Middle East News: World Press Roundup

Palestinians are prevented from investing in Jerusalem real estate. John Whitbeck says the US should join the rest of the world in recognizing Palestine. Jeffrey Goldberg says Israel must recognize that Jerusalem must be the Palestinian capital. Settlers are evacuated from an unauthorized outpost, with several are hurt in scuffles, along with an elderly Palestinian man. The PA accuses Hamas of hypocrisy by calling for calm in Gaza and for violence in the West Bank, and Abdullah Iskandar agrees. Fatah's investigation into Mohammed Dahlan is expanded. Sec. Clinton reiterates that Israel makes its own decisions. A paralyzed Palestinian girl is given Israeli residency. Hamas leaders say they want to replace the PLO because of its secularism. Pres. Abbas says the US is not working hard enough to create a Palestinian state. Israel's Social Affairs Minister says the country feels like Alabama in the 1940s. The Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem is trying to help Palestinians stay. An Al Jazeera TV reporter says Israeli security demanded she remove her bra at a press conference. Tensions reportedly grow between George Mitchell and Dennis Ross. Abbas is demonstrating increased authority. Daoud Kuttab says the PA is in a difficult position. FM Maliki explains the Palestinian strategy for international recognition and Yossi Alpher says this can be an opportunity for Israel as well.

East Jerusalem housing project will stay Jewish-only
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Maher Abukhater - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Bondholders of a troubled Israeli real estate company that is building Jewish housing in Arab-dominated East Jerusalem have rejected an offer from a Palestinian American entrepreneur to buy the firm, officials said Wednesday. Bashar Masri, a wealthy West Bank-born businessman, said in a telephone interview that he was disappointed at the decision of bondholders to instead accept a last-minute bid from an Israeli tycoon.

US must rejoin international community by recognizing the state of Palestine
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by John V. Whitbeck - (Opinion) January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

On Jan. 7, Chile extended diplomatic recognition to the state of Palestine as a free, independent, and sovereign state. This comes soon after the recent recognitions by Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, and Ecuador. (In each of those cases, the state of Palestine was recognized explicitly within the full pre-1967 borders, encompassing all of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.) Chile’s recognition brought to 109 the number of UN member states recognizing the state of Palestine, whose independence was proclaimed on Nov. 15, 1988.

The Future of Jerusalem
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Atlantic
by Jeffrey Goldberg - (Opinion) January 11, 2011 - 1:00am

My in-box is filled with e-mails and press releases asserting that East Jerusalem, including and especially the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, and including and especially the site on which the Shepherd Hotel stood until this past weekend, when it was bulldozed to make way for apartments for Jewish Israelis, is holy Jewish territory, part of the holiest city in Judaism, and therefore a place where Jews have a perfect right to build and live.

Settlers from evacuated outpost enter village
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Fierce clashes erupted between villagers from Qusra, located south Nablus, and armed settlers entering the residential area of the village. Witnesses said tens of settlers entered the area, setting fire to civilian cars, throwing stones and opening fire on homes. Three were injured by the settlers, locals said, while Israeli news site Ynet said two 14-year-old children of settlers and a Palestinian were lightly hurt during the clashes. Qusra is located near an illegal settlement outpost that was evacuated by the Israeli military the day before.

PA security: Two-faced Hamas calling for Gaza calm
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Spokesperson for the Palestinian security services in the Major General Adnan Dmeiri criticized Hamas on Wednesday, saying its leaders were adopting a two-faced and inconsistent policy, by calling for calm in Gaza and "escalating conditions" in the West Bank. "Israel gets a free-of-charge calm," Dmeiri said, referring to a series of urgent talks the party held with militant groups on Wednesday to pass on a warning from Arab leaders about firing rockets at Israel.

Fatah investigation into Dahlan expanded
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Fatah leaders heard the preliminary findings of a committee investigating what the Israeli media said were attempts by Mohammed Dahlan to engage a private militia in the West Bank. The two-day meeting, which ended Wednesday in Ramallah, saw Fatah leader and President Mahmoud Abbas and his top Fatah officials decide to appoint an expanded committee to open a deeper investigation.

Clinton: Israel makes its own decisions
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Matthew Lee - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton acknowledged the limits of U.S. power Thursday in a combative exchange with an Al-Jazeera reporter, saying, "We can't stop a lot of countries from doing things that we disagree with and we speak out against." In the Qatari capital of Doha for a regional development conference, Clinton was asked why Arab countries should listen to her criticism when the U.S. can't even get its longtime ally, Israel, to make peace with the Palestinians. "Israel is a sovereign country and it makes its own decisions," Clinton responded.

Paralyzed Palestinian girl given Israeli residency
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Associated Press
by Josh Lederman - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian girl paralyzed in an Israeli airstrike on Gaza will be allowed to remain in the country for medical care, according to a government document released Wednesday. The decision enables 9-year-old Marya Amen, along with her brother and father, to stay in Israel as temporary residents. The status ensures state-sponsored health insurance and compensation for the girl, who needs a respirator to breathe. A letter signed by Israeli Interior Minister Eli Yishai and obtained by The Associated Press Wednesday cites a "special humanitarian case" in granting the residency request.

Palestinian wounded in Israeli fire in West Bank
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian elderly man was seriously injured when Israeli army dispersed villagers clashing with Jewish settlers in the West Bank Thursday, witnesses said. The Israeli army fired tear gas and rubber bullets towards Palestinians near the northern city of Nablus and a gunshot has wounded a Palestinian seriously, the witnesses told Xinhua. The clashes followed the settlers' attack on an agricultural land in Qussra village. The witnesses said that the settlers set fire to crops and threw rocks at the villagers, who responded also with throwing stones.

Hamas wants to replace PLO: strongman
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Fares Akram - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

The Gaza-ruling Palestinian Islamic Hamas movement wanted to replace the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), a Gaza-based leader said Wednesday. Secularism has been associated with the PLO's program, while Hamas' agenda "is based on Islamic ideology in the means and performance," said Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas strongman, in an interview with Xinhua.

Abbas: U.S. not working hard enough for Palestinian state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday accused the United States of lagging in its commitment to seeing the establishment of a Palestinian state. Abbas told Al-Jazeera that the Palestinians would agree to return to peace talks with Israel only if the United States agreed to recognize a state within 1967 borders and adhere to security accords reached during the Bush administration. Fielding criticism to the same regard in Doha, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton told reporters that the U.S. was determined to work toward achieving a separate state for the Palestinians.

Social Affairs Minister: Israel today feels like Alabama in the 1940s
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Social Affairs Minister Isaac Herzog [Labor] on Thursday compared the recent outbreak of racial tensions across Israel to Alabama in the 1940s and urged President Shimon Peres to intervene and prevent the deterioration of Israeli democracy. "Shimon Peres must use his public consensus to be a leader in this struggle," Herzog told an annual conference for the Conservative Movement, citing the rise in anti-Arab and migrant demonstrations and oppression of human rights organizations.

Jerusalem’s Christian Get Help From Church in Buying a Home
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

Attempting to curb the flight of Palestinian Christians from Jerusalem, the city’s Latin Patriarchate is taking an unusual role in developing real estate projects that will provide affordable housing to its flock and others.

Pregnant TV reporter objects to 'humiliating' Israeli security checks
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Independent
by Catrina Stewart - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

A pregnant newswoman from the Arab Al Jazeera television network walked out of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's annual foreign press conference after security officials asked her to remove her bra.

'Invigorated' Abbas has regained his authority
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The National
by Hugh Naylor - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

Aides describe his mood as "invigorated". Rights activists say his security forces are fighting dissent more effectively. And while staking his credibility on negotiating with Israel, analysts say the recent failure of direct Israel-Palestinian peace talks has yet to damage his popularity. For a leader who is rumoured regularly to be on the brink of quitting, the political fortunes of Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, no longer seem so gloomy.

Hamas: What is Allowed in the Bank is Prohibited in the Strip
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Dar Al-Hayat
by Abdullah Iskandar - January 12, 2011 - 1:00am

So it is thus that the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) is busy “forcing” the other Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip to commit to the settlement with Israel, based on the “assessment of general interest and the protection of the Palestinian people and their capabilities” according to the movement’s spokesman. This came in response to the launching of rockets on Israel and the eruption of clashes with its army, after which the Hebrew state threatened to wage a wide-scale operation in the Strip if this situation were to continue.

Difficult position for the PA
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by Daoud Kuttab - January 13, 2011 - 1:00am

The choices facing Palestinian leaders as they try to navigate their responsibilities while the 44-year-long Israeli occupation continues are difficult.

Pressuring Israel, an interview with Riad Malki
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
(Interview) January 10, 2011 - 1:00am

bitterlemons: What is the importance of the string of Latin American countries that have recognized the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders?

An opportunity for Israel
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Yossi Alpher - January 10, 2011 - 1:00am

As more and more South American countries--Chile is the latest--proclaim their recognition of a Palestinian state, the clamor grows in Jerusalem to declare a major failure of Israeli diplomacy. Didn't Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman travel to Latin America some months ago to stem the tide of recognition? Didn't Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu telephone the president of Chile just last week to persuade him not to join the Palestine bandwagon? And if Latin America goes, won't Europe be next and then, god forbid, the United States?

Israel’s Top Military Brass Is Marching Away From the Prime Minister
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by J.J. Goldberg - January 5, 2011 - 1:00am

A year after Israel’s military brass was briefly jolted by scenes of banner-waving recruits protesting against settlement evacuation, there’s another round of political murmuring emerging from the ranks. This rebellion couldn’t be more different from the last one, though. These soldiers aren’t speaking out against compromise with Israel’s Arab neighbors — they’re endorsing it. And they aren’t new recruits, but some of Israel’s most renowned military leaders.

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