Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Israel is upset of series of diplomatic recognitions of Palestine by Latin American states and says it damages the prospects for peace. 20 international diplomats attend a hearing for a leader of Palestinian nonviolent process. A Hamas court orders the execution of an alleged collaborator. A group of leading Israeli rabbis says land should not be sold or rented to non-Jews. A Palestinian blogger who has been arrested but not charged apologizes for blasphemous remarks. Pres. Abbas says dissolving the PA is not an option. Fatah and Hamas bicker over new reconciliation talks. Akiva Eldar says European aid over the fire proves that their boycotts are indeed against the occupation and not Israel. Gershon Baskin says the occupation is a much bigger threat than any fire. Palestinians discuss establishing a US lobby group. Hussein Ibish says the struggle over a Palestinian road in Area C is an indication of how state building confronts the occupation.





ISRAEL: Concern over Latin American recognition of Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Batsheva Sobelman - December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


First came Brazil. In a public letter addressed to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas last week, Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said his country "recognizes a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders." The statement came in response to a personal request from Abbas, it said. Next came Argentina, which announced Monday that it would join Brazil in its decision, which U.S. lawmakers had protested as "severely misguided."


20 diplomats attend hearing of anti-wall activist
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


Twenty diplomats attended a military court on Monday to hear an appeal to extend the sentence of non-violent protest leader Abdallah Abu Rahmah, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said. Abu Rahmah was due to be released on 18 November, having served a 12-month sentence. The anti-wall activist was convicted of incitement and organizing illegal demonstrations for his role in Bil'in's campaign against the construction of Israel's wall on its lands. He has been kept in detention at the military prosecution's request despite having served the term of his sentence.


Hamas court orders execution of 'collaborator'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


A Gaza military court has convicted three men of collaborating with Israel, sentencing one to death and two more to prison terms, the Hamas interior ministry said on Monday. "The military court handed down a death sentence against one collaborator with the occupation, and prison terms of seven years and three years for two other collaborators," the ministry said in a statement. No additional details on the men were provided.


Israel upset by Argentina Palestinian recognition
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Daniel Estrin - December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel expressed disappointment Tuesday with Argentina's recognition of a Palestinian state in territories Israel occupied in 1967, saying they undercut American-led efforts to create such a state through negotiations with Israel. Argentina said its move, announced Monday just days after Brazil took a similar step, reflected the country's deep frustration with gridlocked peace efforts. But Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said unilateral recognition was "counterproductive" to peacemaking.


Top Israel rabbis: Don't sell property to non-Jews
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Amy Teibel - December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


Three dozen top Israeli rabbis threw their support Tuesday behind a religious ruling barring Jews from selling or renting homes to non-Jews — an indication of growing radicalism within the rabbinical community at a time of mounting friction between Israeli Arabs and Jews.


Jailed Palestinian atheist sorry
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Statesman
by Diaa Hadid - December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


A Palestinian atheist jailed for more than a month for sharing his anti-Islam views on the Internet has apologized for offending Muslims, and a Palestinian military spokesman said he expected "positive" developments in the case. Rights groups have criticized his arrest as a demonstration of the limits on free speech under the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, which has trawled Internet sites like Facebook as part of a crackdown on dissent and unpopular views.


Abbas says dissolution of PNA not an option
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


Visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday that the Palestinians did not consider dissolving the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) an option as no demands for such an act had been voiced. Abbas told a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul that he would press for other states to recognize an independent Palestinian state if peace talks with Israel collapse, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported. However, the dissolution of the PNA was not among the various options of the Palestinians in case talks fail, he was quoted of saying.


Fatah, Hamas argue over holding new reconciliation meeting
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
December 6, 2010 - 12:00am


Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement and its bitter rival Fatah party still argue over holding another round of dialogue to reach an inter-reconciliation deal and end their split, a Hamas official said Monday. Salah el-Bardaweel, a Gaza-based Hamas leader, told Xinhua that the contacts between Hamas and Fatah over setting up a date for holding another round of reconciliation dialogue are severed "and haven't led yet to anything new."


Europe doesn't delegitimize Israel, only the occupation
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Akiva Eldar - (Analysis) December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


The flying squadron of international firefighters that came to extinguish the flames in the Carmel region has poured cold water on the "they are delegitimizing us" campaign. Even Norway - which, heaven help us, keeps an open channel to Hamas and heads the list of critics of Israel's government - offered a pair of helicopters. It is hard to find a diplomat who epitomizes the difference between support for Israel and delegitimization of the occupation better than Svein Sevje, Norway's ambassador to Israel.


Israel warns Argentina: Recognizing Palestinian state shatters peace process
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


Israel's Foreign Ministry on Tuesday condemned as "highly regrettable" Argentina's announcement of the previous day that it recognized Palestine as "a free and independent state" within its borders prior to the 1967 Six-Day War. The decision was highly "damaging," foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor said, "because they are in fact shattering the foundation of the peace process." The recognition while peace negotiations are ongoing and no final peace deal has yet been reached "is contrary to the existing legal framework of the peace process," he added.


Encountering Peace: The house is on fire
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gershon Baskin - (Opinion) December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


A week ago I wrote in this column that “the house is on fire and it’s time to wake up before everything we have built is destroyed by our own doing.” I was, of course, not referring to the tragic fire in the Carmel Forest. The fire is now out and Nature will have to work its wonders to bring life back where cinders now took over, but Nature knows how to recover.


Palestinians Moot Plans for Organized Lobby in the West
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - December 6, 2010 - 12:00am


The Palestinian Authority wants to mobilize Palestinians living in the United States and Europe to campaign politically for the national cause, building a counterpart to the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and other pro-Israel lobbies. The idea was raised at the first-ever Conference of Arab Expatriates, which ended yesterday in Cairo. Aimed at establishing an organizational framework for Arab expats and fostering "a dialogue of civilizations, cultures and religions," the three-day conference was held under the auspices of the Arab League.


A narrow road to Palestinian freedom
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from NOW Lebanon
by Hussein Ibish - (Blog) December 7, 2010 - 12:00am


A narrow road near the small West Bank village of Qarawat Bani Hassan is now the implausible epicenter of the Palestinian drive for freedom and independence. At first glance, the two-kilometer stretch is remote and of little practical significance, since it does not lead to any major hub and has no strategic value. But it is, quite literally, the frontline of the Palestinian state and institution-building program being led by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.





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