Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Lawrence Korb says convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard should be freed. Egyptian officials will meet Pres. Abbas in Ramallah, and may urge resumption of talks. Arab leaders call for a strike in Umm Al Fahm. A Palestinian citizen of Israel is convicted of working with Hezbollah. Gaza¹s loss of citrus crops hits the economy. The UK pledges $55 million to the PA. Hamas leaders call for dialogue with the West. The PA will rededicate refurbished schools in occupied East Jerusalem. Israel finally appoints a new UN ambassador. PM Fayyad says Palestinians will have a state in 2011. Some Israelis are sabotaging, others helping, the Palestinian olive harvest. A website against campus divestment activism is launched by a pro-Israel group. The Israeli right is hoping for a big GOP win in the US midterms. George Hishmeh says few options remain for Palestinians. Daoud Kuttab looks at the tensions between the Jewish and Israeli identities. Jesse Rosenfeld says the epicenter of the Palestinian struggle has shifted into Israel itself.

Free Jonathan Pollard
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Lawrence Korb - (Opinion) October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

About 25 years ago, Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. naval intelligence analyst, betrayed his country by providing highly classified information to Israel. Even though Israel was and still is a U.S. ally and is routinely supplied with U.S. intelligence, Pollard deserved to be severely punished for his actions. However, the punishment should fit the crime. In his case, it does not.

Egyptian officials to meet Abbas in Ramallah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Egypt's Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit and Egyptian Intelligence chief Omar Suleiman will meet President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Thursday in efforts to revive stalled peace negotiations. The Egyptian officials will try to convince Abbas to accept a partial freeze on construction in settlements, excluding settlements that Israel intends to annex in a peace agreement, the official Palestinian Authority news agency WAFA said.

Arab leaders call for strike in Umm Al Fahm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

TEL AVIV (Ma'an) -- Arab leaders have called for a strike in the city of Umm Al-Fahm on Thursday in response to police brutality at a far-right march a day earlier, Israeli media reported. On Wednesday, extreme-right protesters marched into the city, which contains the largest Palestinian community inside Israel. The rally was called to demand the outlawing of the Islamic Movement in Israel, an Islamist movement among Palestinian citizens of Israel. Violent clashes ensued as Palestinians threw stones and set fire to tires, and Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear gas.

Israel convicts Israeli-Arab of spying for Hezbollah
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Reuters
October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM, Oct 27 (Reuters) - An Israeli-Arab human rights activist was convicted of spying for the Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah by an Israeli court on Wednesday. Amir Makhoul confessed to the charge as part of a plea bargain under which the Haifa District Court dropped a separate charge of aiding the enemy in time of war, for which he could have been sentenced to a much longer term, court papers showed. The spying charge carries a maximum 10-year jail term.

Gaza's national income shrinks as citruses are gone
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

BEIT HANOUN, Gaza Strip, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Groves full of green citrus. Gaza farmers proud of their old trees. Businessmen busy with exporting fruits to Jordan. But that was 10 years ago. Around one kilometer before reaching the Erez crossing point between northern Gaza Strip and Israel, the vast land has been barren, although Ahmed Za'aneen, 75, still recalled the town "all in green."

Britain backs PNA's budget with 55 million dollars
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- The British government announced Wednesday that it will offer the Palestinian National Authority ( PNA) 35 million pounds (55 million U.S. dollars) in aid to back its budget.

Hamas leader calls for open dialogue with West
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

GAZA, Oct. 27 (Xinhua) -- Hamas is ready to start an open dialogue with the West, deposed Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haneya said on Wednesday. "We need to clarify to the international community our stance and vision about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict," Haneya said in a press statement following a meeting with a French lawyer delegation in Gaza. "The West needs to listen to the Hamas' voice directly, not from the others," Haneya added.

'Egypt trying to convince Abbas to resume peace talks with Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Egypt's top diplomat and the head of its intelligence branch were in Ramallah on Thursday in an effort to persuade Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct negotiations with Israel. The Palestinian Authority has refused to continue its direct peace negotiations with Israel, launched recently in Washington, until Israel agrees to halt settlement construction. Israel enforced a 10-month moratorium on West Bank construction, but that freeze ended in late September.

Rightists furious over Palestinian plans for new East Jerusalem schools
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

The Legal Forum for the Land of Israel yesterday asked Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch to prevent a planned visit next week to East Jerusalem by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, to rededicate two schools. The organization's website says it is "committed to protecting human rights in Israel, ensuring sound government, and preserving the national integrity of the State of Israel and the Jewish people."

Minister Erdan set to be appointed UN ambassador
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Atilla Somfalvi - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan is expected to be appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations, senior Likud officials said on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman supported the decision, which ended a months-long dispute between him an Netanyahu over the appointment.

Fayyad: PA will declare independent state in August 2011
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said the PA will declare an independent Palestinian state in 2011, while picking olives with a reporter from Italian daily Corriere Della Sera, according to an interview published on Thursday. "The deadline is next summer, when the Israeli occupation of the West Bank must end," Fayyad said. "In 2011, we will celebrate 66 years of the United Nations and the United Nations will celebrate the birth of our nation."

The olive groves where peaceful solidarity grows
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
by Seth Freedman - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

With the olive harvest in full swing across the West Bank, reports are flooding in of settler attacks on Palestinian farmers trying to gather their crops. Acts of arson, sabotage and theft all make for great copy, and rightly so: the atrocities committed by Israeli extremists in the name of nationalism and religion must be condemned.

Pro-Israel website resource for students is launching
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

A pro-Israel group is launching a website to help students counter anti-Israel activism on campus. StandWithUs is starting the password-protected site this week at www.standwithus.com/divestment. It will provide tools for students looking to counter boycott and divestment campaigns at their schools. Students who fought divestment resolutions in the past academic year at the University of California campuses in Berkeley and San Diego helped develop the site. Similar resolutions were introduced at a number of colleges and universities during the past academic year.

Some Israelis Hoping for A GOP Win, But Will History Repeat Itself?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - October 27, 2010 - 12:00am

As predictions of a Republican tidal wave in the coming congressional elections became more certain, some Israelis were experiencing goose bumps of anticipation. Many on the right in Israel believe a shift of one or both houses of Congress to a Republican majority could limit the Obama administration’s ability to pressure Jerusalem — even more than it is already limited with the Democrats — in its quest for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

Few options left for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - (Opinion) October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

Over 70 years ago, agitating European Zionist leaders were offered by Britain, who then ruled Palestine, about 20 per cent of the Arab country to establish a state there, a partition they accepted in principle but then demanded more land. This offer was made behind Palestinians backs. Ten years later, the UN approved the partition plan which gave Palestinian Jews 55 per cent of the country, although they hardly owned five per cent of the land, while the Palestinian Arabs would retain 45 per cent. The Palestinians, backed by the Arab states, rejected the plan and resolved to win it back.

Jewish or Israeli?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

I have always tried my best to differentiate between Jews and Israelis. It bothers me when Palestinians use these two terms interchangeably. Every time I cross the Jordan River, I overhear people talk on their cell phones, saying how they just got into the Jewish side, left the Jewish side, or were waiting to go through the Jewish side. Such comments can be heard as people approach or leave an Israeli checkpoint or have any other dealings with Israelis.

A shift in epicenter of Palestinian struggle
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Jesse Rosenfeld - October 28, 2010 - 12:00am

In a country that continues to call itself “the only democracy in the Middle East,” it would appear that the days of Israel trying to present expanding segregation in the context of liberal values are over. While the legislation calling for non-Jews to declare loyalty to Israel as a Jewish and democratic state has been billed as Netanyahu’s capitulation to his coalition in order to extend a partial settlement freeze, the reality is that Israel has shifted its primary target of controlling Palestinians to its own Arab citizens.

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