate buses to decrease the chance that neither would return for dinner. Surely most Americans can imagine, even if their tone-deaf leaders cannot, how grating it is when those leaders lecture Israel on the need to take "risks for peace."

Palestinians learn about the Holocaust in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Aron Heller - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Growing up in the West Bank, Mujahid Sarsur knew next to nothing about the Holocaust and saw little ground to sympathize with a people he saw as his occupier. But thanks to an Israeli roommate overseas, the 21-year-old Palestinian student learned about the Nazi murder of 6 million Jews during World War II and discovered a new understanding of his Israeli neighbors. Now he wants other Arabs to do the same. Sarsur heads one of a handful of Palestinian grass-roots groups seeking knowledge about the Holocaust.

UN hails Lebanese step towards Palestinian refugees
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The United Nations on Wednesday hailed a Lebanese decision to lift an employment ban on Palestinian refugees in the country. The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA and the International Labor Office (ILO) said in a joint statement distributed to the press that the Lebanese move represents "an important step in the right direction." "This endorsement of the universal right to work by Lebanese legislators is an important breakthrough," added the statement. "It reaffirms Lebanon's commitment to social justice and decent work for all," it stressed.

UN releases Israeli, PA responses to Goldstone; no input from Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Wednesday released the results of Israeli and Palestinian investigations into alleged war crimes during the conflict in Gaza in the winter of 2008-2009, which did not appear to include any input from Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Settlement rabbi arrested on suspicion of incitement to racism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Rabbi Yosef Elitzur, from the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, was detained by police on Thursday and questioned by investigators from the international crimes unit on suspicions of incitement to racism. Elitzur and Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira wrote a book "The King's Torah" which condones the murder of non-Jews if they threaten the welfare of Jews, citing Jewish law to support the argument.

IDF soldiers suspected of theft from Gaza flotilla ship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Military Police arrested an Israel Defense Forces officer suspected of stealing laptop computers from activists aboard the Gaza-bound aid ship raided by Israeli commandos in May and selling them to other officers. The officer allegedly sold the computers to a friend, who in turn sold them to friends of his. Three officers who are suspected of having bought the computers have also been detained for questioning.

Rally held for rabbis suspected of incitement
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Kobi Nahshoni - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Dozens of rabbis, educators, public figures and right-wing activists attended on Wednesday a support rally for Rabbis Dov Lior and Yaakov Yosef, who refused to report for police questioning over their endorsement of the controversial book "Torat Hamelech," which relates a halachic perspective on violence against non-Jews. The two, along with other rabbis and the author of the book, Rabbi Yitzhak Shapira, are being investigated on suspicion of incitement. The rally was moderated by Rabbi Yehoshua Shapira, head of Ramat Gan's Hesder Yeshiva and brother of the book's author.

UN official: Israel should extend freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Jordana Horn - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

In a briefing to the Security Council at its meeting Tuesday morning on the Middle East, a senior United Nations official called on Israel to continue the partial moratorium on settlement construction beyond September 26 and to extend it to all settlement activity, as well as to construction in east Jerusalem. “We are nearing a turning point in the efforts to promote direct negotiations,” Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Oscar Fernandez- Taranco told the Security Council, in his briefing on the situation in the Middle East.

Settlers and Palestinians remember 2005 Gaza pullout
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Paul Wood - August 17, 2010 - 12:00am

Neve Dekalim was once the largest Israeli settlement in the Gaza Strip. Now it is mostly sand and rubble. Palestinian trucks are taking away the last of what remains of the Jewish homes, to use as building material. The evictions from Neve Dekalim took place five years ago today under then-Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's unilateral disengagement plan. In all, some 9,000 Israelis were evacuated from 21 Jewish settlements. Celia Goldstein, a British-born settler, was one of the last to leave Neve Dekalim.

Wikipedia editing courses launched by Zionist groups
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rachel Shabi - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Since the earliest days of the worldwide web, the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians has seen its rhetorical counterpart fought out on the talkboards and chatrooms of the internet. Now two Israeli groups seeking to gain the upper hand in the online debate have launched a course in "Zionist editing" for Wikipedia, the online reference site.

New Israel Fund Considering Red Lines
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The New Israel Fund, the target of attacks by right-wing organizations accusing it of supporting anti-Zionist groups, is discussing the possibility of specifying in its guidelines that grants will be given only to groups that accept the idea of Israel as a Jewish homeland. The discussions have been taking place in recent months in Israel and in the United States, where NIF’s headquarters are located and most of the group’s donors reside.

Public Diplomat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Gal Beckerman - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

A week after Israel’s fatal raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla, which left nine dead, Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, appeared on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report.” It was not an easy assignment. Stephen Colbert plays a satirical version of a right-wing television host who regularly and mercilessly mocks his guests. In introducing Oren, he had already feigned sympathy for the raid by saying that it was tragic, but “you can’t make a challah without breaking a few eggs.”

You'll Never Guess What the Laws of War Say About Attacking a Neutral Vessel on the High Seas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

I don’t know about you, but I find on occasion that there’s nothing more relaxing than to curl up with some good reading material. Well, the other day I was getting cozy with my favorite Geneva Conventions on the laws of war, and to my surprise I came across an annex to the conventions detailing the ins and outs of what’s legal and what’s not legal in the conduct of warfare at sea. How about that? The document is fetchingly titled The San Remo Manual on International Law Applicable to Armed Conflicts at Sea, 12 June 1994.

Israel, muscular and a perpetual victim
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Rami Khouri - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The capacity of Zionism and the leaders of Israel to be both heroic to the Jewish people and compulsive liars to the rest of the world is one of the great tragedies of our time – and it is on display again these days in the ongoing media campaign to prepare American public opinion for a possible Israeli military strike against Iran.

Editorial: Not enough
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinians remain barred from working for the government and in the professions, including law and medicine. They are also still forbidden from owning property and taking advantage of government health and welfare provisions.

Raja Shehadeh’s Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
by Neil Berry - August 18, 2010 - 12:00am

“Lawrence of Arabia” was typical of the British imperial class in expecting that they would “make the desert bloom”. He was typical of it, too, for all his romanticizing of the Arab world, in nursing no such expectation of Palestine’s “existing inhabitants”.

Palestinians turn to educational reform
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Common Ground News Service
by Hussein Ibish - August 19, 2010 - 12:00am

In an important new move, the Palestinian Authority has recently begun highlighting education as one of the main centrepieces in the next phase of the state and institution building programme. Under the leadership of President Mahmoud Abbas, the PA understands that an effective and progressive educational system is essential for economic and social development, building a functional state, and laying the groundwork for peace with Israel.

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