Middle East News: World Press Roundup

PM Netanyahu says Israel's new loyalty oath will also be mandatory for Jews. Israel is pushing for Palestinian recognition of its “Jewish character.” Israel claims Hamas has antiaircraft missiles. A report suggests that jailed Fatah leader Marwan Barghouthi might be included in an Israel–Hamas prisoner swap. Palestinians say Israel seeks to retain the West Bank as a market. Israeli officials say a settlement freeze extension might be possible. Palestinians say Israel is seeking de facto recognition of annexation of Jerusalem. Netanyahu is still resisting court ordered demolitions of unauthorized outposts. Palestinians may propose a UN resolution calling for settlement evacuation. The ongoing olive harvest has been the most violent on record. An animated model of former PM Sharon in a coma goes on display in Tel Aviv. The BBC looks at a new film about Palestinian nonviolent protests. Khaled Diab says the Israeli military is not a charitable organization. A leading Israeli rabbi says non-Jews only exist to serve Jews. Tony Karon asks who made Netanyahu the leader of the Jewish people. Linda Heard says Washington should do more to control Israel. Victor Kotsev looks at problems facing Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Israel: ‘Loyalty Oath’ Bill to Change to Include Jews, Netanyahu Says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
October 18, 2010 - 12:00am

The government will amend a bill to require that all immigrants, not just non-Jews, take a loyalty pledge, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday. Opposition lawmakers had denounced the bill, whose original language was directed only at non-Jewish immigrants, saying it undermined the rights of Israel’s minority Arab community. Thousands have protested the bill, which calls for an oath of loyalty to a “Jewish and democratic” Israel.

Israel pushes Palestinians to acknowledge its Jewish character
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

It sounds at first like a familiar Mideast tussle: Israel demands recognition, Arabs refuse to give it. But Israel's recent push to be recognized as a "Jewish" state is actually a new twist on an old struggle, and one that is rapidly turning into the latest stumbling block to faltering peace talks. Israel defines itself as a Jewish state in its declaration of independence. U.S. Presidents Obama and George W. Bush have embraced the term, which was used in the 1947 U.N. resolution calling for the establishment of two states, one Jewish and the other Palestinian Arab.

Hamas has antiaircraft missiles, Israel says
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
October 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Jerusalem — The Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers have obtained antiaircraft missiles, Israel's prime minister said Monday, in a potentially game-changing development that could threaten the Israeli air force's ability to strike at the Islamic militant group. Israeli aircraft have long dominated the skies over Gaza, striking suspected Hamas military installations and assassinating dozens of wanted militants. The Israeli air force played a key role in a fierce three-week Gaza offensive in the winter of 2008-09, which began with airstrikes that killed hundreds of Hamas fighters.

Report: Barghouthi to be freed in Shalit deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

MEDINA, Saudi Arabia (Ma'an) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to release Fatah strongman Marwan Barghouthi in a prisoner swap deal for captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit when finalized, a Saudi Arabian newspaper reported Tuesday. According to Al-Madina, quoting sources, the German mediator told Hamas that Barghouthi would be freed but other prisoners on the Islamist movement's list would not.

Minister: Israel seeks to retain PA market
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 16, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) – Israeli policy aims to retain the Palestinian Authority as a market for Israeli goods, PA Planning Minister Ali Jarbawi said Friday. Speaking at a meeting with former Canadian Finance Minister Greg Selinger, Jarbawi said Israel was obstructing the development of the Palestinian private sector. Meanwhile, the PA was working hard to develop the sector as the core of a future Palestinian state, Jarbawi said.

INTERVIEW-Israel might extend settlements freeze-ambassador
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
by Louis Charbonneau, Patrick Worsnip - October 18, 2010 - 12:00am

[-] Text [+] | Subscribe | Email | Print | RSS INTERVIEW-Israel might extend settlements freeze-ambassador 18 Oct 2010 23:19:18 GMT Source: Reuters * Israel govt "looking into possibilities" - Israel envoy * Peace talks with Palestinians not dead, Reuben says By Patrick Worsnip and Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS, Oct 18 (Reuters) - Israel might renew a moratorium on building Jewish settlements in the West Bank after its end last month abruptly froze peace talks with the Palestinians, Israel's new U.N. ambassador said on Monday.

Official: Israel seeks de facto recognition of east Jerusalem's illegal annexation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Patrick Galey - October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat on Monday accused Israel of seeking a de facto recognition of its illegal annexation of East Jerusalem by hosting the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) conference in the city. Erekat said in a press statement emailed to reporters that the Palestinians thanked the countries that have decided to withdraw their attendance to the OECD Tourism Committee Summit to be held in Jerusalem on Oct. 20.

Netanyahu still wary of razing six West Bank outposts slated for demolition in 2004
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that his cabinet needed more time to decide when and how to dismantle certain illegal West Bank outposts, due to the "political implications" involved. The government "needs time to consider its priorities" with regard to these outposts, Netanyahu said ahead of a High Court of Justice deliberation on the matter. The court last year ordered the state to explain why it had not evacuated six illegal West Bank outposts - Givat Assaf, Ma'aleh Rehavam, Givat Haroeh, Mitzpeh Yitzhar and Mitzpeh Lachish - that were slated for evacuation in 2004.

Palestinians plan UN resolution calling for settlement evacuation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership, in conjunction with Arab states, plans to submit a resolution to the UN Security Council stating that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal and must be evacuated, Haaretz has learned. This initiative comes in place of an earlier idea of seeking Security Council recognition for a Palestinian state within pre-1967 lines.

Current West Bank olive harvest most violent in years, defense document reveals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

The current olive harvest has been the most violent of the last several years, an internal defense establishment document reveals. Two weeks ago, Palestinians and Jews throughout the West Bank began the harvest. Due to several violent incidents in previous years, plus court rulings requiring the army to protect the harvesters, the Israel Defense Forces, the police and the Civil Administration all prepared extensively to safeguard this year's harvest.

Animated Ariel Sharon coma sculpture on show in Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

A life-size sculpture of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is due to be unveiled at a gallery in Tel Aviv. The installation, by Israeli artist Noam Braslavsky, portrays Mr Sharon lying in a hospital bed in the coma he has been in since 2006. Curators said the installation, which appears to breathe, was an allegory for the "inertia of Israeli politics". Mr Sharon was one of Israel's most influential leaders. He has never recovered from a massive stroke. The 82-year-old remains in hospital in Tel Aviv, having never regained consciousness after suffering the stroke four years ago.

Budrus: A Palestinian story of non-violent protest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Yolande Knell - October 17, 2010 - 12:00am

"We don't have time for war. We want to raise our kids in peace and hope," he states in Hebrew, addressing any Israelis in the cinema audience. Mr Morrar comes from one of six small villages close to the occupied West Bank's border with Israel, which were due to be encircled by the Israeli separation barrier in 2003. The plans would have cut off Budrus residents' access to some 300 acres of land and torn up their olive trees. The film, produced by a Palestinian and an Israeli, follows the villagers' largely peaceful protests against the barrier.

Please give generously, but not to armies
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Khaled Diab - (Opinion) October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

Ideally, there would be no need for charity. But in a world of inequality and vulnerability, private donations can mean the difference between life and death, dignity and humiliation, or subsistence and sustainability. But even when it comes to charity, not all causes are created equal. Contrast, for instance, the global generosity following the 2004 Asian tsunami with the trickle of funds in the wake of the recent floods in Pakistan.

Sephardi leader Yosef: Non-Jews exist to serve Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 18, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli Sephardic leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in his weekly Saturday night sermon said that non-Jews exist to serve Jews. “Goyim were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world; only to serve the People of Israel,” he said during a public discussion of what kind of work non-Jews are allowed to perform on Shabbat. "Why are gentiles needed? They will work, they will plow, they will reap. We will sit like an effendi and eat," he said to some laughter.

Who made Netanyahu the leader of the Jewish people?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Tony Karon - (Opinion) October 18, 2010 - 12:00am

'Next, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will insist that he can't make peace with the Palestinians until they recognise the Jews as the Chosen People." That was the sarcastic tweet of one Jewish-American analyst on Israel's demand that Palestinians recognise it not only as a "Jewish state", but as "the national home of the Jewish people".

Israel must be disciplined
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by Linda Heard - (Opinion) October 19, 2010 - 12:00am

There are plenty of fingers wagging in Israel's direction these days for all kinds of reasons. But where are the metaphorical thumb screws? When any other country on the planet consistently falls foul of the international community's wishes or breaches international law, there is usually some kind of punishment in store. Israel, however, gets away with heinous crimes time and time again.

Arab Israelis in no man's land
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Asia Times
by Victor Kotsov - October 20, 2010 - 12:00am

On the surface, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict might appear as a fairly straightforward confrontation, between two clearly defined actors, based on clashing national aspirations. This is certainly how the international community (which, for the most part, sticks to the “two states for two peoples” mantra) prefers to look at it. However, reality is somewhat different and - to use a cliche - very complex.

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