Middle East News: World Press Roundup

The CSM looks at implications of Egyptian unrest for Hamas. PM Fayyad says the Israeli occupation is a source of regional instability. Rights groups say the PA is blocking freedom of expression. A donor conference for Palestine is scheduled for June. Palestinians wrangle over local elections. PM Netanyahu says he will offer "gestures" to the Palestinians. Israel blocks access to Jerusalem. Gideon Levy says Israel now sees how much of an asset its treaty with Egypt is. Chaos in Egypt complicates calculations by the Quartet. Palestinians in a border town face divided identities. The BBC looks at extremist Jewish settlers. The JTA profiles Israeli activist Uri Avnery. The Forward profiles J Street. George Hishmeh looks at implications for Israel of unrest in Egypt. Oraib al-Rantawi stresses the importance to Jordan of Palestinian-Israeli peace.

What Egypt's unrest could mean for Hamas
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Christian Science Monitor
by Joshua Mitnick - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

As Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's grip on power slipped this week, Israelis and Palestinians are sizing up what a change in government in Cairo may mean for the Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority officials fear the empowerment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might prompt Cairo to ease access to Gaza, and help Hamas consolidate its rule there.

Fayyad: Occupation factor in regional instability
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad on Thursday said the failure to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had contributed to unrest across the Middle East. Fayyad said protests across the region reflected people's desire for political reform and their legitimate aspirations for democracy. But while internal conditions sparked the wave of demonstrations across the Arab world, the PA premier said the ongoing occupation of Palestine was a source of growing despair for Arab people.

Rights group: PA banning freedom of expression
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

A Palestinian rights group on Thursday warned of deteriorating freedom of expression in the West Bank, as the PA banned "unlicensed assembly" in response to rallies in solidarity with Egyptians. In a statement, the Palestinian Commission for Human Rights condemned the PA's closure of the demonstrations. On Wednesday, PA security forces shut down a rally in Ramallah, using batons to push demonstrators back and detaining at least two protesters. PCHR said a number of journalists were also detained at the event.

Ministers: Paris to host new Palestinian donor conference
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Paris will host a new international donor conference for a Palestinian state in June, ministers from donor countries and the so-called Quartet on the Middle East said following talks Thursday. "At the request of the PA, a new international donors? conference for the Palestinian State will be held in Paris in June 2011," a statement released after the talks said, referring to the Palestinian Authority. The group also "call on Israel to take more ambitious, structural measures to continue to ease access and movement" of Palestinians.

Palestinians argue over elections as reconciliation efforts stuck
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
by Saud Abu Ramadan, Emad Drimly - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Leaders of various Palestinian political factions argued on Thursday over when to hold new presidential and legislative elections on the Palestinian territories, as efforts to achieve a reconciliation between rival Fatah and Hamas had been stalled for more than three years.

Netanyahu to offer gestures to Palestinians in effort to deflect Quartet criticism
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Quartet of Mideast peace mediators' envoy Tony Blair on Friday, ahead of the Quartet meet in Munich on Saturday. At the end of the meeting Netanyahu is expected to present Blair with a package of confidence-building measures that Israel will propose to the Palestinian Authority in a bid to moderate a Quartet statement castigating Israel.

Israel Police brace for possible Temple Mount unrest amid Egypt turmoil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Nir Hasson - February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

Jerusalem police said on Friday that they were increasing the state of preparedness surrounding the Temple Mount in the Old City due to a fear of riots that they suspect may occur as a result of the uprising in Egypt. Police said that entrance to the Temple Mount will be open on Friday only to men 50 years of age and older who have a blue identity card, signifying that they are Israeli citizens, and to women of all ages.

Suddenly, Israel sees peace asset?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Gideon Levy - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Suddenly peace has become an asset for Israel, and suddenly Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has become Israel's best friend. Like a man about to lose the woman he abused for years, and only then recognizes her value - far too late - Israel is now hunkering down, frightened of what the future will bring. What if the new government in Egypt revokes the peace treaty?

Analysis: The Quartet’s changing perspective
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The Middle East that the Quartet representatives will be discussing Saturday in Munich is a vastly different region than the one they discussed at their last meeting in September in New York. Then, the major issue facing the Quartet officials – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Secretary-General Ban Kimoon – was whether or not Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would renew the 10-month settlement moratorium.

Israeli or Palestinian? Umm Al-Fahm Residents Are Divided
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Media Line
by David Miller, Arieh O'Sullivan - February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

The narrow streets of Umm Al-Fahm, one of the largest Arab towns in Israel, are steep as they wind up the hillside of the town that sits in a topographical bowl overlooking the biblical Plain of Jezreel. The 50,000 residents of this town of cinderblock houses and large golden-domed mosques are on the literal edge of the Western democratic state of Israel an hour’s drive from Tel Aviv, rubbing shoulders with what may be the future Palestinian state in the West Bank on the other side of the nearby fence.

Louis Theroux: My time among the 'ultra-Zionists'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from BBC News
by Louis Charbonneau - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

On a hilltop in the Northern West Bank, not far from the large Palestinian city of Nablus, I met 17-year-old Yair Lieberman. A part-time labourer and student, Yair's home was a makeshift canvas-covered structure, only slightly more solid than a tent, which he shared with three other young men. The bed was a tangled mess of sheets, in the style of a conventional teenager's, and hung around the dwelling were posters - though not of pop groups, but of favourite rabbis. Outside, in the neighbouring lots, was a scattering of fifteen or so caravans and trailers - the outpost of Havat Gilad.

Who is Uri Avnery, and Why Does He Matter?
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Jewish Ideas Daily
by Aryeh Tepper - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Jerusalem's decision in the early 1990's to admit Yasir Arafat and his fellow thugs into the heart of the land of Israel proved to be one of the country's major political blunders, paid for in the coin of a five-year terror war that traumatized Israeli society and transformed the dream of Israeli-Palestinian peace into an extended nightmare. How did it happen?

Three Years Old, J Street Still Struggles For Acceptance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jewish Daily Forward
by Nathan Guttman - February 2, 2011 - 1:00am

Several recent setbacks for J Street are refocusing attention on the dovish Israel lobby’s ongoing struggle to gain acceptance both in Washington and within the broader Jewish community.

Intriguing alliance
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jordan Times
by George S. Hishmeh - February 4, 2011 - 1:00am

The surprising determined refusal of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has been in office for nearly 30 years, to step down immediately has probably stunned many worldwide, and especially the hundreds of thousands of his ever-increasing opponents who have been demonstrating for days against his regime in Egypt’s main cities. Equally alarming were Mubarak’s brief televised remarks, broadcast late Tuesday night, that he would not seek reelection but promises an orderly transition before his term expires in September.

Between the hammer and the anvil
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Bitterlemons
by Oraib Al-Rantawi - February 3, 2011 - 1:00am

Over the last decade, Jordan's policies have centered on a single assumption: that the creation of a viable Palestinian state is a major pillar of Jordan's security and stability. Even more so, it is vital to Jordan's existence and identity. Based on this assumption, Jordan stood firm behind the peace process and was a strong supporter of the two-state solution. In that light, Jordan supported the Arab Peace Initiative and US President George W. Bush's vision for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Equally, Jordan called for the implementation of the roadmap and signed agreements.

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