Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli settlers are suspected of torching a West Bank mosque and burning Korans. Palestinians celebrate Oktoberfest with a local brew. A compromise may be brewing over settlements. A Palestinian man is shot by Israeli forces in the West Bank. The PA denounces a new video of occupation forces mocking captured Palestinians. A new study shows both Israelis and Palestinians retaliate against each other. Israel deports an Irish Nobel laureate. Egyptian Pres. Mubarak warns of "global terror" without a peace agreement. A majority of Palestinians don't want talks to continue if settlement activity does. The ADL condemns the mosque arson. A leading Israeli poet says Israel is “an apartheid state.” Ami Kaufman says Israelis should support a Palestinian Declaration of Independence in one year. US opens a new consulate in West Jerusalem. Rock star Roger Waters says he's not anti-Semitic, just opposed to the occupation. Simon Tisdall says Pres. Obama faces humiliation if talks collapse. PM Netanyahu says he's using quiet diplomacy. Tariq Alhomayed says Netanyahu has turned the tables on Pres. Abbas. Christopher Hitchens says it's not offensive to point out the effectiveness of Jewish-American organizations.

Arsonists set fire to mosque in West Bank town
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
December 31, 1969 - 8:00pm

BEIT FAJAR, WEST BANK - Arsonists set fire to a mosque in this Palestinian town early Monday, charring Korans, burning holes into the carpet and scrawling "revenge" in Hebrew near the doorway. The attack, which residents blamed on Jewish settlers, threatened to stir passions amid a crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks over settlement construction. It was strongly condemned by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

West Bank Oktoberfest raises a glass to Palestinian culture
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Reporting from Taybeh, West Bank Maybe it's the afternoon beer-chugging contest in a land where 98% of the people are Muslim and prohibited from drinking alcohol. Or the fact that pork-filled German bratwurst and stein-carrying beer maidens have been replaced by roasted lamb gyros and AK-47-carrying policemen. Then there's the eclectic crowd, including Boy Scouts, nuns, foreign diplomats and even a few liberal-minded Jewish Israelis, who celebrated with thousands of other partygoers, technically violating the military ban against Israelis entering Palestinian towns.

Did militant Israeli settlers burn mosque near Bethlehem?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Tel Aviv, Israel — Israel is worried that Jewish militants torched a West Bank mosque overnight Monday in a bid to undermine peace negotiations with the Palestinians. A mosque in the Palestinian village of Beit Fajar, just south of Bethlehem, became the fourth in the last two years to be the target of an arson attempt, according to human rights workers. The attack is believed to be part of a campaign by vigilante settlers to ignite violence by attacking Muslim holy sites.

Deadline extended in bid to keep Israel-Palestinian talks alive
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Tel Aviv, Israel — Sputtering Israeli-Palestinian peace talks received another reprieve over the weekend when a key Arab League meeting was postponed until Friday. It was the second delay for the meeting, which Palestinians said could mark their withdrawal from negotiations if Israeli settlement expansion continued.

Qalqiliya checkpoint shooting leaves 1 injured
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – A young Palestinian man was shot and injured by Israeli forces near a military checkpoint in Qalqiliya on Tuesday morning. Israeli sources said the young man was from the village of Habla, a Palestinian area inside Israel, while a military spokeswoman told Ma'an that three young men driving a car identified as stolen were driving from Israel into the West Bank.

PA: Latest Israeli soldier video 'deeply offensive'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A personal film showing an Israeli soldier dancing around a Palestinian woman uploaded to YouTube on Monday "is a disgusting illustration of the sick mentality of the occupier," a Palestinian Authority statement said. The video, showing an Israeli soldier belly-dancing next to a woman who is a blindfolded and handcuffed, head leaning against a concrete wall, sparked outrage for Palestinians and embarrassment for the Israeli military, as Tel Aviv papers branded the incident "Another YouTube embarrassment for IDF."

Study shows Israelis, Palestinians both retaliate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Maggie Fox - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - An unusual attempt to quantify the conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians shows that both act in retaliation for violent attacks, researchers reported on Monday. They said their findings defy the perception that Palestinians attack randomly and demonstrate that both sides damage their own interests with acts of violence. Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers also said they hope to shed some light on the psychology that makes both Israelis and Palestinians feel they are the victims in the conflict.

Korans burnt in West Bank mosque attack
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Douglas Hamilton - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

BEIT FAJJAR, West Bank, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Jewish settlers opposed to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians were accused of setting fire to a mosque in the West Bank on Monday, burning the Koran and scrawling threats in Hebrew on its walls. "Mosques, we burn," said a warning scribbled at the door of the smoke-smudged mosque of Beit Fajjar south of Bethlehem on the day Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appealed for cool heads to avert the collapse of U.S.-brokered peace talks.

Israel deports pro-Palestinian Nobel laureate
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Josef Federman - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel on Tuesday expelled an Irish Nobel peace laureate and pro-Palestinian activist who was barred from the country for trying to bust the naval blockade of Gaza. Mairead Corrigan Maguire was placed on an early morning flight to Britain, the Interior Ministry said. She had been banned from Israel for 10 years after trying to sail to Gaza on a blockade-busting ship in June. Still, she landed in Tel Aviv last week as part of a delegation meeting Israeli and Palestinian peace activists.

Egypt president warns of 'global terror' if Mideast peace talks fail
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff, Natasha Mozgovaya, Barak Ravid - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has warned that a failure in Israel-Palestinian peace negotiations would lead to "violence and terrorism" across the world. In an interview with the journal of the Egyptian armed forces, given to mark the anniversary of the 1973 Yom Kippur War, he said he has told several leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that "if the peace process collapses, violence and terrorism will erupt in the Middle East and all over the world."

Poll: Most Palestinians back dropping talks if Israel builds settlements
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

A majority of Palestinians would want to withdraw from Middle East peace negotiations if Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank, according to a public opinion poll published Monday. The poll, conducted by the Ramallah-based Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research, found that 66 per cent of participants supported that position.

ADL 'outraged' by West Bank mosque arson, condemns extremist Jewish violence
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

The Anti-Defamation League on Monday condemned the torching of a Palestinian mosque in the West Bank, an act believed to have been carried out by angry settlers as part of their "price tag operation. ? "We are outraged by the attack on the mosque in Bayt Fajar,” Anti-Defamation League Israel office said in a statement. “We join with Israeli officials in condemning this act of hate, and hope that the joint IDF-Palestinian investigative team will identify and apprehend the perpetrators of this vicious act and bring them to justice according to the law."

Poet Zach: Israel apartheid state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Boaz Fyler - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The Knesset is on the offensive as one of Israel's leading poets has announced his intent to join the next flotilla to Gaza. Natan Zach condemned the government and said he was willing to join activists attempting to reach Gaza via flotillas. He added that while visiting Germany, he witnessed a huge rally where Israel was labeled as an "apartheid state. "I do not wish to live in such state," he said. Zach told Ynet that he did not understand why his statements caused such uproar.

Play the wild card
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Ami Kaufman - October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Pessimism,” “doomed to fail” and “waste of time” – these words and phrases litter the reporting and blogging on the current talks between Israel and the Palestinians. One can only hope to be pleasantly surprised and hear that by the end of next summer they will be deemed a success. But seeing as how the pessimists seem to be a majority, now may just be the time to think of creative ways to end the stalemate. One possibility would be for a third party to change the rules of the game. This would fundamentally change the status quo and force the two sides to act accordingly.

New US consulate to open in west Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Melanie Lidman - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

After six years of construction, the American Consulate in Jerusalem will open its new facility for consular services on Rehov David Flusser in the southern Arnona neighborhood next Tuesday. The office that previously dealt with consular services, located on Nablus Road in east Jerusalem, will remain open for consulate programs, along with the facility in west Jerusalem on Rehov Agron, and America House, a cultural outreach center in east Jerusalem.

Roger Waters: I'm not anti-Semitic, I'm anti-occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Lahav Harkov - October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters denied being anti-Semitic in an open letter to the UK newspaper The Independent on Monday, after the Anti-Defamation League slammed him for using "imagery long associated with steretotypes about Jews and money." In Waters' The Wall Live tour, during performances of the song "Goodbye Blue Sky," a animated B52 bomber plane is shown dropping bombs shaped like the Star of David, dollar signs and logos for Shell Oil and Mercedes. The ADL released a statement saying Waters "cross[ed] the line into anti-Semitism."

Obama faces humiliation over Middle East talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Simon Tisdall - (Opinion) October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Barack Obama has barely a week to save the Middle East peace process from collapse, only months after he relaunched it amid optimistic predictions that a solution would be reached within a year. The consequences of failure will be serious for the US president; for the region and the wider world, they are potentially disastrous.

Bibi pushing quiet diplomacy in bid to restart talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he is "in the midst of sensitive diplomatic contacts with the U.S. administration" in the effort to continue peace talks with the Palestinians. In a statement Sunday at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting, Netanyahu called the direct peace negotiations begun one month ago "a vital interest for the State of Israel." He urged his ministers to "be patient, act responsibly, calmly and -- above all -- quietly."

How Did Netanyahu Turn the Tables on Abbas?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Tariq Alhomayed - (Opinion) October 5, 2010 - 12:00am

The story revealed by our newspaper yesterday on the new conditions proposed by the Israeli Prime Minister to the US administration for a freeze on settlement construction for a specific period of time – thus leading to a resumption of the peace talks – demonstrates why we had been calling on the Palestinian President to continue negotiations and not fall into Netanyahu's trap.

Not So Hidden Influences
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Slate
by Christopher Hitchens - (Opinion) October 4, 2010 - 12:00am

I wasted a little time before writing this article, to see if I could produce a satire or a parody. This would have consisted of a fundraising letter from the American Israel Public Affairs Committee to a potential donor. "Dear Leo," it might begin. "We are asking you, even in these straitened times, to make the largest contribution you can afford. The security of the state of Israel is threatened as never before, and your help is urgently required. Alas, we can offer you nothing in return for your donation.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017