Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israeli settlers and Palestinians struggle over houses in occupied East Jerusalem, and clashes interrupt between Palestinians and occupation forces. A new collection of the writings of Mahmoud Darwish is published in English. The US is quiet on efforts to restart negotiations, and analysts say the talks remain in limbo. Noam Chomsky calls the peace process "a charade." A Palestinian is shot in the leg by Israeli soldiers. Israel bars a PLO official from leaving the West Bank. Ha'aretz says Israel's discrimination against Palestinian citizens undermines its democracy. Childcare experts denounce Israel's treatment of stone-throwing Palestinian youths. David Axelrod says the US is committed to peace and Israel's security. Israeli and Palestinian officials trade accusations over stalled negotiations. Gazans begin to eat well again but animals face starvation. A fired AIPAC staffer vows to prove that the organization typically trades in secrets. George Hishmeh says all three governments need major changes to facilitate peace. The Arab News says Hamas' announcement that it would respect the results of a Palestinian referendum on peace with Israel is a challenge for Israel and the United States.

Mideast Conflict Plays Out In A House Divided
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from National Public Radio (NPR)
by Lourdes Garcia-Navarro - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

On the surface, Jerusalem's Old City seems like the ideal melting pot of cultures and religions. Muslims, Christians and Jews live in this ancient walled enclave of less than half a square mile. It is a place that seems so removed from the modern world that surrounds it, and yet is so intrinsically a part of it. But an undercover war is being waged here: The Old City is the beating heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and everyone wants a piece of it. 'Revival Of Jewish Life'

Journal of an Ordinary Grief
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Rayyan Al-Shawaf - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

“What is homeland?” asks famed Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish in his Journal of an Ordinary Grief, an intriguing but uneven collection of ruminations and autobiographical fragments that first appeared in Arabic in 1973 and is now being published posthumously in English. He has several answers. The most powerful? “To hold on to your memory – that is homeland.”

US mum on efforts for Israeli settlement freeze
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Agence France Presse (AFP)
December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The United States declined Thursday to say whether or not efforts by Washington to have Israel impose a new settlement freeze on Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories had failed. In Jerusalem, the US administration informed the Palestinian Authority "that the Israeli government did not agree to a new settlement freeze," a Palestinian official said on condition of anonymity. But State Department spokesman Philip Crowley declined to confirm the remarks. "As we've said many, many times, we're not going to give you a play-by-play," Crowley told reporters.

The Charade of Israeli-Palestinian Talks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from In These Times
by Noam Chomsky - (Opinion) December 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Washington’s pathetic capitulation to Israel while pleading for a meaningless three-month freeze on settlement expansion—excluding Arab East Jerusalem—should go down as one of the most humiliating moments in U.S. diplomatic history. In September the last settlement freeze ended, leading the Palestinians to cease direct talks with Israel. Now the Obama administration, desperate to lure Israel into a new freeze and thus revive the talks, is grasping at invisible straws—and lavishing gifts on a far-right Israeli government.

Evening clashes in East Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Clashes erupted in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Al-Isawiya on Thursday evening, between residents and Israeli forces conducting patrols on the area northeast of the Old City. Eight residents were treated for tear-gas inhalation, head of the Union of Arab Medics Mohammad Al-Gharabli told Ma’n. An Israeli police spokeswoman, Luba As-Semmari said clashes erupted when two Molotov cocktails were thrown on a police checkpoint at the entrance of the neighborhood, and said no injuries were reported.

Palestinian shot in An-Nabi Saleh
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli soldiers shot a Palestinian in the leg during an incursion Thursday in the West Bank town of An-Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, local sources said. Palestinians in the village said Omer Saleh At-Tamimi was shot with live ammunition while demonstrators confronted the Israeli soldiers, throwing stones. Israeli military forces were said to have shut down all entrances to the village, stopping Palestinians from entering or leaving. Residents also said Israeli soldiers detained several people, including Helmi At-Tamimi.

PLO official barred from leaving West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israeli authorities barred PLO official Ziyad Salous from leaving the West Bank Thursday, Palestinian sources said. Salous, the director of Public Relations for the organization, was detained at the Allenby Bridge border crossing for three hours before being denied entry to Jordan. Salous was en route to a conference on Palestinian prisoners in Algeria

Yearender: Mideast peace talks back in limbo despite Obama's push
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Ran Hacohen - December 2, 2010 - 12:00am

Since his inauguration in Jan. 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama has been making strenuous efforts to bring the Palestinians and Israelis back to the negotiating table. A glimpse of hope emerged when the two sides resumed direct talks in Washington in September. But the brief optimism was worn off quickly as negotiations relapsed in limbo over Jewish settlements, without any sign of breakthrough on the horizon. DISPUTE OVER SETTLEMENT

Israel can't be a democracy with two classes of citizens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
(Editorial) December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Cracks are emerging in Israel's democracy. A comprehensive survey compiled by the Israel Democracy Institute and reported in yesterday's Haaretz paints a gloomy, worrisome picture whose gist is a lack of understanding of the basic principles of Israel's political system.

Childcare experts condemn police treatment of Palestinian stone-throwers
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Avi Issacharoff - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Sixty Israeli childcare experts and literary figures have sent an open letter to the prime minister and attorney general calling on the authorities to monitor more closely police interactions with minors suspected of stone throwing in East Jerusalem. The letter, sent last week, came amid recent complaints that the police have been making illegal arrests and using questionable interrogation methods in their campaign against stone throwing.

'US committed to peace talks, Israel’s security'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Hilary Leila Krieger - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

The Obama administration is “fervently” seeking progress in the peace process as it continues talking to Israel to find a formula for moving forward with talks, senior White House adviser David Axelrod told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday evening. “This is a critical juncture and we so fervently want to move forward, to get that two-state solution so that Israel can live in peace and security, and we’re going to keep pressing for that,” he told the Post, speaking ahead of an Israeli Embassy candlelighting ceremony in honor of Hanukka.

Israeli, Palestinian Ministers Trade Blame for Stalled Peace Process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Rosenberg - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Israel Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer and his Palestinian counterpart, Economic Minister Dr. Hassan Abu-Libdeh, sought to tackle a host of economic issues in a private meeting in Jerusalem on Wednesday, but the two agreed that economic cooperation couldn’t substitute for a peace agreement.

Gazans Start to Eat Well Again, But Animals Face Starvation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Shops in the Gaza Strip are overflowing with food these days after Israel eased its blockade, but chickens, sheep and goats of the coastal enclave aren’t sharing in the new bounty. According to an Agriculture Ministry official in Gaza, a severe shortage of animal feed is threatening mass starvation of livestock. Zakariyah Kafarneh, head of veterinary services in the Palestinian Health Ministry, blamed Israel for the shortage, saying the Gaza Strip was in need of 16,000 tons of feed every month. Israel has been letting in only half of that quantity, he said.

Rosen Remains Determined to Prove Trafficking in Secrets is Normal at AIPAC
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - December 2, 2010 - 12:00am

A key court filing in the legal battle between Steve Rosen and his former employers at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has been postponed, but tensions still run high.

Essential for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - December 3, 2010 - 12:00am

Considering that the United States, Israel and the Palestinian Authority have shamefully ran out of original ideas and remain deadlocked on the issue of peace negotiations, it may be time for all three to do some house cleaning. Whether this will herald a new and successful approach remains to be seen, but it is certainly dependant on their commitment to fairness and peace making in the Middle East.

A bold stroke
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Arab News
(Editorial) December 2, 2010 - 12:00am

The announcement by Hamas’ leader in Gaza Ismael Haniyah that the movement would accept a peace treaty with Israel and a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders if Palestinians approve it in a referendum is a development of immense importance. It is a political icebreaker. Until now, Hamas has stuck rigidly to the one-state solution, insisting that there could never be any recognition of Israel and that the only acceptable settlement would be for the Palestinians to be given all that land that between 1923 and 1948 comprised British mandated-Palestine.

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