Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The New York Times looks at David Grossman's new novel. Israeli officials say time is running out for peace. The Washington Post says the US needs a comprehensive peace plan. The PA says it foiled a Hamas plot to assassinate a Palestinian official. US officials will brief Palestinian leaders. Israeli authorities in occupied East Jerusalem unveil a new zoning plan. Israel demands US settlement freeze incentives in writing, and officials say they are confused by PM Netanyahu's accounts of the offer. More Israelis call for the release of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard. Israel unveils its latest antimissile system. AIPAC accuses a former staffer of misconduct in a defamation lawsuit. US taxpayer funds have been used in occupation-related projects. A settler is convicted of kidnapping and abusing a Palestinian youth. David Newman says both Israel and the Palestinians must educate their people for peace. The JTA asks what the administration will do in the next 90 days. Jonathan Cook says Washington's inducement offer is the last hope for peace.

An Israeli Novelist Writes of Pain, Private and Public
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Book Review) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

MEVASSERET ZION, Israel — In the middle of David Grossman’s latest novel, “To the End of the Land,” now out in English, the main character, a middle-aged Israeli Everywoman named Ora whose son has gone off to battle with the Israeli Army, stands with her ex-lover atop Mount Meron in northern Israel and looks out at the Hula Valley.

Israeli officials say time growing short for West Bank peace deal
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Janine Zacharia - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

JERUSALEM - Israeli intelligence and military officials have warned in recent days that if a peace deal isn't achieved soon the moderate Palestinian leadership in the West Bank could collapse and give way to more radical Hamas militants, backed by Iran and Syria, who already rule the Gaza Strip. The warnings come as the United States makes a last-ditch effort to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinians that stalled almost as soon as they resumed in September.

U.S. needs more than short-term dealmaking to aid Mideast talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
(Editorial) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

PERSISTENCE IN the face of setbacks is a necessity in Middle East peace diplomacy. But the Obama administration's efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks are less evocative of true grit than of desperate improvisation. According to reports in the Israeli press, the administration has now offered the government of Binyamin Netanyahu a gold-plated menu of incentives, including $3 billion worth of F-35 warplanes, in exchange for a 90-day renewal of a partial moratorium on West Bank settlement construction.

PA says it foiled Hamas plot to kill governor
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority forces arrested Hamas members who were plotting to kill the governor of the West Bank city of Nablus, Jibrin Al-Bakri, PA officials claimed Wednesday. The officials, who declined to be identified, said the group that hatched the alleged plot was based in Nablus with a network extending throughout the northern West Bank. PA forces raided the group's headquarters, seizing weapons and cash, they said. The group were said to be members of Hamas' armed wing, the Al-Qassam Brigades, who were in direct contact with the Hamas-run government in Gaza.

US official to brief PA on talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

A senior US official will brief Palestinian leaders in Ramallah on Thursday about the latest developments in efforts to renew direct talks with Israel. Chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told Israeli radio that David Hale, a deputy to US Mideast envoy George Mitchell, would deliver "details and suggestions" in his briefing. He added that President Abbas would review Hale's suggestions with the PLO and Fatah, and with the leaders of Arab states.

Israel: New planning policy for East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat presented a controversial new city planning policy for East Jerusalem to the public on Tuesday morning, as East Jerusalemites celebrated Eid Al-Adha with friends and family. The re-zoning plan, according to a statement from the mayor's office, would take into account the "current unsatisfactory situation" and call for a freeze on all current demolition orders until the plan is approved and can go forward. The plan would have to be approved by the government of Israel before it could go ahead.

Israel demands written US guarantees before freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alternet
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel has demanded the United States provide written security guarantees before it votes on whether to agree to freeze Jewish settlement building in the West Bank, an Israeli political source said on Tuesday. The source added that Palestinian opposition to some of the pledges that Washington has verbally offered Israel was delaying progress towards finalising U.S. proposals for resuming the stalled Middle East peace talks.

Israel, US locked over deal to revive peace talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel and the United States were in a standoff Wednesday over the terms of a Washington-proposed settlement construction moratorium meant to revive Mideast peace talks. Israeli officials had said several days ago that the U.S. had agreed that the 90-day moratorium would be the last time Israel would be asked to renew building limitations that expired in late September, after 10 months. They also said the renewal — like the earlier moratorium — would not apply to disputed east Jerusalem, the Palestinians' hoped-for capital.

Israeli official says US should free convicted spy
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Israel's former attorney general says mistakes were made by both sides in the case of convicted spy Jonathan Pollard and that Israel's government should push the U.S. to free him. Elyakim Rubinstein did not go into detail about what he meant by mistakes. He made the remarks at a conference this week and they were broadcast by Israeli media Tuesday. Pollard was a civilian intelligence analyst for the U.S. Navy when he was arrested by FBI agents in Washington in 1985. He pleaded guilty to passing secrets to Israel and received a life sentence.

Israel unveils newest anti-missile system, eyeing multi-tier air defense
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Gur Salomon - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

While intelligence assessments consistently paint a grim portrait of thousands of missiles and rockets showering down on Israel's civilian population and infrastructure in the future, the Jewish state unveils its next-generation missile-defense system. Arrow III, an interceptor designed to knock out ballistic missiles, has until now been shrouded in secrecy. A full-scale model was put on display at the second annual International Aerospace Conference and Exhibition held in Jerusalem on Monday.

Netanyahu leaves ministers guessing over settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Confusion over a potential deal between Israel and the United States for a new settlement freeze continued Wednesday, with Prime Minister Netanyahu offering seemingly contradictory versions of talks between the allies. Netanyahu's bureau on Wednesday morning put out a statement denying that negotiations had brought up the prospect of extending the West Bank building moratorium to East Jerusalem. "Discussions with the United States to formulate a memorandum of understanding did not tackle the issue of Jerusalem," the statement said.

AIPAC dirty laundry aired as former staffer sues for defamation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Natasha Mozgovaya - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

The U.S. Jewish community has been scandalized by details of an increasingly dirty lawsuit, brought by a former AIPAC staffer who was dismissed after he was charged with attempting to spy for Israel. Steven Rosen was sacked by the America Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2004 after he and fellow staffer Keith Weissman were charged with espionage and passing sensitive information to Israeli diplomats and journalists. The charges against the two, however, were dropped before the case reached a courtroom.

U.S. taxpayers are paying for Israel's West Bank occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Travelers along the "original" West Bank roads, the ones enabling drivers to bypass Palestinian villages, can see signs declaring "USAID from the American People." The roads are one of the initiatives of the United States Agency for International Development for building infrastructure in underdeveloped countries. Israel has already proudly left the club of developing countries and is not among the clients of USAID. Nevertheless, it appears the Smith family of Illinois is making the occupation a little less expensive for the Cohen family of Petah Tikva.

Settler convicted of kidnapping, abusing Palestinian teen
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
by Aviel Magnezi - November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Zvi Struk from the settlement of Shiloh was convicted Sunday of kidnapping and abusing a bound 15-year-old Palestinian boy. The 28-year-old settler is the son of Yesha Human Rights Organization head Orit Struk. The indictment stated that Struk, arrived at an outpost located between Shiloh and Kfar Kusra in the West Bank. He arrived on a mini tractor and began to chase Palestinian youths at the scene.

Borderline Views: Educating for tolerance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by David Newman - (Opinion) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

One of the biggest structural problems which impacts the Israel- Palestine conflict is the fact that the vast majority of us simply don’t know our neighbors. We live in segregated settlements and communities, send our children to separate schools, know very little about the other’s religious or cultural rituals and practices and, worst of all, too few of us speak or understand the language of the other.

In deposition, porn claims made and AIPAC officials admit lack of policy on classified info
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - November 16, 2010 - 1:00am

AIPAC officials acknowledged in depositions that the organization only recently adopted a stated policy forbidding the receipt of classified information. The depositions also produced claims regarding the viewing of pornographic materials on office computers. The depositions are part of a brief filed earlier this month in the District of Columbia Superior Court by lawyers for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee seeking the dismissal of a defamation lawsuit by Steve Rosen, AIPAC’s former foreign policy chief.

What can Israel, the Palestinians figure out in 90 days?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - (Opinion) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

That’s the question Middle East observers are asking as Israel and the United States move closer to a deal on a 90-day West Bank Jewish settlement freeze to lure the Palestinians back to the negotiating table and revive peace talks. A seven-hour tete-a-tete last week between U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu resulted in new willingness by Netanyahu to press his Cabinet to agree to another settlement freeze.

AIPAC Gets Down and Dirty in Pushback Against Rosen Defamation Suit
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - (Opinion) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

The espionage case against two senior officials of the pro-Israel lobby in Washington was dropped last year. But it has not been forgotten, and is now threatening to draw the lobby into new depths of mudslinging.

Obama's 'bribe' is last hope for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jonathan Cook - (Opinion) November 17, 2010 - 1:00am

Watching the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians drag on year after year without conclusion, it is easy to overlook the enormous changes that have taken place on the ground since the Oslo Accords were signed 17 years ago.

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