Middle East News: World Press Roundup

An “Islamic Jihad”operative is killed in new Israeli airstrikes on Gaza. Jackson Diehl looks at why more Palestinian Jerusalemites are opting for Israeli citizenship. Alastair Crooke says the “demise” of the peace process may be a good thing. Israel demolishes an unauthorized settlement. A senior Israeli rabbi says Jewish women should never become pregnant by non-Jewish men. Sec. Clinton says women can be a force for Middle East peace. Occupation forces destroy a Palestinian school in Hebron. The Jordanian PM warns of the dangers of no peace agreement. The Israeli military warns that Tel Aviv will be a target in another war. Israel blacklists 163 charities. Arab villagers struggle to be accepted as Israelis. Eitan Haber says Israel has gone mad. Chilean Jewish leaders are not opposed to recognition of Palestine. A leader of nonviolent Palestinian protests has his jail term extended. British authorities are investigating a Palestinian ad that does not seem to recognize Israel. Palestinian and Jewish business interests vie for control of a real estate company. Pro-Palestinian activists in the US are being subpoenaed. Mainstream Jewish American groups are defending Israel by also critiquing it. The National says Israel never apologizes and tries to confuse issues. Joschka Fischer says the two-state solution must be salvaged. George Hishmeh says a settlement freeze is essential for negotiations.

Israel: Airstrike in Gaza Kills a Militant
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Isabel Kershner - January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian militant from the group Islamic Jihad was killed in Gaza on Tuesday in an Israeli airstrike, according to the Israeli military and the group. The military said in a statement that the target of the strike, Muhammad Najar, 23, was “involved in planning a massive terror attack in the heart of Israel,” and that the pinpoint killing had disrupted those plans. Islamic Jihad threatened to avenge the Israeli attack.

Why Palestinians want to be Israeli citizens
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Washington Post
by Jackson Diehl - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

One of the givens of the Middle East peace process is that Palestinians are eager to be free of rule by Israel and to live in a state of their own. That's why a new poll of the Arabs of East Jerusalem is striking: It shows that more of those people actually would prefer to be citizens of Israel than of a Palestinian state.

Why the demise of the Middle East ‘peace process’ may be a good thing
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Alastair Crooke - January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Establishing a Palestinian state has been a sine qua non of Western foreign policy for the last 20 years. For some, the evident demise of the “peace process” has given rise to a sense of bereavement nearly on par with the end of civilization. A Palestinian state, for many, was a banner of conscience, a matter of justice. It was perceived, too, as the essential remedy for the wider maladies of the Middle East. Its final exhaustion would seem to edge the region closer to an abyss.

Israeli warplanes in fresh strikes on Gaza
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israeli air force resumed overnight its recent series of airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of the consequences if Palestinian rocket fire continued. The first air strikes on the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis killed a militant of the Islamic Jihad and wounded another man, Palestinian sources said. The Israeli military confirmed the attack, saying it had targeted a member of Islamic Jihad who "was involved in planning a massive terrorist attack in the heart of Israel."

Israel razes Nablus outpost
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli authorities demolished on Wednesday an illegal settlement outpost adjacent to a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank, officials said. Calls to Israel’s Civil Administration were not immediately returned, but onlookers said bulldozers dismantled the “Yesh Dam” outpost near Qusra, a Palestinian village south of Nablus. Two busloads of soldiers were seen deployed in the village late Tuesday ahead of the demolition which removed a cement structure, agriculture buildings, and tents.

Israel rabbi: Gentile sperm risks 'barbaric' offspring
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

A Jewish woman should never get pregnant using sperm donated by a non-Jewish man – even if it is the last option available, a senior Israeli authority on Jewish law has asserted. According to Rabbi Dov Lior of the Religious Zionism movement, a baby born through such an insemination will have the "negative genetic traits that characterize non-Jews," Israeli media reported Wednesday.

Jerusalem Palestinians taking Israeli citizenship
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Daniel Estrin - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem are increasingly lining up to request Israeli citizenship. But this is no embrace of the Jewish state. Instead, it seems to reflect waning hopes that peace talks will achieve a Palestinian state and fears that the Israeli separation barrier snaking around east Jerusalem could one day lock them out of the city.

Clinton: Women can be force for Mideast peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matthew Lee - (Opinion) January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Women can be a major power in convincing Mideast leaders to agree to a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace deal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday as she urged regional leaders to embrace the rising expectations of their skyrocketing youth populations. At a town hall meeting with civic leaders in the capital of Oman, Clinton said calls from women on both sides of the conflict in Northern Ireland had contributed to a resolution and suggested that a meeting of minds between Arab and Israeli women could provide a similar impetus for peace.

Israeli troops destroy Palestinian school in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli troops on Wednesday destroyed a Palestinian school in Hebron city in southern West Bank, saying it was an illegal construction, Palestinian witnesses said. The witnesses said that Israeli troops besieged the school and forced teachers and students out before they demolished it. The makeshift school was built six years ago from metal sheets. Nine teachers educate some 50 students in the school.

Lack of lasting solution to Palestinian-Israeli conflict ushers in more regional violence: Jordanian FM
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Jordan on Tuesday warned that not resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will lead to more violence and instability in the Middle East. Meeting with his Norwegian counterpart Jonas Gahr Stoere on Tuesday, Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh underlined the need for intensified efforts to create a suitable environment for the resumption of the Palestinian-Israeli talks. These talks, he said, should lead to the realization of the two- state solution, the international resolutions and the 2002 Arab peace initiative adopted by the Arab leaders in their summit in Beirut.

IDF commander warns Tel Aviv will be target in next war
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Anshel Pfeffer - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Exactly 20 years after Iraqi missiles fell for the first time in central Israel at the start of the first Gulf War in January 1991, the commander of the Dan region in the IDF Home Front Command says that "danger has returned to Tel Aviv. Under any war scenario, it will be hit by a large number of missiles, missiles that are precise and lethal. However, our preparedness to deal with such missiles has also improved."

Israel blacklists 163 foreign charities suspected of supporting terrorism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Chaim Levinson - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

The Israel Money Laundering and Terror Financing Prohibition Authority has located 163 organizations contaminated with funds related to terrorism over the past three years, and issued specific orders prohibiting receiving money from them, Defense Ministry data shows.

Arab villagers in A-Taibeh struggle to be accepted as Israelis
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Meirav Arlosoroff - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

A-Taibeh (not to be confused with the city of Taibeh) is a secluded a village at the foot of Mount Gilboa - well-maintained, with wide streets, neatly laid out sidewalks and an impressive, blue-and-white mosque on the central square. Were it not for the mosque and the typically Arab architecture, you might be misled by the infrastructure to think the community was Jewish. It's an Arab village, home to 1,750 residents, who are proud that it has been on this spot for 250 years. They also take pride in belonging to one extended family, the Zuabi clan.

What is happening to us?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ynetnews
(Opinion) January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

I believe it was late Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba who once upon a time said something like “let’s make peace with the Jews, because when there’s peace they’ll be killing each other.” His words were of course met with disparagement and laughter back then. After all, we are members of the chosen people; we’re the greatest. How can we destroy the Jewish state when we achieve peace, which is our greatest dream?

Jewish leader: Palestinian state declaration not a defeat
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Gil Shefler - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Gabriel Zaliasnik, president of the Jewish community in Chile, thinks Israel’s Foreign Ministry is making a big mistake. Having spent the last few weeks battling local pro-Palestinian groups in an effort to influence his government not to recognize Palestinian statehood, Zaliasnik believes the statement that eventually emerged from Santiago last Friday accepting Palestinian independence while acknowledging Israel’s right to security was not the diplomatic debacle some made it out to be, but in fact was a victory of sorts.

West Bank protester has jail term extended
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

West Bank protester Abdallah Abu Rahmah is facing a further three months in prison after the Israeli military court of appeal today extended his sentence. Abu Rahmah, a leader of protests against Israel's separation barrier in the village of Bil'in, was convicted in August of incitement and organising illegal demonstrations. This was criticised by Cathy Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, who described him as a "human rights defender committed to non-violent protest against the route of the Israeli separation barrier".

Palestinian holiday ad 'ignored existence of Israel'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Guardian
(Editorial) January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

The Board of Deputies of British Jews today welcomed the launch of an official investigation into a Palestinian holiday advert, after complaining that it ignored the existence of Israel. According to the advert from the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities, appearing in this month's edition of National Geographic's Traveller magazine, "Palestine is a land rich in history with a tradition of hospitality. From the famous cities of Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Nablus and Gaza, the Palestinian people welcome you to visit this Holy Land."

Arab bid for housing at risk from Jewish rivals
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian businessman bidding to buy a failing Jewish housing estate in East Jerusalem is battling to fend off counter-bids from national religious groups determined to keep the project in Israeli hands. Bashar al-Masri was "outed" by an Israeli newspaper last month as the preferred bidder to buy the debt of troubled Digal real estate. It runs the flagship Nof Zion estate in the heart of an Arab area.

Pro-Palestinian Activists Slapped With Subpoenas, Sparking Free Speech Concerns
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Josh Nathan-Kazis - January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

If an American communist website publishes a statement issued by a Palestinian terrorist group, has the communist website committed a crime?

Toward defending Israel, mainstream U.S. Jewish groups critique it
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA)
by Ron Kampeas - January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Enmeshed in the battle against Israel’s delegitimization, mainstream American Jewish organizations are embracing a strategy of acknowledging what’s wrong about Israel as a way of getting across what’s right about the nation.

Israel's public relations policy: never apologise, always confuse
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Jesse Rosenfeld - (Opinion) January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Never believe the Israeli army killed an unarmed civilian until it's officially denied. This paraphrasing of Mark Twain's "never believe anything until it has officially been denied," should become a mantra for journalists operating in the Middle East. It is a point reinforced recently by the death of a West Bank Palestinian resident, Jawaher abu Rahmah, who died from tear gas exposure during the recent demonstration against Israel's separation wall and land annexation in the village of Bil'in.

Exiting the Mideast labyrinth
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Joschka Fischer - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Two years have passed since Barack Obama was elected president of the United States. Much to his credit - and in contrast to his immediate predecessor - Obama tried, from his first day in office, to work towards a resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Colony freeze a must for peace
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Gulf News
by George S. Hishmeh - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Hillary Rodham Clinton was quick to rebuke Israel for its demolition of part of the historic Shepherd Hotel in occupied Arab East Jerusalem where Jewish colonists are hoping to build 20 housing units.

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