Middle East News: World Press Roundup

A US proposal for a 90-day settlement freeze extension is expected to be adopted by the Israeli cabinet. It may anticipate that the outlines of borders can be set in the next three months. Defense analysts say Israel could not turn down so many advanced fighter jets. The New York Times says PM Netanyahu should stop playing games and get serious about peace, and Tom Friedman says he seems to think he can fly. A new book looks at graffiti art in Gaza. PM Fayyad says Palestinians need political, but not security, pluralism. Israel claims Hamas missiles can reach Tel Aviv. Fatah and Hamas blame each other for failed unity talks. Zvi Bar'el says it might make sense for Palestinians to seek UN recognition. Aluf Benn says Pres. Obama really wants Netanyahu to change his cabinet. The Independent profiles an Israeli holocaust survivor who is harassed for renting rooms to Palestinian students. The National says the US is an enabler, not a friend, of Israel. Hussein Shobokshi accuses Israel of racism. Ghanem Nuseibeh says Arab states must be part of a peace arrangement.

A 90-Day Bet on Mideast Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner, Mark Landler - November 14, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — The pledge by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to push for a new, one-time-only freeze of 90 days on settlement construction in the West Bank represents a bet by the Israelis and the Americans that enough can be accomplished so that the Palestinians will not abandon peace talks even after the freeze ends.

Politics Over Peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
(Editorial) November 12, 2010 - 1:00am

Early in his most recent tenure, Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, spent a lot of time trying to persuade President Obama and others that he was serious about making peace with the Palestinians. Only a hard-liner, like him, could pull it off. If only. With the peace process crumbling, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Mr. Netanyahu for seven hours on Thursday. She went in insisting that she still believes that Mr. Netanyahu and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, are “very committed to a two-state solution.” There was no sign of a breakthrough.

I Believe I Can Fly
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Thomas L. Friedman - November 13, 2010 - 1:00am

Reading the headlines these days, I can’t help but repeat this truism: If you jump off the top of an 80-story building, for 79 floors you can think you’re flying. It’s the sudden stop at the end that tells you you’re not. It’s striking to me how many leaders and nations are behaving today as though they think they can fly — and ignoring that sudden stop at the end that’s sure to come.

GAZA: Book explores vibrant, diverse graffiti-art scene in war-torn strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
(Book Review) November 13, 2010 - 1:00am

Joy, sadness, dreams and politics are among the emotions and messages expressed in graffiti paintings and murals on the concrete walls of Gaza, captured in a recently published book on graffiti art in the strip.

Fayyad: Security pluralism exhausting us
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said Saturday that efforts to reconcile with Hamas should focus on security rather than political issues, the London-based Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper reported. "Progress is measured according to political pluralism, which is a source of strength if it managed appropriately. What exhausts us is security pluralism not political pluralism," Fayyad was quoted as saying. Security was the most important issue to achieve the main objective, the creation of a Palestinian state, the prime minister said.

US deal would allow Israel some West Bank building
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM — Israel would be allowed to finish hundreds of apartments already under construction in West Bank settlements even if it agrees to a U.S.-drafted deal to renew a freeze on new construction, a diplomat familiar with the details said Monday. The U.S. is pressing Israel to renew a settlement slowdown that expired in September in order to get stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace talks moving again. In exchange, it is offering Israel military hardware and veto protection against U.N. resolutions critical of its policies.

Israeli official: Hamas rockets can reach Tel Aviv
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Dan Perry - November 14, 2010 - 1:00am

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL — A senior Israeli intelligence official warned Sunday that Hamas rulers in the Gaza Strip have rockets that can travel 80 kilometers (50 miles) — a longer range than previously reported, which would put the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv within range of its launchers. The official blamed Egypt, saying it was not doing enough to stem smuggling through a network of tunnels along the relatively short border between its Sinai desert and the Palestinian territory. An Egyptian security official reached for comment maintained that Egypt was combating the smuggling successfully.

Fatah, Hamas accuse each other for failing unity talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
November 14, 2010 - 1:00am

GAZA, Nov. 14 (Xinhua) -- The major Palestinian rival groups Fatah and Hamas on Sunday traded accusations over failure of reaching reconciliation in the second round meeting held in Syria' s capital of Damascus last week, which concentrated on the thorniest security issue. "Hamas is not interested in accomplishing reconciliation," said Jamal Muhissen, a member of Fatah Central Committee. Fatah, which dominates the Palestinian National Authority (PNA), is now controlling the West Bank only after losing power in Gaza in a conflict with Hamas militants in 2007.

The Palestinians are in the driving seat, their time is now
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Zvi Barel - (Opinion) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

"Turkey? Yes," "Russia? Yes," "United Kingdom? Yes," "United States? Abstain," "Israel? No." This is how a vote at the United Nations on the recognition of an independent Palestine may sound. And really, why should the Palestinians not demand international recognition of their state? In such a move it could shake the peace process and extricate it from the strangle hold in which Palestine and Israel are caught.

Netanyahu poised to win razor-thin support for West Bank freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will apparently be able to muster a majority of his diplomatic-security cabinet to approve an additional 90-day freeze on West Bank settlement construction in exchange for an incentive package from the United States. But Netanyahu's majority will be a razor-thin one, made possible only by Shas ministers' agreement to either abstain or absent themselves from the vote.

What exactly does Obama expect from Netanyahu?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Aluf Benn - (Opinion) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned from his journey to the United States with an American dictate: Freeze settlements for three months, during which time speedy negotiations will be held to determine the future border between Israel and Palestine. To soften the impression that this would be seen as giving in to U.S. pressure and to make it easier to gain cabinet approval for the freeze, the dictate was padded with political and security goodies, which can be summed up as such: stealth military aircraft in exchange for an end to Netanyahu's evasive tactics.

Second squadron of F-35s is ‘an offer hard to refuse’
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Yaakov Katz - November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Top IDF officers and Defense Ministry officials claimed Sunday that the arrival of a second squadron of F-35 joint strike fighters was of critical importance for the security of the State of Israel. In an effort to convince the Netanyahu government to impose a three-month moratorium on settlement construction in the West Bank, the Obama administration offered Israel last week a long list of security and diplomatic benefits, including 20 F-35s for free.

The Holocaust survivor whose life is in danger again
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

First they threatened to burn his house down. Then they pinned leaflets to his front door, denouncing him as a Jewish traitor. But Eli Tzavieli, an 89-year-old Holocaust survivor, is defiant. His only "crime" is to rent out his rooms to three Arab students attending the college in Safed, a religious city in northern Israel that was until recently more famous for Jewish mysticism and Madonna.

The US cannot continue to enable Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
(Editorial) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

An enabler is not the same thing as a friend. In its relationship with Israel, the United States has rarely understood the difference.

Israel at the Bottom of the Table
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Asharq Alawsat
by Hussein Shobokshi - (Opinion) November 14, 2010 - 1:00am

In a world that is full of examples of detestable racism and discrimination on the grounds of ethnicity, accent, or sect; Israel has distinguished itself with its new more creative methods of discrimination. It prohibits Muslims, Christians, and Baha'is from mandatory service in the Israel armed forces, with only Jews and Druze having to serve mandatorily. This is all part of the "Judaization" of Israel which was recently announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The dangers of a unilateral Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Daily Star
by Ghanem Nuseibeh - (Opinion) November 15, 2010 - 1:00am

Many people view the prospect of creating an Arab state in the land of Palestine as nothing short of a political earthquake.

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