Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Some Israeli officials question PM Netanyahu's insistence on Palestinian recognition of Israel as a "Jewish state," and Leonard Fein calls the demand frivolous. Nabeel Shaath says settlement construction must stop. An Israeli general proposes a plan for revival in Gaza. Palestinians and settlers compete over planting, olive harvesting. Palestinians reiterate they may seek UN recognition. UN officials say they support a Palestinian state next year. Israeli forces wound one Palestinian in Gaza, arrest 16 in the West Bank. Ha'aretz says Palestinian and Jewish terrorists should be treated equally. Israel's formulae for the Gaza blockade are revealed. Rightists plan a memorial for Kahane in Jerusalem. MK Dichter cancels a trip to Spain, fearing arrest. Aaron David Miller says that if PM Rabin were alive today, we would have peace. Dennis Ross tells Israelis failed talks could imperil their security. Hamas officials say another battle with Israel is imminent. Disputes over the Church of the Holy Nativity may be resolved. Raja Khalidi questions the notion of "economic peace." The JTA looks at the role of the Jewish Diaspora in peace. Rep. Eric Cantor proposes reassigning aid to Israel. Israel and the Vatican spar over the occupation.

Some Question Insistence on Israel as Jewish State
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - (Analysis) October 24, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — The more stridently Israel insists on Palestinian recognition of it as the nation-state of the Jewish people, the more adamantly the Palestinian leadership seems to refuse. As a result, some senior Israeli officials are beginning to question the wisdom of the policy of their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has made recognition of the legitimacy of the Jewish nation-state a prerequisite for any final agreement with the Palestinians.

Why Israeli settlement construction must stop
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Nabeel Shaath - (Opinion) October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Ramallah, West Bank — After more than two decades of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, we are at a turning point in the history of the region. As a Palestinian negotiator for over 20 years, I see that tough decisions have to be made. The stakes are too high – not just for the Palestinian people, but for the entire region’s stability.

Israeli general lays out plan for reviving Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Karin Laub - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — The Israeli general who controls the gates of Hamas-run Gaza says he is pursuing a complex and delicate strategy: enable exports and development in the impoverished Palestinian territory while somehow preventing the Islamic militants who rule it from getting credit for any progress.

Palestinians, Jews race to plant West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

BURQA, WEST BANK — Olive tree by olive tree, Palestinian farmers and Jewish settlers are competing over the rocky hills of the West Bank, planting more of the gnarled evergreens to strengthen their hold on the land. Now in harvest season, the battle gets rough, with orchards robbed, vandalized and burned. This year, the stakes have been raised: Palestinians have planted double the number of trees as in past seasons, and Jewish settlers have responded by boosting their own olive production.

Palestinians renew threat to seek UN recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Mohammed Daraghmeh - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM, WEST BANK — The Palestinian president said Monday that Israel has been taking unilateral steps for decades by building settlements, so the Palestinians might take one of their own — asking the United Nations to recognize their independent state. President Mahmoud Abbas was replying to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who said the only path to peace is negotiations. The threat of unilateral action indicates the depth of the crisis over peace talks restarted just last month by President Barack Obama.

Israeli army wounds one Gazan, arrests 16 in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from
October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct. 26 (Xinhua) -- The Israeli forces shot and injured a mentally disabled young man in northern Gaza Strip, medical sources said Tuesday. The man was lightly injured, said Adham Abu Selmia, a spokesman for the medical services of the deposed Hamas Interior Ministry. The Israeli forces on Erez crossing point spotted the man approaching the terminal without advanced arrangements and shot him, Abu Selmia noted. Israel allocated a 30-meter-wide buffer zone along its borders with Gaza. The Israeli troops often shot at Gazans who enter the area without special arrangements.

Feature: War on olives in the West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Nidal Ishtayeh - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

NABLUS, West Bank, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Abdel Karim Hussein, 38, was "shocked" after getting a permission from the Israeli army to reach his farm adjacent to the Alon Moreh Jewish settlement east of the West Bank city of Nablus, to harvest his olive trees. Hussein said the fence of the settlement occupies parts of his 325-dunum (325,000 square meters) farm. "Reaching the farm is a journey of torment, because I can only reach my land twice a year after coordination with the Israeli-Palestinian security liaison office." But getting the permission is far from getting a happy ending.

One law, for Palestinian and Jewish terrorists alike
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The start of the annual olive harvest has been the signal for an onslaught of violence against Palestinian farmers by groups of settler thugs in recent years. Over the last few days, human rights activists - who, as they do every year, have mobilized to protect the harvesters and deter the criminals - have reported countless incidents: torched groves, chopped-down trees, stolen olives, vandalized tools and even physical attacks on farmers.

Israel releases papers detailing formula of Gaza blockade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Amira Hass - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

n the three years since Hamas took control of Gaza, Israeli officials have employed mathematical formulas to monitor foodstuffs and other basic goods entering the Strip to ensure that the amount of supplies entering was neither less nor more than the amount Israel permitted, according to documents released last week. The documents - released Thursday in response to a Freedom of Information Act petition by the non-profit group Gisha - were drafted while Amos Gilad served as interim coordinator of government activities in the territories, heading the body that checked the goods.

Kahane memorial to be held in Jerusalem despite local opposition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The 20th anniversary of Kach leader Rabbi Meir Kahane's assassination will be commemorated on Tuesday in Jerusalem's Ramada Renaissance Hotel. The hotel's international management reneged on a previous promise to cancel the event following a protest by a Jerusalemite. The memorial event will be held under the slogan "Rabbi Kahane was right" and will be attended by MK Michael Ben Ari (National Union ) and possibly other Knesset members, an announcement posted on billboards across Jerusalem said. The announcement also said "family, rabbis and public figures" would attend.

MK Dichter cancels Spain trip for fear of arrest
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yuval Karni - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

MK Avi Dichter (Kadima) was planning on taking part in an international peace summit in Spain over the weekend, but was forced to cancel over fears he would be arrested, and possibly imprisoned, by Madrid authorities, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Tuesday. According to report several days ago, a Spanish organization called The Madrid Coalition, invited Israeli and Palestinian representatives to take part in a summit focusing on the peace process and the Saudi initiative. Senior officials from the Palestinian Authority, including Mohammed Dahlan had RSVP'd to the event.

'If Rabin were alive, we would have peace'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Yitzhak Benhorin - October 22, 2010 - 12:00am

Aaron David Miller, who served as an advisor on Mideast peace to six US secretaries of state in the 1990s, worked extensively with slain Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Now, on the 15th anniversary of his assassination, Miller says he believes Rabin could have changed history if he had been allowed to live.

UN rep. backs declaration of Palestinian state in next year
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Tovah Lazaroff - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

United Nations Special Middle East Peace Negotiator Robert H. Serry told Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Tuesday that the UN will a support the declaration of an independent Palestinian state. Serry spoke to Fayyad while the two picked olives together near the West Bank village of Turmus'ayyeh, close to the Israeli settlement of Shiloh.

Ross warns Israel failed talks could imperil its security
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

A top White House advisor warned Monday night that the progress Palestinians have made on security in the West Bank could be jeopardized if peace talks don’t move forward. Dennis Ross, a senior White House Middle East advisor, pointed to improvements the Palestinians have made in security and coordination with Israel over the past two years in a speech before American Israel Public Affairs Committee activists in Florida.

Hamas official: We are on way to liberate Haifa, Acre
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Khaled Abu Toameh - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Hamas is on its way to liberate Haifa and Acre together with other armies, Hamas’s Minister of Interior, Fathi Hammad, declared on Monday. His threat came as Palestinian Authority officials stepped up their rhetorical attacks on Israel for refusing to extend a moratorium on settlement construction. One official condemned Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as an “enemy of peace.”

An end to Bethlehem's unholy row
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Jill Hamilton - October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

This week Mahmoud Abbas confronted yet another impasse in the peace talks with Israel. However, on Monday, when he visited the 1,500 year-old Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, the alleged birthplace of Christ, he could boast a significant triumph in a longstanding stalemate.

Trading beyond the Green Line: the real deal for Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Raja Khalidi - (Opinion) October 26, 2010 - 12:00am

The Bank of Israel earlier this month issued a report on Israeli-Palestinian trade links that should make policymakers on both sides of the Green Line ponder deeply the premises of current and future economic relations.

Talking Peace and the Diaspora, do Jews outside of Israel have a role?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Dina Kraft - October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

Cloistered away in a snug meeting room with stone-faced walls and arched doorways across from Jerusalem's Old City, some of the most important Jewish communal leaders in the world came together recently to wrestle with a question: Is there a role for the Diaspora in Israel's decision making on peace? The answer: Yes and no.

Cantor: Take Israel out of foreign aid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 24, 2010 - 12:00am

A Republican Congress would seek to remove funding for Israel from the foreign operations budget, a GOP leader said. U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, the Republican whip and the only Jewish Republican in the House of Representatives, told JTA that a GOP-led House would seek to defund nations that do not share U.S. interests, even if it meant rejecting the president's foreign operations budget. Cantor, of Virginia, said he wants to protect funding for Israel should that situation arise.

Rights of Return and Recognition Cannot Be Swapped
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Leonard Fein - October 20, 2010 - 12:00am

In a recent New York Times essay, published Oct. 14, Israel’s ambassador to the United States, Michael B. Oren, argues forcefully on behalf of the call by Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. “Affirmation of Israel’s Jewishness,” he writes, “is the very foundation of peace, its DNA.”

Vatican rejects “chosen people” claim, calls on Israel to end “occupation”
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Russia TV
October 25, 2010 - 12:00am

A high-ranking Israeli official on Sunday slammed a statement from Catholic bishops, who called for international organizations to lead the cause of Palestinian statehood. Greek-Melchite Archbishop Cyrille Bustros sparked an interreligious firestorm when he suggested that Israel was “using Scripture” to continue its occupation of Palestinian territory.

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