Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Remarks by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at last night's Fifth Annual ATFP Gala are covered by numerous publications. Tom Friedman says Israel really is behaving like a spoiled child. Palestinians mull seeking international recognition. The drive to free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard revs up. PM Netanyahu insists settlements are not an obstacle to peace. Settlers torch and vandalize a school near Nablus. Rachel Corrie's parents confront the bulldozer driver at a civil trial in Israel. A blast at a Hamas compound in Gaza injures children. Israelis mark 15 years since the assassination of PM Rabin. Settlers are working on 550 new homes in the West Bank. Avi Issacharoff says settlements are incompatible with peace. Rappers face tough times in Gaza. Palestinian citizens of Israel feel increasingly alienated.





Talks the only way forward for Mideast peace: Clinton
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ottawa Times
by Andrew Quinn - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday there was no "magic formula" to break an impasse over peace talks, but said hard work could still yield a deal. Clinton, speaking to a Palestinian advocacy group that supports a peaceful end to the conflict, said both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas remained committed to a two-state solution despite a standoff that threatens to torpedo the U.S.-brokered peace talks less than two months after they were launched.


Clinton urges Arabs to give more money to Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday urged Arab countries to offer greater financial support to the Palestinian Authority. "It takes more than plans and commitments to support making the state of Palestine a reality," Clinton told the annual dinner of the American Task Force on Palestine, a pro-Palestinian group which calls for a Palestinian state. The chief US diplomat paid tribute to the Palestinian Authority's efforts, saying it needs a "larger, steadier, and more predictable source" of financial support.


Just Knock It Off
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - (Opinion) October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Some of Israel’s worst critics are fond of saying that Israel behaves like America’s spoiled child. I’ve always found that analogy excessive. Say what you want about Israel’s obstinacy at times, it remains the only country in the United Nations that another U.N. member, Iran, has openly expressed the hope that it be wiped off the map. And that same country, Iran, is trying to build a nuclear weapon.


Palestinians Shift Focus in Strategy for Statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


The Palestinian leadership, near despair about attaining a negotiated agreement with Israel on a two-state solution, is increasingly focusing on how to get international bodies and courts to declare a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.


Moves to free convicted spy Pollard pick up in U.S. and Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Vita Bekker - October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


As convicted spy Jonathan Pollard approaches 25 years behind bars, Israelis and others are renewing efforts to secure freedom for the former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, who is serving a life sentence for relaying military documents to Israel. Pollard's case has been a source of constant friction between Israel and the United States, its staunchest ally. Israeli leaders have failed to persuade Washington to release the 56-year-old American Jew, whom Israelis and some U.S. officials say was given an unduly long sentence for spying for a friendly government.


Palestinians mull alternatives to peace talks, including UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


With Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in limbo over a dispute regarding settlement expansion, Palestinians are starting to think out loud about possible alternatives to peace talks. After investing all of his political capital in talks with Israel, what would President Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority (PA) do if he concludes there's no chance for a deal with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?


Clinton says no substitute for talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday there was "no substitute for face-to-face discussion" to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Speaking at a Washington dinner for advocacy group the American Task Force on Palestine, Clinton said negotiations were "the only path that will lead to the fulfillment of the Palestinian national aspiration." Clinton reiterated the US administration for a two-state solution, which she said was critical for Israel's long-term future and to end "The indignity of occupation" for Palestinians.


Netanyahu: Settlements no threat to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that construction in existing West Bank settlements "does not contradict the aspiration for peace and an agreement." Addressing the Knesset at a session to mark the 15th anniversary of the assassination of late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Netanyahu said the partial settlement freeze was a temporary "gesture."


Settlers torch, vandalize Nablus school
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


A group of Israeli settlers broke into an all girls' school in the Nablus districton Wednesday, setting fire to its storehouse containing furniture and unused sports equipment, the headmistress said. Maysoon Sawalha said the cleaning woman at the school in As-Sawiya village arrived to find the lock on the main door broken as well as that of the storehouse, and all its contents were torched. The fire did not spread to the rest of school because the water main is located in the storehouse, she said, adding that "otherwise the whole school would have been set on fire."


Slain US activist's parents face Israeli killer
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Tia Goldenberg - October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


The parents of an American protester crushed to death by an Israeli military bulldozer in the Gaza Strip got their first chance Thursday to hear from the man who drove the vehicle that killed her. But they were denied a chance to confront him face-to-face in an Israeli courtroom, dashing a central goal of their civil lawsuit against Israel's Defense Ministry. The unidentified former soldier was shielded behind a wood-and-plastic partition, and his testimony about the events leading up to 23-year-old Rachel Corrie's death floated into the hall over a microphone.


Blast in Gaza Hamas compound injures children
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Ibrahim Barzak - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


A huge blast Wednesday at a Hamas military base in southern Gaza lightly injured more than a dozen people, including children, Hamas officials said. It appeared the explosion was accidental. Hamas did not say what caused the blast in a crowded neighborhood in the town of Rafah and the Israeli military said it wasn't involved. Israeli warplanes often target Hamas weapons facilities, but Israel usually confirms those attacks.


Israel marks 15 years since Rabin assassination
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israel on Wednesday marked 15 years since Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an Israeli extremist who opposed his concessions for peace with the Palestinians. At ceremonies around the country, speakers assessed Rabin's legacy, and many warned that the incitement to violence that preceded his assassination has not disappeared.


Clinton: Talks absolutely necessary for Middle East peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians are "absolutely necessary" to achieve Middle East peace. Clinton made the remarks as she addressed a pro-Palestinian group, the American Task force on Palestine, in Washington. "Negotiations are not easy, but they are absolutely necessary. It is always easier to defer decisions than it is to make them," Clinton said. She admitted that there is no "magic formula" to break the current impasse of the talks regarding the settlement issue.


Settlers have broken ground on nearly 550 West Bank homes since end of freeze, survey shows
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


Israeli settlers have begun building new homes at a quick pace since the government lifted its moratorium on West Bank housing starts - almost 550 in three weeks, more than four times faster than the last two years. And many homes are going up in areas that under practically any peace scenario would become part of a Palestinian state, a trend that could hamper U.S.-brokered peace talks. According to an Associated Press count, ground has been broken on 544 new West Bank homes since September 26, when Israel lifted its 10-month freeze on most new settlement building.


Clinton: Two-state solution still possible for Israel, Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday that Israelis and Palestinians have not abandoned peace negotiations and that a two-state solution was still possible. Clinton. Clinton spoke at an annual gala of the American Taskforce for Palestine at in Washington, DC. "We remain convinced that if they persevere with negotiations, the parties can agree on an outcome that ends the conflict; reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps."


However wonderful they may be, settlers are an insurmountable obstacle to peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - (Analysis) October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


Last week I was invited to visit the Hayovel neighborhood in the West Bank settlement of Eli (erected on the 50th anniversary of Israel's establishment). This neighborhood includes several structures that were likely built on Palestinian land and are slated for demolition, pending a court ruling.


Clinton: Talks the only way to move forward toward peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday said that a deal that would save peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians could still be worked out, however there exists no "magic formula" for breaking the impasse in negotiations, Reuters reported. Clinton, speaking at a banquet hosted by the American Task Force on Palestine, said that both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas were still committed to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Clinton: Talks only way forward
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
October 20, 2010 - 11:00pm


US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton warned Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday there was no "magic formula" to break an impasse over peace talks, but said hard work could still yield a deal. Clinton, speaking to a Palestinian advocacy group that supports a peaceful end to the conflict, said both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas remained committed to a two-state solution despite a standoff that threatens to torpedo the US-brokered peace talks less than two months after they were launched.


Last rapper in Gaza struggles to make voice heard
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Harriet Sherwood - October 19, 2010 - 11:00pm


Mothafar Assar's spell in the limelight lasted only 30 minutes before the Hamas security forces came to break up his inaugural gig. A crowd of 450 people had crammed into the hotel venue for Gaza's first rap party, scheduled to last for three hours. As the audience left, the police confiscated video cameras, returning them later with the subversive images of Assar's Street Band Rappers removed.


Israeli-Arabs fear for their future
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Rachel Shabi - October 18, 2010 - 11:00pm


Like other Arab citizens of Israel, Leyla Ahmoud is anxious about her future. A young mother of two girls with another on the way, Ahmoud says recent moves by the Israeli government are making it increasingly obvious that the Arabs are not welcome in their own country. "I feel like my life is not in my hands," said 24-year-old Ahmoud, who lives in Umm al-Fahm, a mountain-ridge town of some 43,000 inhabitants in northern Israel. "The government decides how I live and where I live. We exist in fear, from one day to the next."





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